In bed for two days with a sinus infection. I hit the point where my whole body rebels – as restless as a shaken bottle of coke – and then there is a cascade of emotions that turn inward.

Caustic.

Reminding myself that the emotions are nothing more than my mind trying to make narrative sense of all the lymph poisoning my system.

I remind myself it is lymph. I remind myself that this self-disgust will pass.


I think of a tree in a violent wind – shaking its branches like an evil monster.
It’s not the nature of the tree.

It’s not the nature of the wind.

The Santa Ana winds could cup me like God’s own hand. (A children’s bible’s illustration of God’s writing finger is burned in my mind – not remembering the story at all, just the context of bedtime.)


I am not this angry.


All right, having looked up the story: I am a little angry.
Geeeeez. Bedtime story? That? Seriously?

No wonder I’m praying psilocybin will become legal soon.


What crawls up the walls our unconscious has built… If you’ll excuse me.

I’ve been writing all morning. Things I don’t want to put into the world. But I need to get the words out.

In No Exit, Estelle says that when she can’t see herself, she wonders if she really exists.

It’s not a flattering comparison on any level, I suppose. Not in the context of Sartre’s intentions – at least not in the context of traditional interpretations of the character.

But I can only examine the validity of my thoughts when I dare to make room for a sort of reflection.

Inez tells Estelle to see herself reflected in Inez’s eyes: “I’m so tiny.”

There is an assumption that Estelle uses the mirror to make conscious adjustments to what she thinks other people see.

But what if what she sees is both the “ugly” truth that keeps her grounded and strong, and the acceptable facade: a kind of complexity of existence that requires reflection – a large-scale, unobstructed reflection.

Estelle is diminished without the mirror.

I find it odd that so many approach No Exit with a collective sense of morality that Sartre himself rejected. If Sartre can get behind Stalin’s choices, surely he can get behind Estelle’s?

Maybe Garcon and Estelle are in Hell only because Inez convinces them of it. “I’m watching you,” she tells Garcon when he decides to have sex with Estelle.

Yeah, that’s a problem for him now? It wasn’t before.

How bourgeois.

A collective sense of morality exists in Hell.

Inez is the torturer after all.


Funny how, once a character is on the page, the author loses control.

Sometimes I stumble on my own writing – an old poem, or a bit of a journal entry – and it is completely foreign to me.

I wrote a draft of a novel once.
And realized that I am a poet: fragmented.

Shattered.


All these truths that rise and dive beneath the surface like sharks.