Today I feel fractured and fragmented. Today I feel sore and worn. I am sick - we are sick - we are possibly sick or perhaps are psychically sick and we have scratchy throats and feverish foreheads because of it. I feel I'm posting too much online, and not at all here. I joined Twitter two days ago and posted like 100 tweets and tweeted through Gossip Girl and that was fun and now I'm bored of it and want to go away and disappear. Such a strong feeling of ambivalence - of wanting to be heard, of wanting to disappear. I wonder if I'll look back on these few months and realize that I am always the most unstable and useless when I am in between projects. I feel whenever I'm interviewed about Green Girl I just quote from Heroines because it was so huge - it was so huge and inside of me - that I feel completely wrung out and extinguished from it. When anyone wants to have a conversation - I just want to hand them the 150 mss. pages that still don't have copy-editing changes added and say - here. I once was lucid. I once read literary things. I once had something to say. Please read this - please read this book - as a stand-in for my real self, who will be huddled alone in a dark room. My sacrophogus. I would feel that way about Green Girl too except I don't really remember it. I'm kidding. Kind of. I have swallowed it whole. But I haven't read it in a while. But that's the past, I think. I have already written it. I am feeling so unsure lately about what to write - about how to be a writer - more than I have been in years.
Last night during an impassioned, energetic, lecture on the Victorian language of nerves and the cult of femininity of the time, a student interrupts me: Why are you wearing all black today? (A line often thrown at me, that I plopped down in the midst of a lunchbreak conversation in Green Girl, interspersed with Hamlet: How is it that the clouds still hang on you?)
My morning in melancholia. This AM I looked through Alice James' letters. We spoke about her last night. How overjoyed she was when she was diagnosed with cancer. "To him who waits, all things come!" she bubbles over in a letter to a friend. "My aspirations may have been eccentric, but I cannot complain now, that they have not been brilliantly fulfilled." Not perhaps a drive towards death, as the editor of her letters surmises, but a relief after twenty years of medical men to have been given something REAL. How worried women have been of the fictional. Of being called actresses. Of this idea of invisible suffering. I totally understand this. Last night I lectured on the psyche and the soma, I spoke about chronic fatigue syndrome, which Elaine Showalter dismisses in Hystories as neurasthenia, of fibromyalgia, on the mysteries that is somatization, but even if women are more apt to somatize, that doesn't make it less real. I invoked another Elaine, Elaine Scarry's The body in pain, that we never can really inhabit another's body, we can never really understand the pain of another.
I wonder if I should attempt to write an essay on all this, but I feel too tired to attempt it. Or wonder - why? What a tremendous downer this all is perhaps. Instead I will feed the puppy and take a bowl of brown rice and leftover delicious daal into bed and attempt to read Caitlin Flanagan's Girl Land without spontaneously combusting.