Saturday, February 6, 2010

Who Knows? The Owl Knows

This has been a humdinger of a week, and I'm glad to say it's over. I mean, on top of everything else, Food Poisoning?

Anyway, the snowpocalypse (almost a quarter inch outside!) means I have an excuse to stock up on bottled water, ammunition, and hulu. But before that I'm going to hunker down on the couch and catch up with my friend Hortense Calisher. I'm not very far into False Entry, but I'm enjoying it.

Here's something I just stumbled across

All the time I had been reading, the other part of me - the owl that sits on all our shoulders - had been waiting for Miss Pridden's step.

That (for convenience) owl, one knows of its existence from the beginning, long before one meets up with the Freudian phrasers. It is that thing in us which is neither super nor supra, not ego or tibi or illa, but sits in each of us like a pocket of outer space in which all that is qualifying, human, adjectival, dies. It is what presses the wrist of the whining diarist who thought he swore not to temper the wind to his shorn self, and points his pen a compass degree nearer the skin. Back there in the library, I heard its observing, vacuum voice, telling me, as I stood on tiptoe at one of the windows and peered down into the dark tatters of the street, that I waited for the release of Miss Pridden's step, not for her company, but because then I too would have someone to leave behind.

Oh Hortense. How I wish I had discovered you 15 years ago, when I was still filling my books with underlinings and Kinbotian marginalia.

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