This is day four of my chosen isolation. Day three was a blur. Government and animal business.
Here are a few tips if you every decide to drop out of the instantaneous communication which surrounds your head and heart. 1) Begin hiding from the world right before your cell phone runs out of minutes. This will buy you a few days and you can tell people, “Yeah, it was out of minutes. I didn’t notice.” 2) Before you open your email or text platform, put a few drops of something soothing, perhaps a liquid microdose of LSD or psilocybin in your eyes. This will fragment your vision and you won’t be able to read the email subject line except to know it is from the NY Times or Washington Post or your crazy sister-in-law who thinks vaccines are turning people gay. Delete those immediately as if you never got the update. 3) If you have Skype, or something like it, start using the “call declined” tab. Later you can tell people it was a mistake or maybe a bug in the Skype system which is very likely since Microsoft can’t scratch its ass without using an expensive motherboard.
If you drop out, don’t forget to study all those authors you skipped or have forgotten. Heavy books that open all sorts of doors in the kitchen.
Steppenwolf continues and I have added Nietzsche and Schopenhauer to the mix. Why? Because, Hesse cites them as influences for Harry Haller, so I refreshed my memory. Nothing like a bit of Schopenhauer to refresh your crotch area. I am understanding Steppenwolf this time around as a much larger imprint of spiritualism. How did I miss that before? Mortality driven deep inside like nails in the wall might be the answer. Anyway, Hesse always seems to want it both ways. He sets you up to believe that Harry Haller is like you, but then he says, don’t be a sucker, Harry Haller is nothing like you. God and the All and Buddha and spirits and Hinduism permeate the text. Yet, Haller seems like an atheist, but then Hesse says the book is not about the dead ends of Haller’s life, which atheism represents, but rather eternal faith, the only hope for individual redemption. Well, this is unfortunate, but what should I expect from a guy who quit seminary school and totally freaked out his parents because he did not become a Pietistic (sect within Lutheranism) preacher. Oh, the tears. Steppenwolf might be considered as a big apology to his dead parents. I doubt if this is a well understood point in literary critiques of Hesse and Steppenwolf, but like Hesse says in one forward to Steppenwolf, “Hey, if you want to make an ass out of yourself, be my guest. I’d never tell people not to make their own interpretations of my work.” Hesse won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946. He was pretty thin most of his life and looked a bit like the skeleton that hangs in front of a medical class in Zurich, Switzerland. He was the perfect, highly elastic person to write books under the name Hermann Hesse. He would totally understand the following poem, maybe not like it, but understand it.
most mornings he comes down the stairs to find her there on the floor
asleep like an Irish Setter on the rug
mental maps that edge her red sea
blowing the silent sails against the tide
her troubled hands coaxing response
squeezing tubes of glycerol
jade stare like she never leaves the house
nuzzles her mare
walks to the bar
never sits with guys buying drinks
only in need of medication
his back to her as he builds a fire
his eyes reflecting the flames
reaching up to his face
a single frame from a movie she takes scissors to
stretching her arms outward
behind on the rent
a shiny car in need of work
fumbling in a pocket
she swigs a vodka from a little airplane bottle, the forgotten
mini-bar, as the fire really gets going and he’s burning up like a victim from a London multistory or somebody standing too close to a napalm bomb drop
skin sizzling for political advantage
then she says, what the fuck are you doing, and it goes like that until sunset
when all the lights come on in the city and they become new people once again