Letter #16 (or, Inherent Vice)

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Dear Dario,

You’re right. After reading your words I was indeed pushed back to my everyday life. Wake up, coffee, work, maybe go out for a movie, maybe read a book, maybe gym, and sleep.

Repeat.

The only solace in those days has been Inherent Vice, by Paul Thomas Anderson. The geniality of this Director is gonna be completely appreciated in twenty years or so. The more he matures, the more his movies are filled with a sublime complexity. I managed to follow his work perfectly until There Will Be Blood, which I enjoyed fully.
With The Master I started to understand my limitations to fully appreciate his work.
Inherent Vice is…beyond. Maybe being adapted form a Pynchon novel doesn’t help – the complexity of Pynchon is, pardon the pun, inherent – but still, it helped me to gain a fresh perspective on things.

Life is plotless, often incoherent, and our own perception of things degrades any possible meaning.

So maybe it was because I had this beaten-down attitude the last few days that I didn’t even think to go on further with my intention of tracking down Erika’s house. I didn’t experience any other spooky event like the one I’ve witnessed – due to my own paranoia.

However, I did meet Erika again.

It was a normal Saturday morning and I decided to go to the supermarket to fill up for the weekend. Serendipity had a play there, because as I approached the till with less people waiting, while choosing which brand of chewing-gum to buy, I felt someone coming right behind me. I turned and – yes, you’ve guessed it – here she was.
A normal girl, ready to pay for her groceries. Erika.

Yes, my heart skipped a beat. But then she just smiled normally, and I smiled back; again, she didn’t seem to recognise me at all – maybe my face is a blank slate and I myself project a special being onto it, while everyone else just sees whatever they want to see; but whatever the reason, heartbeat turned back to normal, I took my chewing-gum pack, turned around, paid my grocery, and walked to my car, whistling like nothing happened.

Evil is indeed banal, because it can stood up behind you, creeping into your everyday life, and you won’t even notice it behind a smile.

But I’m now almost certain my own perception is playing a bigger part here. It is fortuitous that Erika is here. Definitely a strange roll of dice. But isn’t everything strange?

And with that I leave you, my dear friend. My Sicilian adventure, full of feverish dreams and daydreaming about stalking a killer might be over soon, as I plan to move somewhere else.

We’ll laugh about this, in a year or so.

Talk to you soon,

A.

 

 

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