Thursday, August 23, 2007

Truth and Reconciliation, Part I

Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night (1896 - 1940)

Fitzgerald knew a little something about pain. And he knew a little something about succinctness too - Gatsby was less than 200 pages if I recall. The last 5 years of my life took, well...5 years for me to live through. Francis Scott summed up those 5 years in 14 words. Pain and shame have been the name of my game. And I have come to be so familiar with them, that opportunities arose for me to let go of them and I didn't want to. I knew them inside out, pain and shame, they had become friends to me. They filled me with a familiar warmth when someone asked me where I was and I couldn't find the courage to tell them that I didn't know. People would ask me where I was, and my first instinct was to tell them the truth - that I honestly didn't know, that I'd gotten lost and needed help - but there was the pain and the shame tugging at my sleeve. I'd look down at them and they'd whisper 'Just tell a fib. It doesn't matter' and it seemed to make so much sense. And so I'd lie, just a little one, here and there, and for a while afterwards things would be better. I wouldn't have to think about being lost, or people wondering after me. But the plan had a flaw. Little things never stay little for long. They grow, everything struggles to grow, to be more than what it is. Bacteria, children, lies. Small things grow, that's just nature...tbc...


Blogger Thin_Yellow_Duke said...

I have a little book containing various essays from Fitzgerald's career, including a generous selection from the moving autobiographical writings that were posthumously collected as "The Crack Up". All very pertinent to the lame professional and personal trajectories of you and me. Just ask if you want to borrow it.


3:05 am  
Blogger Thin_Yellow_Duke said...

One line from that book has always stuck with me: "In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o'clock in the morning, day after day."

Past a certain point, nobody ever gets fucked up for fun.

3:14 am  

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