Antarctic Diary. Sunday, November 17th, 2002.

The Truth and Tricks of Light

Beautiful cloudless day. Endless visibility. Snow melting in spots.

There's only two seasons in McMurdo. Snow, and Mud. We're getting close to Mud.

The title came to me in a dream last night. Nursing a little hangover I'd planned on. Got my vitamin b12 and my NAC. Almost gone.

It's nearly 8:30AM here on the top floor of Crary Lab. I look to my right. Mount Discovery and the Royal Society Range rise like magic sixty miles to my east. It's not something you see. You feel these mountains the way an ant on the sidewalk feels the looming, cloudlike presence of humanity.

I am alone here. This is why--Sunday is the only "weekend" day people get around here. They work "six nines", in theory. 8-6, six days a week with an hour break for lunch. On Sunday they rest. Rest means drinks. Rest means rock and roll.

Last night was Punk night at Gallager's, one of the Antarctic Bars. I went in around 11:30 with an Aussie from Darwin. He's a fingy (FNG=fucking new guy), and so walks around agape, eyes dialated. I look at him and see myself last year. (Maybe this year, too.)

When we went in the music was loud and the band was tight. Guys in skateboard T-shirts laughed and swayed with Girls easily removable tops. Blue and red lights slashed through the crowd like lasers.

"I can't fucking believe this," Richard said, his Aussie accent so strong to me I had to make him say it three times before I agreed. "This is Antarctica? Holy shit."

I'd just come from a party in someone's dorm room. I'd finished 1/3 a bottle of Tangueray talking to a professor from Moss Landing who looked like an advertisement for Tai-Bo. I'm sure she could have knocked my teeth out with her eyebrows. Ice diver, she was. Going home next week. Lives in Santa Cruz, just over the hill from me.

I left when the room got so crowded I couldn't see my feet anymore. And so I went to Punk night where a bartender in a red vinyl miniskirt and fishnet stockings popped me a can of Speight's Dark and knew my name and that I'd just come from the party.

Everyone knows everything here.

I left my Aussie friend in a daze on the dancefloor, gyrating with some helo techs in tight jeans.

When I went over to the coffee house the situation was more subdued. There I met a friend who runs a big operation here. I sat down with her and we talked about folks who were here last year. After a couple of minutes of pleasant banter she surprised me by reciting, line-for-line, a bar conversation I'd had with someone the prior year.

She told me it was the most disgusting thing she'd witnessed, bar anything that had ever happened in McMurdo for the twelve years she'd been coming here.

I nearly puked.

How could something so ridiculously improvised and innocent mean anything? How could she have harbored so much venom for this entire year without saying anything to me? The last thing I need is someone in authority thinking I'm a jerk because in a drunken stupor I verbally spar with some bar bimbo and then retire to my room to enjoy my headache in peace.

"When you come through here," she said, "you leave a wake. It lasts forever. People see everything and they never forget."

I tried to get over being hurt and stunned, but it wasn't working. She could probably see it on my face. She probably did it to shock me. And there was/is nowhere to go. I think: I have to work with her for the next three weeks knowing she thinks I'm slime. I had to fix it, but I didn't know how.

I knew what wouldn't work--being defensive wouldn't work.

She stayed for a while, we talked about other things as if she'd never said what she said. Then she left.

I went back to the punk party. It was loud and people who liked me were there. When the bar closed at 1AM, I went to midrats with a guy from University of Ohio and had a cup of coffee, trying to figure out life.

What I figured was this: for some people, McMurdo is their family. McMurdo is the only life they have, and they're protective. The last person you want to face is an Antarctican in protective posture. If you have a choice between being locked in a Holiday Inn restroom with a full-grown Bengal Tiger who hasn't eaten in three days and an Antarctican protecting his turf, take the tiger. The Tiger will just kill you fast. It won't twist your brain around an axle and dump your body in a crevasse.

As I sipped my coffee in the galley, looking out at Ob Hill in the bright eternal daylight, I pondered the McMurdo culture and what would make my friend react that way. I realized I'd seen it in a lot of people.

Last year I was stunned by the landscape. Being in Antarctica turned me to jello. I observed the culture rather than integrating.

This year I'm expected to be one of "them". One of the comms techs shook my hand and said, "Welcome to the family." He was inviting me to integrate. And so I'm expected to be reliable. I'm expected to behave like an Antarctican.

But it's pretty clear I don't know the rules. There's a code to crack.

The lesson for today is that things are not as they appear in Antarctica. My senior friend said, before she left me bleeding in the bar, "Everyone comes down here for the geographic challenge and what they find is it doesn't mean shit. The people are all that matters. Eventually you figure that out."

Hope it's not too late.

I ran over to the lab without my fleece. I hope I don't freeze going back.

I Swear That I Will Never Vote On A Node Writen By A Noder Who Has Not Been Seen In Over A Month

Votes are our currency

We trade them for pleasure

They are our admission fee to the community

We earn them by our writings

By our thoughts and feelings

Its how we are told we are worth while

By the lazy

Those who we really touch tell us so

I'd trade my votes for a word of praise

For knowing how I made a noder feel

For sharing a detail of a persons life


I'd willingly trade them all for your thoughts

I have made a covenant in the eyes of e2.

Why do I say this? Settle down and I will explain all.

When I vote I am showing my appretition for a noders work. I am telling him (or her) that I have enjoyed his writing. That it interested me or amused me or amazed me or touched me. If I vote it down then it means that I have found it somehow distastefull or inappropriate. Or worse - that I believe that it adds nothing to the nodegel.

So I was thinking about it... If someone is no longer an active member of e2 then why vote on their nodes? After all if they are never around to see the results of the votes then they will never know how much I cared for it or not. If they never know or just don't care then why should I spend my votes - a limited resourse remember - on them? Since I have only so many votes a day, less than I could use, then I should ration them and give them to people who appreticate them more. Of course I were to be a good noder then I'd message those people as well and tell them that I liked their node.

This means that I can never again vote on a node by Sensei or Hermetic. This will be hard.


In other things... I bound my first book today! For this I blame How to Bind Your Own Book by Jongleur. A really good write-up.

I also recieved a really nice message about my last daylog. It just goes to show how great the community of e2 is - and also that not everyone who claims to be evil really is.

I went out for dinner with Arieh, Heschelian and The Debutante since it was The Debutante's Hebrew Birthday. We celebrated today since we will not all be there for her 'real' birthday. Arieh nearly scared the waitress by telling her, apon being served, "Oh. I don't eat food from triangular plates..." the look she had in the brief moment before finding out he was joking was pretty priceless.


elem_125 mentions the nodes that he likes

Since I can not yet ching nodes there is no real way to tell people about the nodes that I have liked. So mentioning them here in a daylog seemed like a good idea. So today's notable node is:

A really good sandwich that ideath could make to take to work with her

Thank you sensei

Before you ask... this doesn't break my covenant about since I am only directing people to a node I think that they would like. I am not spending my votes on this node (although I might have done in the days before I made this pact).

Thats it... good night

This will not end well...

I have new neighbors living in the apartment below mine. They just moved in yesterday. It's two college guys, which means that eventually each and every one of their friends will wind up crashing there eventually like some kind of revolving door flophouse. It happened with the last college people living downstairs. I'm a college guy, and I like music as much as the next guy, but I have to say that I don't like having college people for neighbors. And ya wanna know why?

THE NOISE!!!

The last set of neighbors down there were eventually tossed out because of their insistance on playing loud music and holding massive parties several nights a week. Their little place was crammed to capacity. They lasted all of five months. In fact, it's because of them that my complex has a zero tolerance noise policy, seeing as they were warned time and time again.

I had a neighbor who lived across from me for roughly a year once. I never really saw the guy and his girlfriend, although I heard them a lot. They had a thing for loud bass music. All day long, all night long... BOOM BADA BOOM BADA BOOM BOOM BOOM!. Walking by their door on the way to mind the smell of an illegal substance clouding up in the walkway. They too were sent packing.

Their replacement was, I think, a dog. I never saw an actual human coming in or out of that apartment. Just a big angry dog. The door would open, a dog would come out and go downstairs, and then the door would close. Sometime later the dog would return, paw at the door, it would open, the dog would enter, and the door would close again. I did see a number of people who would knock on that door, causing the door to open a crack. A bag would be passed inside. Another bag would be sent out by an unseen hand. Then the door would close and the person would scamper away. Gee, I wonder what was going on there? One time one of the dog's visitors came to my door instead and, when his knock when unanswered (you think I'm opening the door to an unknown scuzzy-looking guy?), he tried to open my door. He refused to leave, he just continued knocking and turning the knob. It took a call to the security office to get them to escort the guy away. The dog (and, presumeably, a human) were sent packing two months ago. I don't think anyone is living there now, although I did see the door suddenly open and close two weeks ago.

Well, now back to my new neighbors down below. This is their second night in that apartment and already they're playing music loud enough to vibrate my floor. If past history has taught me anything, they won't be around for very long at this rate.

Whoooaaa! Wheeee! It's been quite a while since I've posted here. My on-again, off-again relationship with E2 looks like it's ON AGAIN, and hopefully it'll stay this way for good. School has finally settled down into a somewhat predictable rythm, so prospects for staying look good. Hee hee hee! I'm glad the Honor Roll way finally put into place, even though I don't benefit...yet.

For what it's worth, dannye has redeemed himself in my eyes. Perhaps an explanation should be given. Let me tell you a story... When I first got here, a year or so ago, I stumbled across a one liner writeup, no longer here, written in 2000, by a fairly well-known user. I, having been a good newbie and read the FAQs in some depth, noted that the posted rules on writeup nuke submission went something thus:

Submit writeups under this node that you think should be deleted, along with a good reason.
Well, I figured, what with the current stance on one-liners, the very fact that it was a non-factual one-liner ought to be enough. I blithely went ahead and posted a nuke request for it.

Major mistake.

It turned out that, what with the nuking FAQ being a bit out of date, posting nuke requests for other people's nodes was looked down upon. dannye notified me, rather tersely, that nuke requests were "...for YOUR NODES which you thought were a mistake", and that "while you're at it, don't post nodeshell nuke requests either." I should probably note that the writeup being submitted was in positive-vote territory, making my situation all the stickier.

Unfortunately, my problems did not end there. Being a year ago, the little [r] next to incoming /msgs was not there, and being a newbie, I forgot to put "/msg dannye" in front of my (intended, perhaps somewhat inappropriate (I don't have what I sent to dannye, only what he sent to me)) message to dannye, it went out into the chatterbox.

Oops.

This was, of course, quite possibly the WORST thing that could have happened, from any perspective. I came off looking like a ranting, flaming asshole, and even worse, I had HARDLINKED the node title in my message, drawing attention to it. Ouch. Wharfinger /msged me notifying me as such, and I apologized to him, explaining what had happened so far. He agreed to reword the FAQ; it now emphasizes that unless you're posting your own stuff for destruction, you'd better have a damn good reason.

Of course, while my blood was still boiling from dannye's perceived coldness, I did NOT like him very much. Now that, a year later ;), I've calmed down, I can look back and realize that he was simply performing his job as world-weary editor extraordinaire.

Then, a few days ago, dannye messaged me in response to one of my nodes, providing some helpful criticism over the list formatting. He showed me an example of what to do, and even offered to spruce it up for me. That, and the fact that he cooled me, have conspired to inspire my long-overdue forgiveness and banish my misgivings. Thank you, dannye.

But there is still one thing that I still think to myself, to this day, when I reflect:

Thank God I didn't rub dem bones the wrong way!

.
.

We went to a basement rummage sale at the church around the block today. Of all the churches near our apartment, this is the one that I call the gay church. Sometimes when we are walking the dog on Sunday mornings, we see all the gay male couples going to church there. Sometimes they put up rainbow banners about how they accept everyone. It is nice. We went in the last ten minutes or so of the sale, so I must have missed all the good stuff. I did pick up a small red corduroy purse, a green plate with asian-type fish on it and a very nearly new stuffed Paddington Bear.

There was a whole table of stuffed animals. At first I thought about that Plushies web site a friend told me about... where people have sex with stuffed animals and take pictures of it. Scoresby and Brian thought the same thing. We are all ruined on stuffed animals forever. These stuffed animals were surprisingly clean and new for a rummage sale, though. Gay guys must really take care of their stuffed animals, I thought. My total came to $1.50, but I gave the guy at the checkout $3 since it was a fund raiser for the Whitman Walker AIDS food bank. The guy had on a shirt that said “Art Fag”, which was funny. But he was kinda snippy with me. Oh well. I love that I live in a gay neighborhood and I’d never live anywhere else.

Afterwards we go back home to spend a few hours hanging around doing nothing until we have plans to go to the movies. I spend mine trying to nap with the smelly dog. He’s a whore for warmth and gets himself under the covers so fast. I can’t sleep, but he is snoring in no time, his little head on my shoulder seems so human when he snores. A little man in a fur suit.

The leaves out my window are clapping. A thousand tiny yellow hands. They are at a concert and they clap between the breeze’s songs. Sometimes they all clap at once. A whole tree worth. And sometimes it is only the bottom section or the top or just a few. Their applause makes me laugh. Scoresby asks me what I’m laughing at and I say, “The leaves are clapping.” This sounds crazy if you aren’t looking out the window.

The sky is hiding behind The Cairo, the tallest building in this part of my city. I stretch toward the window and turn on my back to get a glimpse of it. Grey afternoon raining sky. The dog moans at me and moves to the foot of the bed.

I take in the breeze and it smells orange. Orange and crispy and soggy; this day is. Scoresby asks me what I’m doing. I say, nothing. But I am doing a lot. With my eyes and my nose I am relearning autumn. But with my hands I am following the curves of my changing body. I have ribs. They were always there, but never within reach until now. My left breast is getting so small. It was always the little one, but now it seems so tiny. Like a partially deflated balloon next to the other one. I’m glad I never got that breast reduction like I always wanted. This way is much better. There are new indentions in my arms. New lines marking where the fat ends and the muscle begins. It is amazing. I think that when I was larger, I used to ignore my body entirely. My own physical person was something I rarely thought about. But now the whole thing seems alive and changing and fascinating to me.

I gather up the small smelly man in the fur suit and take that nap.

I must've been 14 by the time I got fed up with Tami. No, let me correct that. I was fed up with her for a long time. I was 14 when I finally snapped at her.

Tami used to be a friend of my mom's. She'd come over some evenings, sit down with my mom at the table on the porch and drink her dinner. She'd crack man jokes. She'd talk about random drunk middle-age woman shit that would interest her deeply, but everyone else, including my mom didn't seem to enjoy it.

About the man jokes. She would crack man jokes the way a KKK member would crack nigger jokes. Good ones, bad ones, funny ones, crappy ones, most of them in the middle. The fact that I was of the gender being denigrated did not endear her to me. Tami hated men because she had something like four ex-husbands. Tami hated men before that, but that was her excuse, and she would mercilessly bash these men who she had used and dumped like orange peels in the compost heap, after she had gotten to and extracted their juicy, money-engorged center. Tami would once in a while read a love letter written in Spanish that she had gotten from a future ex-husband she was collecting in Mexico.

That day, she must have told a real zinger, because I got pissier than normal at her. I started glaring in my usual way and neglecting to acknowledge her, which she usually responded to by doing the same. I went to retrieve a glass from the cupboard and fill it with soda, while she was up at the stove, talking to my mom. She immediately grabbed the glass as I turned away to go to the refrigerator and began to fill it with tonic water.

“What in the hell. I just got that out for myself,” I said as I gestured to the two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew I had retrieved from the fridge.

“Honey, I brought a child into this world and I can take one out just as easily,” was her response.

This was the last straw. I silently leaned over to the knife drawer and pulled out our 12-inch long stainless steel chopper. The one with the triangle-shaped blade that I religiously kept razor sharp.

“You’re more than welcome to try,” was my response as I gestured the knife toward her throat. “I have had quite enough of your shit. Do NOT call me ‘honey.’ Get the fuck out of here.”

Stunned admiration from my sister, shock from my mom, fear and awe from Tami. Thankfully, she followed the latter order of mine. Though I would have had, at that point, no qualms at all about slitting her throat (I was an angry teenager), the legal trouble involved, as well as desecrating my favorite knife made it almost a relief.

I have not heard from Tami since. I am very glad of this. It’s certainly not an experience I would like to repeat.

Name unchanged, 'cause she's a bitch.

Covered in a slime of snot, sweat and tears, weeping plastered clinging to me, she said,

"I don't know who he is yet but I hate him anyway."

Evadne:

You Deserve Better Than Me!

AS IT IS? IS IT AS IT IS? IS AS IT IS AS IT IS? AS IT IS?

In many ways, and on certain days when I'm feeling a particular way, I feel that a lot of human behavior is modeled to a child by the art they experience very early on. Movies have a resounding effect on the young psyche, depending on the level of exposure and awareness level, the moving picture, in combination wtih sound and music have a profound effect on the young. The archetypal social situations are being layed out, which by now is reflecting the world around us, the world it once created; is art influencing life? or is life influencing art? and is it art influencing life influencing art influencing life on and on and also and also?

So, what would happen if we were to remove the upkeep of particular cultrual myths: don't show them bullies, don't show them stories about class clashes, and race wars. The idea of every reader identifying with a hero within a text is not a proven fact, it is an idea. Reading/Media observing is dangerous. You have the additive social hang-ups of the author always to worry about (.) , besides imprinting--a youth, anyone for that matter, but especially youths who have not yet mastered the formula of narrative present in most movies created for them, can find inspiration in any character/idea that they miracously identify with. This is something I say with only a modest education of psychology, but I say it with feeling:

We want a better world? We want to start building it now? Let's stop the archetypes, and that's a beginning. Grind them to a temporary halt, don't let there shadows guide them any longer. We show them base reality, and they'll take that base reality. I mean the word base here in as many definitions as you can conjure.

I'm aware of the counter-arguments to a position like this, but I think about the possibility of the next generation of humans who have gone beyond formulating their early world views based on the mistakes of others. Some children's authors seem to "get this," but more often than not most media-creators are interested in presenting a representation of the contemporary life they lead, a contemporary life predicated on the archetypes and architecture of our current society. And then the other counter-argument, and this is the biggest one, and the most difficult, and also in consequence "the crippling stance," who decides what to input instead? What do we input instead? What about "today's chidlren"-- do they get left behind?

This may be construed as some form of censorship. Acknowledged. Remember, that I'm only taking this all as seriously as an attempted investigation of the thoughts I normally keep locked inside. This is my attempt at a brain recording device. Let's throw away these sort of counter-arguments for now, they only provide a bottleneck to seriously thinking about this.

I've noticed in my own fiction that I've adopted particular socially constructed relationships, influenced by the ghosts of previous selfsimilar kin. But there are kinds that I've definitly deselected from my cultural vocabularly, it is these ones that people tend to be looking for the most, the ones that have been hooking up with them since childhood. There's some people on certain wave lengths of awareness that tend switch tracks to another set of archetypes, like clay to work into their lives.

The collective unconscious is ever-changing. It will mold and shape itself, and adapt to a changing human nature, a rerepresented reality. I extend and am liberal with my definitions. I wiggle from them. This is a fault. It's ok.

Think about it. Model a whole new gestalt. A transition.

Adventures in Public Transportation:


1: An observation of two brothers.

They are wearing matching ski jackets, pants, gloves, and headwarmers, but in different neon colours. One, the older one, is fast asleep with a copy of Important Black Men through History forgotten in his lap. The other one, the younger one, is bouncing up and down in his seat, eyes wide with wonder at The Hobbit.

2: A conversation with an old lady.

Her: "You are young, and I hate you. I hate your air of arrogance, of contempt. I hate your blue hair, your leather coat, your aesthetic. I hate everything you stand for, you and all people like you."

Me: "You hate me because I am young and you do not know me, but you are old, and I have known a thousand of you. Every day, you find me and say those words to me, but there are less of you now than there were yesterday, and tomorrow there will be less still. You hate me because you do not understand me, and you never will. Your hate is fear, and your fear will never move me."

No one on the bus took notice of this exchange; they did not see the way we looked at each other, how we spoke without words.

Browsing the shelves at our neighborhood video store, nothing looked even halfway apealing to us except The Royal Tenenbaums -- and even then we were hesitant, having heard very mixed reviews of it. But we finally picked it up and headed for the counter. I put the video down and handed the girl my member card. With a hole puncher she punched out the last check box on the card. "This rental will be free," she said. "Now...are you guys really sure you want to get this?"

I shrugged, unused to being challenged on my choice of rentals.

"I just gotta be honest with you. This movie really, really sucked. Is there anything else you were thinking of getting?"

"Um. My wife kind of wants to see The Princess Diaries. Sort of."

"I think that would even be better than this."

"She's right, you know," said the woman behind us in line. "It was very bad. Just awful."

Angela and I looked at each other helplessly. It had taken us so long to settle on this movie, and now apparently every single person in the store felt that renting it would be a hideous mistake. Seeing our uncertainty, the girl behind the counter said, "I'll tell you what. Go ahead and pick something else for your free rental, and I'll let you rent this one along with it for free. I just don't want you to take home a movie you'll hate and have nothing else to watch." Well, you can't beat free for cheap, right? We picked out Pollock, which Counter Girl seemed pretty leery of as well but accepted.

We thanked Counter Girl for her honesty and left. We got a couple of Quarter Pounders for dinner, popped The Royal Tenenbaums in the VCR when we got home, and settled in to watch our sucky, sucky movie, figuring we could at least see for ourselves how bad it truly was before putting in our second choice.

Tenebaums was awesome. I want to ask Counter Girl what other movies she hates now and rent them all.

I come home at 2 am, out watching an awesome band play at one of the local bars, and find several things immediately amiss at my house.

  1. There are police cars everywhere.
  2. Our shrubbery has been pulled up and thrown on our porch
  3. I enter and am greeted by my roommate's girlfriend in hysterics and ready to brain me with a broom handle.

"What the hell is going on?" I ask myself, but apparently out loud. So she fills me in on what's happened. Some small army (about six) of asshole jocks from one of the local colleges decided (apparantly at random) to break into our apartment and try to steal my motorcycle helmet and riding gloves.

So my roommate chased them down and got my gear back, but they threatened various forms of dismemberment and then left. He called the police who arrested the guy and almost arrested his friends. While my roommate was going with the cop to make a statement one of the guys was like "We know where you live", and stared him down. The guy also uprooted our bushes and deposited them on our front steps.

Now's the fun part. We have to live under siege until we can get the hell out of this damn apartment. It's targeted as student housing, but it was the only thing left, so we took it. The problem is it's run by the most notorious slumlord in town, and he does the bare minimum needed to stay out of jail, and other than that he's content to screw his tenants any and every way possible. He knows that so long as it's better than living in a dorm he can pump money out of these students month after month. The funny thing is we had a higher quality of life when we lived right next door to the projects. Our neighbors would mind their own business and if they needed to blow off steam they'd go after big business and the man, not after their neighbors.

I would like to be able to kick each one of those assholes in the nuts with my steel-toed boots for the hassle they caused me this weekend.

GRRRRRR!

This morning started in the normal way: Amelia sitting up, cooing and gurgling and informing Ruth Anne and I that it was time to start the day. I used to hate mornings, and I suppose I still do in general, but the first few minutes are now usually pure heaven.

We actually got ourselves to church this morning, which means St. John's Unitarian Church in this case. I don't make it very often, and I'm technically not even a member, but I every Sunday morning when I'm not at church, St. John's is the church I'm not at.

This was my first time with the new minister, and my first time at St. John's with a male in that role.

For me, it was quite a depressing service. Quotes from Mark Twain about imperialism, and from Abraham Lincoln about freedom. The sermon was entitled "Hope in a time of terror", but offered little hope. Several times he quoted "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing", which makes it extra depressing, because I am doing nothing about the Republicans removing civil rights from almost everyone whether in the country or out of it.

After church, it was back down to the basement to keep hacking away at the chaos. A similar amount of progress to yesterday, but much less visible; primarily organization. Our new kitchen has just about zero cabinet space, but today we got all the foodstuffs more or less organized on the basement shelves most convenient to the kitchen.

Did you ever have to shim a wheeled piece of furniture? It's mostly impossible, but I managed to take the wheels off and build a wheeled shim to put back on.

Three loads of laundry started and finished and put away (rare that all three parts happen in the same day). Some more lights hung in the basement, and a fancy lantern-looking reading lamp attached to the wall in the parlor (we don't have a living room and a dining room, we have a drawing room and a parlor). Plus the usual playing with Amelia, keeping her from damaging herself or others, keeping her reasonably fed and slept. Man, if I hadn't somehow ended up with a perfect child, this might be more than I could handle.

are any of us whole?
our very defenses wound us
triage: the injured, the crippled, the dying.

- - -

(Red leaves fell off, a handful, at a brush (i dare not touch anything harder). The size of a child's fingernail.)

- - -

A woman in skirts, head uncovered, stands facing west in a fenced yard. Slowly she squats down, placing her hands around a dandelion as if to shelter a flame from wind. Then: she does not move.

- - -

Walking deliberately, as if balancing a brimful glass of water in some inner cavity.

- - -

I have to come to terms with Rilke's essentialism when it comes to women. I have, until now, brushed it off as obsolete, a bit of dated material in otherwise eternal text.
Nothing will outlive loneliness. But if it is integral - what then?
                  ("here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.")

- - -

I recognize in a character in a book perhaps the one i am looking for. It seems perhaps cruelty is what is desirable. To be outmatched, unneeded, undesired.       Doesn't matter, i know, but the mind picks at it like a scab; if this makes me parallel Justine, does this mean that i too embody her faults? Or is it, after all, just a book?
  I do not believe there is a "the One". But. There is this desire to immerse myself in a novel, a coherent world, without the distractions of sloppy diversity. Even if the novel is heartbreak, it is as a city with one designer - unified, lovely, strangely inhuman. So too, to invent a life of completeness, with just one other, to fill myself with the textures and rhythms of that one universe, and pretend there is nothing else in the world. Messy, the world, sloppy, the world. Billions and billions of cooks.

- - -

"English has two great forgotten words, namely 'helpmeet' which is much greater than 'lover' and 'loving-kindness' which is so much greater than 'love' or even 'passion'." - Percy "Ludwig" Pursewarden

Do you know what i mean by immerse? to lose everything else. Self. You, too, i would give that up.

- - -

"Consistency is all we ask."
"Give us this day our daily mask."

- - -

Something about the way that branch let go its leaves in my hand touched me. I couldn't drop them, but held them like strange currency with which i had been temporarily entrusted.

- - -

There is no one counting our kindnesses to strangers. Perhaps helping to keep them alive is an indirect cruelty.

It is impossible to say.

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