“Sex is not a thing, it’s a relation; it’s a non-relation in propinquity to some kind of a recognition; it’s a sock drawer for the anxious affects; it’s a gesture cluster that can be organized in an identity for the purpose of passing through normative sociality; it’s an event, an episode; it feels so good, or not; it’s an experience of becoming disorganized that, at the same time, can be lived through, assimilated, talked about, tracked (noticed, fetishized, historicized, genealogized), and forgotten, while also being a threat to well-being and to fantasies that in the good life people ought to be protected from being too chaotic, unstable, ambivalent, or enigmatic. Normativity is a vote for disavowing, drowning out, delegitimating, or distracting from all that’s ill-fitting in humans: it can never drown out, though, the threat posed by sex’s weird tastes and tonalities to the desire for the everyday to be simpler to live through.”
i like to keep this blog less personal/more symbolic/cryptic but i am breaking that tradition to note (mostly for myself) a mark of progress, or time passing, or wounds healing. mostly that i haven’t checked his fb or other internet presences in almost 2 months (if you don’t know me, this is epic). i have dutifully sat on the far side of the bus (so i can’t/won’t look up when we pass his apartment building to see if his light is on) for almost 3 months. and even though i’ve catalogued everything and written it all down, i’m doing what i can to let it lie for a while. no rereading.
it’s taken five months to get to this place - which is like traveling back by steamer from a place you arrived at by 737 - but i’m getting there. it’s good to know i can get there. but also, in getting there, in “living through it” (as we must) i have come a lot closer to really understanding the above. how completely disorganizing life (love) (sex) can be and how love or lust or whatever that was can just tear through and shatter your everyday. and that, perhaps instead of fighting so hard to regain “control,” i/we should be fighting to come to terms with chaos. to be grateful of survival, but accept that discomfort is not just part of but essential to our being here. blistered and fucked up but still standing, living to fight another day, that’s really the only way to be. and having someone explain that in articulate theory is really validating. so amen. let’s drink to that.
at the end of the summer, when i told my therapist i couldn’t take the garbage bags out on garbage night even though it was only two flights of stairs, she said she thought i was depressed and sent me to a psychiatrist. i told him about how i kept looking at emails between me and my (now ex-) boyfriend from the last 5 years, which included the several years that we were friends and not together. this ultimately destructive practice had started innocently. i genuinely didn’t understand how our relationship had gone from casual friends, and then pretty intimate friends, to my breaking up with my boyfriend of ten years and moving three times in order to have a relationship with someone that i suddenly really, really wanted a relationship with, but had mostly made fun of about his relationships before. and i’d look at old emails, really old emails, and be like, oh, yeah, he was obviously in love with me five years ago, or four years ago, or three years ago. but this exercise could also end in tears when i found the many emails between us that were about past relationships, which were way too graphic for my predilections for both monogamy and emotional protection. anyway, i told the psychiatrist and was like, “i really don’t get it. i haven’t been obsessive in this way since i was 19. i’ve never acted like this as an adult.” and the answer might have been: i was taking adderall for adhd at the time, and i definitely shouldn’t have been. but my psychiatrist’s answer, which i think is equally relevant, was: “when we are going through times of very intense stress we often resort to our old symptoms.”
this is one of the most important things anyone said to me last year. because no one should ever be under so much stress that they are resorting to symptoms they haven’t had in fifteen years, or having symptoms that are that extreme in the first place. what i am trying to say is: not checking someone’s internet presence, or not once since breaking up looking at a single old email, is something to celebrate. so is theory that helps us understand all of this and, even better, connects it to the larger situation. i am drinking a glass of wine while i read about phenomenology, technology, and feminism.
(ps. i blushed and also i love fragmentary and scrapbooky and cryptic.)