Saturday, September 19, 2015
am i what i remember or what i've done? after watching a couple of german movies, i've had german words from fifty years ago popping into my mind, many of which i have no idea what they mean. i can feel the personality of the guy who lived in berlin for six months (winter, 1966). yes, speaking another language gave me a different voice, one where i played around lot, using the mistakes and fractures to create the personality of a wise-cracker.
so, somewhere stored up in my brain are elements which combined create a mystery. and i suspect other persona's lurk deep in my soul. for example, i must have been able to feel pleasure once. can i call that back? my mother always handed me over to my father to be whipped with a belt, and i must have been fractious, it happened often. my father seemed to go a little bit mad, his once chance to get out the disappointments of life.
i'm assuming i left my body as a result. i've never been able to live for the subtle thrills like eating ice-cream or putting my feet in creek water. for twenty years i pursued sex with abandon, then gave it up. this kind of electric-shock therapy never woke my body up. and i feel to live for this kind of personal thrill somehow unworthy of an intellectual, though without it i could never have written poetry. i needed to fall in love, usually deferred and never consummated.
yes, how many passionate letters did i write, more concerned about being a literary man than a physically virile one. and i'm assuming, despite aristotle's belief in contemplative thought the ultimate happiness, all this thinking and analyzing and reading made for a lengthy gloom. o yes, i really identified with raskolnikov in dostoyevsky's crime and punishment, the story of my hidden impulses.
a friend tempted me to get my first pedicure, and we visited a nail place full of young Vietnamese women, brought to the u.s. perhaps as a long-awaited absolution of guilt. good gravy, are they sweet and beautiful. after an hour of getting my toes trimmed, my feet massaged, and the nails painted, i no longer wondered why women spend so much time on their bodies.
perhaps i suffer the upbringing of most men: fights on the playground, ruler across the knuckles from the first grade teacher, and a thick plywood paddle administered to my bottom by a beefy fifth-grade principal. i grew up in a physically contentious world. i even broke my best friend's arm wresting, this in the fourth grade.
something warned me off this kind of confrontation, avoiding fights and losing a place in the world. i must say the above video about dying brought a little light into the tunnel. the young doctor with only one arm and no legs except metal substitutes. said the dying need to feel a shred of pleasure, even as they're exiting the scene. and i realized one thing i can do to the end is dip my nose in the roses, smell the coffee, have my fingernails manicured.
yes, this under my control. of course, as soon as i tried to practice it, on my own, up here in the tower, i became numb for a day, having no desire to do anything. today i cut the early morning coffee and carefully fed my curiosity. hopefully i can do the same when wrapped in a shroud. a bit of light in the tunnel, but is that a train coming!