“On the truck, boom, I have energy, I know what I’m doing”
Trucking saved her, she said, but she still got lonely. Solitude became its own source of claustrophobia. “I have blue days,” Jess said. “If I slammed my truck into a mountain, would anyone notice? Does anyone know I’m out here?”
Writing fiction hadn’t been false, for nonfiction isn’t truer than fiction; but I’d seemed to row at the shallowest region of the narrative stream, where the water wouldn’t reveal its deepest enchantments. I needed to allow the subject to change the form as I progressed. Where I began with curiosity about my uncle’s fate, my travels made me aware of how little of the war had been monumentalized in the Nigerian landscape, ultimately making it necessary for me to define the shape of my work as a reconciliation with the fragmented nature of the past.
One was OK: a mistake. But two was a pattern. I knew at an early age that I never wanted to have kids but I didn’t think I was the type of girl who would have an abortion, certainly not more than one. Not because of adherence to a religious or natalist ideology but because I was too educated, too responsible—which is an ideology, too.
I did not drastically alter the structure of the book when editing the manuscript after the larp. The story still seemed like a world-machine that I could not intervene in so much as decide how to portray. And the most crucial event that occurred in the book occurred in the larp, too.
A drama is being played out in these lines, and I suspect that Eliot is thinking of another text as he recasts the latter’s drama in his own terms. The text is the Bhagavad Gita, which I had read at the age of 17 or 18 in Juan Mascaró’s translation but forgotten by the time I met Gay Clifford. The Gita’s paradoxical thesis about “detached action”—a kind of work that is undertaken for its own sake.
That which cannot be named on the Russian internet
Does what used to lend meaning to our lives make sense any longer? Of course everything will return, but it will return just as weak as before, and fall just as easily as soon as some thug takes a swing at it.