small catastrophes

by uzwi

I like it when people drift off from one life to another. Or live double lives, but the second life isn’t much different from the first. And it’s not recorded, so no one writes about it until years later, when someone unrelated discovers a box of Polaroids at a flea market or some files of emails on a hard drive. These would be ordinary people, who felt the continuity of their lives, but whose acts could only be seen as a discontinuity in the lives of others. I’d like it to be clear that the pathos of this (and I mean that honestly) might best be seen from outside the lives themselves, or from a later point in time; but that the testimony of those left behind is as “correct” an emotional perspective as that of the person who moved on. I’d like to read a book comprised of hundreds of stories like that, not too much above anecdotal length, which would document the cultural web and styles of a generation. A book like that wouldn’t take sides; it would be kind, unjudgemental, and imply another scale at which this behaviour could be viewed.