Monday, August 18, 2008

And is there still any typical foot?

I am drinking a quart of Sol because, for the cost of $2.50, it couldn't be beat. It probably could but I wasn't in the mood for malt liquor, never really am, not since puking it up too many times at the age of 18, puking it up in Florida. And the Sol has pleasant memories beside, the cheap beer I constantly found myself ordering in Mexico. I am not there anymore, am in New York, and unsure of so many things, mainly am lonely though.

I had had some coffee and perhaps it was a bad idea, especially since I had no plans to go anywhere, no one to hang out with, no one else home, and my mind was going a little stir crazy, feelings becoming too overwhelming. Something to calm them, this Sol.

See, I am reading this Saul Bellow book, Humboldt's Gift, and it is amazing and perhaps being read at the wrong time, that being the right time. The book deals with this guy Charlie, a writer, famous, and him recounting in elliptical fashion his early mentor, Humboldt, a poet who crashed and burned. Charlie is also mentally putting together a major work he plans to write on boredom, and it occasionally sounds comic, but the endeavor is a noble one you realize and the subject truly monumental, how much boredom affects our life and potentially history. There are also stunning, absolutely stunning, sentences and paragraphs throughout the book, too many really, about the nature of life, of love, and metaphysical ruminations on what it means to be human.

For instance: "It was no use arguing. Tolstoi? Tolstoi was last week's conversation. Humboldt's big intelligent disordered face was white and hot with turbulent occult emotions and brainstorms. I felt sorry for us, for both, for all of us, such odd organisms under the sun. Large minds abutting too close on swelling souls. And banished souls at that, longing for their home-world. Everyone alive mourned the loss of his home-world." (125)

And because I have been thinking about love a lot, this passage on love and the adoration of a person, what odd things, strange powers, draw us to particular people: "I was a nymph-loving man and a person of such frenzied longings. Perhaps the longings were not even specifically for nymphs. But whatever they were, a woman like Renata drew them out. Other ladies were critical of her. Some said she was gross. Maybe so, but she was also gorgeous. And one must bear in mind the odd angle or slant that the rays of love have to take in order to reach a heart like mine. From George Swiebel's poker game, at which I drank so much and became so garrulous, I carried away one useful idea - for an atypical foot you need an atypical shoe. If in addition to being atypical you were fastidious - well, you have your work cut out for you. And is there still any typical foot? I mean by this that such emphasis has fallen on the erotic that all the eccentricity of the soul pours into the foot. The effects are so distorting, the flesh takes such florid turns that nothing will fit. So deformity has overtaken love and love is a power that can't let us alone. It can't because we owe our existence to acts of love performed before us, because love is a standing debt of the soul." (190) Holy shit! Read that again. Wow, wow, wow.

And I don't know what it is I want. Worse, perhaps, I am less and less sure about what it is I have. I know that I have ten dollars to my name, which, you know, things have been much worse. I have been working at my old job the past few days and that will provide some money. Also, I am going down to DC on Wednesday to see a john, which should give me some money and ease the stress my current financial situation is adding to my life, already fairly stressful for other reasons. I think that I am going to Fire Island this weekend, because I want to be at the beach and away, and because why the fuck not if Wednesday works out. My relationship with the beach is an odd thing, what it means to me, how much it relaxes me and revitalizes me. I was at Riis on Sunday, yesterday, and had such a lovely time there, sunning, swimming in the water.

What boredom does to a person is really such an interesting subject, one that Bellow accurately states, through his Charlie character, has yet to be thoroughly examined. I don't know. I know that I am sensitive, sensitive to the unreturned calls of people, to the fact that the boy I am dating never seems to have time to hang out with me, has spent the night with me once in the nearly three weeks since I have been back, and who despite currently being homeless still comes up with reasons to not spend the night at my house, and let's not forget about my sensitivity to caffeine - making me run to the bodega to self-medicate with a big thing of beer to ease my increasingly speedy and depressing thoughts. And I want to sleep next to someone, to talk to someone and lie next to them, to feel close, not alone, and I am frustrated that this person doesn't seem to have much interest in that. I have been seeing this person since November now, but am thinking more and more that is time for me to not be, that what I want is something other than this. I couldn't say exactly what it is I want, but the searching is fun, that I know that this is not it, whatever it may be. There are also still dreams of another boy, yes, that one, one who I think of when I hear most pop songs about crushes, about love, and that is hopeless, and yet still causes me so much grief. In addition, the boy I met last week, John, that I liked a lot never called me back after canceling our tennis date on Saturday. That made me sad for a bit, but it was a dream I was projecting on to him. He was playing Diane Keaton's role, maybe even Woody Allen's, this bookish boy I imagined talking to excitedly about New York and life and writers, playing tennis with.

I sat in Central Park today for a while and tried to see the trees and read some of this Bellow book, but mainly sat and smoked and wished that I were with someone there amongst those trees, those tourists, and those overly manicured lawns, ponds, and plants.

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