Didn’t go to work today. Feverish. Ill. I feel incredibly queasy and achy and my knees are shaking and my head is a million degrees hot.
And yet here I am connecting up to sync on my night project. I won’t stay, I’ll only be here for a few minutes.
I feel like a maniac right now anyway, strange and uncomfortable and tense. I just tried to have a positive experience and instead of course ruined it for everyone involved.
I am not cut out for this. Everything in this part of the world is open and unprivate and chatty and shared. I’m not like that. I’m an urban eccentric, really. One of those guys that never in ten years comes out of his studio apartment on the 14th floor stacked from floor to ceiling with books, or with old laptop computers, or with forty thousand brand new copies of the perfect can opener so that I never run out for the rest of my life — forty thousand brand new can openers that make me happy. I once had four Newtons and two copies of just about every one of my favorite books. I still have duplicates or triplicates of most of my favorite clothing items. I have two abandoned Fiat X1/9 cars taking up what little extra space my parents have in their life.
I must have my familiar relative schematizers and everyday processes around me, immutable. I am wary of having to face the unfamiliar or the unexpected or the overwhelming or any number of other things, and not unjustifiably so. It’s not fear, but experience. People tell me: if you were really crazy like thay say, you’d do crazy things. The skill and the trick is in never going anywhere or doing or seeing anything that makes you want to do crazy things. No one who has ever done so before touches a hot stove again without the absolute intent to do something crazy; by the same token, I make sure not to be without my favorite can opener. Ever.
They told me once that the social contract was a thing, like an egg or a caterpillar or a bottle top or a Frenchman and I took it to heart and saw through it a little bit too much, and now I myself, like you, am nothing more than raw material and a moment in history that is all to quickly forgotten and altogether not terribly salient. I would say this in latin if I could: the infinite reduces all finites to singularities. And if this were a metaphor that I planned to continue, I’d say that singularities are immesely massive without being at all present. They’re the illusion that masters the orbits and realities only of those things that are in immediate contact with them; beyond their event horizons there is little evidence of their ever having been present in the first place.
Maybe I’m at the more functional end of urban eccentric. Maybe I can talk to people. The neighbors say I’m odd but nice, and nobody bothers me, nobody steps in on me and gets into my space, interferes with my pile of can openers, or my project to bookmark with one of my own hairs every instance of the word critical that appears in the complete works of the Oxford press since its founding, in case I ever need to know where they all are — for example, to prove a point to a well-read gone-postal mailman who has decided to dispense with me unless I prove to him that I can demonstrate a level of trivial mastry that he simply can’t.
I am perpetually in a state of having damn near made a mess of something, maybe everything. I exhaust myself. “So don’t,” people say, and then they wander off and live. Just like that.
So I say the same thing. I promise, I’ve said it already. I’ll say it again.
“I won’t. From now on, I won’t.”
There is this temptation, that I have given into too many times before,
And then always afterward I regret it and spend the rest of my life in angst about the many and sundry pieces that can never be picked up.
Is there some inverse relationship between the ability to properly craft a grammatical sentence or to solve an intricate problem and the ability to function within the social order as cast by the fates and our gestalt of interaction?
Am I overwhelmed by absurdity? Underwhelmed by it? Simply whelmed, period?
I want to ask for some sort of help.
But I don’t know what I need and I would be afraid to receive it anyway, and would run a mile if it is offered. And now every reader is thinking that I am petulant and selfish and is wanting to tell me off for being so self absorbed. Well. Good for them.
I was tempted to do or say something drastic out of spite, just to prove us both right, simultaneously, and in so doing, to make us both into utter fools.
But I didn’t. I won’t. Or at least, I won’t anymore right now. A small victory, at least.
It’s the fever. It’s all the fever.
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white