January 4, 2017 (Wednesday)

by Yule Heibel on January 3, 2018

Another one of those rush-and-tear mornings, up at 6:40. Small mercies: it’s chilly out, but not freezing. By the end of the week it will already be quite different. On Saturday we have to get out early to take A. to Logan Airport.

I’m reading Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. It’s very good, but I’m still not sure how it can help me, exactly, with the prototyping and conversations. My life is often spent in solitaire out here in B. on Boston’s North Shore. And I find now that it’s becoming a self-reinforcing pattern to be uninterested in others …because I  feel uninteresting myself. And now I’m feeling sorry for myself, isn’t that a crashing bore?

So, I was thinking about sociability and about that novel I want to write, the one I postpone and postpone and postpone. And I thought about something I noticed on Facebook recently. People (women, actually) post things about their exciting lives, but privately complain about social isolation. On Facebook they’re going here, they’re going there, they’re going everywhere, typically with a female friend in tow. Yet that same person can represent herself in private as someone who is isolated and misunderstood in her community and who actually doesn’t – or who feels she doesn’t – have a lot of women friends at all. And I thought, Hmm…  At least one of my main female characters should have this characteristic of saying one thing, but then actually kind of living or embodying another thing. At least some one or other in the book should be like that.

I suppose one could ask oneself what it would take to maintain this kind of …charade (?). Is that the right word? Let’s assume that the woman (my novel’s character) who does this dual thing of being social, yet who complains of the impossibility of sociability, believes that sociability is impossible, and also that her character is deeply flawed (whose isn’t? – although, as The Smiths would say, Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others…). Therefore, when or if she does experience rejection or animosity (which happens all the time in real life to real people), it’s definitely real to her as well, and not something she imagines. But for her it becomes a drama.

So this character is a bit hard to take. And at the same time, one wonders how this sort of self-representation is also all part of a game she’s playing. But to what end? To win. To win what? Love and attention. Admiration. Fans. Adoration, perhaps.

The narcissistic dilemma once more.

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