Why does my hearing continue getting keener? I thought that one’s senses were supposed to deteriorate with age. My grandfather wore a hearing aid. And my lyin’ eyes have been bad since I was a teen. Every day the scenery gets fuzzier, but my ears detect all sounds with superlative prowess. I worry that I’ll soon begin hearing things that no one else can sense: that’s when they’ll tell me that I’ve graduated from La grande blague at last. So I must remember to perceive only what everyone else can perceive, if I want to keep my place among the struggling multitudes.
I didn’t feel like explaining it in its place, but I’ll gladly tell you here about the obvious aspects of yesterday’s entry’s image:
The drawing on the right is just a sliver; it looks like it’s too closely cropped, because it was from a larger composition which I mutilated out of disaffection: now I wish that I hadn’t done that, because I think it might have been better than my mad ego judged it to be in the moment (Life Lesson: always meditate before committing acts of self-destruction); but as it is, I’ve been using portions of it to mark my place in books as I read them. And the image on the left is a Polaroid: an instant photograph: you just snap a picture and the film is dispensed automatically; then you watch it develop right before your own lyin’ eyes. The humanoid in the photo is my old roommate: he’s draped over our old sofa in our old apartment; you can also see our old coffee table and some old books and various old knickknacks strewn about. I’ve always been a bad housekeeper.
It’s strange how the most attractive items often derive from the least attractive origins. Why do I love my sweetheart so intensely, while it’s almost impossible for me to get along with either of her parents? I blame religion.
And now I’m recalling a scene from a Werner Herzog film: Several villagers are gathered around a vat, and they are chewing a certain substance – I don’t remember if it is a fruit or a vegetable or what – and they keep spitting into the vat and stirring the sputum so that it thickens into a mash. Eventually this mash is served as a drink at the festival.
When I was a toddler, I overheard that actual Frenchmen stomped the grapes with their own bare feet to make the wine that was served with my happy meal. At first I was shocked at this news, but then I thought: Would it be any better to know that they’d been wearing socks and shoes?
My dad wore cowboy boots exclusively; and he strongly, constantly identified with this choice of footwear, that’s why I’m reporting it here. Put it down in your journal and you’ll free it from your mind: that’s what I tell myself, regarding unwanted memories. And then I end up repeating the same sad facts. My dad associated sneakers or tennis shoes with “city slickers” – he was proud to be a boot-wearin’ country boy.
But here’s another good tip: Don’t wear an all-black outfit if you’re planning on wiping banana residue on yourself. This morning a glob of dreck from the peel gained a purchase on my oath-swearing hand, and I regret smearing it off without tracing the lines of some phrase, such as “Let’s Rock,” so that the discoloration could’ve at least given anyone literate semi-offence.
And I wear all black in honor of Hamlet the Dane.
Since evidently this entry was predestined to be a collection of odds and ends, please tell my sister-in-law that the Nordic Pine candle is, at the moment, my favorite aroma. (She gave us that for Xmas.)
BREAKING NEWS: This instant, my sweetheart walks in the door, holding a takeout container. She opens the lid: it’s an order of cheesy omelet hash browns. So I say: “Smells good!” And she says: “Have some!” But I say: “No, thanks.” And she says: “Wow, willpower!” So now I bellow my catchphrase: “It’s not self-control, it’s life-loathing.”
To gain power over something, label it and repeat it: it destroys it. That’s why I eat the same meals every single day. And I am a homebody: the most eminent of adventurers.
Lastly, I’ll share a quote from my daily reading. In a previous entry, I mentioned receiving a copy of Anne Carson’s newest book, Float. Tonight I finished the part that contains Carson’s translations from the French poems of Émile Nelligan. At the end of this section is a note explaining that when Nelligan was only twenty years old, he “suffered a breakdown and was diagnosed with dementia praecox.” He then spent the rest of his life in an asylum and hospital, where he died about a month short of his 62nd year. The same disorder has overcome members of my family at early ages (tho not as young as Nelligan), so I constantly fret about dementia. The way that Carson concludes her biographical note on the poet moves me:
Maybe some people are born into the evening of their life and, although they remember a morning and an afternoon, they do not live it, they are already far gone in the shadows.