Some bad things are ignorable. Isn’t that true, and isn’t that good? For instance, if a damsel says “I’m being crushed by student debt,” she’s presumably using the word crushed figuratively. The debt is an annoying fact in her life; maybe she is reminded of it often when she receives bills or notices about the remaining balance, etc… But the discomfort that stems from this situation is different from the pain that a raccoon feels when it is hit by a car. The raccoon lies in the street from sundown to sunup in un-anesthetized suffering; then at last it cries “Eloi, Eloi,” and gives up the ghost (Mark 15:34). Now, if our damsel were to allow herself momentarily to FORGET her economic distress, she might attain the state of “debt-ignorance”: for lending and owing are part of a manmade system, like a game, whose rules must be followed voluntarily—thus the consequences of breaking these rules do not force themselves upon the body the way that physical pain does: pain is the price of playing the game of life: one has no choice in the matter: life’s ways are compulsive; physical pain is insistent and undeniable. Am I wrong about all this? Yes, I am wrong, now that I think about it. For, haven’t certain monks been able to light themselves on fire and die very calmly, without a complaint? But does their composed exterior mean that they did not feel any pain inwardly, privately? Can one ignore pain as one ignores a creditor’s bill?
I wish that I had titled this entry with the sentence that I removed from its end and placed here: Existence is a multiple-choice exam, and I’m ambivalent about boundaries.
The other day, I wrote something about disliking my body shape, but then I had to run and didn’t get a chance to expand on this thought ad nauseam. Now I want to clarify my stance. When thinking about going skindiving, I recoiled from the thought of how my form would look in the outfit. For it’s my understanding that the outfit is revealing. I’m not talking about the lightweight mask, the foot fins, and the snorkel (those things are fine: they’d render me handsomer)—I mean the tight suit. Now, in U.S. culture, I know it’s currently fashionable to sport any style of physique that your heart desires; and I agree with that, unequivocally; I’ve been saying it for eons: all beings, from angular to curvaceous, are pleasing to the eye (as long as they’re adults, not still in the larvae stage). So I don’t mean to fault myself for failing to reach whatever goal that I imagine society has set for my cadaver’s appearance: I’m just one of those people who’s “not comfortable in his own skin.” I say that phrase literally now, but its idiomatic meaning applies to me, too: I do not have a clear understanding of my own situation.
But I didn’t come here to belittle myself—I wanted to contrast my bodily self-hatred with my mental self-love. For I love my mind as much as I loathe my body. I have a good mind: it moves fast, and it can think of many things. The only problem with it is that it’s too sensitive for the present world—or at least for its own place in the present world. This excess of energy translates into nervousness, if I’m not used properly. My proper use would be as a world leader, or a guru of some sort. Maybe a sensual healer, or dancin’ machine. E’en a fool of the written word. My point is that, each morning, I should wake to see that my day’s outfit has been displayed for me, ready-to-wear, at the foot of my bed. It should be a fine suit that disguises all of my body’s “flaws.” Happy and well-compensated attendants now spritz me with cologne. I’d like to ride my underground train to the central palace. I’d like my personal chefs to surprise me with fine, healthy cuisine: the type they favor in France, Italy, and other places… Greek food, etc. And serve it in seven or eight small courses. I like variety. (Tho I’d never complain if they offered me fish and chips.) Now here’s a sentence that I write only because I think it sounds neat: I’d like to read philosophy to prostitutes. The truth is that I prefer all lovers to be free and willing, and I’d rather read them poems while they do as they please. I believe that if I’m treated with love and respect, I shall save this puzzled world from all of its ills.
It is only because I am fertile that I choose not to father children. It’s like a protest vote. Were I infertile, I would immediately, as Abram, or rather Sarai (Genesis 11:30), rise up and proceed to give birth to fill-in-the-blank.