treize64 (treize64) wrote,

A much more beautiful river.

I've read over 150 pages of Zadie Smith's Swing Time today, with little intention of stopping, and, as expected, the language--the rhythm and vocabulary of the book--has managed to seep into my own brainspace like so much floodwater. Thoughts occur not just as bursts of imagery or blankets of color or even the lowercased savagery of a tweet, but in fully formed sentences, replete with semicolons and em-dashes. The book is beautifully written, but frustratingly antiseptic, and I wonder if it's partly because of the voice and the tone of middle distance it maintains. A genre of omniscience, but in the same way that God's omnipresence can feel both immediate and faraway.

The other main activity of today, this scheduled off-day, has been, aside from the quotidiana of Millennial living, has been Black Mirror, only two episodes of which I've been able to watch. After having hurled myself to bed last night at 9pm, not having watched a second of last night's Golden Globes ceremony, I woke at 5am this morning with ambitions of bingeing the season and reading plenty and even putting in work on a project proposal. But behind all of that was the mandate--given by and to myself--to let this day rest and be one of rest. I've plenty of train rides ahead of me to be productive, to write dozens of pages of stageplay and to write thousands of words of novel, to pitch paragraphs of short story and to compose responses to any number of emails. Let today be one of leisurely reading on a couch, a morning game or two of Madden, periodic stepping outside to remind myself of the season, and nothing else.

Though, of late, I've, for some reason, been thinking a lot about a Law and Literature class I took my second year of law school. Recent conversations with one person in particular have scratched at certain spaces in my brain, like key ridges on the foil of a gift card, and I find myself dancing, arms spread, in familiar landscapes, verdant hills and valleys with bubbling brooks, the plains and fields of academic subjects I'd only been able to discuss with myself, whether through writing essays or writing fiction. The subject of ludonarrative dissonance opens up onto German poetry, then another discussion on the aesthetic of Blade Runner 2049 will somehow guide me into the revelation that kohl is used to keep sand out of one's eyes, and somehow we'll circle back to the discipline of archiving and it'll be my turn to wax poetic about supposedly long-lost photos of 90s-era hip hop icons and parties where artists who lived seemingly worlds apart were found together at a gathering, all the energy of their eventual bloodletting captured and humming beneath their skin as they crouched in their jailhouse poses or mugged for the camera or embraced or simply were genius. Recently, we were talking of Auden, as he (or, rather, his work) features quite prominently in the play I just finished drafting. And it reminded me that just last year, my professor in that class passed away from cancer.

I have a vivid memory of collecting my final exam from his office assistant in what felt like winter but must have been spring or something like it. There was a manila folder and in it some scribbling on how Appeals Court judges were lesser angels, some medium between lower court judges and the Supreme Court with regards, at least, to how they encountered the law. They mused on an abstraction whereas lower court judges supposedly rolled in the mud with the rest of us morals, and SCOTUS resided on Mount Olympus. Or, at least, that's I think how it went. I have the overwhelming desire now to find that folder and see what I wrote.

I remember I was a good writer in that class.
Tags: books, craft, life after law school, literature, love

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