Friday, September 12, 2003

I kind of like the Ellen DeGeneres show. It beats Oprah anyway.

School starts in slightly under two weeks. That’s equal parts happy and depressing. It’s happy because I really do like school most of the time when I’m actually going to it. It’s depressing because I never really like it so much that I wouldn’t rather be staying at home. In any case, I’ve got enough money in the bank to buy my books, which puts me ahead of most of my peers, so I don’t suppose I’ve got the right to complain.

It might be good for me to have my life relapse into something more resembling normal. This summer has been anything but normal. I think in retrospect I’ll look at it as a very transitory period of time in my life. But for now, I’m mostly just tired and worried and trying to carry it all off with an expression of boredom.

Last night, I read a story that I’d started in Europe. I was in Germany when I wrote it and I think it very much belonged in Germany somehow. Maybe it was the Black Forest rubbing off on me. I’m going to reprint the story here, in total, for reasons which currently escape my rational mind. I never finished it – don’t read it expecting a point or a plot; I only had maybe ten minutes to work on it. I’d started writing with only a vague idea of an allegory over something Jody and I had been talking about – something that I’d taken offense to, something about appearances I believe, something that has no relevance to my life, or anyone else’s life, right now. But somehow, it just seems appropriate for my mindset at the moment, and I have a quite irrational need to share it outright:

“Once upon a time there was a dark and gloomy forest, in the midst of a dark and gloomy kingdom, which, neverminding the constant drizzle of the rain and the bitter cool bite of the wind, and the constant screeching of long-clawed birds over the tops of the trees, contained in it one little house which was very warm and very light, and very, very quiet.

The house was quaint, as they say now, and not atypical for its time. It roof was a shade of red, and its outside walls were something of a green. It wasn’t a particularly bright red or green, mind you, but there was a warmth in them absent elsewhere in the forest. The great, large door in the front of the house looked rather golden from a distance. But up close, you could see that it was only a rather spectacular shade of wood; a sort that you couldn’t find in our world if you looked today. The door knob, a large one, which can unfortunately often appear a little intimidating at first, was of a strong brass cast. And of all the things in the house, the bronze door knob was certainly the most unapproachable. This was poor luck, indeed, as a door knob is generally the first contact a visitor ought to have with a house, and a house such as this seems to cry out for a better introduction.

Indoors, the house was somewhat curious. There was a table for dining much grander and larger than would normally be required for such a tiny domicile. But the table didn’t appear to be at all out of place. Rather instead, it looked almost as if, by some unnatural grace, the table had always been there, from the beginning of time even, as if the walls themselves had somehow just grown up around.”

Reading that story made me happy. It reminded me, oddly, of a particularly retarded G.K. Chesterton tale. And thinking of the comparison made me even happier. I’m thinking of writing the story again – maybe even finishing it this time. With a different house, of course, which looks a little different, but which is essentially of the same stuff. And with a slightly different point, with a more universal application to it; an application that’s maybe even relevant. I like the little house in the dark and gloomy forest; I even like the dark and gloomy kingdom. When was it that I got so sophisticated that I decided I didn’t like the old standards anymore?