Early memories, OR why I am afraid, OR eros/thanatos

I spent every afternoon with my best friend who lived behind a white link fence that separated our backyards. We were both six. He had a shock of blond hair and we played cars and made up a new language and visited the neighbour across the street who had a sun room full of birds. Maybe that is a dream. I don't remember the boy's face. We were holding hands between the bars because we couldn't reach high enough to un-lock the gate. Then he told me that if I didn't take off my clothes and swim in the pool while he watched, he wouldn't talk to me anymore. I went inside and curled up in my closet with my new cat and felt uncomfortable. That night, I told my mom what the boy said. I never saw him again.

I was climbing the tree in my front yard. All childhood pictures of me involve mud, sand, or food. I liked to climb or dig or consume. I watched a dalmatian cross the road and get hit by a truck. I had never seen the dog before. I jumped down, stood on the sidewalk and watched the dog die. I didn't know what to do.

I woke up one night when I was a kid in pitch darkness. My night light went out while I was asleep. I still sleep with a light on. I woke up to the sound of doves cooing outside my window in the predawn. I was terrified. I didn't know what the sound was. I tried to keep as much of my body under the blanket as possible. I thought the creature outside my window would attack me if any skin was exposed.

I was camping and and woke up to hideous screeching sounds. I crawled over my little sister in her sleeping bag, got out of my tent and walked over to the door of my dad's tent, curled up on the grass, wet with dew, and cried very quietly. I felt ashamed and didn't want to wake him. I fell asleep from exhaustion on the forest floor in front of the tent and woke up with swollen mosquito bites like patterns on my legs. The screeches surrounded me but it was only owls. The only place I am not afraid of the dark is in the woods.

These situations remind me of the first time I heard my Mother having sex. I woke up and walked into the hallway and tearfully called for her, explaining that there were strange noises. She yelled at me to go back to bed from behind her door. I cried myself to sleep on the floor of the hallway. This was the first time I remember feeling abandoned and alienated and aware of something profound.

Memories are ridiculous and absurd and I can laugh at my ignorance but still feel unsettled.
I feel that I don't care about people judging me or feeling uncomfortable because of things I say or write.
I see my memories play out like youtube clips or music videos, pastiche that curls in on itself and neutralizes history, fear, relationships. Benjamin shakes his head. My memories are mechanically reproduced and serve fascism.
A friend once told me that of all the senses, we cannot turn away from sounds. Sound is very formative. We cannot control noise. Noise is nostalgia and terror. The sublime implies both terror and elation in the confrontation of something unknown. Something natural and powerful.
I have been thinking a lot about the past and the future. Mainly because the present is overwhelming and I feel myself curling inwards again.
I would like to partake in an orgy with Fanon, Guitarri, Bataille and Laclau and see who gives the most intense orgasms. My bet's on Bataille.

"nostalgia is the alarming and pathological symptom of a society that has become incapable of dealing with time and history"

"Cultural production has been driven back inside the mind, within the monadic subject: it can no longer look directly out of its eyes at the real world for referent but must, as in Plato's cave, trace its mental image of the world on its confining walls. If there is any realism here, it is a 'realism' which springs from the shock of grasping that confinement and of realizing that, for whatever particular reasons, we seem condemned to seek the historical past through our own pop images and stereotypes about the past, which itself remains forever out of reach"

-Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism and Consumer Society

Photo source: glass orthodoxy @ livejournal

1 comment:

  1. I've been out of it for a while. Finished my master's thesis, graduated, unemployed but content.

    I love this post.

    It has a lot to do with the work I did for my thesis (for architecture). My research was into how we understand the cities we live in and how they develop personality through memory and experience. I read some Jameson and he was an excellent foil for the more technically minded architectural theorists (Kevin Lynch especially). While the writing for the thesis is far short of what it would be for any other major, It was rewarding. This post just rings with me.

    Once again, thank you.