Happy Valentine’s Day everybody. You’re not supposed to think about it or enjoy it on account of its being a fire-breathing garbage dump of a holiday, but if you’re a sentimental drip like me you can really work up a spirit.
When people coming off the train bottleneck at the stairs, they move steadily slower but still rock to the left and right at the same intervals as if they were walking at a normal speed. Noble gases move with less entropy in constrained spaces and so do we. The result is that we all look like slow motion dinosaurs braying in a tar pit. When we come to the top of the steps, a woman says “terrible, terrible start to the day” in Kathleen Turner’s voice. In this way and others every nine to five is an apocalypse for humanity.
Dante’s Inferno (Mandelbaum tr.):
In truth I found myself upon the brink of an abyss, the melancholy valley containing thundering, unending wailings.
That valley, dark and deep and filled with mist, is such that, though I gazed into its pit, I was unable to discern a thing.
Come later to a room full of people. Smells of McDonald’s and balsamic vinaigrette. There’s a pool table that nobody knows what to do with, but as with many pool tables there are rumors that somebody has fucked on it. They are all trying to figure out who is the youngest. They are surprised that Julie is as old as she is. They are surprised that Jackie is not younger. Everyone is laughing.
Just let the lady get some sleep, Huey.
Somebody wrote this down and it fell out of a book at the bookstore:
(Quechua Indian song)
The people I meet
say, “where is your mother?”
and not to tell them she’s dead
I say she’s gone to the mountain,
she’s gone to gather flowers, I answer.
Being the sun’s shadow
and the moon’s shadow
lighting up all corners
I will follow where she went
until I come to where she died.
Though I weep like the rainstorm
though I grieve like the snow
I will not encounter my mother,
I will not find my father.
(tr. by Sergio Quijada Jara)
There is enough variation in human faces that if we saw the same in, say, a few cats walking around we would think we were in some fanciful nightmare. How can we all be contained in a single species? I saw a woman today with a mouth looking like a macaroon had been left on her face. She was acting and gesturing like an embodied dessert. A man sitting next to her had a mouth like the slit cut in a pumpkin pie, thin-lipped, same color as his face, better suited to letting heat and air escape than anything else. I also saw people without pastry analogues. So, you have a multidimensional plane here and it’s full of people in their variations, yes, but the gaps between the people are material, too. The potential worlds are crowding us in.