arugula sandwiches

I have no argument.

I am finished psychoanalyzing. There is no need to. I have wasted the teenage and adult years psychoanalyzing. Julia and Warren are good people. I am comfortable in their presence. We are civil with each other. I enjoy their company, I sink into their conversations, I trust their intent. I trust that they continue to remain pleasant people. I do not worry about the possibly pernicious two cents they hold in their wallets. People say that it is never as simple as black and white, but I think the spectrum is the simplest of them all. If I cannot find the correct characterization, I pin my object onto some pixel of a color gradient and then resort to description. If my object eludes me further in its complexity, then I create an even simpler heuristic: a web. A web of learning, a web of knowledge, a web of tastes, a web of moral judgments. The web is so simple, because my judgments will always fall in it, somewhere. But this is too easy. It is much harder to believe in binary. I either like you or I do not. I either trust you or I do not. You are either my cherished friend or you are not. You either give me a stomachache or you do not. It is too difficult to think this way, but it would be easier. It would be easier on my existence to believe in binary.

I have realized that I am afraid of Aretha. I am not afraid of what she can do, I am afraid of what she is. She does not emote. I cannot tell what she thinks. I do not know if she feels. All I know she is capable of feeling is disdain for anything she considers inadequate, and temporal obsessions with the inhuman. I am simultaneously fully imprisoned and fully free in her presence, both of which, alone, also necessitate the other. I cannot psychoanalyze her. She is the only one I do not psychoanalyze for this particular reason. She taught me what it is to psychoanalyze, and because she has, I am finished. Like the arugula sandwich I made with Julia; it was so simple, and so good.

I have no argument.

The train has stopped. I have just reached the Canadian-United States border. The wheels are no longer rolling, so I am no longer sleeping. I stare out the window and see a customs official talking with one of the drivers at the crossing. Suddenly, my music seems to be screaming. I do not remember going to sleep with my music this loud. I protest silently against Miyazaki, screaming for his violins and trumpets to “shut up! shut up!” with my mouth closed. It is so loud I cannot hear the tattooed NYU girl screaming behind me. I reach for my phone and thumb on the volume button four times. The music should be soft now, but I still hear it screaming. Frustrated, I swipe open the lock screen and enter my password, and manually slide the volume control down to zero. I want to hear silence, but I still hear screaming. My head is saturated with more and more violins and more and more “shut up! shut up!”

But the phone is not in my hand. It is dangling tenuously from my earbud wires off the edge of my seat. The violins are shrill, undiminished in volume, but no longer screaming. The phone is not unlocked. It was never in my hand. That I tried to turn off my music was entirely in my head. I am dumbfounded, because I realize I cannot prove the truth of my experience from within myself. I tried to think action into being. My conscience convinced me I was phenomenogically turning off the music. The only proof I have of my truth is its causality. My music was not turned off; it kept screaming after I turned it off. The phone was not in my hand. Why? I did not drop the phone from my hand. I now know it was never in my hand. But why not? It was as real as what I am now. It was not dream.

I have no argument.

Lake Champlain has begun to thaw. It is a web of blue on white, like the edible mold on heavily veined blue cheese. Sometimes the mold travels in distinct veins, delineating the lake’s surface temperature profile. Other times, it is only beginning to surface, protesting slowly against the March ice. It is messy, like an Impressionist foreground against an 18th century landscape background. Like an art student got frustrated after the first half canvas, giving only the Adirondacks due precision but not the Champlain.

I have no argument.

I just saw a Bald Eagle. It was small, so he lifted off peripherally lumpy brown mess on the frozen Mettawee River. He was in full plumage, and flew in opposite direction of the train. He was divinely beautiful, but he started off as a black and white incongruity from my the periphery of my half-hearted sightseeing, and became the rapid rapping on rain-stained train window. It was as if he flew up just so I could see him. “Bald eagle! Bald eagle! Bald eagle!” a mechanical response as I turned to Julia as if to prove to the world that I saw a Bald Eagle for myself. I didn’t wake up the sleeping tattooed NYU girl behind me. Proof that God is real (or that true randomness is not).

On the way north, I saw three Wood Ducks, two males and a female, and a white blur with powerful wings in the middle of a snowstorm that could only be a Snowy Owl. Luck seems to need no intent, the birds seem to say. I chase birds as one chases adventure: in continual longing, but with bitter regret and emptiness after the adventure has passed. Regret that the exact experience can never be returned to, not prolonged. Regret that the moment could never be as sweet as the yearning. Seeing birds is pointless and dispensable, but this is like everything else, so I choose to make seeing birds an indispensable focus. My existence does not actually need, but I seem to need to need, so I am going to need birds.

Can I become an argument?

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