I used to read much more than I do now. I miss it, time for self. There was a sense of calm that it afforded, a sense to which I can not seem to return. I rarely watch movies any more, also. I had told myself that there were lessons there to be learned, embedded somewhere in the tales of remorseless excess.
Now, I am not so sure. These stories seem to have no better prepared me for life than anything else might have. Addiction might have conferred greater lessons than fiction. I tried to extract partial lessons from both, in the hope of combining them. Somewhere along the way I was supposed to decide on a way of living and then live by that self-defined etiquette. I adopted a few different approaches to life and must have decided at some point that they all seemed nearly interchangeable. I'm not so sure now. Nothing seems compatible any longer. Though also, nothing seems substantial enough on its own to feel complete. My memories are tattered scripts, unfinished scraps of dream long forgotten.
There are occasional periods that I pass through that take me by surprise. Emotional turbulence bubbles to the surface and I am causing some new personal havoc of sorts. It is exhausting, to live a life of unstudied emotion, to give in to unconsidered impulse. Sartre called it "magical," though it is left to the reader to decide whether it is of a black sort or not.
One partial solution is easy, of course: stop adding kerosene to a fire that I wish to subside.
But the devil's voice glows and invites, doubles as embers in the darkness.
The temptress kisses in the crucible.