Retired American Airlines employee talking loudly on the phone to his friend Oliver in the library:
"When I was in my 20s and teens, when I was a model at Calvin Klein, that was my time. Then my mom got sick; my dad has PTSD. It fucking destroyed my life."
"Once you hit 40, that’s it. It’s all over. Your life is going to be hell. Everything is going to go to hell. You’ll rot. Well, my hair hasn’t fallen out yet. Your teeth will fall out."
"I gotta go the ear doctor to get my ear’s cleaned because I’ve got a ruptured ear drum."
"Yes I am angry. A lotta stuff happened to me."
10:13 pm • 8 February 2014 • 2 notes
Recently, Margaux had been trying to reassure me that I had a good brain. My brain had not worried me when I was younger, but over the past year I had become convinced that I did not think as well as other people. No, that was putting it gently—that I didn’t know how to think at all. Other people knew how to think, I thought, had opinions on things, a point of view. I did not.
As we walked down the side of the Miami Highway, my arm linked through hers, the crescent moon faint in the sky overheard, I again brought up my fear. I explained that I felt my insides were a blank—a total neutrality—null.
"That’s amazing!" she said. "God, everyone else is like these automatic windup toys.”
"But I feel like other people are seeing and perceiving and synthesizing, and I’m—I’m not doing any of that!"
"You’re doing something, boy, let me tell you. I think mainly people have opinions on, Well, what do you think about abortion? Everybody we hang out with is pretty competent at vaguely intelligent party talk, but you say things that help me think better, you know?”
I shrugged, but inside was filled with something new, and prayed that what she said was true.
In any case, I believed it to be gold and held it near.
3:25 pm • 31 December 2013
Even as I wrote my note to Fern, for instance, expressing sentiments and regrets that were real, a part of me was noticing what a fine and sincere note it was, and anticipating the effect on Fern of this or that heartfelt phrase, while yet another part was observing the whole scene of a man in a dress shirt and no tie sitting at his breakfast nook writing a heartfelt note on his last afternoon alive, the blondwood table’s surface trembling with sunlight and the man’s hand steady and face both haunted by regret and ennobled by resolve, this part of the sort of hovering above and just to the left of myself, evaluating the scene, and thinking what a fine and genuine-seeming performance in a drama it would make if only we all had not already been subject to countless scenes just like it in dramas ever since we first saw a movie or read a book, which somehow entailed that real scenes like the one of my suicide note were now compelling and genuine only to their participants, and to anyone else would come off as banal and even somewhat cheesy or maudlin, which is somewhat paradoxical when you consider—as I did, sitting there at the breakfast nook—that the reason scenes like this will seem stale or manipulative to an audience is that we’ve already seen so many of them in dramas, and yet the reason we’ve seen so many of them in dramas is that the scenes really are dramatic and compelling and let people communicate very deep, complicated emotional realities that are almost impossible to articulate in any other way, and at the same time still another facet or part of me realizing that from this perspective my own basic problem was that at an early age I’d somehow chosen to cast my lot with my life’s drama’s supposed audience instead of with the drama itself, and that I even now was watching and gauging my supposed performance’s quality and probable effects, and thus was in the final analysis the very same manipulative fraud writing the note to Fern that I had been throughout the life that had brought me to this climactic scene of writing and signing it and addressing the envelope and affixing postage and putting the envelope in my shirt pocket (totally conscious of the resonance of its resting there, next to my heart, in the scene), planning to drop it in a mailbox on the way out to Lily Cache Rd. and the bridge abutment into which I planned to drive my car at speeds sufficient to displace the whole front end and empale me on the steering wheel and instantly kill me.
6:10 pm • 25 December 2013
Destiny became like an opaque, demanding, poorly communicative parent, and I was its child, ever trying to please it, to figure out what it wanted from me. I tried to read its face for clues to understand how it wanted me to behave. In all of this, there was an overarching question that never left my mind, an ongoing task that could never be called complete, though I hoped one day it would be: What was the right way to react to people? Who was I to talk to at parties? How was I to be?
But in answer to this, the universe gave me no solid signs. That didn’t prevent me from looking, anyway, or from believing an answer was out there. It was, in a sense, how I spent all my time, for how else could I make the universe love me?
5:58 pm • 25 December 2013