This is misanthropy in progress. (_reticence) wrote,
This is misanthropy in progress.

  • Music:
Reading Henry Miller fanatically, jumping from one novel to the other when a passage leaves me dry, fills me up. I am in a period of gluttony; I am gorging myself on literature and paintings and experience and conversation. I am amassing fuel, having flashbacks to that night in the dark bar when I had that one epiphany-- you remember, don't you? The point is that things are not always on an upswell. There are times when the waves crest and break, receding into a blue-green plateau of salt and ambivalence. That is the point where I find myself, caught between water and flashbacks, the slight hint of an empty space that once used to contain good, true things. I am amassing fuel, I am filling myself up, I have taken on the sultry shape of an empty vessel. I have thrown open the gates; I am standing here with welcoming arms. I am straining to emote the fleshly glow of the easily impressionable. I am in need of direction.

I favor dark bars with dirty walls and floors, questionable personalities. These places are filled with carefully clad bodies, particularly emoted illusions. The youth are beautiful and sinewy, full of anger culled from a violence against them that they have yet to name. They are rumpled shirts and dirty hair, precise tastes. This is a new breed of aristocracy, because these are the artists and the muses and the hangers-on. The old and washed up have come here too, mixed in. The diffused light of candles and bad judgment helps them fit in, infuses them with youth again. They are sagging flesh wearing a golden gown, though, and everyone in the room can smell the encroaching stench of age and repetition. In a place where we are all running from the finite, reaching for relevance and meaning, no one wants to come face to face with the replica of their parents twenty years ago, the visage of themselves in just ten. However, hands are sliding up and down flanks and bodies are moving together and then apart. Willowy specters shift tenses and drift across the expanse of open air, an entire night cultivated of simple greetings. Rare are the conversations, the exchange of any thought or idea that will last past this night. Perhaps witty anecdotes about something that was said will be repeated at a future time, but it will no doubt be embellished with the rosy glow that retrospect grants the less than brilliant. Spaces like this, where the smell of so many skins mingle, should be warm and suffuse. The senses are affronted, however, by a gust of cold air. My internal romanticizations are rebuffed, and the position of my legs becomes awkward.


I have not yet mastered the wiles of women and men. I feel like I am looking at these faces with someone else's eyes, so little does my mind resemble my social behavior. In solitude and creation I feel strong and self-assured. I am positive that my time should be spent on fruitful endeavors; I am giving too much credence and thought to these paltry exchanges, but I am human and there is a pull that continues to hurtle me deeper and deeper into the social maelstrom. I have not perfected social poise, the art of seduction. I am still in a state of careful tutelage. My eyes wander and observe, I see the scenes played out by bodies vibrating with loneliness and alcohol and double bass drums. I am struggling to learn calculation, the effect of timing and brevity. I am learning that self-confidence does not exist, that by even giving it a name you are categorically denying its existence. Were there such a thing as loving yourself, you would never have to declare, would never have to say, "I have come to accept who and what I am," because such a thing would be the natural state of being. It would be the home, the plush center you would always return to. When you were a child you never gave home a name; it was the place where all things started and eventually returned to. It was the primordial, for you, so should self-contentment be.

Instead I am learning that self-confidence is a carefully crafted series of self-affirmations and lies. It is a one-way mirror, it is the longest running fiction that one will ever write. It is the age old, say and make it so philosophy. When I was a child, I would live in fear after telling a lie. I would be tormented by anxiety and guilt; the only way to assuage these feelings was to convince myself that the lie was the truth. I would convince myself, and my fear would be over. Solutions are always simple. Now, I walk with my head up, my spine straight. I look strangers in the eye, and I laugh loudly. I don't turn back when I have finished a sentence; I am committed to the myth. I am a bodily fabrication. What you think you see is not here. I am a falling house of cards.


Last night I was sitting next to you, completely aware of the level of our awkwardness, even more aware of my need to make it go away. My mind would create a dramatic entrance in which she swept through the door, torrents of cold night air blowing street refuse in behind her. The truth is that she walked in behind a mutual acquaintance, and that I really didn't even notice her until she sat down at the table. She is all legs and breasts and show, there is no craft or delicacy to her. She is a large cat stalking small game. You are quiet and smiling, you, the perpetual lover of fun. The air is purpling underneath the weight of everything I do not know about you and her, and now you two are throwing back and forth funny remarks whose root systems run deep to inside jokes you two have had for weeks or months. Now there are drinks being handed out-- you are playing the part of the congenial host, eager to please, desperate for a good time. She is all lips and eyelashes and hair, taking a sip, casting those large brown beauties upwards, letting the coy nature of it all seep out of every pore. She is all wrists and heels and perfume, turning her body toward you, pointedly ignoring my presence, watching your face while you laugh at something someone else has said. This is all so choreographed, dripping with trickery learned from after-school soap operas. She is obvious and lazy, her flesh is slow and sloppy. There is no taste or aesthetics to this, there is only the sad clutching of lonely people at the slippery shadow of something real. I make my retreat-- it is tidy and it is glorious. I do not feel sad at the passing of the scene; curtains close and I am able to sleep and dream of things more beautiful than these streets and the people that fill them-- you included.

  • Portraits of girls that I know

    She is the kind of girl that unknowingly inspires songs. She is one of those personalities that will be solidified and made infinite through art,…

  • (no subject)

    Walls are red. My eyes hurt. This is something like a growth spurt.

  • (no subject)

    Written and saved several days ago: I obviously can't drink and listen to music that you've given me, because I do nothing but ponder the unsolvable…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment