On vanishings

It seems to me that to be able to write anything worth anything, you should not see anyone for a year. Not talk about that time you cried in your office with your thumb inside your cunt, out of not ecstasy but anger so pure in its unreason, nor about the stranger you eyed eyeing you while you browsed through secondhand books in a pop-up shop on the sidewalk in a foreign city, your fingers lightly touching their spines as your own bare back basked golden in the late afternoon light. Not say: All I really do in my bed is read and sleep and weep. Not open your work email or go to the bank or spend Sunday morning in the home depot to shop for new bathroom fixtures and cheap DIY furniture. Not sit through vapid lunches and meetings of debatable consequence, nor write request forms or recommendation letters or proposals full of self-selling bullshit. Not open your Facebook account to learn about the daily executions and systematic rapes in Mosul and Ar-Raqqah, or your adorkable colleague’s opinion on the new Avengers movie. Not babysit your friend’s five-year-old son, or watch videos of Comedy Central sketches on Youtube until past midnight with the boy next door, and afterwards listen to him play a recording of Neruda’s “Tonight I can write the saddest lines” to you. Only keep closed tight like an oyster or hang hidden like a cocoon, or build a nest in the tallest branches of a gnarly tree on the edge of a cliff on an island in the middle of the Pacific, and see how solitude treats you. Realize how you must write, about you and about the world, or else be lost in your own mazed interior, or else implode and completely vanish.

​Yes, to be in the world and not be of it is a moral failing—to see and shut your eyes, to taste and puke it out, to feel and turn up the airconditioning, to hear and drown out sound with music of your own choosing. To be, thrown, as it were, into life, and to reject it wholesale from that first shriek out of the womb, I suppose, is a sin. But so is steady, senseless spinning in the din of this dissonant sphere.


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