Friday, September 5, 2014


Chappaqua Train Station.
I have a lot of burning questions, and the first one is worthy of scientific research: what is that men and domestic animals have in common that makes them so very vacuum and vacuum cleaner adverse? And given the avoidance behavior almost all men display in the presence of vacuum cleaners, why has this not been developed into an offensive weapon? No one is likely to die, but they will evacuate and retreat and possibly disappear. I just think it is worth looking into. 

As to denial and superficiality, I will share one response:

But isn't there such a thing as DEEP denial?  Frankly, I think it's the only way I really function.  Yes -- I'm far too dependent on it (though...walk a mile in my shoes....); but at least I more or less get through the day.  Also what about the REALLY DEEP denial that this (Western/American) culture seems to operate on?  Legally/administratively; politically; economically/financially; culturally (of course)...  Think about it.  Consider the simple reality of HUMAN CHARACTER (or LACK of it) -- wouldn't most of us just give up if we really thought about the evil pricks and morons (meaning the majority of humans) we have to slog through on any given day?  (I exaggerate -- but only slightly.)  And there's the rest of Nature -- which, however I may prefer it, is not termed 'red at tooth and claw' for nothing.  So just find me a nice corner with the dogs, cats and plants & I'll just go on trying to get through my day without thinking about the existence of Dick Cheney, Mitch O'Connell, any Bush, Vladimir Putin, ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Hamas, etc. etc. etc.....  Don't worry -- it's not as if I've stopped reading the NYTimes. 

Yes, of course, there is deep denial, and perhaps that is the worst kind? I know that denial is a survival adaptation (I would cite something here but I am on the train and have no internet), but a life of denial, and I put myself high on this list, is a compromised life. And I have no illusions (no denial) about life being about compromise, but it all gets to feeling like a house of cards.

I haven’t really come up with much more … but one thing that sparked this line of inquiry is how superficially I read or skim or peruse many of the articles I send along. I know of things, but not about them. 

Maybe part of my thought is superficiality is practiced on ourselves, too, and that is a form of denial.

Okay, I’ll set this topic aside for now.

The weather has been both ridiculous and brutual, UN.TENABLE. Or insupportable as the French say it. Part of yesterday was clement enough for a morning walk, finally, and today it is at least drier, but it is still uncomfortably hot.

Almost at my stop, Chappaqua, where M and I are going to a luncheon meeting, and thence I will get back on the train to head to Brooklyn where it is Melinda’s birthday. It’s actually her birthday all over the world, but I am not sure where all the celebrations are … Cincinnati and Daytona Beach … and … 

Abandoned shoes.

The next day. Well, that was an unusual evening. Mel and I ended up in a the local bar here in Brooklyn, hanging out with a handsome young French wine salesperson, and the bartender who closed the bar and played Mel's favorite music (Tears for Fears, New Order, etc.). I drank more gin thaN I have had in a long time, but fortunately had the presence of mind to keep at the water, so, although I slept quite late, I am quite functional.

The Lorrie Moore book, Bark, is recommended. Here's another quote and then goodbye for today.

"Once her son had only wanted a distracting pain, but then soon he had wanted to tear a hole in himself and flee through it. Life was full of spies and preoccupying espionage. Yet the spies sometimes would flee as well and someone might have to go after them in order, paradoxically, to escape them altogether, over the rolling fields of living dream, in the early morning mountains of dawning signification."

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