The lightning sand

Dear blog: I deleted myself from Friendster, cutting the synapses connecting me to fifty well-meaning people, and disconnecting them from God-knows-which singles or activity partners in their hometowns. In the meantime, I’ll keep listening to Mozart’s requiem, attempting to emote myself out of the black funk that’s seized me. A thought, while I’m here: doesn’t it seem as though the tragedies in the lives of Morrison, in Rebel Without a Cause, and in The Idiot bear a certain similarity? As if, in the race to go heavenward, “a tiny little dot caught my eye, it was just about too small to see, it was pulling me down”…that is, there is some piece of banality which destroys the hero of the story because they allow themselves to be dragged under by it. Perhaps banality is the essence of tragedy. For example, for Morrison, it was drink. For Dean in Rebel, it’s his unwillingness to be called chicken, his compulsive need to prove himself, and (these three are related) his naive belief that his family imbalances and problems have a solution of some kind. For Myshkin in the Idiot, it’s his involvement in the love triangle, and his belief that the acts of Christ are commensurate with ordinary acts of charity in a complicated, legal world — such as giving away parts of his inheritance. In each case the central figure becomes entangled in a web as suffocating as the courts in Bleak House. In each case the ordinary is the site of their crucifixion. I am not claiming this for myself. I am not sinking in the quicksand. Heavens no! I’m breathing it, day by day. I live in an aquarium of the smothered, and the shuttered windows look out upon laughing rooms I cannot enter.

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