I had known already long before I went into this pretentious endeavor, that it was useless to compare two countries, any two countries, no matter how much each was a parody of itself. One was oblivious of its oblivion, and the other no longer existed. The latter I remembered only ethereally, because it floated up as either ether or a digitized, stylized image: the subjunctive world; the former was merely what my current existence consisted of. I could only make subjective notes, because being here my mind was necessarily more introverted, capable of painful wanderings and slips into a host of new derailments that back there, in the world I now called subjunctive, I could never have conceived of. I was aware, for example, that at one point I had gone back to that place, but for myself here, as a somewhat misanthropic and jaded young man not exempt from complexes, the time I might have passed there was more like a lapse in memory. If it so happened that I could picture the same lit window or a kitchen with a plastic radio attached to the peeling wall by the stove, I perceived it not as my own experience, but a part of something written in a novel, which I referred back to be filed away into that structuralized plane, with the glaring windows and unnoticeably simplified gestures.
But when finally it would occur to me that the structuralized plane, the subjunctive world was not to be found consisting merely of the other world or country, that believing rubbish like that was very slavophilic of me, when I would realize in earnest that the inaccessible plane perhaps was not the reciprocated version or image that was out of reach only spatially, but not temporally, then I would find that that instead I was dealing with an accumulation that was static throughout the change in space. That plane that haunted me really consisted of those instances that were the same in my feminine language and my masculine one, still asymptotically inaccessible no matter what language you approached them from. If I could comprehend that for a moment, then I would realize that those instances momentarily formed a continuous line of time in the back of my thoughts. When I caught its slippery tale for a second, seeing that it could only lead to my paradox hypothesis, its nostalgia overwhelmed me, so that I understood only how unwieldy that string of time really was.
I had been sitting in a small Thai cafe on Avenue A when that happened to me, gazing out of the window at the yellow leaves falling over darkened Tompkins Square. After a tedious and rather chauvinistic conversation with a half acquaintance that I barely knew, I was saddened to remember the uselessness I felt in every syllable of conversational English. That is, where its acquired sarcasm gave way to a contrived honesty, I would find myself exhausted and slightly sick. It was precisely that sickness that only heightened the vividness of unremembered images that I was going to apply, whether they liked it or not, to my motion paradox theory. So for a moment I had it, before I was overwhelmed with nostalgia, which of course happens when trying to deal with temporal material. In that moment, however, I was able to instantaneously perceive the only logical extrapolation of Zeno's claim to the impossibility of motion, an extrapolation that was the only thing that justified it. I trembled as I wrote it down: an object exists and cannot move because it can only occupy one amount of space at any instant- as does a person, place or thing. As time passes, however, an object does not age, but merely acquires a new version of itself in each consecutive instant, constituting a change that may be infinitely small. Thus in time there is an innumerable series of static objects, each one slightly different from the previous, like the frames of a cartoon.
The implications of such a phenomenon disquieted me, though. They constituted an infinite number of planes and universes, and confused and misplaced the concept of consciousness.
It didn't end there, though. The psychiatric chair was, in this world and for me, a laughable matter, an indelible aspect of an attitude rigidly developed in a country brought up on the principles of Freud, so that all the PC aspects could never be separated from that dirty old man, considered the most sensible and sensitive. But the fact was, as disgusting as it seemed for me to acknowledge it, the discovery and understanding of a material of whose existence I had no proof, just blind belief, lay in my reconciliation with my memory.
Because of that I remembered looking through my desk for diaries. It seemed certain that I, having forgotten a previous series of experiences that in themselves created a complex thought process that I knew I had to access, would perhaps be the kind of person who as a woman kept a diary. I discarded the idea that this thought process could be located by spatial means, and because of this new outlook I was able to stop lying to myself that whether it was written by me or by someone else was a legitimate proposition. In truth, whether I or someone else had written it was irrelevant: these two clauses, the I and the someone else, were one and the same thing because I was dealing with a function of time, not space. But I also knew that the need to access that system of thought was becoming a matter of life and death, because it lay somewhere between the lapse of what to me was oblivion, and the texture of the reality I awoke to as well as dreamed. Perhaps that was why Sergei changed faces only as an object could do in dreams, where time passes quicker than the speed of light and objects may renew themselves at will without inherently changing anything else.
That, I had just realized, was a problem. Taking a hurried sip of lemon water, through the window I noticed with a shudder that the pseudo intellectual dandy that had tried to prove to me ten minutes ago that Russians and Jews were the same thing, passed the cafe and glanced in to look for me, at which he fortunately proved unsuccessful. I sighed with relief and swallowed. That was a problem- the impossibility of motion, and subsequently the cartoon frame nature of every object, implied that I, as a current being, was entirely dissociated from my past, a past that had consisted of components equally dissociated from one another.
And even that wasn't the whole of it. I wondered if this cartoon aspect was exclusive, or applied to all objects. And if it was particular to certain objects, based on some of the aspects of the object, bringing to mind, for example, a transient person who once originated from a country that didn't exist, then it applied to me. And that was where the problem was. If I chose to examine it in terms of two entities, one concrete and conscious, writing about the irreconciliability of time and space and thus searching for the complementing material of the other entity, who wrote only hypothetically and inhabited, at this instant, the realm of the subjunctive. As I finally saw it, the visual cartoon applied in particular to these two irreconcilable entities, each of which lacked a childhood placeable in time or space.