THE SUBJUNCTIVE WORLD


I thought about the nature of the subjunctive world that I inhabited, and knew that if I had previously referred to the other country as subjunctive, I was a little mislead, for in reality the subjunctive world that I inhabited was America which suffered from a thinning of reality. It was this world that was paradoxically the origin of my lofty visions, and as I thought about it, I learned two things.

1) In the case of two planes of reality, A and B, being entirely different from one another, if plane B is projected onto plane A, it will of course not fit it. But in that case the result of the projection of plane A on plane B would also merge and look exactly like the result of the projection of plane B on plane A÷

The imagination is a mathematical tool, selecting the parameters of an object it observes or thinks of not at random, but according to an especially crystallizing pattern, so that the imaginary projection of one known reality upon an unknown one in order to try to determine the nature of that unknown reality yields something entirely different: namely another plane of reality where parameters were selectively eliminated while others were hyperbolized according to a select pattern impossible for human minds to decipher.

But all that, I was certain as I rode the D-train over apartment towers uncannily resembling those in Moscow and making me unwillingly remember that reality which I could not imagine, was written by that illusive Moscow linguist that I would sometimes dream of as my sister or my wife. And from that premise I had realized something even more important.

2) When a man in Russia honestly imagines America, whether he's lived there or not, he will by that same imaginary process form an abstract world or plane completely dissimilar to anything remotely resembling America. This also happens when a man in New York imagines the towering windows of Moscow. But the catch was- the two worlds, imagined by the Russian and American, overlapped and were actually one and the same÷


The glass skyscrapers of San Francisco that you picture in a stuffy Russian kitchen with the peeling wallpaper and the wistful saxophone hovering in the cynical air of the half-surreal city that you are trying to imagine, they all come to surround that same kitchen that you long for when glaring down through the real mists of San Francisco at the Bridge and the ocean from that real glass building on Sacramento Street where the structuralized illusion is strongest. Through your glass office you see your kitchen surrounded by the same matrixes of windows that you think of as belonging to Moscow, the same ones you imagined you saw since childhood but actually never did÷ they are one and the same plane, the subjunctive plane of the memory that never happened.