Months ago, an article in The New Yorker about a man who intended to sail around the world by himself on a raft. Tonight, that documentary about the man who got mauled by the grizzlies he befriended in Alaska. In between these two points, and still after, is a lot of wondering, trying to come up with examples of female versions of these narratives. All I can think of is Jane Goodall and Julie of the Wolves, and neither of these are quite right, anyway.
While wandering around a bookstore in Downtown SD today, I came across a book that, on the cover, seemed to promise the kind of stories I wanted, and maybe even some kind of analysis or criticism about the idea of aloneness and how it is complicated by social constructions, by gender. I was sort of disappointed to actually open the book and only find it full of little vignettes, two and three page summaries on people like Olive Schriener and Katherine Mansfield. Stories framed with sadness, being immured, victimized, stories where the aloneness is accidental, tragic, where it was not a choice.
So I put the book back and thought about how, even when being alone actually was a choice, somehow time or history or something seems to have erased or distorted this fact, this agency. The same pitiable, tired tale of Emily Dickinson floating around the upstairs of that two-story house, waiting, withering. Or Emily Bronte's lack of interest in pretty much everyone, and how unladylike such behavior was, how unforgivable, how the only way to account for it was through hostility, skepticism. Surely there is a better version of solitude than this.
I guess the point here is this: Where are these stories, and where are they told in the way that they should be read?
While wandering through the bookstore, I secretly played Hide-And-Seek with Richard. I'm not quite sure that he was aware of it, but the loneliness seemed to be out for lunch, which brings me to this:
Thursday is such a suffocating day, and although I will be visiting with other close friends, the day is still marked as Bon Voyage, Southern California!
Do you know that part in Say Anything where Diane tells Lloyd that she loves him, but uses the finger quotes? Think about how heartbroken Lloyd must have felt when she did that.
That's how low I feel knowing that I won't be here at the end of the week.