Listening to Proust’s famous books. How ripe they are with emotion and how filled with carefully processed sexual content. I’ve listened to another audio book by a modern philosopher about how Proust can change your life or what we can learn from the great author or something like that. He describes Proust in all his neurotic, oedipal, effeminate glory. Apparently he wouldn’t be able to sleep if he had so much as a morsel of undigested food in his stomach so he ate only breakfast – a big one. He was sickly and weak both physically and emotionally. Fragile. He would seldom leave the house or even his room. He was incredibly attached to his mother from infancy and right through his adulthood. He died quite young. But he left behind these delightful works of art. I can recommend In Search of Lost Time. It’s ageless.
I, on the other hand, try and lose my time. I manage to convince myself that my life is a living hell and try everything to escape the reality of it – though I’m staying away from drink and drugs now. Except for sleeping tablets. Those I still take – sometimes even during the day. At night they allow me to sleep as long as I can, and it is sleep that I most look forward to in my life. Once the sunlight starts getting thinner my spirits generally lift because I know the day is over and it won’t be long now until I’m in bed next to one of my beloved children and off to dream land for another 9 hours or so. My days I try to spend listening to podcasts, audiobooks or reading as much as I can. It’s like having a protective blanket over me to shield me from the harsh day’s onslaughts. And I don’t have a particularly rough life. All I do is travel far each day to a job that is the laziest I’ve ever had and working among people of a much simpler cultural disposition. Maybe I’m not so different from Proust – he was basically an aristocrat who refused to work until he started writing which was only relatively late in his life. And despite all his material comfort he suffered greatly.
I have days when I’m not so scared of life, but I realize that I need a more competitive and intellectually challenging working environment to shock me into a “flow state”. I was horrified when I spoke to an old acquaintance today who still works in investment banking: he is so much sharper than I am mentally and emotionally – and I used to be ahead of him in earlier days. This job is really blunting all my senses and making me dumb. You cannot spend most of your waking life with savages (however noble they may be) and not die a little each day. If I can’t find another occupation I will have to start work on a novel in order to survive.