Gone Garbo

Well, let’s skip it. The convivial “Well,” I mean, with which I have been wont to begin my posts for over two and a half years now. Things haven’t been well for quite some time, and I hardly feel gregarious enough to have use for such a hokey opening. For once, I am not going to assume the well-worn persona of the casual, nonchalant reporter or produce another impersonal, labored piece of prose commemorating the birth of a celebrity long deceased. That will have to wait.

This journal has been in somewhat of a shambles since my return from New York and London, during which carefree time of easy living I was reminded—if any reminder were needed—that I am truly an urbanite at heart. Matters were not helped when I fell ill soon after coming back to the countryside; nor has facing the first month of the year, bleak and blank as it looms before me, ever felt like a particularly uplifting or inspiring period to me. Renewal? I have yet to sense it.

I feel my isolation keenly at times, and sometimes I appear to be revelling in it as if in a state of martyrdom. Now, by calling this period—and I sincerely hope it is just a phase—Garboesque, I am already in defiance of this journal, Garbo being the only major Hollywood actress not to appear on the radio, the medium to whose stars, stories, and strictures broadcastellan is devoted.

For a moment, feeling either overmastered by the task of keeping up with myself (the recent posts from Gotham and the Big Smoke having been mere placeholders, some of which I have at last begun to fill, as in the case of my getting caught in The Mousetrap), or feeling reluctant to look back, being wary and weary of nostalgia, I contemplated putting an end to broadcastellan. Only, saying “farewell” sounded rather too melodramatic, and, I nearly felt but certainly still hoped, rash and premature.

Its arcane subject matter and frosty euphuisms notwithstanding, this is a personal journal. It has to matter to me before it can matter to anyone. And recently I have been unable to matter much to myself. Not taking myself too seriously has generally been an asset to me; but you can take not taking yourself seriously too far, at which point you drift into a desolate place reverberating with the hollow laughter of self-contempt.

Let us say—or permit me to say it on behalf of myself—that, speaking Garboesquely, I have been in my Two-faced period, a wavering to which those less anxious to find just the right expression or indifferent to the joys of such a challenge refer as crossroads; but I have decided to go on, falteringly and doubtfully, instead of calling it quits without having half the cold heart to disguise such a move as the height of dignity . . .

2 Replies to “Gone Garbo”

  1. Only Harry, I\’m sure, knows Harry in all his surfaced aspects, but this post represents the Harry that I know. I refer not to the revelation of current uncertainty and malaise (the feeling of renewal eludes me yet, as well) but to the blending of the keeping up with the out-of-date with self-exploration and (constructive, surely) self-criticism, which has the effect of compelling self-exposure; the mixing of the pertinent past with the present experience known as living.Several months ago, I happened upon broadcastellan and to say that I was devastated would be no hollow exaggeration – I\’m not writing and reading in cyberspace to play kissy-kissy. I found, in your brilliant, penetrating prose the example to which I and all other web journalists should look; the model from which all striving for substance, lucidity and (self-)honesty can learn…. And, later, your kind words of encouragement pulled this writer in space through a very rough period of self-doubt. Thank you, Harry, for the wonder that is broadcastellan. You\’re my hero.

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  2. Gosh, Elizabeth, you are “the top”! Indeed, as I told you before (without aspiring to originality then), “you’re Garbo’s sal’ry.” You know that I am not one to “let ‘em rest unexpressed,” no matter how “pathetic” my words might sound. Thank you for indulging me.

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