Chronicles of Infection [2011_july]



I haven’t written a blog entry in a long time, marinating instead in my own thoughts as I thought might be advisable and satisfactory to do. Considering it now, I think that it is not. Fuck me. Thoughts are only the disorderly skeletons of the fully fleshed, functional organism of a text and unlike a skeleton they do not even manage to remain in the ground for millions of years for anybody else to discover and gain insights from. They are not even skeletons, they are ghosts, intracranial clouds. No, let me create texts again instead of letting thoughts come and go like so many strato-cumuli meagerly precipitating a confused utterance, a brief bombast or just a pensive look.

There are other, more pressing reasons I haven’t written in a while: G) working on a different textual construct H) preparing for a new professional trajectory I) spending too much time on reading, movies and assorted drama series…

 

…but mostly reading [The conflict between deciding on whether to read or to write from my perspective is an everlasting one: one moment I will think that enough many mesmeric novels have been written and that all there is really left to do is to read, enjoy them, lay aside all vain hopes of writing a thing of beauty in my own right. Then, the next moment, Bolano’s episodicity, Wallace’s didacticism, Borges’ biblio- and nomomania or Morgan’s unnecessary chauvinisms annoy me to no end and I conceive of a grand novel that some-magical-how remedies all these maladies afflicting the gravosphere. It is in this litero-diagnostic mode when finding fault with “what is there” that I feel most confident about the possibility and necessity of an untold story. However, it is when I sit down to write the first few words, which are always very different from the great, diaphanous ideas that appear during reading that I instantly loose almost all hope and want to leave the Mac’s keyboard to its dusty fate of sedimenting skin particles, unreclaimed hangnails and miniature dust-bunnies. And though I’ve only just begun on my long textual undertaking, I know what its essence is: a long, labored, sweaty, patient trudge, years in the typing, at the end of which there might be, at best, a few hundred passable pages. To hope for more is to court philosophico-emotional catastrophe or worse. And moreover, whatever ailments of my guiding lights that might be avoided it will be exacerbated a thousand-fold by my own writerly short-comings. So to avoid both catastrophe and failure, the safe thing is always to steer towards reading rather than writing, which I can enjoy mostly pain-free and where at least I can have some residually good feelings about discovering faults that are none of my responsibility.]

In the late morning and sometimes even in the late afternoon, I can hear somebody, somewhere in our apartment block hawking up phlegm. It makes sense to assume that the anonymous person is hacking at an extremely loud volume. I can even, or at least I believe I can, hear that blubbery sound just as the phlegm comes up, flowing around the epiglottis, into the mouth volume. Though I’m not particularly sensitive about taboo bodily sounds, I do find the noise of somebody hawking up sputum audible through several apartment building walls decidedly revolting. There is also a suspicion that the noisy mucus promoter might not even be aware of the total audibility of his intimate activity and ergo falsely believe himself in the safe sphere of his very own domestic privacy, whereas in reality any and all surrounding neighbors and even accidental visitors [of which there are many in our block, from errant party-goers to avid burglars] are privy to the sounds of his, as it were, up-close-and-personal bodily functioning. This leads to a slight sense of a social phenomenon known to us [German-speaking tribes’ members] as “fremd-schaemen”, which freely translates as “unfamiliar embarrassment” or “stranger’s embarrassment”. The mucus hawker, as I sit behind my desk, is located somewhere ahead of me but is not the neighbor next door. However, one floor above and one floor below that there are distinguished [locally, Lucerne] business establishments so that it is highly unlikely, even for the most obnoxious of bosses to produce such sounds at the above indicated hours. Thus I suppose it must be one of our fifth floor neighbors but if this is so then the original level of the noise [and subsequently also the volume of the sputum pumped up] must be enormous, monstrous. And I find myself wondering when I chance upon a neighbor in the stairwell [which happens with utmost rarity] if this might not be that very mucus monster which I sporadically hear roaring in the late morning or afternoon.

Astonishingly often I sally back into the world of world news, The Guardian lately, to see if there might not be something new happening in the bubble of high politics and international affairs. But unsurprisingly there never is, only these farcical re-iterations of the mistakes that have gone before, historically, phylogenetically, which make one feel like an impotent, ballot-casting, remote-zapping citizen plus savvy media consumer. To wit. I cannot establish any kind of relation between the positive hopeful emotions I had for President Obama and what his present political record reflects. I know too little about the latter and neither do I care nor do I even know what could be a cause for me to begin to care. Furthermore. There is a sense of being callous but I cannot manage to care about A. Winehouse’s death other than simply wishing she would not have died or not have had the inclination to die. And what is more. I also wish the tragedy in Norway would not have happened but this wish and my sympathy don’t affect anything, least of all my understanding of the global situation. “Islamist” terrorism [whatever the heavens that might be supposed to mean] is still considered the top-notch priority, not our home-grown neo-fascist variety. Not to mention. I consider bromidic viral clips and soundbites, the release of the latest iFuck, the latest installment of a brain- and heartless movie franchise and think “Good luck, dear humanity”. So toute compte faite, staying up to date with soi-disant global macro-events is as depressing and cynical as it gets and I quickly scurry back to the biotope of my family and friends, books and drama nights [Breaking Bad and The Wire, now that I’ve completed my third Sopranos go-around and Lost has come to its unsatisfactory conclusion]. What could one hope to gain from a mediated world that is represented through its most pessimistic scenarios and inaccessible personas? Other than its unattainability, its hermetic logic? How dare mere mortals be called the celestial bodies that bring forth life? All of this eludes me and so I consider myself best-advised to elude it in turn.

 

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About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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