WONDERFUL AS EVER♥♥✿✿⊱╮☼
BRILLIANT SONG PLAYED BY YOU DEAR GARY-♥♥✿✿⊱╮☼
GREAT VOICE ♥♥✿✿⊱╮☼
ALL STARS ♥♥✿✿⊱╮☼
I SEND YOU MANY GREETINGS♥♥✿✿⊱╮☼
LOVE LIGHT AND PEACE♥♥✿✿⊱╮☼
Today a kid came into the Indian buffet who I immediately recognized as a younger version of myself. White skin smoothed by years of video gaming and avoiding the outdoors. Cold and bloodless hands shuffling in his backpack as he sat down at a table, pulling out something to read while he ate alone.
The book he was reading was a favorite of mine for a long time for reasons I’ve forgotten, but I remember hoping, as I am sure beyond doubt that this kid was hoping, that somebody would notice me reading it and begin to admire me.
He stood in the buffet line and I saw him doing the things I used to do in public: trying to find a natural place for his hands, looking for something to set his eyes on that won’t try to start a conversation. Truth be told I still do these things sometimes.
I felt a great pity for him and the futility of his affectations, and the difficulty he will face in getting to know a single other person. But instead of pity for myself I felt glad and free to be able to name the past as the past.
Another spoiler, from Invisible Cities:
The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.
A spoiler, from The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter:
But now no music was in her mind. That was a funny thing. It was like she was shut out from the inside room. sometimes a quick little tune would come and go–but she never went into the inside room with music like she used to. It was like she was too tense. Or maybe because it was like the store took all her energy and time. Woolworth’s wasn’t the same as school. When she used to come home from school she felt good and was ready to start working on the music. But now she was always tired. At home she just ate supper and slept and then ate breakfast and went off to the store again. A song she had started in her private notebook two months before was still not finished. And she wanted to stay in the inside room but she didn’t know how. It was like the inside room was locked somewhere away from her. A very hard thing to understand.
Tonight I went to the movies! The film was puzzling and sad and funny, although were a lot of people laughing at things that weren’t funny. One man laughed without inflection, ostentatious machine gun laughing at a steady pitch. Most of the audience seemed dredged out of the uncanny valley now that I have a moment to think about it. As soon as the movie ended, the person sitting next to me said “what a great tragedy” as if their natural language processing unit had just finished analyzing the script and deciphering its genre. For many people the world is a rubber mallet hitting them on the knee and we know by their affable twitching only that they have a functioning spine. Stimulus reaches the host and the host responds. Beyond that we observe nothing. I think this is more common in the work parts of my life and it’s seeming worse lately because I’m working more. This is my hope, anyway, that being an adult human and living through a day is not supposed to feel like watching a polite game of volleyball.
The film was called Boy Meets Girl and it was strange to me and so I liked it. Even more strange was the following line from Vincent Canby’s 1985 review in the New York Times:
”‘Boy Meets Girl” has been handsomely photographed (by Jean-Yves Escoffier) in black-and-white images that look as velvety smooth as fudge sauce atop vanilla ice cream.”
An odd simile but I would have gone to bed unperturbed had I not found this, in Canby’s 1987 review of a film called Gardens of Stone:
“Though a seriously conceived film about the American experience in Vietnam, “Gardens of Stone” has somehow wound up having the consistency and the kick of melted vanilla ice cream.”
Canby again, on Lucille Ball’s appearance in 1974’s Mame:
“What is worse is that she has been photographed in such soft focus that her face alternately looks beatific—all a religious glow—or like something sculptured from melting vanilla ice cream.”
Canby: likes vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce, unmoved by its melting.