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Boards of Canada & Thomas Bernhard & Suicide


Boards of Canada has a sound that gets to me.

Playing Geodaddi through speakers with bass makes me feel good.

Like, as long as this music follows me, I can be filmed, especially Dawn Chorus, with its scratchy horn that bends into a falling droplet of bass, let this song live in me, so that I may call upon it in times of stress.

And in times of no stress, the song is gucci.

toe over miami

Like on this Sunday morning, with the sliding glass door open, sitting on the far end of the couch, staring out at Congress Ave in the distance, and Dawn Chorus plays. Parts of me start to move. I feel the air around me more. My nostrils feel cleaner. I feel healthier, like I could hit the sand running south for miles and miles.

That scratchy horn comes at me the same way waves come at me in my imagination.

Like one long yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Our Mother Aloe looks strong outside. Green, smooth, curved, open. This song makes it flower.

Without thinking about books, I think about reading a page from Thomas Bernhard. But the only Thomas Bernhard book I own is THE LOSER.

I walk to our bookshelf and look at the top.

There it is, with all our other black-spined books.

I pull it down, let it breathe, carry it into the study.

The dust jacket is on wrong. I unwrap the hardback to fix it.

It has been a long time since I’ve read Bernhard.

The first thing I read, written in italics at the top of the first page, which is page 3 in the overall scheme of the book, is:

Suicide calculated well in advance, I thought, no spontaneous act of desperation.

Seems strange/bad how much literature I’ve read about suicide or by a writer who committed suicide (Thomas Bernhard did not).

I’m not ‘into’ suicide, but last year I helped a girl in math several times, and later on that school year she committed suicide.

And she’s not the first person I’ve known who committed suicide. There have been two others I’ve known, so that brings the total up to three. Not counting the stories I’ve read dealing with the subject.

It’s depressing. The thought wasn’t in my head at all today.

We ate wonderful lemon poppy seed pancakes. Drank coffee. Had good music on. We talked and laughed and made plans for what we were going to do with our day.

And then Dawn Chorus comes on. 3 minutes 55 seconds of electronic bliss. This very easily could’ve been the high point of my day: sitting on the far end of the couch, eyes focused on Congress Ave in the distance, and just sitting there quietly, maybe getting up to do a happy dance, maybe doing 50 push-ups to get the blood flowing, anything but read a random excerpt from a book, especially a book by Thomas Bernhard called THE LOSER, which is about Glenn Gould, the piano player. I think he liked sitting in a lower chair to add more power to his playing.

I remember reading the book in different places. Carrying it around in my briefcase. I got it at Half Price in Houston, but read it in Miami. My father bought it for me. After getting this book we went to a coffee shop on Westheimer. I remember sitting outside with my ice coffee, girls whispering around us about last night.

Yes, this could’ve been 3 minutes 55 seconds of electronic bliss, but I opened a book, and the moment became reflexive. All of a sudden I had to write.

Make it something positive if you’re going to write, I think. I think, There’s no point in writing about negative things. If the exponent is negative, it’s unhappy, but to make it happy, I think, all you have to do is move it to the other side.


February 10, 2013 3:24 pm

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