Day Ninety: Excerpt

by Tom Noonan

“It’s like everything.  Like art.  Like literary criticism.  If you know too much, if you spend too much time looking through all the alleyways and sewers of something, trudging through the filth, it just becomes flat.  The whole fucking thing is flat, like an old highway, cut at the ends, left to crack and erode in some far corner of a barren desert.  It loses the quality that makes it art, that makes it love, that makes it something worth experiencing, that fullness and feeling of laborious submersion.  When it flattens out, you can’t live with it or in it.  The thing, the book, the film, the love, is broken.  It was supposed to be something once, sure, and it was.  That’s why you’re even here, still thinking about it, reeling in its flatness.  And it’s also why this thing is flat in the first place.  But I don’t think love isn’t real, or is transient, or can’t move within us like something resembling what was once sold to us as a spirit.  I do believe in that.  But I also believe we are constantly destroying it, all of them, these things, flattening them, with every second we spend being analytical with them.  So we need to find the things that still move us when they’re raisins, loose shells with the juice concentrated out.  Once empty, these which move us, we have to decide what’s worth keeping., like an endless garage sale, our front lawns packed with some attic clutter that might end up on someone else’s mantle.  That’s what this absurd search for love is for me, finding the thing I’ve become exhausted with but still come back to, the book I’ll never read again but bring with me everywhere I go.  We’re not hopeless.  Trust me, we aren’t.  We’re just conscious.”