|"A few times, I've noticed someone deliberately watching me to see which bathroom I'll go into. If this happens, I pause by the entrances to the bathrooms, pull a coin out of my pocket, and flip it. Then (and this is what makes the performance more than a mere prank) I look down at the coin with an expression of dismay, mutter aloud, "Oh, God, not again" - and walk into the bathroom I was going to use anyway."
- Raphael Carter
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My transition page
“The individual in the ordinary circumstances of living may feel more unreal than real; in a literal sense, more dead than alive; precariously differentiated from the rest of the world, so that his identity and autonomy are always in question.” ~R.D. Laing
The last few years of the postmodern era have seemed a bit like the way you feel when you’re in high school and your parents go on a trip, and you throw a party. For a while it’s great, free and freeing, parental authority gone and overthrown-but the sense I get of my generation of writers and intellectuals or whatever-is that it’s 3:00 a.m. And the couch has several burn-holes, somebody’s thrown up in the umbrella stand and we’re wishing the revel would end. The postmodern founders’ patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years. We’re kind of wishing some parents would come back. And of course we’re uneasy about the fact that we wish they’d come back. Is there something about authorities and limits we actually need? And then there’s the uneasiest feeling of all, as we start gradually realizing that parents in fact aren’t ever coming back — which means we’re going to have to be the parents. My position is that we as a culture have a relationship with pleasure that's unprecedented, except maybe for royalty in medieval times or in ancient Rome or something. We have an opportunity where we can kill ourselves with pleasure in a way that other cultures haven't (mainly because they're just trying to get enough to eat, etc.) And in a way, that's great, and in another way, it's testing parts of the human psyche that haven't been tested yet. If you're put in a room with a substance that gives a great deal of pleasure but you know will make you narrow, selfish and crazy and shorten your life…well, do you do that substance or don't you? People have always had to deal with that question, but whole cultures . . . have never had to deal with that question before. And so I'm less interested in drug addiction per se, than I am in [free] will and pleasure and whether really the point of life is to experience as much pleasure as possible- and whether, in fact, America is under that assumption.
~David Foster Wallace
And the bug crawled slowly closer, reminding me of how bad I’ve been, a Kafkaesque nightmare - I run towards steaming drizzle--the heat sizzles and scorches my already bruised skin, you cannot clean enough-–you fuck yourself numb and pay the price for giving into temptation--scrub till you’re too dry, and flake it off to feel the splinters as she tiptoes down jagged platforms a being no longer occupying space the aura creates negative pull, a black hole of shame pressing, accumulating doubt - hammer away at sanity, fucking hurt me, the screams the voices scream out calling for help, begging for punishment at once, bastards hurriedly exchanging testosterone, I brought this void upon me, it is I at fault, let me run again where there’s no more rain and the river has run dry, where you drown even though there’s no liquid, where paradox is norm - I roam alone, with every attempt at assimilation futile –failing-sobbing- grief-heartache not my mentor for long, long gone- a stolen photograph holding empty hands full fingers search for the animation of past...And I hear the laughter of regained truth, a faded hope, as I am left here, a comrade of free association.