(from about two years ago)
So I’m throwing back another. The only reason this is a new entry is that I’m egotistical enough to think that my thoughts are important enough to be separated by big green lines, or whatever color they are. Terrible commercials are playing on the television, with people I know from school playing obnoxious stereotypes to explicate messages everybody’s heard. Watching the obscenely low quality of acting, not to mention the amateur quality of the video, the concept, and the script, I wonder why these people are employed and I’m not. Oh well. God bless Guinness.
Still, I’m getting flown to Italy soon to teach Italian art students how to make a film, which is probably more exciting than anything anyone else is doing over winter break, so I’m in no position to bitch, which is why I’ve stopped bitching and started gloating.
Honestly, life’s pretty peachy right now. I’m writing because I remember something someone told me once: “Diaries are always depressing, because you can write pages and pages on all the depressing and lonely times in your life, but when you’re happy you don’t have time to write. It’s just ‘I’m so happy!’ or ‘I’m going off to talk to the dandelions!’” The only journal I ever kept covers two years and consists of ten pages about how much I love my girlfriend, then a good two hundred pages (of small, cramped handwriting) about how much of a bitch she was, and how she was wrecking my life. Depressing times always push us to dig into ourselves and figure out why we’re depressed, which creates little circles telling us that only by finding the most depressing part of it can we achieve catharsis and escape, which eventually leads to finding no escape, which eventually leads to reading “The Bell Jar”, and no one should have to go through that.
I’m finishing up The Bell Jar, which is why I’m thinking about depression, although I’m not actually that depressed. Not being depressed is in itself curious, because I have a severe case of seasonal affective disorder, and I tend to get extremely depressed all winter. December is the pits because it’s getting dark and cold (I live in Maine, so if you don’t live in Maine, just think of Siberia when I say dark and cold), and I usually crawl into my shell around Christmas, have a nervous breakdown in February, and recover in March. I guess I’m not doing that now because I’m going to Italy soon, and I’m usually surrounded by beautiful, intelligent women, and good friends who buy me beer when I’m broke. But I’m gloating again. Back to the Bell Jar.
The Bell Jar is well written, but it has that Notes From Underground flaw, which is basically, Get Over It. Romanticizing depression is like handing kids razor blades. Not to mention all the bad poetry the same kids will write in the blood they extract with the razors. The back of the book is covered in comments about how the main character, Esther Greenwood (a thinly disguised Sylvia Plath), is insane, and how well the book portrays that. She’s not insane, she’s angsty and suicidal, and locks herself in her bell jar because no one knew how to help people like that back then. Which is why Sylvia Plath killed herself. Sylvia Plath herself may well have been bipolar to the point of insanity, or depressed to the point of insanity, but the book is about depression and futility and existential surrender. I think I’ve gotten off topic. But who cares, this is a journal, right? I’m allowed to randomly say things that suggest it would be right and proper and best for me to spend the rest of my life in a drunken haze watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I’m gonna go get that third sheet to the wind.