I am at once eager to live and uneasy about every
microscopic move I make, analyzing everything, worrying
over nuances of right and wrong, wise and unwise;
this is how it feels to me: I have a headache,
and a faint but perceptible emptiness that is
oddly physical. I try to think of it as a physical
sensation and not as a monster eating me alive
from the inside. Alive! How I would love to be alive!
Have I ever been alive? Maybe that day I
went to the museum, looked at statues of long-dead
emperors. Maybe the first time I read a poem
aloud. Maybe never.
Maybe I have been dead all along, and that is why
I am afraid to dance. My bones will fall all over
me. Decomposition is exasperating. Maybe being dead is
just a part of being human, a natural and absolutely
ordinary part of life. Convince me I am alive and I
will die in peace. For now I am at war with something
that may only be myself. I want to live without
thinking, to be freed from the burden of
thought; I want to be Zen, I suppose. To attain
elusive, abstract enlightenment. I have, I suppose,
been momentarily enlightened: that day I went to
the museum, the first time I read a poem aloud.
Or perhaps that was only excitement. There was
still a hint of uneasiness to it. I stared for a
long while at a nude, syphilitic youth. A foreboding
old man with a spear in his throat. I was afraid
for the poor youth and the foreboding old man.
And even more afraid to read a poem aloud.
I shall try to find enlightenment in the movement of a