In Times Which Seem Like Self-Psychotherapy He Says To Himself:
Oh, Vienna

Novel: Times 1–4, Chapter 44

Niet van der Zand


Yes, I wish for these self same sensations

I made no plans for the weekend, and no one contacted me to arrange to get together; for the first time in a long time I would be alone, alone on my own, for sixty-six hours. I have no motivation to work on the mind map on Friday night, instead I set up a tick chart, to catalogue my longings, for each of the four women, as I spend this alone time, alone.

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

I ask myself if I could stay in the apartment all weekend, not resort to watching television, or using my computer; I decide that the music is to be Gregorian Chant, for the entire period. I also think that reading, writing, and drawing should be seriously limited, in the end I determine to eliminate them altogether.

I am becoming the hermit. My food will be plain, my diet is mostly to be soup, cereals, tea, and water. I will disconnect the telephone, switch off my mobile, I will become incommunicado. The prisoner in his cell comes into my mind, should I make a mark for every hour that passes. I think this is pretentious, but nevertheless I go along with the idea, the hourly strikes can be logged on to my longing chart.

I recognise that I am creating the conditions for solitude; what do I expect to gain from this chosen solitary confinement, what do I need to look for in the outcomes. Nietzsche, according to Freud, had a more penetrating knowledge of himself than any other man who ever lived or was ever likely to live. How much of this came from his solitude?

Here we can call upon Nietzsche’s own words: I go into solitude so as not to drink from everybody’s cistern. When I am among the many I live as the many do, and I do not think I really think. After a time it always seems as if they want to banish my self from myself and rob me of my soul.

Is it my soul I want to reach during this self imposed isolation, do I want time to think, but not to think as others would have me think. Nietzsche goes on to say: I need solitude, which is to say, recovery, return to myself, the breath of a free, light, playful air. Yes, I wish for these self same sensations, these highly developed, yet…