Discover more from bookbear express
with no resolutions
I am piloting my body in third person. Doing my best imitation of a more enlightened, patient, and responsible human being. Running every other day. Going to yoga class Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Balancing on my hands, head, forearms. Texting my friends back.
I made a lot of adult decisions this year. I became an American citizen, which means I will not be complaining about anything ever again. That’s what I told God seven years ago: if He just helped me solve the visa stuff, I’ll be a good sport forever. (Er, I’m still going to complain, but I’ll have a good attitude about it.)
I’m always going to be a true romantic. I probably wouldn’t commit fraud for love, but I believe that if you have to commit fraud, it should be for love. I’ve always aspired to love in a totalizing, deranged way.
This year has hit me like a truck. Not totally in a bad way. But there’s been heavy impact upon collision. I told K yesterday about some of it, maybe 75%, and he grimaced.
For a long time the things that happened to me felt interesting and exciting and romantic. Lately they just feel dark.
At the beginning you said, “Things must get less intense. They can’t stay this intense.” I quoted the Schopenhauer line about how man can do as he wills but he can’t will what he wills. God, I’m so annoying.
I acknowledge that I approached things with too much hubris. I am a person who seeks intensity, but intensity without guardrails is just damage. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who is incapable of causing damage. That’s called willful ignorance.
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Imagine being me. Your primary emotional outlet is writing on your blog, aka this Substack. Unfortunately, everyone you’re close to at least occasionally checks the Substack to see if you’ve written anything interesting about them. This can sometimes, if not always, be an obstacle to self-expression. But I’m doing my best.
I sometimes struggle to feel as loved as I am. This is my problem and nobody else’s.
When I do think of moments I’ve felt intensely loved, I think of the bubble of warmth we were in, the obsessive way you tended to me.
I associate love so strongly with safety. I am attracted to people who are highly predictable and process-oriented. I wish you could make me feel safer.
In several famous novels, such as Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, women fall in love and kill themselves. I knew I was never going to be like that–a female character written by a man, I mean. The male gender is without a doubt the more melodramatic one. I tend to shuffle through my life with a mildly embarrassed air, often refusing to acknowledge the chaos happening around me.
Sometimes this feels incongruent, but I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. I feel the need to “keep it together,” I guess. Discipline is sometimes the only thing that soothes me.
Still: I want to point out that being on someone’s mind is not the same thing as being next to them.
Let’s turn to a certain female writer for a second. Some people think of Jesus when they need guidance and I think about her. My reconstruction is probably incorrect, but I’m the only one holding myself to it. I think she would encourage me to be accountable for my lapses in judgment.
I also believe that she would understand the project I’ve made of my life. My sense of alienation, privilege. The resentment I conceal and the idealism I don’t. My romanticism. My perfectionism, my contempt for my own writing, face, body, egotism.
I am too critical. Obsessively compulsive, compulsively obsessive. Driven, but lazy. Warm, but compartmentalized. I like alcohol but it’s empty calories. I cry and laugh at inappropriate times.
I take a picture every time I see a tree I like. I’m still motivated by beauty more than anything. I’m as stubborn as ever.
This is 27. I can live with myself.