Centripetal force

Dear J,

These days run rampant with indulgence, and I am happy to oblige. I have even made you an occasional participant. The common thread in my online flâneuse behavior is this: the search for the idea of signature. Perfumes, looks, the kind of vocality that extends beyond one’s wits or appearances.

This craving for material self-definition begets the thought that there is an absence of one in the meantime. What am I searching for, beyond overpriced leather and Italian oils? The urgency with which desire becomes necessity is symptomatic. This reminds me of the childhood decisions that we make about the type of person we want to grow into. The specificity is poignant: I wanted to be the kind of writer who loved flowers, materials and California. This is still at odds with my east coast upbringing.

Something about this same upbringing has made me Platonic. Perhaps the notion of a fulfilled American dream pinpoints its own possibility, but also molds it — to gain an essence of value, one must know the value of the essence. That’s what I think I’m (still, ruefully) looking for. With each purchase, each addition to my vocabulary or repertoire, each idiosyncrasy that I domesticate, I am looking. Are you still trying to find something to make yours (by nature, not possession?)



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