Whom Are You Preserving in Alcohol?

Belief in this world. I don’t think I have it anymore. But I know that talking to my parents two nights ago at their place in Paris, and marveling at how much they still love each other, made me feel better. If it’s possible, their love is deeper each time. As in, now it’s just pure love, enjoyment, harmony. And I got drunk with them in the way I haven’t in a while, where you drink too much, where you keep drinking, because you’re happy and you want to fall into (luxuriate in) your happiness. It’s the encryptive nature of alcohol that Avital Ronell talks about in Crack Wars: “The stomach became the tomb. At one point Baudelaire seems to ask: whom are you preserving in alcohol? This logic called for a resurrectionist memory, the supreme lucidity of intoxication, which arises when you have something in you that must be encrypted.”

I am preserving hope. The possibility of love. I felt close to my father, whom I embraced at one point from the back of his chair, as he stroked my head/hair for a long time, while my arms were around him. And it made my mother happy to see us do this. And I kept thinking to myself how beautiful my mother is, how her eyes still sparkle, look so big. And I thought about how I don’t look up at the sky anymore to ask, “Where are you?” I lost my fun (a few years ago—in 2011, 2012, 2013—I found my fun). As in nothing feels ahead (or up above), everything feels behind now. And not because of me. I am a wellspring. But because so many people run dry, run out, leave me hanging.

Writing about September 2015 horoscopes, Galatic Rabbit describes Aries, my sun sign, this way: “I thought of your young heart and how the world betrays it.” At one point after dinner my father said, “The thing I love most about being with your mother is that every night we go to bed and we take each other’s hand and fall asleep holding hands. And I love this more than anything.” I well up. Apologize for being “corny.” He looks at me and sweetly says, “It’s not corny, Masha.” My mom puts me on the train to the airport the next day. Shortly after, she sends me an email about not being able to “deal with saying goodbye.” I’ve never heard her say something like this before. I never think anyone needs me. I can’t say goodbye to anyone. I can’t even say the word. I’m afraid to walk away from everything/anything. I think about fall. The clothes I want to wear, the cold air I want to feel. A softer sun. I hope for fall because I hope for change. I still need my city even though I lost my city.

On the plane, I remember my plan to one day make a documentary about my parents—their lives, their work, their relationship. I want people to see/hear what lasting love looks like. In an essay I recently wrote about Love Sounds I stated: “One way to look at/listen to love that works is to look at/listen to love that doesn’t. Because my mother and father never broke up, the question of an originary split that never structured my life has structured my life. Love Sounds is an archive of missteps.”

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Crossposted with Love Dog.

Images from Bande à Part, Jean-Luc Godard, 1964

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