Crying in a bookstore

Sunday and I spent the afternoon with Eliza. She wasn’t feeling all that great and so we did not do much but hang around her apartment. The reasons and why-to’s are matters more appropriate for her journal than mine, though I will give a short note to say that I feel priveliged to have the trust within her to share in her troubles.

The entire afternoon we hung out and her mood elevated as the sun sank lower on the horizon. She sat topless on her balcony and I fell asleep on the concrete floor, my hand cupping her bottom. We were a bit naughty on the balcony and our activities moved from the voyeurism of the outdoors, to the more appropriate and intimate setting of the bed. After a period of fooling around she needed a cigarette and I took pleasure in teasing her body to where she wanted to get up for a cigarette, but wanted to lie on the bed moreso, that area of tension when a person is drawn into two different directions… I admit with an impish grin that I exploited it. However I was sent on an errand for a Corona from downstairs and while I did so I imagine she got her cigarette. The rest of the night I will not describe in detail, only sufficing to say that we used liberal amounts of baby oil. It was wonderful, a dark room where I could barely make out her form, relying on my sense of touch to explore her body, the music creating just the right mood, and her wonderful, wonderful body open to my touch, moving against me. It was the second time that I have had an orgasm with a woman. Out of roughly 36 different partners, from girlfriends to women I’ve loved to one-night stands to “professionals”… I’ve only had one orgasm before… and that was with a woman that I loved… Kat. The reasons why I’ve not had orgasms are perhaps many, perhaps singular, perhaps general, perhaps individual (it is possible to have different reasons for a singular phenomenon, multiple affects for one effect). I suspect that a large part of the reasoning has been one of emotional reaons… the feeling of guilt that I experience if I enjoy myself. Where this feeling comes from I can only guess, though I would suspect the emotional games played upon me by my mother. Freud, where-for-are thou? During the orgasm I wanted to release myself, my essence of being, into her, to try and merge with her, melt with her, become one with her. This was nothing so base as “getting my rocks off”, but was much deeper. I wanted to experience her on as deep of a level as I could and I’ve come to a point (thanks to her gentle prodding and help) that to do this I perhaps need to loosen up and allow myself pleasure.

Sleeping with her, awakening every now and then and caressing her curved back, resting my hand upon her hips or running it down her thigh, kissing her neck gently before drifting back into sleep, was the icing on the cake.

Up at 10:30 I made a plan to go home and shower and change clothes, give her a few more hours sleep as she is still tired and return to pick her up and run some errands. While driving down the road I noted that I wanted some coffee and I had a plan to go to the University of Oregon campus and look into what steps I need to do to get into college for the fall. Thinking that the parking around the Starbucks there was horrible I opted to hit the Starbucks nearby (Coburg Rd) instead and I turned into that direction. Seeing the Borders bookstore I opted to check on a book. There is a book that I used to have, Og Mandino’s “University of Success” that I thought I might like to buy two copies of (one for myself and one for Eliza). When I walked in the doors to the store I was greeted by the ending bars of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. I finally found the book but they only had one copy, it had a torn cover, and it was $18 (money is tight right now). So I put it down and ordered a mocha and sat down at a table to plan my day/week with my FranklinCovey planner. I recognized Beethoven’s 7th symphony playing and surmised that the CD the store was playing was the soundtrack to “Immortal Beloved”. I knew the progression of songs well as I’ve listened to my copy many many times.

I read a little bit from “A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues” by Andre Comte-Sponville and when I read to aspire to virtue means to try not to be unworthy of what humanity has made us, individually and collectively, and some more pages therein, I was overcome with a great desire to have Eliza with me, to discuss these virtues with her, of the heated exchange of ideas between the two of us. Eliza and myself have a remarkable amount of common ground in not only our thinking, but in our approach to thinking and in our capacity of thinking. Both of us come from a country background with Christian authorative parents where hellfire and brimstone played a prominent role in our upbringing. Eliza does not know definitions of philosophical words, she does not know different philosophers and were I to say a specific name or “ism” or historical reference to a thought or cultural movement or the like, she is likely to not know what I am talking about. This is no shortcomming of her intellect, it is a matter of exposure. It is the same when I began to read philosophy and discuss philosophy with those around me. I began to tackle the mind/body question long before I ever read any Descartes and that same question is part of my life now. It is a genuine bore to talk with someone who’s capacity (there is that word again) for dialogue is limited by the snippets he/she has read out of books. It is no fun at all to talk with someone and to have them give me a phrase or thought that they encountered from such and such page from such and such book. It is okay to use another person’s writings to illustrate your point, but there is a point when this becomes a crutch for genuine thought. Eliza has said many times that she does not know when her original thoughts begin, if she actually has any at all. What she might not realize (or perhaps does but has not vocalized it to me) is that the act of questioning the originality of her thoughts lends evidence to the fact that she is aware of the sources of information and the influences upon her cognitive processes, that such an awareness is akin to the developing ego of a toddler that begins to differentiate his/her self and needs from the world around him/her. Eliza may not have read any philosophy, might not have any readings to various theories, but her mind questions, her mind is moving, her thoughts are wide and varied, from the trivial to the sublime to the profound to the complex. To discuss the virtues with her would not then be an exercise of rehashing philosophy 101 (wherein I’d get more enjoyment with a book and a quiet corner) but instead an actually trip down a road of ideas with another person… and how wonderful is that? Wonderful indeed!

I was overcome with this feeling of wanting to talk with her on ideas that I wanted to call her on the phone. Yet she was asleep and still tired. Loving her enough to put her needs before my spontaneous desire for intellectual gratification I sent her a text message. I don’t remember it word for word, but it was something like “Coffee, bookstore, beethoven, thoughts of you, am so happy, want to have intellectual intercourse”. Then I flipped off my phone and turned back to my book.

Then it started…

On the “Immortal Beloved” soundtrack, the last song is the 4th movement from Beethoven’s 9th. The 9th is my favorite piece of music ever, it is the closest thing to the proof of the divine nature of man that I’ve yet to experience and the most perfect definition of art yet. How many times have I heard this piece and have cried my eyes out? Many. And so it is that I found myself putting down my book and gazing into space while I hummed along with the music, every phrase I knew by heart and I am sure that I got many stares from the the patrons of the cafe. I did not care, I was in rapture. It soon came that the “Ode to Joy” portion came over the speakers and my eyes filled with tears and they began to gently roll down my face. People walked by my table, an old man sitting along the wall glanced my direciton now and then, a woman reading cookbooks occaisionally looked at me, yet I continued to smile a deep contented smile, cry softly, and hum along with the voice of God, feeling such a complexity of emotions, the awareness of pain and betrayal and loss and desire and hope and joy… feeling so very happy for my odd little insignificant life… so content, so filled with thankfulness, so at peace, that I cared not in the slightest about the stares of others… I was joy.

The movement over I gathered my books and planner and went to my trooper. The sun was shining, the sky a brilliant and overpowering blue. Such a wonderful day, such a happy day… I am glad to be alive.

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