Friday, March 1, 2013


I am not the man of mere "acting out" -- my madness is tempered, it is not seen; it is right away that I fear consequences, any consequence: it is my fear -- my deliberation -- which is "spontaneous.
Barthes, A Lover's Discourse

I really do know better than to stay up reading late into the night. It's because at some point, I will realize how late it is and immediately shut the book, turn out the lights, and try to fall asleep, only to be met with my head still whirling from another reality I've been immersed in. This is especially true for books I find engrossing, but even those that I don't. I'll stay awake, plodding through plots and characters, trying to figure out what it is I don't like and if it's just that I don't understand.

Currently, I'm (finally) reading The Marriage Plot and while I know better than to stay up late and read, tonight also happens to be the night where I have been quarantined to the bedroom; Richie nobly sleeping on the couch and allowing me the bed, as it seems I probably have the flu. 

Have you read the book? The book (so far as I've gotten into it) is all about the end of college and deconstruction and existentialism and love, the deconstruction of love, the deconstruction of the deconstruction, the question of love and reason, in short, all the things I spent two years thinking about while in grad school/breakup recovery/The Great Finding of Myself (as I have currently come to recognize it) and it perfectly dovetails with not only this evening of loneliness, but with a more general headspace I've been in as of late, thinking about what have become very real questions of potential marriage and the having or not having of children and what this means for The Self (as I have currently come to recognize it).

And so, I've been lying here, reminiscing about all my single nights during that time, comparing my life during grad school with that of Madeline's in the book, my lovers with hers (obviously, the match isn't a perfect one) and indulging in some faux-nostalgia for those single nights (the single signifying its own possibilities). And while I'm glad the nostalgia for lovers is a faux one, I'm almost sad to look back on that very short period and feel like I boxed it up without even realizing I'd done so; I wasn't quite ready to put it away. This is a place in my mind that I referred to as being stagnant when I was with Ravi. It's not stagnation now, but it's too much comfort, too much laziness. Not to say that I need to be struggling and alone to think and grow, but I haven't been challenged and I've been relying too much on my own sense of happiness as a means of coasting along into some fraught sense of meaning, only to once again (always) realize that it's never going to be there (or just there). 

All this to say, I feel myself at a crossroads right now and while the choices this time don't feel as perilous or as lonely as they did three years ago (ONLY that long ago!), I find comfort in thinking the things I might have thought at that time as a means of maybe helping me through this one. 

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