I have returned. Must call Ed, send emails to Europeans. I almost feel as though I had not gone at all, except that I am furnished with new memories (which I guess is the best you can ask for), traced across that unconscious stuff—impossible to define—of which I am made, like a trail of slug-slime. But what perhaps, under all this slime, have I already forgotten? Also impossible to say. Perhaps nothing, but once lost must be revived by some stimulus, spontaneous or intentional, and then comes bubbling up from some deep sunken repository. The free taxi ride in Regensberg, the cabbie was quiet, even shy, but was happy to know that I study German. Perhaps he had misunderstood the directions. He sat there—when we had arrived—and I couldn’t understand that he didn’t want money (I’d even been prepared to tip a good deal). But finally I did not pay. Later, I met a girl who helped me find the Regensberger Uni, that was probably one of my earliest conversations in German, even though I could probably count all the others on two hands and a foot (or just two hands, if I’m more discerning). These memories, however, lie but merely on the surface; the true depths might never see a ray of stimulus.
The brute acquisition of facts is the brute force mobilizing the civil graces; a man in the know, knows how to make conversation. But to speak not is to retain much, and therefore it is better to know but very few facts. Alas, with an eye toward tail, the quiet man has no luck; and appropriately so: he has nothing to say. He shrugs his shoulders, casts an eye toward the floor, and awaits another opportunity to inject. I’ve, however, retained nothing; it’s all so easily forgot, and so rely only on those flashes of insight, unaccounted for, afforded by the unexplored mass of my mind. With beer, I’ve found, they are more forthcoming (if, however, ultimately less coherent).
Maybe I should’ve dropped a bill or two for sex?