I was reading Vogue for the first time in a couple of years the other day, sitting in a café and flipping through those lissom pages. The cover was slickly reflective and the strong overhead light merged with the content into an almost physical impression.
It struck me that our lives are like thick lucite boxes, finite (because we are hapless apes) and translucent (because of our hapless ape commonality). The pages were filled with accumulative exhortations, but material wealth fills up the box around us as it grows; all those lipsticks and Cartier and holidays and silk dresses and mercenary, ruthlessly conditional associations... you can keep dragging more and more in with you, but you’re just stuffing your own finite spatial allocation with the things that are fatal to its appreciation. That which we accumulate begins to displace and then crush us.
I've often wondered how the very rich can tolerate themselves. I imagine they emit lengthy squeaks as they slide against those shiny walls, navigating their own glassy, ever-narrowing spaces. Everyone assumes that wealth confers certainty, but I don't think it does; Vogue was full of hungry people gnawing on golden bones and polished notions, longing for a taste of something good and unequivocal, visibly wondering where such a thing might be purchased.
We are such hapless apes. I put down the magazine and took an unimpeded breath and that was free of charge.
Greed and desire interest me more as I get older. They're not the same thing, but when and why does one become the other? Until now I have taken them for granted, accepted them blandly as randomized and infinite rather than something I have personally attracted and commanded. As you become familiar with your own existential limitations you feel the force of their passage in much more detail.
I've always prided myself on living modestly, on never having pursued the material excess that's always seemed so horrifically pointless, but lately I suspect that this presumption of moderation is a lie. In reality I am insatiably desirous and endlessly greedy, not for things, but for others. I squeeze between the bones of other people and lick the insides of their skins and assay and examine and experiment and extort and interrogate them. That's how I've always been. I've never stopped to wonder if that's alright.
What if we give as much as we get- does that settle the tab? At what point are we asking too much of others? When does your love and desire for someone become greed? Or is that just passion, that most ancient and unfashionable of all inexplicable impulses?
I keep running into these things in the unlit room full of shifting furniture that is the next unborn book.
I dunno. Maybe I'm just... an overzealous judge of other peoples' shit. Maybe rich peeps are just super-passionate about Birkins and Mercedes. Do they lick them when no one's watching?