For some reason, you will no longer be the person you believed you once were. You’ll detect slow and subtle shifts going on all around you, more importantly shifts in you. Worse, you’ll realize it’s always been shifting, like a shimmer of sorts, a vast shimmer, only dark like a room. But you won’t understand why or how.
— House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
What do I believe?
In the private life
In holding up culture
In music, Shakespeare, old buildings
What do I enjoy?
Being in love
Never on time
Lying, talking too much
No volition for refusal
— Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963, Susan Sontag
I wasn’t sure … I didn’t know what I was until about 1952 or ’53. I knew that I loved very much my roommate at college, where I had had my first lesbian experience. But it wasn’t until I was a camp counselor in West Virginia that I had the experience that gave me some notion of what my life was about to be all about. I was sitting on a hill … and I was reading a letter from my roommate, the lover of my life, the very first lesbian relationship that I’d ever had. Her parents had taken her off to Scandinavia because they had found out the nature of our relationship. She had written me a goodbye letter, and I was sitting there on Vesper Hill, looking out over the beautiful Greenbrier River, crying like a baby, because I didn’t think there was anybody else in the world like me. I had never heard the word ‘lesbian.’ I had never dreamed that there was anybody else who had any kind of orientation like I did or who loved the way that I did … Suddenly a shadow fell across the paper, and I looked up, hiding the letter, into the face of the camp bugler, a rather butch-looking woman that I had had some questions about. She was standing up there and she was toking on her cigarette … and then she sort of squatted down beside me. And here we were, the two of us, sitting there looking out over the beautiful Greenbrier River. And then she puts her hand on my shoulder, she takes another toke off of the cigarette, and she blows it off and she says, “We are growing in numbers every day.”
— Last Call at Maud’s, Sally Miller Gearhart
The More Loving One
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.
Were all starts to disappear or die, I Should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.
Comforting nihilism. That’s my brand. Life is meaningless and that’s what keeps me living it.
Continue reading On Existential Comfort
ANTIGONE: The fields were wet. They were waiting for something to happen. The whole world was breathless, waiting. I can’t tell you what a roaring noise I seemed to make alone on the road. It bothered me that whatever was waiting, wasn’t waiting for me.
— Antigone, Jean Anouilh (trans. Lewis Galantiere)