Friday, March 25, 2011

Umbrellas Unopent in Tempests, Part II

Itwethey says, “welcome.”

There is no understanding (fast or slow)—of Guest. For Itwethey, Guest is entirely unknown and unanticipated in any specificity or particularity. (“Guest” is a purely formal (or general?) designation. The specificity of Guest is that Guest is and must be (to be Guest) purely unknown and unanticipated…Known to be unknown and anticipated to be unanticipated (unanticipatable?) Itwethey means for Guest to be understood as different to anything Itwethey previously had known or experienced in any way. This does not however require Guest to be ENTIRELY different (Itwethey expects Guest to be a human similar to other humans, with similar needs, wants, desires, hopes) but in the specificity of some array of “minor” differences (little things which are entirely out of any of Itwethey’s prior frames of reference) EVERYTHING will be encountered DIFFERENTLY. Because Itwethey anticipates EVERYTHING will be different, Itwethey anticipates not being ABLE to understand Guest. Itwethey will not be able to understand Guest, and yet Itwethey, in order to host Guest, must establish understanding. To cope, Itwethey’s strategy will be to feign understanding. Itwethey is poised to act (act—as “to feign”, “to put on a disguise”)(is it not odd that the same infinitive “to act” means for us both what is most naked and unpremeditated AND what is most disguised and artificial) (quickly as possible) understanding, no matter how strangely, unusually, unexpectedly, Guest may, in specificity or particularity, behave. (Itwethey honestly believes Itwethey CAN convincingly and concordantly behave in such manner. Itwethey purposely excludes the circumstance of Itwethey being stumped as to what understanding would be in certain conditions of Guest behaving, e.g. Guest behaving belligerently, threateningly, more as intruder than Guest—in which case Itwethey’s pose of understanding would be shattered.) Thus, the part of the “welcome” Itwethey says which is composed of “understanding” Itwethey understands to be purely sympathetic. (Therefore, let it be noted Part II may modify Part I in that in Part I Itwethey used (or at least implied) “understanding”and “sympathy” as if they were synonymous. It matters to this inquiry and the success of Itwethey’s “welcome” which approach is better—Part I or Part II.) Itwethey will treat Guest with sympathetic consideration absent understanding of Guest (or of what makes Guest be Guest, this mysterious array of minor differences Itwethey anticipates in Guest.)

With this new understanding that the understanding Itwethey will offer as host to Guest is the “understanding” of sympathy, (or just plain sympathy) Itwethey will now help Guest, standing at the threshold, on the rickety stoop Itwethey had studiously and yet incompetently constructed, Guest looking bewildered and rather “thrown” (which fortunately doesn’t look much like belligerence, so perhaps the worst case scenario will be avoided!) as if some magnetic wind of continent shifting had bequeathed Guest to this not so much hallowed as hollowed spot, enter into the hospitality Itwethey has worked a lifetime to create (true—but it doesn’t lessen the fear a lifetime of effort may yield a resultant hospitality as shoddy and incompetent as the stoop upon which Guest happens up…) Nevertheless, and in spite of the discomfort of both squeezing onto the threshold above the last of the stoop’s steps, Guest appears delighted with Itwethey’s “welcome.” Itwethey and Guest make contact, and the contact is more satisfying than any Itwethey imagined during rehearsed “welcomes.”

The rehearsals had always been too formal—entirely formal, in fact. How could Itwethey have practice responses of sympathy to a Guest unknown, unanticipated—and not present? Sympathy has no formal qualities (hypothetically.) It is for “understanding” to be formal. Itwethey’s “formal” sympathy was thus simulated by Itwethey as a sheer animal barbarity sweating stinking force of body, meant to infuse the formal gestures of Itwethey’s practices of greeting with sympathy and thereby sympathetically synthesize what Itwethey wishes for, an adequate “welcoming” of Guest. As Itwethey had put it so often afterwards, (smoking and drinking) (which is part of this symbolism Itwethey uses to simulate sympathy when understanding is unavailable and the object of sympathy is also unavailable—though ne’er has Itwethey known any who found Itwethey endearing when smoking and drinking nor Itwethey staggering sweating stinking drunk (and this has got to factor in and matter)), “My shit-eating grin, my cologne, the bright colors of the interior of my living room (Itwethey here attempts to indicate, through contortions, winks, elbow waves, hands let loose at the wrist, pirouettes, and other guises (NB: guises, not disguises)) Itwethey’s “welcome” of not only this Guest but all guests, into Itwethey’s “interior” and Itwethey’s “living room” and Itwethey’s “interior living room.”


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