Filed under: affect, Belonging, Detachment theory, economy, Encounters, Mood, Ordinariness, psychoanalysis, supervalent_thought, Theory of this Blog, trauma, writing
The rain was still torrential when I left the library to make my way to the far northwest side of Chicago: through the windscreen the traffic was in a slow chaos, cars shuddering from the beating wind and barely moving forward, the flooding streets outlining once again the urban infrastructure crumbling in real time. Potholes, puddles, and spray pounced out into sight as if the out there were a video game full of menacing threats to survival and not also ordinary life.
In the middle of all that a well-placed Shell station on Hollywood was processing a lot of traffic. In the back right hand corner of the pumping area, though, a man stood just watching the cars. His gray and white cardigan and black cargo pants were becoming just dark with rain. He was tall, no longer young. He seemed to have no relation to a car or the cars or to becoming soaked. He was standing there just looking without watching. It was easier to suss out what wasn’t happening than what was. I wanted to get out of the car and ask him something but couldn’t figure out the mechanics. Or the ethics.
Then things cleared up and moved on and so did the hard day of wondering about those scenarios of the ordinary that are predictable by now and yet feel immoveable too because their accumulation–as data, as exempla, as anecdote–does not lead to clarity, let alone transformation via something made live when the phenomenon turns trope. (more…)