In Search of the Object.

Inanimate objects as a means of expressing human emotions.

— Man in the Dark, Paul Auster

‘If I knew how to draw, I would apply myself only to studying the form of inanimate objects,’ I said somewhat imperiously, because I wanted to change the subject and also because a natural inclination does truly lead me to recognize my moods in the motionless suffering of things.

— if on a winter’s night a traveler, Italo Calvino

I almost don’t know where to begin.

I’m reading two novels right now, perhaps over-committing myself to the cause but the latter is infinitely harder to read than the former. The former, I began just last night and already I am on page 65 of 180 versus “if on a winter’s night…” I am on page 76 of 260; it’s a much slower, denser, very confusing read.

Coincidentally both novels express very similar ideas in very different styles and yet both also coincidentally contain multiple narratives: stories within stories within stories. Paul Auster blends the combined narratives in such a beautiful way that I feel compelled to know what comes next. Italo Calvino delves one level deeper and so far it’s a 3-level story that it’s hard to know what should be considered the main narrative.

This week has been incredibly busy in all the ways. Cherries are dwindling thanks to the weather conditions in Washington and I think everyone in the office cannot wait to wrap up the season.

This week I: attended barre class 3x, went jogging 2x, went to the movie theater, made a flash trip to Santa Barbara, bonded with my co-workers over sushi, got a 90 minute massage, got a flat tire, and infinitely more minutiae.

This morning I experimentally went after a potential object of affection only to find that by today I just no longer cared.

How can I find an object (of affection) to wholly represent my emotions if I haven’t any (emotions)?

This morning, just as last week, he was still ridiculously cute, polite, muscular, tall, with just the most gorgeous eyes… and yet, I felt nothing. The excitement I felt last week was perhaps just excitement of being in Hollywood, surrounded by nice people on an equally nice day. Today, I felt… well, to be honest, the whole week, I have felt extremely depressed. So everything felt muted, devoid of color (and today is rather gloomy to boot). His smile was nice but then I found him reminding me of one of my friends and then I sort of… eh.

When breakfast was over I felt myself not wanting to leave the moment. I didn’t want the moment to end because I felt there was more to be gotten out of the moment. But instead I left as empty as when I arrived. Maybe even literally, because I hardly ate.

It rained for a few minutes, but it’s still about 90 degrees outside and somewhat humid. Today doesn’t feel like a good day. I wanted so much more out of my day but it’s already 1pm and any chance at making more out of the day is rather slim.

There’s a friendly hang scheduled in a few hours and I feel awful but friendly companionship isn’t what I’m looking for right now. When I try to look for romantic companionship there’s just nothing there, though. Nothing can seem to fill the void that something is missing. But when I’m with people I just … can’t wait to be left alone again. I get this recurring feeling that I cannot stand people. Everything annoys me. But it can’t be that everyone in existence is annoying; the annoyance exists only within me. The annoyance is a tumultuous disturbance in my heart and I don’t know how to fix it. The only solution I have found is to remove myself from as many situations as possible. Only alone do things seem to make any sense to me. Only alone do I have all the freedom in the world to think and see and experience as I wish.

The sad truth is that no matter how alone I want to be, the world revolves on the assistance of others. An employer to pay me. A friend to run with. A group to read books with. A world to make the universe go round. Etcetera.

Very little feels good these days. Very little feels.

Throughout the week I did this internal constant back and forth of over-feeling, then hardening my heart to stop feeling, only to feel the weight of my sadness, to try and catch it again… every time finding myself closer to the ground. (I’m tired of getting back up.) I never let the emotions crush me entirely… I can stilt them for just long enough to stay alive until the sadness comes to pass again.

I found myself on the roof of my office building some time this week. I sat up there staring at the beautiful downtown LA buildings when I began to imagine what it would feel like to stand at the edge and jump. The feeling scared me and I started to cry. But I told myself I was self-inducing the thoughts, so I forced myself to stop crying, I forced myself to get my shit together and stop contemplating suicide. And my heart hardened leaving just a small, dull ache. Then I went back inside my office a few floors down and resumed work as if nothing had happened.

It’s always that way, though. The world must go on regardless of the feelings.

I wonder what sort of object could represent me. Maybe glass. Transparent, illusory, cold, resilient, present but adding no visual weight to any situation, and of course… the capability of shattering into a million small sharp painful little pieces.

What complements glass?


noun \ˈkäm-plə-mənt\

: something that completes something else or makes it better

l doubt anything can stop me from breaking.

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