Some Horrors, Briefly Articulated

Always, the relentless prospect of having to support oneself, not for a day or two, but until the end, whenever that occurs; of needing to perform maintenance, simply to preserve this already woeful state of affairs; of contending with the specter of consequences in the event that one is unable to fulfill these basic obligations.

Spiritual Dilemma of the Middle West

Epicurus claims that one is capable of finding spiritual equanimity under any circumstance. Meanwhile, parked at a rest stop along an unrelenting stretch of Midwestern interstate, I observe a tired woman Windexing the glass doors of an edifice denoted by a sign (mistakenly, I assume) as the Welcome Center. Minutes later, she’s moved to a metal bench, where she smokes a cigarette while gazing without interest upon a collection of nearby weeds.

The tableau would appear to offer a compelling counterargument to Epicurus, who unfortunately — owing to his death thousands of years ago — is unable to enter the debate.

On Beginning to Read, But Not Completing, a Novel

It requires a certain interior strength to begin reading a novel and then, finding that it’s poor, to excuse oneself from completing it. With practice, however, it can be done.

For example: after considerable training, I’ve developed the ability to not even start reading in the first place. Each day, I specifically not read hundreds of books. Perhaps even thousands. Indeed, thousands is probably closer to the truth.