“He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one upon the other.” -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
It’s literary quotes like this that make me glad I’m alive. When we read, we don’t take in EVERYTHING, so I wonder how many gems go undiscovered.
“wholly to be a fool/ while Spring is in the world” — e.e. cummings.
I could keep going.
But anyway. I think what this refers to is the duality of man’s nature and ALL of the tension that coincides. See, when I used to attempt at writing novels, I often fantasized about writing one with the same theme. In my story, there was always a relatively sensible yet dreamy girl, torn between the romantic entanglements of two equally worthy and flawed men. Man A was the strong, steady, silent and reliable type. The one who could offer her a lifetime of security, anything she ever dreamed of except the one thing that really mattered. Man B was the opposite. B was brash, spontaneous, and out of control. A born rebel. B wasn’t worth the filth that clung to A’s shoes, but man could he talk and start a fire. B was a good person, deep, deep down. And he wouldn’t turn down a dance.
I think what I’m really speaking to is more internal than all that. Buried inside my heart exists this same dichotomy. Split almost down the middle, are parts A and B. (And how I’ve longed to meet someone equally split, ambivalent, equally divided, so that I wouldn’t have to fake it.) See, I’ve met many a Man A and many a B. And, when I’m with A, I pretend to be more of a B so that things will work- it’s all about balance. The same for the vice versa. But the truth is none of that, and none of that can truly satisfy. I’m a hybrid.
As are the choices of my life. They play out in a very A-B-A-B pattern. For example, leaving home at age 15 was totally B. Going away to the “safer” school was all A. Running away from college to St. Augustine without a pot to piss in was B again. Returning back to school to study Literature was A&B (and probably the best decision of my life thus far). Trying to become a teacher was A- Rejecting it B- going back to it A- and the list continues.
I guess I’m due for a B, but I’m stuck on A. I’ve put too much time and energy into it. The problem is when I’m around too many Bs or in places like Nashville, which might as well be shaped into that letter, I feel emptied. I’m reminded of the rest of my heart and how it’s been absent for so long. I get all confused. The sheets I’m laying on get turned inside out. I start longing for things again.
What about now? Recently, I’ll be honest, I’ve made a very “A” life decision. I did it after much prayer and reflection and it came on rather spontaneously, so, in my heart, I feel it’s right. But I’m scared. I’m petrified. Even though I know I’ll never lose B, I get scared of straying too far away from it.
I’m a Capricorn. Like Jesus and Elvis and many C.E.O.s. The Capricorn creature is half fish/half goat. The smart, sensible, shrewd horns of the goat lead it to continually plan and climb. Ambition is our middle name. Like the domesticated animals we are, we are very traditional. But for all our planning and all our sensibility, we only get so far. See, it’s only a matter of time before that serpent-like scaly tail attached to our bottom half makes its presence known. You try moving it.
So what am I saying? Oh, it’s more than likely that we don’t have our shit together 100% of the time because we (from time to time) get completely swallowed by our emotions. Because they’re always lingering there like dead weight. They are attached to every choice, every life-decision. They are what keeps us from true efficiency.
And yet, they are what keeps us alive.
Good luck to the world if/when I ever meet Mr. A-B… and if/when we ever start making A-B decisions with the rest of our lives. So every single part of us is turned on. Every part has a role. That is exactly what I’m waiting for on this silly little planet.