06 October 2015

Nothing to speak of

Here is a picture of pie turned on its side.


Let time pass. Just let time pass without exacerbating the situation. That’s what I end up chanting to myself most days. Not that I’m faced with any difficult circumstance; our civilization is just infuriat­ing in general. But I hate to complain, and I also hate to accept evil. When I say evil, I mean ugliness. And when I say ugliness, I don’t mean the kind that is judged in beauty pageants; I mean economic unfairness, mental or physical abuse, psychological abnormality…

Already I found two glaring problems with what I just wrote. First is the word evil. I’d prefer to reserve that accolade for myself alone. Some madmen insist that they are Napoleon; I myself identify with Milton’s Satan. The second problem is abnormality: I dislike using that term in a negative sense. So much of what I love about life is abnormal—I feel an allegiance to the notion.

Yet words are colored by their context; so let this entry stand as it is: I support it. I’m not just going to speak something into existence and then turn my back on it because it’s fatally flawed. I’m only going to allow myself to abandon in anger anything that I mold out of mud with my own bare hands.

I wonder if they’re right, the people who disparage the written word. A man was hired to paint the deck of my apartment, and he noticed that I was reading a book when he started the job; then, when he finished, he noticed that I was still reading; so he said:

“I pity you! Are you studying for a class in school or something? I’d hate to have to sit still and read like that for so long. I prefer to be out here in the fresh air, painting. When I take my lunch break, I can have a picnic with my two daughters. I feel blessed; but then I see you here with your book, and it makes me sad.”

I laughed and told the guy that, while he had been pitying my lot, I had been pitying his. The act of painting a deck seems as awful to me as the act of reading a book appears to him.

I have to admit, however, that reading is a terrible waste of life. I regret having spent so many years staring at tiny symbols on paper. All for what? So I can talk funny? …Yet, rather than painting houses or doing landscaping, I fantasize about luxuriating: my wish is for gilded furnishings, high cuisine, opiates, and a voluntary harem (in my dreams, no one may serve who does not want to serve). But, until my requests for actual riches are granted, I’ll keep on reading.

Here’s what I think I’m trying to say. Just as starving creatures swallow sand granules to abate the pain of hunger, so a fallen god pursues imaginative literature to atone for the loss of omnipotence.

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