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Tel Quel

je sais bien mai quand même

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I’ve recently signed up for UCLUWRFC, much to my superego’s chagrin, and these days I really do feel like I’m turning into dust/ashes which each passing breeze — as it is, it’s already bad enough considering the inevitable contemplation of time as length, breadth and depth among other tedious dimensionalities; […] Conceptually, I have as much strength as the force of gravity confronted by a common household magnet. Charming. Anyway, I hope, with some kind of Schopenhauerian fortitude, I might be able to find myself a place in the starting team and a much more flattering disposition than now.

Classes haven’t quite started yet which is a little disappointing considering the general pace of things. But I know I will be half-submerged even before the realization that Autumn is over, by then I will hope to have unravelled some fiendishly sick brilliance of the Late-Bloomer variety if not will itself. My only motivation now is that my first two essays are due before The Kills in mid-November. However in a parallel universe, I would’ve already finished them last week so part of me actually thinks that I’m free, yet another part of me will once again leave it until the last minute since I’ve already done it so to speak, therefore the essay will naturally write itself when the pressure of deadlines reach critical mass. This is the part where Fréddi B. asks, “Who are you?” and I would be least capable of giving any intelligible answer because I would have melted into a decrepit pool of inexplicable helplessness by then.


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The trick is to be cautiously irrational, perpetually on the edge of uncertainty to face the gravity of ill-timed decisions and the vertigo of failure, because what I’ve learnt over the years (but mostly from Winterson) is the correlation between risk and value. However, what remains unsaid is the median of either propensities and the undeniable appeal of complete abnegation and/or free love which continues to bear the reality of a corporeal auto-destruction as a symptom of free will and determination. My heart skips a beat.

It is always good to be young and reckless, but I can’t remember wanting anything this badly; as if my very being depended on it. This could change everything.

For the lack of better words, that was one of the dreams; to be consumed in a tapestry of written charms and confessional poetry on these arms; I’d have stories written on the body and stories to tell, at any rate there would be so much more than what my heart could offer at any given time. Also, I would be a teaspoonful more interesting under such circumstances.

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So while I’m trying to get used to an indefinite hiatus or semi-retirement from sport, I’m still consciously planning to schedule (yes, very formal but–) a modest run in what seems like a twenty-hour day. Not forgetting that at least ten hours will be set aside for the paper itself; five of which is mental whining and the subsequent collective effort to brace myself while the other five will be the actual writing process. If it’s not for work or anything else, the other ten hours of my average day can be considered as lost time but assuming that it all leads to the completion of my graduation paper before the end of this week; everything is okay. But I really have to say this: I’ve never felt better being this busy (or at least, being occupied with these things) — filling out applications and research proposals, essays, and now with the new-found responsibilities of being the resident bookshop lemur. I cannot think of any superlatives to adequately describe my current dream/work environment because it will only be fitting if accompanied with expletives… but this is my kind of busy, and in a whim (whether or not I might come to regret saying this in the future) I’ve decided that I could live like this. Sure, sometimes I do like to float along and I usually embrace it completely when the moment(s) of self-indulgence arise but I wouldn’t trade anything for where I am now; essays, responsibilities and all.

Sometimes the whole scene gets a little overrated (not the literary one but the mildly sensitive h- word), I might even be unintentionally detached; not that I don’t appreciate it but I have a feeling I will most probably stay that way — I’m just in it for the books and the associated paraphernalia, the culmination of all imagined histories, the occasional person that walks in and the best potential conversations (Pico and Cake too); that in itself is already more than enough for me. It’s just one of those days: sweatshop duties, lunch-time errands, the Sunday crowd and Los Campesinos!, The Mystery of the Lost Signal and the Credit Card Machine, oscillating between Flatland and the Wahhabi Movement to cope with the mental saturation of Ackroyd (it’s been three months), and also, Mom’s finally back safe. I couldn’t not immerse myself in the brevity of the moment.

“Sorry to have troubled you to find the ATM machine, but at least you had that bicycle.”
“Well, that’s what Sundays are for.”

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Today has been…impossibly long… and while I would like to prudently break out into a page-long narrative about the weather and the unforgiving 30 kilometer route march with the average person’s life’s worth of reading materials in my bag, I just can’t… and there’s this cat outside my door, who’s clamouring to come in and nothing like Rosie, isn’t letting up either; when I’m asleep, he silently plots my demise and preys on my feet at every imagined opportunity… and then there are these raisins in my dried (not fried) rice right now that are overwhelming me beyond reason. Why are there white raisins in my rice? Who puts raisins in rice? And if I continued with this line of interrogation, I would eventually arrive at the conclusion that I should never have left my bed today.

Each time I face some sort of academic crisis I walk to the backyard with my version of a slow release hemlock cup; menthol-flavoured, and ponder over a miniature grove of clovers in hopes of finding the equivalent of a Novalis four-leaved exception. Still they stubbornly grow in threes, reminding me of the reality which I must face with undaunted certainty and the resignation of being contented with what I make of these orgiastic threesomes. This would also be a good time to find my special edition James Joyce pencil and tame this motherf’—

I love the post-submission euphoria, albeit late by fifteen minutes; but euphoria nonetheless. I think I might be most proud of this essay, having unconsciously committed certain hadiths to heart, and also overcoming the trauma of footnotes and in-text citation. Even I have to admit, it was almost scholarly-like until I succumbed to an overwhelming placidity at the fifteenth hour which then translated into fuck all and the depletion of my entire arsenal of Werther’s Originals. Still, I think I’ve managed to pull off the appearance of calculated contemplation so this calls for a celebration, and a shower (before I die of academic, social and self-ridicule).