For Horace Engdahl
You laugh the laugh of a hysterical Medusa: “I don’t,” you say. But I know that you do. “I can’t,” you say. But I know that you can. “I won’t,” you say. But I know that you will. This is how you formulate the meaning of life: by making suffering sovereign. Denial. Your body aches when you say: “I’m breathing.” So I know that you don’t. The touch that won’t materialize shoots through your fantasy. It is so tender and good. My body repeats the words, “it is so tender and good.” It feels the same pain. Your body feels the same “same pain” but your mouth won’t say it. How to break it? I try to listen to arguments: “the life that is good must stay unchanged because it is good.” My mouth repeats the words: “it is good.” In math we say that symmetry is an immunity to transformation. In literature we mess it up. There’s proof. Right now, lo and behold, after my friend Horace has just finished bashing the Americans implicitly and explicitly by speaking in 7 tongues, and giving the Frenchy the prize, how noble of the physicists to accept the honor of receiving the laurels for their idea of breaking symmetry! The physicists explain: “at very high energy levels, electromagnetic forces, and the two atomic forces are all really the same thing. There’s a deep symmetry between them. But as the energy level of the environment goes down, eventually they split, and become distinguishable. The symmetry breaks, and we get different forces.” What forces drive us? And are they high or low? The image remembers the touch, however incomplete, asymmetrical, devoid of uniform space, white, and clean, and pure. Horace would say, “bring in the psychoanalysts! Quickly. We need to apply the pleasure principle to pain.” Horace says this in the language of the fragment. He was taught by Cioran, first. And then by me. Oh, spontaneous symmetry breaking! Stop desire in transit. And let us touch it. Touch it.