And you think, we are being trained to forget the unbounded, the formless, the open-ended…
So, for many hours, you go to a party. There are people here who have, for reasons of work, or children, or both, or fear, or all three, not been to anything like this for two years.
A woman arrives early with her husband, she has painted a mask on her face, she looks a bit like Pris from Blade Runner. In a couple of hours time she will tell you that you are good and beautiful, and asks you to dance, she strokes you and kisses you. A while after that you are sitting with her and her husband on the host’s bed and he tells you she has not been out for so long and she has been working hard and you tell him (and her) that you don’t mind, you understand, it’s a nice thing, that there is something lovely about this kind of affection between strangers-who-have-just-met.
Another woman cries with relief when she talks to you in the corridor about how hard it has been to be a mother and you say mothers need to be respected, none of us would be here without them and you tell her you are a lovely person! It doesn’t matter that you don’t know her, because it’s true.
The women do this thing, which you had also perhaps forgotten a bit, where you tell each other how they find each other, what you see, as a kind of introduction. You look different, you look lovely, that guy is staring at you, will you be ok on your own if we leave?
Someone you last saw fifteen years ago, who possesses a magisterial kind of glamour, operatic décolletage, lustrous hair, says you are a different shape! and I think huh, when we say someone is out of shape, do we mean they are not the shape they should be, or that they could be several different shapes. Later she tells you the music you put on is too heavy and she is right, and I remember that it is not good to get stuck in too many of the same loops, and that there is always a context and that you can feel it if you pay attention and that you can contribute to making situations very beautiful, don’t get too caught up in yourself, and at points you have little flashes of paranoia about the situation and what is to come but then you remember to breathe and you are good again, and you are back with the fractured-everyone-which-is-also-everyone-on-their-own-but-together.
A willowy, pretty woman is here with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, in a hat, gets into a disagreement with someone about the situation. Somehow they are able to disagree, even when it gets heated, and the host, with his usual care, afterwards sits down with the man in a hat and they talk about what it means to disagree and why we are disagreeing.
And if it is not resolved, so what, because what could be, really, in the end, it is also very beautiful, and you remember that social life is also risk, and that the people who want to stay in their houses forever and watch people take drugs and have sex on laptop screens that never end, not even at the point of sleep, have agreed to mediate their desire and to live vicariously, but this is in fact what they wanted before, and it sort of makes sense that they want this for everyone, for ever, because comfort and voyeurism, like the desire to play music that is heavier than most people enjoy, is also addictive and if someone tells you this is what it means to be safe and even that this makes you a good person, you might be tempted to believe them.
And at the party you are bowled-over by the unpredictable, the delightful, the surprising, the risky, the encounter, the dialogue-on-multiple-fronts.
And you talk to a clever and lively man about social sadism and social aggression and how humanity deals, or does not deal with these things, and how parties are actually great ways of dealing with these things, at least you think you say this, but you can’t remember which of your thoughts got articulated and which did not, but it doesn’t matter, it was a great conversation anyway, and they are all great, even the ones that are a bit awkward, at least at first, and, in any case, they are all unfinished and infinite, and you remember what it is to be alive and you think this is fantastic and beautiful and even a little bit melancholic because you never want it to end, and you wonder what they will do, psychologically, physically and politically, to stop people from doing this, because it really is dangerous when people stop acting like the state.