My Transcendental Ego

I’ve been wanting to write you again, keeping my correspondence coming to you regularly, because it’s a big world out there and people tend to lose touch with one another. There isn’t but one person that I know of who has stopped by this blog for a visit and, after making her presence known here, has returned for a second time. I am quite flattered, Natalia, by your interest in my letters, which I send out into the vast universe of cyberspace in the hopes of leaving behind a legacy — maybe even achieving posthumous fame! My ideas tend to be grandiose, but we all can fantasize, can’t we? I also have future plans for this place in the blogosphere. Before much longer, I intend to start investing some money in it, and to try to gain some more expertise and some more readers. I would like to at least learn how to place my photo in my blog, for I have nothing to hide.

The impression I give people must be much different from the image I contemplate in the mirror. Whenever I go to see my primary care physician, one of the nurses in there always flirts with me in front of Laura. One of the librarians here in town does the exact same thing whenever I go in to check out a book. Laura doesn’t read much anymore, but I’m overwhelmed by numerous tomes and sets of volumes. I’m running out of room in my massive bookcases. I also read books online from the internet archive, in which numerous libraries are networking with each other to provide me with vast mountains of learning. For awhile, I was reading books about people and institutions that had power in society, and on how these entities slowly gain our consent so they can control us and mould our thinking, but I gave this up along with my excessive consumption of the news media. Instead, I ordered from Amazon a set of books by Marcel Proust, his epic work In Search of Lost Time. This was my first exposure to Proustian writing, and I can see why he had so many admirers and imitators. He was a so-called “stream of consciousness” writer, weaving stories based upon images and impressions upon the individual mind. Philosopher and early psychologist William James described consciousness — which no one really understood — as a cascade of flowing water, and this idea touched off a movement in literature in the early twentieth century, where the narrator would go within to the thoughts of his characters, moving inside and outside their heads. I appear to be writing to you in a similar fashion –as an egotist — my limitations being in using the ever-present “I” perspective; it is the only way I know how to depict anything. Unlike Proust, I cannot walk down a gravel path and pick up a rock, describing its stoney nature, and make a novel out of just that. I’m not even capable of writing a novel.

But I can exhibit things, however,  like the way I got upset when Laura and I got into a heated argument this past week. I left her house in anger, returning to my apartment alone. I picked up my tablet and opened the YouTube app, and a video on the psychology of solitude was recommended to me. The speaker in it admitted that human beings are primarily social animals, who do not do well in isolation and have a primeval fear of solitude, but he also asserted that to spend an extended time alone is to be in confrontation with the true self. I might continue to cling to Laura because I fear the darkness within, creating a dependence driven relationship out of fear of abandonment, building up a false self which can be quickly broken down by embracing aloneness, and by giving order and form to my life through creative work, by becoming totally independent and oblivious to the constraints of external relationships. These ideas combined within me a sense both of optimism and discomfort. I tend to be reclusive already, and it is with an overarching sense of anxiety that Laura is actively keeping her friend Diane and I apart. Laura shared with me what Diane said to her behind my back about our relationship, putting a dating site on her tablet which Laura told me about and removed in front of me. And I also wonder about Laura’s psychotherapist, Monica. I know this same issue has probably come up in front of her, too. What has Monica said about our relationship? Is Monica making the same suggestions that Diane has? As I continued to wonder about all this, the phone rang and it was Laura; we reconciled our differences soon after this. Laura also told me about a dinner being held at the Robersonville Country Club this coming Sunday for Valentines Day, at around noon, and I offered to take her, since this was something we could do as a couple.

Getting ready for this dinner was a real hassle. I’ve mentioned before that Laura has a home health worker to assist her. A woman named Pee Wee works Monday through Friday, but another one, named Valerie, works weekends and has a lot of personal problems. Her husband got Supplemental Security Income (SSI), so he didn’t make much money to begin with, but he was also a drug addict and got caught selling oxycodone, and was sent to prison a month ago. The first time Valerie went out-of-town to visit him, she took her youngest daughter because the child wanted to see her father. The girl began sobbing because she wanted to hug him, but could only view him behind a thick sheet of plexiglass. When Valerie made it to Laura’s house to work that afternoon, she worked until the end of her shift, and as she was prepared to leave, her car broke down and a neighbor had to help her get it started.

Valerie didn’t show up the next day when the dinner was being held; I had to go help Laura get her clothes on. I knew the country club was going to be full of church people, so we both decided to dress up in the interest of conformity. There was a buffet already set up when we arrived. We had hamburger steak. liver, chicken and dumplings, green beans, and salad. I was relieved that no one from Grace Family Fellowship walked in. I passed by there on the way home. The billboard in front of their church said, “Come to Jesus. He never let you down.”

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