normal people

One knows that there’s something between Colin and Marianne. But this something is not being lived out. It is articulated again and again—it’s not that they say I love you too little. But to articulate it is not enough. This alone deserves attention, as it is often enough to articulate.

Something is expressed, but not lived. Why does it hurt for something not to be lived? It’s as if this is the flip side of the initial butterflies, when something unlived takes a dreamlike fantasy-form. Some part of the butterflies cannot escape. Fantasy is crushed by reality’s grinding. In reality, we cannot even imagine that the fantasy was real. And what use is there for the world to see it? If it is outside, we will be seen, but not our dream. It’s almost as if that’s the reason they want to stay their own persons, sole persons. Knowing well that that which draws them closer needs a form. It demands an existence in the world. But exactly that a fantasy cannot be. A fantasy cannot exist but in a repression of all form.

The flip side of butterflies is that pain which accords even to happy moments their ultimately narcissistic tension. Is it less narcissistic, then, to loosen that tension? Marianne’s saying that she would lie on the floor and then he would be able to do anything that he wants to her is a way to keep the tension. I am on the floor as a person and still you count for something to me. I can give a form to things. Just to this thing I can give no form, or I don’t want to. Perhaps that’s the only unknown: is it a question of being able to or of having the will to? In fantasy, this question is blurred. In fantasy, things get a form which reality cannot readily sustain. It’s not a house of cards but a house of cards.

Missing her doesn’t quite get to the feeling Colin has when he regrets having left her alone. It’s as if he was on the wrong track. The fantasy, and with it everything that ever was, has crumbled. When he replies to his friend upon being asked about Marianne that he doesn’t know what his friend is talking abour, he is speaking the truth. All that ever was was a fantasmatic distortion of reality. Which doesn’t mean that it wasn’t true or that it didn’t exist. I can give you form, if we only assume that there is no form. There was no promise, for to whom should there have been given a promise? Reality doesn’t promise itself anything. The reality of the fantasy was fantasmatic.

Form’s absence, in all its euphoria, is painful. It’s impossible to bear. And still, they are not of one mind, otherwise there would be no prolonged pain. They deny themselves the simple affirmation that there is something. Where a situation as their is often understood as something that exists but fails due to the world, and promises are given without real correspondence, they are more radical: for them, nothing exists but a fantasy that can only be real as something unfinished. Nothing exists but an empty promise.

Whenever we feel something that is in our way, this does not come from us, but from the past, long ago. Love is primeval. Today, we don’t know what we are to do with it. What it asks of us is not just contained in itself, but understands itself as a reply to past attempts. We reply to our parents and to all those that came before them. To speak too quickly at this encounter is to let it pass.



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