In drowsy moods such as these one hardly finds the motivation necessary to lift a pen, let alone to move the world or maintain one’s obstinacy. It is this, more than anything else, that I have come to miss. Not in the way the one misses a dearly departed pet, but rather in the way one misses sunshine at night when the leaves seem, paradoxically, more green. Or perhaps not at all. I miss it as I miss my childhood; justifiably so, because what is obstinacy but a child’s illusion?
Anyway, staying on topic is so easily and pleasantly ignored that I suffer under the weight of it; drowsy moods eek the only color from my flesh and pin it up against a billboard for all to see. And even then I am filled with the presentiment that it is naught but duplicity, an excuse in other words. These never make sense, whether they are about moods or obstinacies or what; and I am each time surprised anew that nobody sees beneath the fumbling words I use to frame my reasons for being the way I am. But still, most of the time, I myself am not aware of them either.
Illness would not suffice. Although I wish that I were ill, because that would imply a convalescence, and there is nothing I need more than the reassurance that I will someday, tomorrow perhaps, get up and see things they way that they really are. Or at least become as great as a comet that passes once every seven hundred years—so great that half the people wouldn’t even know of my existence, while the other half would maintain that they had intended to watch me except that so-and-so had then prevented the meeting on account of some well-to-do grand uncle. The same grand uncle, I’m sure, that had also wanted to go and see the comet, but then waited too long for his grandniece and her friend. And even this, even this would inspire me to do it all over again; I might even take a backseat and enjoy the ride from a distance.
But to return to the topic: these moods are no illness. They are something else entirely, something from which there is no convalescence, but only the promise of more of the like. And even speaking of them becomes dry and boring and I find myself wishing to be someplace else. Yet I cherish my most embarrassing memories because without them I would not be the person that I am. So is it then love for myself and despair for my fate? This must be the answer; or at least it will suffice as an answer
Pierre had notions of fate that even he realized were romances. But that is as far as he got. It is better to assume that everything is just the way it must necessarily be, because then one can maintain the impression of being a man. His hope was that his fate would hold something for him besides death, and so it may said that he had little hope. There was, of course, the woman with whom he was in love. And there was the position in the firm, which he had been almost promised; the bowing servants, etc…. But still, one cannot hope alone on these things, because—however pleasant they might be—, being separate from oneself, they cannot help. And it is help that we all require. “I’d ride on the mystic’s back all the way to nirvana if I believed that his legs could actually carry me there,” said Pierre, “and likewise I would eat the brains of Germans or Jews if I thought I’d live a little longer.”