The second conclusion is that natural spaces do not feed the same fantasies as urban spaces. Because the latter is by definition a social space, it is a territory in which we express a desire to transgress codes with our exhibitionist/voyeuristic impulse; it presupposes the presence of others, of fortuitous looks to penetrate the aura of intimacy that emanates from a partially naked body or from two bodies soldered together. Those same bodies out under the clouds, with only God as their witness, are looking for the opposite sensation: not to make others come into the pocket of air in which their rapid breathing mingles but, thanks to their Edenic isolation, to let their pleasure spread as far as the eye can see. The illusion there is that their ecstasy is on the same scale as this expanse, that the body housing them is dilating to infinity. Perhaps the tipping into unconsciousness known as the petite mort is felt more keenly when the bodies are in contact with the earth, teeming with invisible life and in which everything is buried.
Catherine Millet, The Sexual Life of Catherine M.
And why’s Janis Joplin’s life read as a downward spiral into self-destruction? Everything she did is filtered through her death. Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, River Phoenix all suicided too but we see their deaths as aftermaths of lives that went too far. But let a girl choose death –– Janis Joplin, Simon Weil –– and death becomes her definition, the outcome of her “problems.” To be female still means being trapped within the purely psychological. No matter how dispassionate or large a vision of the world a woman formulates, whenever it includes her own experience and emotion, the telescope’s turned back on her. Because emotion’s just so terrifying the world refuses to believe that it can be pursued as discipline, as form.
I came over but you were touching yourself and you didn’t notice me. You didn’t notice anyone. Your eyes were closed and you were going back and forth between looking very serious, your eyebrows furrowed, and smiling, even laughing, face spreading like pancake batter in the pan. Through the window above your bed I saw through the window of the apartment next door and into the kitchen: the four brothers sitting around the round kitchen table, drinking coffee, bringing the mugs up to their mouths, taking sips, setting the mugs back down on the table with its plastic tablecloth, a fake red and white picnic blanket print, with even oversized, glossy ants. The four of them could’ve watched you if they wanted to, but they didn’t. I could smell the coffee from your room. I’ll come back another time.