Diane Johnson, Simone Weil, and screaming ab…

Hi all! Long time no Stack. Nonetheless, this overdue missive is going to be disappointingly short, for two reasons. The first is that, now that it’s possible for me to embrace/lick/breath on real, sweaty human beings, I want to get the fuck off the internet. During the pandemic, I was under the completely erroneous impression that I was doing fine and remaining sane, relative to many people I know who seemed to me to be doing less than fine and becoming more and more insane. In a limited way, I was right. I didn’t shave my head, have public meltdown, or even file any pieces more than a few weeks late. But now that I’m vaccinated and able to spend lots of time in the company of human bodies—HUMAN BODIES, EXHALING LITTLE PHLEGMY PARTICLES—I realize that I was in fact completely insane, paranoid, and miserable in quarantine. I’m sure that I would’ve felt bad and sad about how people reacted to (and dare I suggest, misread) my piece about sanctimony literature at any time, but I felt MUCH worse about it, and became almost delusionally convinced of the career-endingness of it all, because my entire quarantined life was so extremely, exclusively online. To put a Wittgensteinian twist on it, the limits of my timeline were the limits of my world. It completely warped me: to this day, I still whimperingly apologize for the cancelability of such outrageous takes as “I like Rawls, actually.” Basically, I am in want of dramatic, offline re-socialization, and I intend to seek one.

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