There come moments when a man questions the integrity of his senses for a certain incongruence that cannot be otherwise understood unless the senses are at least momentarily interrogated. I sit in a restaurant that’s all but empty despite the talented yet evidently humble aged man on the piano—if I had not come across one moments ago and played to my soul’s content, I would not be able to write for my thoughts would not extend beyond the desire to play. But what’s this? Hardly did I finish writing the sentence than a quick spurt of people entered as though to reassure me that I am not imagining him to be there, playing in a manner that improves the quality of the food.
How many times I’ve eaten beans and rice, yet it’s only now that it occurred to me after trying it here that the two are joined in holy union when they are fried just slightly. For extended neglect that I ceased to remedy as soon as I considered it, my sense of taste has dampened to accept anything since after all, it’s all just fuel. Despite this neglect, I still love the food here, not for any superiority in taste, although that may in itself for love to emerge, but for the indubitable superiority in nutritional value. I am of course careful in allocating ‘indubitable’ but I do not flinch in drawing it forth here because it is the very voice of my body that produces it.
In the states, three or at times four meals are necessary for my body to function still less than it does here with two. Of course I love the food that keeps me from having to return to it, but it is a matter of natural course that the ‘wholesome’ quality of food found here would be absent there; it is more profitable to provide the masses with nutritionally insufficient foods so that they may return to them more often than they would if it served their natural purpose. A developed country develops in its capacity to take advantage of mass credulity as it does in other aspects. There can be no redemption for the populace that has its food deteriorated in quality for any reason—it is all the same for this is among those rare instances where the intention is irrelevant.
Although I decided to leave behind, among most of my possessions, the music that so easily creeps into my mind to linger and repeat itself with an intensity that at times—I am nearly ashamed to admit-casts a shiver that provokes the gesticulations common in madmen; although I wanted to spare myself the emotional vacillation that results from impassioned and sentient music, I could not resist. As loud and tangible as these words are in my mind is the closing movement of Mendelssohn’s sixth string quartet. I have become familiar with the piece to the extent that I can nearly reproduce it all within me, but it cannot be tamed and the tragic circumlocution of the first violin, mocked and scorned by those it is trying to extricate itself from, repeats itself despite the absence of so many repeat signs in the original composition. To listen to it is to eventually behold its resignation but in my mind, it is not bound to end and strives to accomplish what it fails to in reality, but in vain for it is wrong to believe that fate does not extend its influence to the mind of man among all else.
Perhaps that is why I am so fond of it for it is not uncommon for me to disregard what is evident with the idea that it may still turn out different. I suppose that I could provide it the release it yearns for, but that would be to commit an offense to Mendelssohn and I dare not take it so far. Even now, so deep into night I am tempted to listen again although I know it well already—if it persists like this I will have no option available to me but to enliven it through the accordion and see what it wants then. These things tend to scurry past when confronted directly.
The whole piece is great but the first three movements differ in their being intelligible to the mind as they tell of a man’s turmoil, endured when death claims a soul that is dear to him. The final movement is an ode to that soul and the mind’s attempt to reanimate the dead only to fail and resign itself to the mockery of fate. It is the passion of resistance, captured so well, that inspires inexpressible sorrow when it ends in resignation. The suggestion is an ominous one capable of tossing any man into a perilous river of despair that opens only to that very resignation which assures complete, irremediable destruction.