It is amazing that a process as deep, painful, and humanizing as this could start out with such a trivial, pleasant, even giddy, emotion as infatuation. Infatuation seems so ultimately beside the point, even more so than lust (though that's a whole different discussion); it doesn't seem as though it would ever grow into anything either meaningful or fundamental. But that is the way of things. Although, there are certainly many more silly infatuations than those that do develop into real love.
And once the admittedly intensely personal but nevertheless fairly commonplace romantic love does develop, how does this emotion, sown as it is with the seeds of so much pettiness (envy, spite, bitterness, and most notably, self-absorption, among many others), survive without damage its own utter frustration? And by frustration, I don't mean anything trivial: I mean the continued indifference of the object of love, or his death, or some other absolute obstacle--or more than one of these things.
But however unexceptional mere romantic love may seem in the context of all humanity, it does sometimes survive such trauma, and even (I assume, rarely) can become something much greater: altruistic love, or more plainly, altruism itself.
I have an ongoing internal debate about the existence of "true" altruism. My intuition and higher, spiritual instincts insist, or are utterly convinced, that true altruism MUST exist, while my reason knows that this is highly debatable and probably it is in fact a logical impossibility. But perhaps these two facets of myself define their terms differently, and thus function on different, incompatible levels.
For instance, the word "existence" to Reason suggests that there is a real example out in the world, or definitely could be. It doesn't matter if this example can be quoted or brought to one's attention specifically, but the idea that something "exists" implies that it fits in with the practical, real world.
To Intuition, "existence" might mean something more along the lines of Plato's conception of ideals in mathematics. (i.e. Ideals are more "real" than mathematical concepts; mathematical concepts are more "real" than you or me.) Using this definition of existence, one could argue that true altruism exists without reference to the inherently flawed nature of human motivations and moral makeup, because "true" altruism exists not only on a different, but a higher level than we normally think of: an ideal level. The only reason that altruism is perceived as imperfect, this argument goes, is because the nature of our non-ideal reality is, by definition, imperfect, and thus warps the expressions of altruism at this level of reality.
- Current Location:smoking existential cigarettes on an overpass
- Current Mood: armchair philosophy-ish
- Current Music:"i walked with a zombie" by REM
hi robin, i was in little rock a few weeks ago. i even visited gramma at the red cross but she said she hadn't seen you around that day. sorry i missed you. she told me that you got an honorable mention in the contest you submitted to, which i already knew from you, but if i haven't already said it, congratulations, that's awesome!
so i finished the latest harry potter book and i'm left feeling kind of numb. i liked it and all, but i can't believe it's over. and i think i read it too quickly.
- Current Location:a clean, well-lighted place
- Current Mood: wtf just happened?
- Current Music:isolation by joy division
I haven't heard anyone else discussing this, so maybe it's fascinating only to me.
- Current Mood: woo!
- Current Music:'new eyes open' by the draft
right now, 'welfare problems' by randy.
good song. nice chorus line.
guitar, drums, both good.
i've got something to say.
i really love the...skillful way
you beat the other girls to the bride's bouquet.
on another note, i got a couple things to get off my chest.
i....really like fanfiction. i know i know i know! it's full of self-indulgence, bad writing, gratuitous sex and really weird character pairings. and don't get me started on crossovers. but i like it anyway. i like reading stories where xander realizes he cherishes a deep and heartfelt love for spike, i love it when harry potter is Sorted into slytherin, and i love fanfictions of sophomore english reading material. (*cough*lord of the flies*cough*)
please don't hit me.
and, if you also like fanfiction and don't mind slash (which is all i seem to read, for some reason--guess it's partly the novelty and partly the fact that it's usually so unlikely in the stories that you really do have to be creative to work it in. at least, if you have any kind of decent plot. which is generally a good thing to have.)--i said if you like fanfiction and don't mind slash, here are some memorable stories i've read:
irresistible poison (by rhysenn--not sure of the spelling there)
cowardice (look on ff.net under lord of the flies)
no power on earth (on allaboutspike.com)
and i heard something about a fanfiction where chicken boo plays sweeney todd. it sounds amazing, whether it's well written or not. i haven't read it yet.
- Current Mood: sheepish
- Current Music:radiohead--ripcord
- Current Mood: ginger peach tea WITH HONEY
- Current Music:california is a garden of eden, a paradise to live in or see
- Current Location:strawberry fields
- Current Mood:raspberry ice cream and tea
- Current Music:coincidentally, 'paperback writer' ^_^
(by the way, this has cursing and vague, non eplicit sex. i don't know if that's allowed on LJ or not but i thought i'd give warning anyway. if it's not allowed, i'll either edit it or take it off the site. but that would make me sad. i mean, we're not babies.)
Tangled white hotel sheets. Tangled bodies. His words rustled in my ear like the sound of matches lighting: “I love you.” Slowly the heat of passion subsided and we lay, tangled and cold, on the bed. I watched the late afternoon sun stream in through the slits in the blinds, making strips of gold on the tasteless brown carpet. My eyes were clouded over with a rosy fog—infatuation, passion.
Two days later, he left me without a word.
A month after that, I got a card in the mail, a white card, edged in gold.
My car stops as if of its own volition in front of Maria’s house, where a bunch of us are supposed to be setting up for a cocktail party this evening. I leave the car idling in the middle of the street and march stiff-legged up the front walk, my heart pounding loudly in my ears.
I burst in through the door, still clenching the envelope in my left hand. It’s too balled up to ever lay flat again, but the card itself is still pristine, held tightly between two fingers of my right hand. Ben, Sam, Julia, Derek, and Joan look up as I enter.
“Wow, Rick, you look like shit. Somebody die?”
I barely acknowledge Sam’s jibe. I slide the card over too him across Maria’s coffee table.
“What’s this? Some kind of—”
Ben looks puzzled, grabs the card from Sam. “To what? ‘Sheryl Anderson and Andrew Phiopps cordially invite you to attend—’” A few who are in the know raise their eyebrows at Andrew’s name, at Sheryl’s. They thought they knew what a bastard Andrew is. They haven’t got a clue.
“I’ve been invited to his wedding—Sheryl is getting married, she wants me to come. To him. I mean, she’s getting married to him.”
Everyone looks up at this, clear expressions of shock and sympathy on their faces. Maria looks disgusted. Al looks worried and confused. Julia looks slightly bewildered, but troubled. She must have heard something about the whole sordid affair, maybe Sam told her—they’re pretty tight. Joan looks flabbergasted. Sam looks at a loss for words. Even Marlon, generally so unperturbable, regards me impassively from his card game with Al and Joan in the corner. I can’t stand to look at Ben, because I know what I’ll see on his face. Pity. I am filled with self-loathing.
Their reactions are swift:
“What? You’re kidding! oh, honey…”
“Wow, that’s gotta be awkward…”
“Oh my god Rick…are you gonna go?”
“I don’t know.”
Ben gives me a sympathetic look. I don’t look up. I stare at the floor tiles and watch his expression out of my peripheral vision.
“You don’t have to go, you know. But she is your friend.”
“Hey, don’t pressure him!”
“Yeah! That bastard cheats him—”
“—lies to him—”
“—leads him on—”
“—and you expect him to go to his wedding?”
Maria glares, Joan looks incredulous, Marlon just looks supercilious as always. Ben seems discomfited, and looks away. I slide into a chair by the bay window, and look out into Maria’s backyard. It’s very green and bright out there. I can hear birds chirping. A breeze ruffles the leaves of a big oak tree about thirty yards away from the house. I can hear the tense silence behind me, and Al’s whispered conversation with Marlon—she doesn’t know what’s going on, she never heard about me and Andrew.*
I sense someone coming up from behind me, glance around. It’s Ben. He puts his hand on my shoulder and gives it a squeeze, but I shake him off, unwilling to suffer human contact at the moment. Out of the corner of my eye (I have returned to looking out the window), I see his face: surprised for a moment, then full of understanding. He shouldn’t be surprised—have I ever been one to ask for sympathy? Well, okay, yes I have, but this time I know he doesn’t understand, and I most emphatically don’t want to be comforted right now by some uptight, moralistic bastard I used to date. This is unfair to Ben, who has come along way for a man raised by the proudest WASP bigots that ever lived, now associating with atheists and socialists and faggots and their ilk…not to mention being okay with being a bit of a fag himself…okay, I give him some credit. But he wants me to go to the wedding…
All that “you don’t have to go but she is your friend” crap was lead-up to the big lecture that’s coming. I slouch down farther in my chair in doleful anticipation. He’s gonna tell me how I’ll regret it if I don’t go, how I have responsibilities to my friends and I should forgive my enemies, yadda yadda yadda. I know. But how far does it go? I mean, do you give a friend all your money and become destitute just so they can buy that new car they’ve always wanted? Do you tell the police you robbed the bank instead so they don’t go to jail? Do you go to your old friend’s wedding, okay, your best friend’s wedding (agh, not at all like the movie!) when she’s marrying the bastard that fucked you over in so many, many different ways? Who didn’t just break your heart but put it through a meat grinder and threw it onto the compost pile to fester next to some rotten bananas?
A long moment has passed since Ben came over here and he hasn’t said a word yet. I take a cautious peek at him: he’s just standing there, looking out the window, a wistful look on his face. He glances over, sees me looking. I look away hurriedly and pretend to be studying the hydrangeas just outside the window.
“You probably won’t like what I’m going to say.”
“Got that right…” I mumble.
“Pardon? Well, anyway, I think you ought to hear me out.” I’m all ears, buddy. “I think I understand how you’re feeling more than you know.” Oh really. “Really. Something similar happened to me once, which I won’t get into, but…” he trails off. My curiosity is piqued. When did Ben have a torrid affair with some jerkoff who ended up marrying his best friend? Okay, that was a bit sarcastic. Does my bitterness show at all? Really? “So anyway, I think you should go. To the wedding, I mean.” Big fucking surprise that is. “You’ll regret it if you don’t, and you’ll hurt Sheryl’s feelings—she probably has no idea about any of it. At least go for her sake.” Did I tell you? Did I fucking tell you? “But more importantly, go for your own sake. This is your chance to show him up! Show him you’re over him, that you don’t need him, that he didn’t totally break your heart. Make him realize what a sexy bastard he relinquished his hold over.” What. Ben, using the word ‘bastard’? Is the world ending? Am I having a nightmare? And what precisely is he suggesting, anyway? This all seems so un-Ben-like.
But my reaction is still the same. I look over at him and sigh. He gives me a significant look like, I mean what I say. Then all of a sudden he grins mischievously and says, in the sudden lull in conversation:
“Of course, you also have to go to break up their wedding.”
- Current Location:i am located in the place wherein i am
- Current Mood: faceless monster
- Current Music:there's three ways that love can go: good, bad and mediocre
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: it may or may not be clear right away, but the main character is a man named Rick. yes, he's gay. if you take issue with that, please respond to my story in an intelligent and constructive manner, and i will be happy to argue with you in kind. or just agree to disagree. or ignore the comment altogether, as i'm not on livejournal very often.
oh yeah, and i'll probably post revisions later on. so you can update that word doc on your computer you copied my story into to edit out all the grammatical errors and misplaced commas. (*cough* noooooo, i don't do that! *cough*) this is a first draft, so don't be mean....please?
alright....how do i attach word documents....ok. can't figure it out, so i'll just use another entry for it.
- Current Location:hogwarts
- Current Mood: i like this face
- Current Music:oh yeah...i should play some...