Monday, June 17, 2013


It was a cold brisk night and Noreen and I had just walked past the cemetery. She said: "Just because they don't write essays about it doesn't mean they don't care. It doesn't mean that they don't remember everything..." I could only laugh a little, what with my wheezing and shortness of breath. I responded quite flippantly in that trade mark sardonic tone. "What are you talking about, no one remembers anything! I'd be an idiot to convince myself otherwise."

I don't know when I started believing this, but at some point, I thought that comfort comes from invention. It comes from that ability to convince yourself that they do care or they do remember or they do regret. There's always that scope to do that, if you spend enough time alone with your thoughts. In the silence, you can construct an alternative reality, one that need not be true necessarily, but one that is not quite so painful to live with on a day-by-day basis.

Lately, I've been sceptical of this practice. That's not to say I don't think it's worthwhile, I believe it encourages the imagination to provide solace at a time when it is so inclined to do quite the opposite. Saying that, I've started to resent the idea of measuring requitedness. Trying to figure out what they think, what they feel. You can stand in front of a person and they can insist that they love you and you can insist that you love them, but ultimately, it means nothing if they go on to remorselessly squash your heart.

Are those moments meaningless? Are they void of sincerity if you can't reconcile words with actions? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps I've had too many conversations to know how easy it is for other people to shelve such incidents in the mind. They don't need to invent imaginary regret or regard, they just distract themselves and move on. There's no desire to glorify passing moments or conversations, they don't even need to wonder if I care because I advertise that I do, in the most vulgar way imaginable. I advertise that I care on here.

I've been experimenting with damnatio memoriae, the Roman practice of completely wiping out a person's image and memory. It's just like carrying on as if that person never existed. It's strange and it's powerful and it's completely at odds with who I am. Yet, I've taken to it, not because it is easy to do, but because it is much easier than having to understand why. No comfort can be derived from that old practice of invention, there's no way to imagine their care or regret because it is impossible. It just doesn't make any sense.

The irony of all this is that I've started to see value in the meanings I create. I've started to see beauty in my own inventions. What they think is almost irrelevant at this point, I create consequence. I will always create consequence. I love how empowering that notion is, how it is not at all reliant upon detecting any semblance of truth or sincerity. It's all about establishing a kind of ownership: it's not meaningful because they care, it's meaningful because I care... and I express it all in a way that other people might care too.

Viktor Tsoi in Igla: get stabbed, light cigarette, walk away...

No comments:

Post a Comment