Monday, September 19, 2005

Reading Books After Midnight

I really did quit my job. Now I spend the night reading Careers with Animals, How to Start and Successfully Run a Magazine and What You Can Do With Your Degree. I do not want a career; I do not want to be anything. I want to watch TV.

No, that's a lie. But it looks sometimes like the truth. For all the things I say I really want, I sure have a hard time following-through. But in the obsessive-compulsive personality description it says, "Obsessive-compulsive personalities are so taken up with the mechanics of efficiency – organizing, following rules, making lists and schedules – that they cease to be efficient, for they never get anything important done." It's that easy. I am not responsible.

I wish. This is why I do not read psychology books (except for this one book, plucked from the shelf at random).

A few weeks ago someone asked about my history, or rather of my misfortunes, all the things that made/make me, me – the bad things of course. What about how much I like books? All this looking into sadness to figure out people makes me tired. A lot of people do it. It seems the sadness people look for is in some way related to our significance.

I am guilty too. I do this to others and to myself. I look up disorders when I think I am being lazy. Then I drink beer and pass out. Except tonight I do not seem to be passing out so soon…“For the schizoid person…One is a detached observer of life who takes a bemused interest in things as a sort of curious intellectual exercise but has no personal investment in the way things turn out.”

8 comments:

Brendan said...

So you really did quit your job. I'm dying to join you but I just got a raise and there's a record to make.

I often wonder about my tendency to equate dark conclusions with insight. I truly believe though that it's a worldview and not a fashion accessory. Meaning that in the most objective sense I can muster, I think this planet and its inahibtants are fucked up with little hope for improvement.

I've been told its a condition of youth but I'm skeptical.

I saw this Baptist church convention on TV the other day. It was amazing the belief these people had, shaking and shimmying in the aisles, speaking in tongues. Hundreds of people.

Dear Austen I hope you get your mojo back. There are bigger and brighter things.

Austen said...

I decided hope is like all those people digging in the crap for reasons -- a total coincidence. And whenever I am pleasantly surprised this doesn't mean I will start having hope; I will just be pleasantly surprised.

I'm not off to the circus just yet, but I did get a job sans arms trade. That's good enough for now...

Austen said...

Oh but I keep telling people suffering builds character and I keep coming really close to getting punched in the face...

(I am not sure it's just youth either.)

Brendan said...

I think it goes both ways - suffering builds character but so does accepting pleasure with humility - always tempered by knowing that all pleasue is fleeting.

Does that sound like a psychological disorder?

Woody Allen was going to call Annie Hall "Anhedonia." It's the inability to feel pleasure. He changed his mind though. Wasn't catchy enough.

RosemaryRuth said...

i don't know if the suffering itself builds character, so much as the actual paying attention (picture me elbowing algaee in the ribs and winking) to whateverthefuck is currently going on in your life, rather than occupying yourself always with how it was, how it could be, or how it will be.

the same people that can fully embrace their suffering, and truly be inside it and experience it, are the happiest of all when they are happy.

but do not dwell on the suffering after it has gone, or assign it more importance than it deserves. a cigar is not always a cigar, but suffering is exactly the sum of it's parts.

grief philosphy with rose. it is a river, and you cannot build a dam.

Austen said...

Aye. As I said to Rosy last night (wink wink), I will just continue to contradict myself; I find worming through it all mildly authentic...

Ha - This chick in the hall just said to another chick: "It's mind over matter. You don't mind, it don't matter." Then they burst into furious laughter, and another guy yelled from down the hall "ain't that the truth!" Wow.

Brendan said...

hehehe

Brendan said...

Rose always busts in with the good shit.