The Underground Lady [Page Fifty]

Amsterdam is a beautiful city, but living here seems strange.  I stay in a house that is older in its beams than the country of my origin, older by several hundred years.  No wonder Europeans have a very hard time taking America seriously, especially the Dutch, who did not lose the physical bulk of their country’s history during the last World War.  This is one reason why they seem so patient when discussing America (I’m liable to get more excited and be more critical of my homeland than they are).  No matter what the issue, they maintain their blank, calm and smiling equanimity.  After all, their expression says in these moments, one must try to be patient with a child.  Of course, they’re right. 

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I am sick and tired of the plight of the bureaucrats.  We are always hearing in the news about how hard it is to be a government official, or a CEO (another brand of bureaucrat).  This sympathy for the most pathetic, and most boring, has spread everywhere, even to love.  And who wants to hear about the love life of a business person?  I would rather be locked in a cage with a wild tiger.  At least it would be enervating.

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Ugliness has taken over everything.  Wilde was right—about everything, almost.

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Some see a change in affairs coming, and they can’t jump in fast enough.  Others suspect that there might be something happening, and jump in barely in the knick of time.  And still others, well, others pick their noses and watch it sail on by.  Lately most people are enamored of this last type, as if to be recalcitrant had become appealing.  It should never be considered appealing.  The recalcitrant are the stuff of death.

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The Underground Lady says:

“I am the rank amateur. . .busy creating a masterpiece.

“I am the street person. . .cooking a tin of soup over a barrel-fire in the winter night.

“I am the dusty newspaper. . .blowing against your leg.

“I am the lost and forsaken. . .knocking on the church door and being turned away.

“I am the lights on your computer. . .shining in the holy dark of the city.

“I am the dread.

“I am the A Bao A Qu.

“I am destruction.

“I am the new beginning.

“I am the Demon’s song.”

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It is amazing how many people cannot stand not being put down.  These are often the same people whose conversation consists entirely of putting down others.  Silence causes them to go away. 

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The wise-crack is the insult gone awry.  When you put down a friend, kiddingly, in front of others, it is a way of saying hello.  This is even truer with a lover.  Those who do it badly, or who are constantly misunderstood—their insults being taken seriously—make bad friends, and worse lovers.  There is no hope for them.  Such things can never be taught.

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I like the idea of writing an ars erotica, composed of nothing but statements like the one above, developed over many pages, through many volumes.  But then I think, no, it’s too much damn work.  Better to leave it for someone younger.

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