Wednesday, March 18, 2009

season of the bitch

or: you're so vain, I bet you think this post is about you.

At the end of a temporary stay in a strange place, it is not uncommon to see the world around you cast in a new light, that angelic aura of departure. Often when this light has struck me I wish that it would arrive earlier, and remain with me longer, but perhaps its cosmic warmth would overheat my soul, like some torrid August afternoon. 

It's easy to forget that all of life is an extended stay, that the trappings of one's existence, even one's own body, are guest quarters, which eventually must be returned. Except when it comes time to check out, no one can ever find the front desk. God and his angels would be the hotel staff, but when you check out you realize it's permanently after-hours. 

The span of a human life is like a long artist-residency on earth. The world that reappears in the same form each day can be seen from the point of view not of ownership, of entitlement, of blind comfort, but from that view of departure, of a welcome, blessed guest. 

At the very least, training oneself to see things from this perspective can train you to be a better houseguest in the more conventional sense. Knowing, for example, when to leave, and respecting requests to do so, will, if nothing else, will help you make preparations for your final departure, which you can never pack too early for. 

There are those among us who live alone, not in the sense of not having a roommate. They live alone because there are no other people in their world - they walk through a universe populated only by specters and actors, only people who do not merit any attention at all, and people who have been converted, often involuntarily, into fodder for a grand neurotic theatre. Everything is seemingly staged for their benefit. These people do not make ideal houseguests, because their psychic consitution forecloses on the possibility of respecting the territories of others. Such a person evaluates events by whether or not they fit the script, and they do not tolerate re-writes or improvisations. They dwell in their guest quarters by converting it into a stage, and rewire the telephone as a means of directing the traffic of actors - it no longer receives messages from the front desk, such as those announcing that a welcome has been long over-stayed. 

1 comment:

Alex B said...

BRUTAL. but well said. Remind me to tell you the story of my over-stay.