I declared months ago (months and months and months ago?) that I was planning to read through David Foster Wallace’s tome ‘Infinite Jest’ this summer. That was my big plan, but I admit that I haven’t even cracked the book, though I did bring it up from the basement shelves and laid it on the books nearby my desk. And I’ve been thinking in the past couple weeks, remembering from my first attempted read through, how endearing David Foster Wallace’s characters are… in their conditional underground tunnels (those who rhapsodize on midnight radio shows, or to panels of authorities as an applicant [read: supplicant] attempting to, what else, endear himself to their sheltering care). I love the PGOAT – prettiest girl of all time, and remember whole chunks from the half-reading I attempted something like ten years ago.
But – and I am not bragging – I don’t think I can handle reading this type of work right now, for this reason I’ll explicate: my internal monologue in these overhot overbeating summer days, trying to survive this summer half-emerging from a (universal) pandemic to a half-world, half-re-opening, hoping that what gains we fought for in isolation, in perilous lonely struggle through the past year and more, won’t slip away, relapsing us into some more terrible grasp… – yes, my internal monologue is too like these fond ‘quirky’ characters who mutter and dance language into interview-with-a-vampire tapedecks on afterlife-talk-show-lapel microphone clips, spiraling in my head, trying to come clean in a rhythm that gets some song I feel on the verge of losing my mind to – losing track of? – nodding, rocking back and forth like a love-deprived orphan – trying to get pumping and cranking up the volume to get out of this deathly rut- What I am trying to say is, I feel like Hal Incandenza, I feel like Madame Psychosis. I feel the need for something… else. To sink my mic-ed up halloween costume vampire teeth into.
This place is making me sick. Or I’m sick and this place isn’t helping. Or I’m just not in contact with anything to distract me enough from my self, and I’m getting sick again.
This place is making me sick. Or I’m sick and this place isn’t helping. Or I’m just not in contact with anything to distract me enough from my self, and I’m getting sick again. I wake up and have trouble breathing, my whole body seized with a feeling of spiritual inertia. I have no one to call upon. No one to show up at the door and beckon the purring-engine open-car door at me to say, “come with me” and peel off from the ordinary. A life less ordinary. A destination unknown.
I set to work on my novel, and thus, I am going to set a new plan for how I’ll spend the remaining time of this summer. The first portion of my novel has a lot to do with the philosopher Schopenhauer. Based on my shallow connection with his work so far, a character who spends some time with my main character – in a mental ward, is a deep devotee of Schopenhauer. And in order to make it ring true, and hopefully I find enough in this reading to astound even my own greatest expectations, I’ve decided to take to a serious reading of Schopenhauer’s ‘THE WORLD AS WILL AND REPRESENTATION’.
Earlier, I read bits of his work, as well as a book called ‘The Schopenhauer Cure’, a novel by Irvin D. Yalom. That novel is about how reading Schopenhauer got someone through their psychological troubles so that when their psychologist checks up on them they have long discussions about why he left therapy, talk of Schopenhauer infects the group-therapy sessions narrative to the psychologist’s consternation. This is a recurring theme I’ve run into, despite Schopenhauer being designated as a ‘philosopher of pessimism’ there’s another book called ‘How Schopenhauer Got Me Through My Mid-Life Crisis’ – Something about the approach taken to the maelstrom chaos of the universe and a studied comparison of this to the human instantiated WILL has an effect on readers.
I spent the winter on the verge of a total breakdown while living in Norway-A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger
I felt the darkness of the black metal bands
But being such fawn of a man I didn’t burn down any old churches
Just laughed way too much, just laughedMy mind rejects the frequency
It’s static craziness to me
Is it a solar fever?
Song by of Montreal
I have had a struggle most of my life teetering between not taking life very seriously while playing the awkward outsider, and being forced to take too much responsibility for my own well being- mental and otherwise. If Schopenhauer is offering comfort in the form of something believable, interesting, well, I believe it would be nice even to be honest with myself that I have a need for something to believe in.
Afterall, This is not a fluke.
THIS IS A FLUKE:
If they tell you that’s not how it’s done. Remind them, this is just a dress rehearsal. You’ll do it the old way in your next life.
This may just be the end of the world. I don’t want to meet it with mussed make up.
There is no deadline
There is no schedule
There is no plan
We can fall back on
The road this far can’t be retraced
There is no punchline anybody can tack on
There are loose ends by the score
What did I come down here for?
YouThe Mountain Goats, ‘Tallahassee’
What I’m trying to say is, this perpetual adolescent, and the generation I self-appoint myself spokesman for, isn’t- aren’t saying, quite, it’s time to prove we’re adults. No.
I’m saying, to myself, because who else.. “I’ve got my license. Yeah, to drive, and also they made me a double-0. So, get in loser. We’re going to the heart of the maelstrom.”