On courage

July 26, 2005 § Leave a comment

Last night at the Copa, Alice said, having recently read de Beauvoir, that men know how to impose their will upon the world. They used to, I think, but far less so these days. Or were they always bluffing?

Still, it seems that women are so much more afraid, and Alice is full of fear. It’s never good enough, she’s never good enough, she doesn’t trust her competence or her talent. She fears that even her body will give her away.

We don’t trust ourselves because maybe we’ll fuck it all up and prove them right.

Rashid can’t understand it; he has absolute faith in Alice and doesn’t recognize her fear. He pushes her and she fights him for the space to be afraid. He tries but he can’t understand. She is driven to defend herself against his faith in her.

I see both sides of the argument.

I said to her: “He believes in you. Let him.”
I said to him: “Let her be. She’ll come into herself in time.”

She will. We all do. We reach a point where we are so retchingly sick of being afraid that we run straight at it, half-blind with desperation. We reach a point where we don’t care anymore because anything, even failure, is better than the endless, cramping fear. We impose our will upon the world as a measure of last resort, because we will suffocate if we don’t.

Walking home in my summer dress, I wondered which I am afraid of more: failure, or paralysis? Which is the bigger dog? I wondered this as I walked alone at three ‘o clock in the morning, wearing next to nothing, fearlessly.

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