——There is sudden luck, a cumulative effect within these pages, which overwhelms every motive, and this the bending author knew when he ventured forth on the theme of his own career. Doubling back on itself, yet, always starting over in the far off spirit of The Nightbook, that youthful journey into thought I took–I relish the renewed certainly of my existence, and my utterly plain reaction to life. It is as if to gently suggest that a statement of deep cause will never be comprehended–by anyone less embattled. But now I am so free, I am driven into isolation, answering thought with utterance. automatically upon the first occasion. It is the reflection on achievement that is gained, in this prolonged discussion of the writers’ identity. In sequence I put my achievements behind me, as if they prepared me for simplicity, laid the groundwork for the building of the big carnival tent, where he, the delegated speaker, takes honors. When your reputation is solid, just so! people will let you go, make to totally ignore you, they cannot help you–but I have remembered and collected various threads of truth. Justified now with a double victory, having loved all those who even threw him a glance, the little person gains his freedom at last! Now he is enacting his formal revenge, and spelling it out, a formal apology, and drawing it out. I am willing and therefore shall discuss my own personal history, he says, under the hood of some current crisis. If I can settle on one, we shall examine it in reference to the universe. I am over-exposed! Crumbling in anticipation, defiantly I accept the invitation covertly received, to prepare, or put myself on trial.
——I would like to bring in some exhibits, once this trial is set, because my previous accomplishments are pertinent to the question of what I am doing now, or why I am not doing it, now. Facilely stated, which itself puts in evidence my apparent readiness, and indicates that any worrisome content of my thinking remains consonant with all possible, immediate expressions. If that isn’t clear, nothing is. I am highly vocal, in my patience; I am the recalcitrant voice of absolute hope. No one can outwit me, because I stay within the reverberating circle of my own awareness. It is only an impression that I’m in any way idle. You should better say I am furiously busy. Either way, it results in a damping down, a mood, in freezing rain, icicles, an onslaught, a series of new convictions. Something is at stake, or remedial action would not be required. The matter at hand has disappeared from sight, and is beckoning–he says to himself; that is why the clock has slowed to a pace that looks like . . . deception! . Or several days have passed like nobody noticed. What is at stake, the matter at hand, is my own redundant awareness. And always, other people are being forgotten about in my deleterious games.
——The person who is yourself is reiterated by this sheer sense of possibility. Ready for travel. It is quite clear to me that I permanently exist, I cannot be vanquished, and working back from that certainty, I imagine that I cannot be countermanded in any vainglorious ambition, either. Standing at attention, receiving assignments, here is one who is willing to wager the existence of his own felt identity, the person inside, his unique mood, right here in self assurance, over and against any theory of humankind. I don’t live, he says, by reference to generalities. I am merely paused under the swinging traffic light. I define myself as ready for action, retrofitted, opportunistic.
——Thus one takes everything as the bracing shape of immediate expectations, promises and wishes abounding in talk overheard, imagination extending inward, and proceeds to articulate it, because everyone is listening. For the future audience, I was recording the beliefs and sayings around me, and if these beliefs and sayings were loaded already with nostalgia, then they, the others, all might be imagining they are dying. Most people of course don’t die–from the point of view of the one who does, if you see what I mean. Everyday a strong majority is left. Death is a special privilege of the few, around here, I mean families are growing fatter at the stem, the living are bulging in great numbers; and the few who wander off are by and large not missed–in the sense that any part of their used-up existence could have thwarted the redundant flow of new and joyful absurdities. Do not wag your finger at me, say the living. Still, as for my ever repeating self, I was bending, sorrowful, reflective, as if to summon the few dead in my own sphere. But they were drifting out of reach, as if assembling into a crowd on a distant shore; and out of hearing, so that I could not even imagine hearing them now.