Highlights for the Argonauts

“I was so happy renting in New York City for so long because renting—or at least the way I rented, which involved never lifting a finger to better my surroundings—allows you to let things literally fall apart all around you. Then, when it gets to be too much, you just move on.

But any fixed claim on realness, especially when it is tied to an identity, also has a finger in psychosis. If a man who thinks he is a king is mad, a king who thinks he is a king is no less so.

This slice of truth, offered in the final hour, ended up beginning a new chapter of my adulthood, the one in which I realized that age doesn’t necessarily bring anything with it, save itself. The rest is optional.

To devote yourself to someone else’s pussy can be a means of devoting yourself to your own. But whatever sameness I’ve noted in my relationships with women is not the sameness of Woman, and certainly not the sameness of parts. Rather, it is the shared, crushing understanding of what it means to live in a patriarchy.

In fact I have come to understand revolutionary language as a sort of fetish—in which case, one response to the above might be, Our diagnosis is similar, but our perversities are not compatible.

We haven’t yet stopped trying to explain to each other what these words mean to us; perhaps we never will.

Over time, I have come to suspect that my affection for Bubbles may have less to do with its endorsement of the rule of negative gynecology, and more to do with its ridiculous title, which it shares with Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee.

But the tacit undercurrent of her argument, as I felt it, was that Gallop’s maternity had rotted her mind—besotted it with the narcissism that makes one think that an utterly ordinary experience shared by countless others is somehow unique, or uniquely interesting.

It reminds us that any bodily experience can be made new and strange, that nothing we do in this life need have a lid crammed on it, that no one set of practices or relations has the monopoly on the so-called radical, or the so-called normative.

These are the voices that pass for radicality in our times. Let us leave them to their love, their event proper.

Leave it to the old patrician white guy to call the lady speaker back to her body, so that no one misses the spectacle of that wild oxymoron, the pregnant woman who thinks. Which is really just a pumped-up version of that more general oxymoron, a woman who thinks.

Who cares what SHE feels like doing? It’s her conjugal duty to get over a massive physical event that has literally rearranged her organs and stretched her parts beyond comprehension and brought her through a life-or-death portal as soon as humanly possible.

These are solid guidelines to which I have long aspired. But now I think we have a right to our kink and our fatigue, both.

If all goes well, the baby will make it out alive, and so will you. Nonetheless, you will have touched death along the way. You will have realized that death will do you too, without fail and without mercy. It will do you even if you don’t believe it will do you, and it will do you in its own way. There’s never been a human that it didn’t.

Once he came to, he called her collect; she didn’t accept the charge. She threw up her hands as she told us this story, saying, I didn’t have the money! But we also heard her saying, I can’t carry him anymore.

The mother of an adult child sees her work completed and undone at the same time.

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