if i could choose a talent tonight it would be the ability to calm people down enough to be loved. people flail too much to let love. including me.
[“…when all you want is to go back in time to when you could leave the house whenever you wanted, when it wasn’t scary to be touched, and you wanted to wake up in the morning”]
“It had been one of those afternoons when he had taken us for a drive. He wouldn’t tell us where. Don’t worry about it, he would bark, if one of the children asked.
Driving down 101 through Marin toward the Richmond Bridge, the baby started to cry, sitting in her car seat next to me. I had nothing to give her. It was way past dinner, maybe around 8:00 p.m.
We were broke. We had a pot of lentil soup living lonely in the fridge. We had had it for lunch and dinner the day before. Breakfast that morning. It would be waiting for us when we got home, the day that the girl told me to get what I wanted.
I told him that I had a couple of dollars. Could he please stop somewhere so I could get Avana a small burger or some fries. He pulled into a shopping center. There was a McDonald’s. Lindsay said that she needed to go to the bathroom. There were workmen inside. It looked like they were still finishing the interior.
W came out of the bathroom and walked up to the counter. That’s when she said, “Get what you want. it’s free.” I ordered a small burger, fries, and a small carton of milk. “No,” she said looking straight at me, “get what you want. It’s our grand opening.” I was taken aback. How did she know that I hadn’t gotten what I wanted? How did she know that I really needed much more? “Okay,” I said, “I’ll have six Big Macs, six fries, and six chocolate shakes. I still need the small burger, fries, and milk for the baby.”
She smiled. It seemed that it only took an instant for her to turn around, fill up two shopping bags with food, and hoist them over the counter. Lindsay was wide-eyed.
Her older three siblings looked wide-eyed, too, as we approached the car. I giddily handed out the food to their outstretched hands. Their faces had that familiar shock of relief. This wasn’t the first time that food had miraculously appeared. On the doorstep. Under a table. Behind a chair. In a jar. Out of a sack. They were used to miracles.
Guilt pulls the trigger on those memories. Re-loading year after year. Rides me like a cowboy on a bucking bronco. Lurching. Kicking. Tossing me through sleepless nights. This ride ends with me still holding on. Get what you want.I did. That night. That one time. But i didn’t get what my children needed. A safe home. A loving father. Food on the table every night.”
pleurer / crying
The amorous subject has a particular propensity to cry: the functioning and appearance of tears in this subject.
1. The slightest amorous emotion, whether of happiness or of disappointment, brings Werther to tears. Werther weeps often, very often, and in floods. Is it the lover in Werther who weeps, or is it the romantic?
It is perhaps a disposition proper to the amorous type, this propensity to dissolve in tears? Subjected to the Image-repetoire, he flouts the censure which today forbids the adult tears and by which a man means to protest his virility (Piaf’s satisfaction and maternal tenderness: “Mais vous pleurez, Milord!”). By releasing his tears without constraint, he follow the orders of the amorous body, which is a body in liquid expansion, a bathed body: to weep together, to flow together: delicious tears finish off the reading to Klopstock with Charlotte and Werther perform together. Where does the lover obtain the right to cry, if not in a reversal of values, of which the body is the first target? He accepts rediscovering the infant body.
A Lover’s Discourse, Barthes