Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bedtime Reading: Bleacher and Klein and Wagner

I ought to only read technical manuals at night but the duality of my psychotic complexities demands appeasement on all levels.

"For him, behind every feeling and thought was the sense of the open door leading into nothingness. To be sure, he suffered from dread of many things, of madness, the police, insomnia, and also dread of death. But everything he dreaded he likewise desired and longed for at the same time. He was full of burning curiosity about suffering, destruction, persecution, madness, and death." - Klein and Wagner by Hermann Hesse 1920*



I had a creative writing professor in college who said that in every story that ended with a suicide he felt it was unjustified, that it was contrived. Well, I wonder what he would say about Klein and Wagner. The suicide takes the form of liberation, of entering the universe, of living in the final hovering moment between boat and ocean...

"It was blissful to live, it was blissful to die, as soon as you hung suspended alone in space."

I don't think Hesse sought out a life tortured by reflection but once he embraced his destiny and was released from the institution he made it his mission to examine and translate his thoughts. It's a human condition of discontinuity, resistance of cultural ohms, binding of acceptance to the expectations of our world, a crooked battery ticking irregularly on the social clock. But I admit that the intricacies of a 1969 C4 transmission appealed to me, distracted me more than most things, more than baseball or the sound of high heels on a bank granite floor. People aren't dumb or stupid, as Hesse describes, They are mundane, but mostly are distracted and absorbed by concerns that are foreign to me. I'm spoiled in the realm of reflection and stargazing, spoiled in self-consciousness, spoiled by introspection and pondering, thus have become bored to drudgery, politics, society, even to introspection itself with the same cyclical fun house revelations seen from different angles and in different fleabag hotels. How will Oggy now complicate his life so that it appears to him bearable and interesting? Only stealing naked into Burger King bathrooms to drench myself in lukewarm water could distract me from the monotony of my heart slowly beating itself to death like a bird in a gilded cage.

Hesse held knives to his wrists and I have trod dangerously close to the same theater in which he danced...the good-natured encouragement and idle chatting of clerks and workers has at times been unbearably dull and common and predictable. I sat with my Mexican dream lover driving through La Paz and the light was green but she stopped. I said, "Es Verde." and she nodded and drove on and all my eager excitement flushed into the street below as I knew no bus ticket could ever buy me an eternally uncommon life, that it would all become pointless and desperately routine, wiping my ass, picking chicken from my teeth, arguing over colors of paint, no matter how exotic the location or beautiful my companions everything becomes mundane and unbearable eventually. The echos of my past resound off the worn canyons of my brain already and the sidewalk conversations from 6 years ago have not lost their clarity. Carrying a camera with me everywhere would be easier than recording to memory my boorish affairs. But why reduce life to a documentary, what residual egotistical masturbation from my Hollywood era still mocks me? No different, no better, striving futilely with throat dry and neck sore, back fused and blood sugar dropping artificially from fake chocolate. Hunting exhaust manifolds from Ford Galaxies...killing roaches...cooking eggs...shopping...studying the worn face in the mirror as Klein did when he saw Wagner's reflection. We're all the same. Hesse and Klein and Bleacher and Wagner, some with knives to their own throat or the woman in their bed, the blood is a form of dual viscosity lubrication for entrance and exit to spiritual realms.

*The copy I own was withdrawn from the local library because it was loaned out once in 20 years. I picked it up from the free pile. Hesse wrote it when he was exactly my age..."And now I must die or learn to fly. The world no longer concerns me; I'm all alone now."
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.