Narcotic Rain

Midnight.

It wasn’t a good day. My sister on the phone talked to me until my arm began to ache. Everything went south from there today. Now I believe that masochism is a reality in our daily behavior, as Freud pointed out a century ago, so the trick is to catch it and correct it. The enjoyment of pain is twisted and impure. A true reward is the experience of pleasure as pleasure, the real thing. Good is good, and negative is negative, but to a masochist the two are difficult to ferret apart from each other. Maybe none of this would have happened if I had never stopped drinking; if I still gave myself a foretaste of heaven. And yet that experience is a delusion of paradise, an artificial thing. Perhaps the question of happiness is a fairly involved philosophical problem that begins by asking yourself what is true happiness? It is especially hard to identify when nobody seems to give a damn about anything anymore. Everyone is numb as if we’d all sampled the same narcotic… 

I keep meaning to revisit Mallarme to see about his idea of a spiritual universe that replaces God with himself. Though my French is not the best, I’m quite sure of what he was saying on that score. And who would I be to say that Mallarme was presumptuous? I would be more presumptuous than he was. 

Presidents’ Day

Three o’clock.

Since I was feeling lonely, I headed back to the store to buy myself a treat of a Coca-Cola. When I arrived, I was the only customer in the place. Also, Karen’s salon was closed for Monday, I guess. The air outside felt cold to me this afternoon, very wintry, and my energy level seemed rather low. The overcast sky looked metallic, gray and silver. I saw the work crew doing their thing on the far side of Maxwell Road but it didn’t affect my business. As I passed Kat’s house I wondered why I never see her anymore. I know they haven’t moved away yet. And Derek’s red house on the corner looks empty every time I go by it. I waved at Harry, Cherie’s nonagenarian dad, but he didn’t have anything to say. My little neck of the neighborhood is a ghost town in the afternoon, missing only the tumbleweeds. Now the sun appears momentarily, with no one else to notice. Even Roger has packed up his project and gone indoors. I don’t know which is more dead, the landscape or its denizens.