April 28, 2005 § 5 Comments

So, I replied to my brother’s last email, the one in which he stated that I was a Montreal bagel. I said, politely, that I wasn’t sure what he meant by this. His response:

A Montreal bagel implies that you aren’t posing, that the eye follows you around because it sees you and that you’ve taken a lot of care while making up your aura. Your aura. The reason you make the news and are seen by young adults (builders) in the lounge/airport bar/city. Soul, not white flour which is blown around by the wind, itinerant and has no ties to the community. You’ve got soul V., where’d you get it?

I am realizing that my relationship with my brother now consists largely of reciprocal acts of interpretation.

I have noticed certain recurring metaphors. For example, my brother conceives of the university as an airport lounge, something akin to Marc Augé’s non-places. The lounge is remarkably Platonic, a sphere of ideas that is at a remove from everyday life. It is weightless and arid; I can almost hear Eno’s Music for Airports playing over the PA system. It is where he thinks I spend my days.

I haven’t the heart to tell him what it’s really like.


§ 5 Responses to Correspondence

  • Caron says:

    He posits a very serious question, though, Vila, Where did you get your soul? More importantly, Where can I get some of that good stuff?

    Hey, just trying to make a potentially awkward/saddening situation a little lighter…

  • Vila H. says:

    There are way better souls out there, Caron, trust me. Mine has eczema and smokes too much and can’t sleep, and it certainly doesn’t go rock-climbing in Costa Rica!

    Major congrats on your new job, btw, and for whatever it’s worth, I think you look fabulous in that picture.

  • Anonymous says:

    Vila, nobody has a soul better than yours. If this was the middle ages, your brother would be considered holy–someone who can see the faint outlines of what others cannot. xo ada

  • Caron says:

    Thanks for the kind words, V… Sometimes others do indeed recognize what we cannot see in ourselves.

    Next time I am in Toronto (if I am EVER in Montreal — which I do hope to visit), we must share a cig and a drink; for all their yoga and clean living, these L.A. folks are far to fearful of some of the purest joys in life.

  • Anonymous says:

    I remember the last time I sat in your family’s living room, with your brother. Before. Different guy.


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