my brother and i, i was observing to my buddy yesterday, both have irrational compulsions regarding the orderliness of our home envionments, but they're sorta the opposite of each other.
there's a documentary about a hoarder coming to the michigan soon. i watched the long trailer for it the other day. when the children finally get mom out of the house to clean it out, and they do & she goes back, we see mom facing what looks like it feels like the unbearable realization of her worst fears. whatever she's being ripped up about, it's obvious it's primal. fundamental terror, long avoided, and (one imagines) made all the bigger by it. she's wretched, in absolute torment, and shuts down completely for a while. (this is the part oprah edits out.)
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i was in the mall yesterday. i hate the mall. i'm also afraid of the mall. and i can be fascinated in the mall. and i can just want to run screaming from the mall. i have contempt for the mall, yet some part of me envies the ease of people who can love the mall, or just use it matter of factly. at least i think that's what's going on when i feel myself disliking a certain part of myself, in my alienation there. the mall is what's supposed to be so ordinary, in its artificial private/corporate theme park of consumer culture, that you just go in and enjoy what it offers, and trade some of your dollars for some of its little carnival-prize amusements, and attire or adorn your body in some of its current suggestions, and, through all that & just walking among each other, feel some kinship with your fellows, and head home happy, smelling like the sweet exotic flowers of somewhere far away that were crumpled up and infused into the painstakingly packaged beauty product in the shiny little gift bag swinging from your wrist as you amble along the asphalt toward your motor vehicle.
that's not a way i want to be happy. but perhaps i don't like it being cut off to me anyway. or, more likely, maybe it reminds me that there are some pleasures i would like to trundle along in, happily, but block myself from indulging in.
figuring out how you want to live can be utterly exhausting, and arranging for it, when you do, most daunting. i wish i could divorce the process from agonies and locate it in happy smörgåsbordland.
i guess that'll be my wish for the new year. to influence, for the better, my luck along those lines.