05 December 2009

Hallucinatory Fatigue

Now I'm at the point of unpacking things just to unpack them, and moving my bed and dresser
just so I can use them. Things look fairly hideous now, but at least I can actually see some of the floor.

It was just as well that I did the work I did: The temperature fell with the rain throughout the day. Now, the temperature is right around the freezing point; the possibility of snow described by the weather forecasters just may come true.

When you're really tired, almost anything can seem like an hallucination. And almost anything looks like one when viewed through the Dali-esque mirrors formed by raindrops. Can you imagine what the moon would look like in such a setting?

The bruise that spread like a slow-motion oil slick across my left side, all the way to my navel, is fading now. However, I still have what looks like a Continental Shelf where it looked like I was pregnant with a hammerhead shark. I never had the world's most appealing body, even when I was in the best physical condition of my life, and I don't want to look like I'm in the advanced stages of cirrhosis of the liver. Wouldn't that be ironic? One of my old neighbors was a few years older than I am and had been getting drunk almost every day since she was an adolescent. She wasn't just thin; she could have hidden behind a matchstick. All right, I wouldn't want to be her. Still, why do I have to look like the long-term alcoholic?

Maybe I should become Russian. People, of all ages, genders and orientations, tell me that I have beautiful eyes. Those Russian writers could spend page after page talking about a woman's eyes. That's what they did on the good day. On a bad day, they can spend hundreds of pages sulking.

All right. I know I shouldn't lump writers, or any people, of any country or culture together. But tell me: Have you ever read a Russian novel that wasn't written by Bulgakov (sp?) that you would actually give to someone who is clinically depressed?

This isn't to say that I don't like War and Peace, Notes from The Underground, The Brothers Karmazov or The Cherry Orchard. I know, the last one is a play. But it's great for many of the same reasons as the other works I've mentioned.

By the way: Lots of people think Nabokov is a Russian writer. Yes, he was born there, but I disagree. On the other hand, I think Moby Dick and L'etranger are really Russian novels (at least in spirit), even though they were written by Melville and Camus, respectively.

Now I think of how every generation has its "World's Shortest Books" jokes. One was "How to Survive a Nuclear War." How about this for the World's Shortest Doctoral Dissertation: "Wit and Humor in 19th-Century Russian Novels."

I'll pass on that one. But if anyone out there wants to take it on, be my guest. I can just imagine some literary scholar or critic writing such a book as a kind of esoteric joke.

For that matter: What do you think of "The Esoteric Joke" as a name for a band?
See, I told you I'm tired!

1 comment:

EdMcGon said...

After reading Joseph Conrad in college, I swore off of any literature even remotely Russian. :P

That said, I do know what you mean by depressing literature can still be good. Orwell's "1984" is one of the most depressing books I ever read, yet I couldn't put it down.