Friday, August 13, 2010
"I Am Delirious Because I Am Dying So Fast"
I learned of the death of an acquaintance recently and I realized I still had a book she had lent me more than 20 years ago. Henry and June, the version of Nin's diary condensed with all the good parts. I have a lot of the long diaries, too, picked up in used bookstores over the years, where they always seem to be.
I have a lot of bad feeling about having this book--it's pretty evil to borrow a book for that long, and to not be able to do much about it now. I don't mind it when people even take my books, actually. I think they go where they need to. But most people don't feel this way, and I don't think they should just because I do, or that what is essentially my carelessness and diffidence is somehow more admirable because it's less possessive. Most people regard people who don't return books as the lowest of the low.
I'll need to make a donation to something she would have liked to try to restore the karma. The more courageous lesson I could learn is not to avoid getting in touch with someone, thinking, oh, they would just find it an annoyance to hear from me.
But it has gotten me dipping in and out of Nin and Miller again. Tonight I tried opening the book at random three times to see what we get. No one knows how much time they've got. That makes me want everything now. I know, it's a rationalization with all the grace and ingenuity of pleading a case of blue balls, but at least it's based in fact.
A summer evening. Henry and I are eating in a small restaurant wide open to the street. We are part of the street. The wine that runs down my throat runs down many other throats. The warmth of the day is like a man's hand on one's breast. It envelops both the street and the restaurant. The wine solders us all, Henry and me, the restaurant and the street and the world. Shouts and laughter from the students preparing for the Quatz Arts Ball. They are in barbaric costumes, red-skinned, feathered, overflowing from buses and carts. Henry is saying, "I want to do everything to you tonight. I want to lay you on this very table and fuck you before everybody. I'm nuts about you, Anais. I'm crazy about you. After dinner we're going to the Hotel Anjou. I'll teach you new things."
When I talk about her, Henry says, "What a lovely way you have of putting things."
"Perhaps it is an evasion of facts."
He says to me exactly what I wrote some time ago; I submit to life and then I find beautiful explanations for my act. I make the piece fit into the creative weaving.
The core of my being is touched by a body which overpowers mine, inundates mine, which twists its flamed tongue inside of me with such power. He cries, "Tell me, tell me what you feel." And I cannot. There is blood in my eyes, in my head. Words are drowned. I want to scream savagely, wordlessly--inarticulate cries, without sense, from the most primitive basis of my self, gushing from my womb like honey.
Damn books. She was only 58.
If I have a book of yours, please tell me.
Photo: Like Fred Ward. And Uma. And Uma's feet.
Headline: Miller wrote it. He lived a long time. He didn't even get started really until 40.