What would we be without literature? In a Lungarotti-induced fog, itself a hedge of defense from the splitting pain brought on by the aforementioned Scotch binge, I see the narratives we craft and cling to with surprising clarity given my state of mind. I’m using the word to refer to all narratives who seek to reach beyond the boundaries of entertainment, that pure distractive addiction which grips most everyone these days. Literature. Trying to convey something true about experience. About humanity. It is honest and ugly and through that, beautiful.
What a load of shit. Alcohol sure makes the brain swim in chemicals of sentimentality. With the last delightful girl well on her way to whatever glass office tower she works in back in Manhattan, I have only this sentimentality, this alcohol and a few good books to keep me company. (Currently, Norman Rush, who is a genius.) We do see ourselves sometimes as characters in literature, creating our own fictions to move the plot along. If only our lives were as true and as interesting. Well, at least mine is. Ha! (Jesus I’m wasted.)
I need to move on. I’ve decided to abandon the remaining days I have in the house and take the car up to Florence. I’ve called ahead and booked a suite at the Grand Hotel Baglioni. I’ve reserved tickets at the Uffizzi so I can see some old friends and not have to wait in line. This should provide me with the all important reason to get out of bed.
Rush is a superb writer. And an amazing guy. Born in 1933 he didn’t publish until 1986. He was 53. Christ. There is hope for us all. (By us, I mean the arrogant shits who think the tumbling voice in their heads is interesting to anyone else but themselves.) Guy won the National Book Award for his first novel, Mating, this amazing story set in Botswana that somehow sweeps successfully from deep excursions into issues of development and sustainability in Africa to the intimate dance of two people falling in love. I’m not capturing it properly. There is something brilliant about this work. It’s intensely cerebral at times, and steeped in upper quadrant vocabulary, but no less true, honest and significantly human. This is a book that makes me wish I was a better, more fully developed person. Too bad for me.
I’m out of wine, and my headache has returned. Can you drink yourself sober? My poor motor function responds no. I’ve typed this sentence four times. And spell checked it. Fragile dysfunctional vessel the nervous system. If God were here with me in the villa right now I would punch him right in the mouth.
I am looking forward to Florence. And to a fresh set of adventures.