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It was that summer, too, that I began the cutting, and was almost as devoted to it as my newfound loveliness. I adored tending to myself, wiping a shallow red pool of my blood away with a damp washcloth to magically reveal, just above my naval: queasy. Applying alcohol with dabs of a cottonball, wispy shreds sticking to the bloody lines of: perky. I had a dirty streak my senior year, which I later rectified.
Suppose the looking glass smashes, the image disappears, and the romantic figure with the green of forest depths all about it is there no longer, but only that shell of a person which is seen by other people – what an airless, shallow, bald, prominent world it becomes! A world not to be lived in. As we face each other in omnibuses and underground railways we are looking into the mirror that accounts for the vagueness, the gleam of glassiness, in our eyes.
The smell of death overwhelmed us even before we passed through the stockade. More than 3200 naked, emaciated bodies had been flung into shallow graves. Others lay in the streets where they had fallen. … Eisenhower’s face whitened into a mask. Patton walked over to a corner and sickened. I was too revolted to speak. For here death had been so fouled by degradation that it both stunned and numbed us.
Yesterday he told me he thought I would have to pretend to be weak, but he was wrong. I am weak already. I brace myself against the wall and press my forehead to my hands. It’s difficult to take deep breaths, so I take short, shallow ones. I can’t let this happen. They attacked me to make me feel weak. I can pretend they succeeded to protect myself, but I can’t let it become true.
Reality TV now doesn’t feel reality TV when it started. The line between reality and fiction is blurred. So many of these people are phony or shallow, in their own right. If you’ve ever watched any of The Real Housewives, or those types of shows, they’re all performing. Even though they’re real people, they’re performing.
I would say my being disheartened has more to do with American culture than anything else. We are becoming a very shallow culture. My goodness, the celebrity ethos has taken over completely. Turn on the television and you see that over and over. There’s very little substance. And so, everything gets shorter. Everything is entertainment oriented. Our churches reflect that. A thirty-five minute sermon without a Power Point or video clips is rare these days. That’s not true in other countries so much.