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Fifty-Sixth Sitting

First through third grades were easy for me. I was the tallest, the smartest, the fastest reader... not to mention the loudest. Little else mattered. I was for all intensive purposes king. I even had a girlfriend, not that she ever acknowledged herself as such, but, well, you know... She was freaked out enough to tell others years later that she thought I was following her around. I wasn't. So when fourth grade came and I was poured out from my "open education" classroom, which featured a randomly-selected group from all three grades that stayed basically consistent from year to year (beyond one grade disappearing and another joining up) and had little interaction with the rest of the rabble, into the melting pot, I was taken off guard. Athletics suddenly became very important, obscure fashion standards began to be enforced, and a caste system arose that left me only two notches above untouchable, which was nice in that it still left me with people to pick on. Not only could I not throw or catch (I became notorious for playing the "out-out-outfield" where no balls go), but my parents had given me the genetic and environmental gift of being absolutely clothing-oblivious (It took me a full year to even figure out what "where's the flood" meant.). Yes, yes, you know these stories from your own life (or the life of some poor slob friend of yours); I won't dwell on them. The important element here was the recourse to which one could turn to right such wrongs, to gain prestige and power as well as... well, I'm not sure what, exactly. This was the forum: the after-school arena, the place by the bike racks or behind the trees on the far side of the playground, or wherever, where kids of all ages would gather to beat the crap out of each other.

Most matches were one on one... I had heard of a few group brawls and fantasized about more, but by and large it was every man for himself. Now of course to a sane child like myself this all seemed mind-bogglingly stupid -- savage and pointless. So on more than one occasion I accepted a challenge and didn't show, usually with a later excuse that there had been some misunderstanding about the exact location and dammit I had been waiting for him all that time, so he must be the chicken. This backfired once when my route home happened to pass within the line of sight of the location where my current adversary and his audience of thousands were waiting for me. At this I simply ran.

As little as these incidents did to help my reputation, they didn't hurt it much either, as my place was pretty much set in stone so long as my own group of friends didn't abandon me, which was pretty unlikely given that I was their de facto leader. But this didn't help much come fifth grade when I was put in a classroom with none of these friends and virtually everyone I despised. That year was painful, and I was forced to adopt a whole slew of defense mechanisms designed to set me apart and above the madness I could not escape. What they said didn't matter because I was much smarter than them; my teachers liked me because I told jokes that only they could understand, everyone else being too dense, you know. I learned how to make most of the girls in the class feel sorry for me, and so at least be that far on my side. I reinforced this by starting to hit on some of them, usually by note or more often by third-hand account, with limited success at first but eventually getting one of them to write me back on occasion... and sometimes even talk to me. By this time sixth grade was well in swing, but despite my maturity I still couldn't figure out what we would actually do on a "date," and so didn't know how to respond when She (pre-She) asked Me this question. But no matter... to the extent that I was capable of a "relationship" at that tender age, I had myself a better half, and so was pretty much happy.

But you know, there are times when a man just gets pushed too far, and it had to happen eventually. This was no minor enemy, no squirt with a theorem to prove, but a full fledged bully, a bonified USDA-approved shithead. His eyes were mean; his thoughts were mean; his hair was... well, you know. Who created this monster? Some Bastard, for sure. And I don't care that he was and probably still is an intricate network of concentric teleologies, because he's not. He's just evil... and bad and awful and everything I am not.

***

We saw a moose. We did. It was right there off to the side of the road, which at that point was kind of a bridge, so when We stopped the car and got out, looking slightly down upon It as It ate, the experience wasn't entirely unlike being at a zoo. Wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink wink WINK!

***

The second tooth dream involved death by shattering. One by one los dientes grew brittle, developed cracks, and crumbled at the mercy of some inner turmoil. My reaction, both asleep and while remembering in the waking state, was made up of horror and disgust. Nausea, that is. But enter Bataille (p. 92,86,87,92,83,91) to prance gleefully, around yet dangerously near the issue:

"We have to imagine a sacrifice as something beyond nausea... We are not always strong enough to will this. We come to an end to our resources and sometimes desire is impotent. If the danger is too great, if death is inevitable, then the desire is generally inhibited. But if good luck favors us, the thing we desire most ardently is the most likely to drive us into wild extravagance and ruin us... As far as they are able... men seek out the greatest loss and the greatest danger... Which of us has not dreamed himself as the hero of a book?... Following upon religion, literature is in fact religion's heir. A sacrifice is a novel, a story, illustrated in a bloody fashion. Or rather a rudimentary form of stage drama reduced to the final episode where the human or animal victims act it out alone until his death... Nowadays sacrifice is outside the field of our experience, and imagination must do duty for the real thing.

"The victim dies and the spectators share in what his death reveals... This sacramental element is the revelation of continuity through the death of a discontinuous being to those who watch it as a solemn rite... Men as discontinuous beings try to maintain their separate existence, but death, or at least the contemplation of death, brings them back to their discontinuity."

Yes, Mr. French person. I know you are weird. But what is your point?

(p.90:) "The act of violence that deprives the creature of its limited particularity and bestows on it the limitless, infinite nature of sacred things is with its profound logic an intentional one. It is intentional like the act of the man who lays bare, desires and wants to penetrate his victim. The lover strips the beloved of her identity no less than the blood-stained priest his human or animal victim... With her modesty She loses the firm barrier that once separated her from others and made her impenetrable."

Gosh, Georges. That's a really diseased excuse for a dream interpretation. I think you'd better rest.

***

Jung, p. 603: "Although it is generally assumed that Christ's unique sacrifice broke the curse of original sin and finally placated God, Christ nevertheless seems to have had certain misgivings in this respect. What will happen to man... when the sheep have lost their shepherd, and when they miss the one who has interceded for them with the father?... He promises to send them for the father another advocate in his stead, who will assist them by word and deed and remain with them forever... This Spirit of Truth and Wisdom is the Holy Ghost by whom Christ was begotten. He is the spirit of physical and spiritual procreation who from now on shall make his abode in creaturely man. Since he is the Third Person of the Deity, this is as much to say that God will be begotten in creaturely man... [Says the] 82nd Psalm: `You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.'"

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© 1993 Mark A. Linsenmayer [ Contents ]