Harry Hope's Saloon

This blog takes it's name from the setting for O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh -- a lousy gin-mill; a smoked-out, greasy dive where the habitues have all landed, it seems, permanently. Their lives, in each case, are paralyzed by fear and laziness. Like my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Self-Control

Here's what I think: it might not be the case that nobody who can laugh and dance without fear or self-consciousness ever lost their job, their house, their car, their credit. But I'll bet that nobody whoever lost their job, their house, their car, their credit knew yet how to really laugh and dance.

Looking over these words from my last post, I'm thinking this was not a very careful point to make in connection with John Riegle, the Elvis taxicab driver. The article does not say, but maybe Mr. Riegle did know how to laugh and dance before his wife's death. Maybe he felt all of life so passionately, and suffered this loss so greatly, that losing possession of everything else was just consequential, just stuff that also happened. Maybe then these did not even feel like losses though.

The point I was making was really autobiographical. For I feel always like I am just about to lose everything. I feel always on thin ice, dragging my things around with me. Scraping my feet along always so softly and fearfully ... and incrementally, that I never begin to approach the horizon ... slipping around in place. I have this theory that I should just dance; that what's beneath the ice is part of the world too, and I should not dread to touch it. But I never test the theory. Every instinct tells me to be careful, for God's sake. Don't bound. Don't leap.

To move away now from the metaphor, it's like this: I feel fixed. The world frightens me. I sit there quivering, trembling with restraint. I'm resentful, insufferable. I'm isolated, ignorant and incurious. I can't dance ... so don't ask me.

1 Comments:

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