just_displaced: (Default)
Michael Ginsberg ([personal profile] just_displaced) wrote in [community profile] margatesands2014-01-09 07:25 pm
Entry tags:

Toying around with some AUish stuff

It's always hard to come back home after being gone for a long stretch of time. He'd been expecting that. It stood to reason. But if he'd thought he felt displaced at SC&P before he'd left, he felt one hundred times more displaced once he came back. Eighteen months had gone by, and it was odd, so odd, how on the outside, nothing looked different. Life was the same here. It was still New York City. It was still Manhattan. It was still the same world he'd left.

The only thing out of the ordinary, he decided, was that nothing was out of the ordinary. Surely, the advertising world should have twisted and distorted in all that time. Things should have fallen apart, and then reformed in different and unexpected ways. But they hadn't. Things were static. Immoveable.

So he found himself seized with indecision that morning, standing in the lobby, pressing the elevator call button, and then letting it go without him. Should he go up there? Should he stay here for the next eight hours, waiting in the lobby, not knowing what he was waiting for? Or should he turn and run out of the building, slam the door behind him so hard the glass shattered, and never come back?

He just couldn't decide.
knockfourtimes: (one where i can remember)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-12 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
He still plays it. Acts as the self-sufficient creative talent who brooks no fools and bows to no master. The man who single-handedly (so the act goes) pulled the company from obscurity to its ever-growing prestige.

That's what the clients see, at least. Around the office, Don has become more a shadow of that figure. He holds it together, he smiles and snaps the way used to, flashes arrogance when it seems right. But he's quieter, and he spends more time in his own office. Does most of his work apart from the other creatives. And the quality of that work...

There are better days, but not enough. While the majority of his work remains passable by the standards of the clients (and is certainly stronger... almost always stronger than the work from the fresh handful of creatives), it isn't up to his own expectations. Or to Peggy's, for that matter, though she can't fix everything and still treads carefully where Don is concerned.

His leave of absence had ended up stretching just over five months. For a while he had thought about leaving the advertising business entirely. Hadn't that been the dream once? Hadn't that been the plan? But things had gone sour. His own situation, his attitude had become no brighter. And Megan had tried - bravely, some might say and Don typically acknowledges - but the strain had proven too much, and then Megan had been gone. And what was there left? Where was there to go?

Once he might have sought other options. Once he would have believed himself capable of picking up any career and running with it. Or if not a career, a life of breezey vagrancy, working here and there for a bit, moving wherever whims took him. Once he would have been able to do these things (maybe? it's hard to tell, and there's no good in interrogating the questions). But now...

He had returned to the agency. There were new rules, restrictions. Conditions for his reinstatement. He had agreed to more closely adhere to company policies and work hours; this included coming into work on time. Had agreed to keep more careful records of his own work. It had been decided that alcohol in his office would be kept to a minimum. And his role had been winnowed down. He would still present himself as one of the creative heads, would still be the face presented to most clients (he's what they've come to expect, after all) but Peggy would run the department and supervise its work. Peggy and Ted, once Ted returned. So far as the creative side of creative was concerned, Don would have minimal say.

So it has gone. And yes, he'd retained his partnership, but it doesn't mean what it once did. He doesn't care the way that he once did. He only hopes for better days, days when the ideas are actually almost, sometimes truly good. Days when the pieces fit together again.

This particular day has been decidedly middling, and Don has spent most of it barricaded in his office, attempting work on a campaign for Revlon's new cologne. Attempting work and avoiding the office beyond his door, really. Because there are situations out there (one situation in particular) he'd rather not encounter. But the longer he stares at the notepad or stares at wall or tries to stare at nothing at all, the more everything closes in. The more the absence of ideas presses in against his head. What he might once have had. What won't come and why, why there might as well be no reason. And he has accomplished basically nothing at all.

Okay. Okay. He needs to clear his head. Breathe. Get out of his office just for a few minutes... By this point, Ginsberg (there's the name, there it is, what or who Don's been avoiding) must be holed up in an office somewhere, probably with Stan or with Peggy. And it's ridiculous that Don should be considering this at all, but the thought allows him to stand a move toward the door. He'll grab a cup of coffee, let himself look around the office, get a sense of the bigger picture. It might clear his head enough that he can actually get somewhere with the work.

On the way to the break room - after saying hello to Dawn - he looks around and giving a brief nod where necessary; Joan even culls a smile, mostly genuine. He's starting to feel a little freer mentally by the time he enters the break room. Almost as if the air's cleared...

Oh.

He probably should have expected this.

There's no mistaking Ginsberg, who appears to be either meditating against the counter or attempting to communicate with the coffeemaker. For a moment, Don seriously considers backing out of the room, maybe going down the street for his coffee. Wouldn't that be a better way of clearing his head, anyway?

But he's here, and he can't avoid Ginsberg forever. If nothing else, Peggy won't let him keep hiding in his office. If he says hello now, he'll probably be spared one of her lectures.

So he holds his ground, even works up a smile. It isn't bad to see Ginsberg, really. In some way, there's almost a relief in it. It's still possible to return. It's still possible to make it through everything that should close you off forever.

Of all people, why had Ginsberg gone to war?

"You're back among the living."
knockfourtimes: (the stranger)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-12 12:04 pm (UTC)(link)
If he doesn't think too much about it, it almost feels as if Ginsberg never left. He could have been here all along, working in another part of the building, spewing word vomit all over Stan or shooting his mouth off at some unfortunate client. Time has been slippery of late (of late? how many years? when was the last time Don could really trust the stability of a clock's ticking?), everything has been a little slippery; maybe he just hadn't noticed Ginsberg.

That's ridiculous, of course. Ginsberg had gone. Had shipped off shortly before Don's own absence. And when Don returned, there had been no more Ginsberg.

Which had been a blessing, really. A relief. Putting up a front had been easier without Ginsberg's casual scrutiny, the too-sharp eyes and quick observations that used to cause so much trouble. It hadn't been easy coming back, but at least there had been precious few people who could see through the surface. Those who could see had had the discretion to keep their thoughts quiet.

It's fascinating, the way people people accept surface as truth. They're happiest when believing precisely what they see. When they can forget that every image is composed of contradictions. That every man and woman (every child; he thinks of Sally, the complexities that had so suddenly shown themselves) is forever shifting, beyond the pale imposing of definition. What was it Walt Whitman had said? 'I am large, I contain multitudes.'

Don had tried to forget that for a while. When he had taken Megan into his arms, when she had accepted him in her own, he had thought the questions might die away. That with someone so hopeful, so ideal, he could forget his dissatisfactions and take life as it came. And for a while, for a while he had thought it possible. Writing hope in her eyes in her smile in the way she made him feel... Or the way he wanted to feel through her. He had opened himself up, but the doubts had never been far, and once the initial polish wore away, everything had begun to dissolve.

He ought to have known. Had known, and had ignored his own misgivings. Whether it was worth the effort or not is a question he can't quite seem to forget. Not with such space before him. Not now that so much has passed and what remains is... Inadequate, but exactly as much as he ought to have.

It's been harder generally to control what he can and can't forget. Hard to say what might come to mind. Ginsberg, for instance, was a topic Don might happily have avoided. Why think on the gnat who had so nagged him and who might not return? And mostly, Ginsberg had been far from his thoughts. But from time to time a reminder would rise to consciousness, something about a boy who's been displaced, a talent and a raw ball of nerves sentenced to be wasted. In those moments, some part of him had taken wretched comfort in the idea that Ginsberg might not return, while the rest wished deeply for his safety. That was no way to end a life. That was no way to wish his own problems eased.

But it is so easy, so easy to wish horrible deeds. To just let things grow to rot. And if Ginsberg never returned, Don would never need to worry about him again. Never need to face that casual scrutiny. Never need to see that wayward star rise against the measure of his own descent.

There are worse things in life. And everything eventually falls. It's best, isn't it, that Ginsberg will have his time? Let him flourish before his own end. (And he will, Don thinks. He will.)

So it is best. Don can believe that, and he's surprised (pleasantly surprised) to find earnest relief in the sight of Ginsberg. He's surprised as well by the ease with which he falls into his role role as dictated by their former dynamic. How he can feel his back straightening minutely, how his whole posture becomes more solid. It's a challenge welcoming the man back, acting as if little has changed, and something - who can say what - permits Don to step back toward an accustomed role.

He doesn't know what Ginsberg's heard. About the office, about himself. He thinks he doesn't care. (Besides, if Ginsberg hasn't heard already, he'll figure it out on his own. He has the vision for it; hasn't that always been part of the problem?) And he even thinks his smile takes on a truer cast as he speaks.

"Bob Benson terrorized the office with a goat and Cosgrove's been teaching the new girls to tap dance. Otherwise? We're running the same haphazard ship."

There should be more. The ground for speech is uncertain (too many questions, too many potential points for plummeting), but if he's going to maintain his position in this conversation, he'll need to prompt it forward.

"And how are you?" It isn't a warm question, spoken with the typically brusque tones of Don Draper but it isn't entirely impersonal, either. He doesn't anticipate an entirely honest answer, nor does he want an entirely honest answer, but he's listening.
Edited 2014-01-12 14:22 (UTC)
knockfourtimes: (to feel less alone)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-13 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
The first part of Ginsberg's response is refreshingly familiar, and more welcome than Don would have expected. Whatever sort of annoyance Ginsberg may have been, he had at least offered a different voice. Don hadn't been keen on listening to his words (he hadn't had time, he hadn't had patience, mostly he hadn't wanted to consider what these words might mean, what their speaker might one day do), but now they're a welcome change from the usual tinseled chatter. Welcome too because they sound like the Ginsberg who had gone away. (The thought again: that it is possible to come through. To defy those empty spaces and the prospect of absence.)

As for the rest... It's as if the walls have started to come down, and now he's anchored. Because those are words that don't fit in the break room maybe don't fit anywhere at all. But they should. There's necessity to the words, something immediate and unplanned and Jesus Christ, he'd just come in for a cup of coffee.

Don doesn't... join in or directly respond. He can't. It isn't the right place and he isn't the right person. What he does do is give the words the space they deserve. Require. Far from the silence of an awkward pause, this space hangs charged with thoughts that can't reach speaking. And though Don's eyes flicker away, he guides them back to Ginsberg. He can look at the man. He can do that much.

Somehow it feels better just to hear someone speak without masking. The truth of the words is harrowing, but at least it's truth. At least it isn't trying to hide. Don's experience was a different war, a different time, but everything about it strikes too similar. And in some ways - whatever Roger might say about glory and the good old days - each war is the same as the last, powered by the same uncomprehending rage the numb bureaucracy and the grinding of bones. Nothing changes that.

And of course. Of course you don't forget. War had put a deep-burned brand to Don's existence. It didn't matter how long he had been overseas, didn't matter what fighting he had or hadn't seen. Didn't matter how long ago it had been. Always, it lingers somewhere, ready to coil upward at the smallest sign.

He finds it difficult to believe that war leaves anyone unchanged. And he wonders how it may have altered Ginsberg. What it burned away and whether it brought anything to bronzing. War can bring out skills, even braveries (he won't say 'nobilities'; it's too cheap, too easy) in some. Not always. (Not in his case. He thinks, he knows.) Ginsberg might not appear or even sound changed, but these shifts occur on deeper levels, alterations in the dark, at almost the base level of being. Who can say what has occurred?

What occurred, and what stands now. Because Ginsberg is correct about coming back, as well, suggesting that it is the most difficult part. Don's departure from war had in many ways been less of a return than another beginning. There was nothing to come back to. (Save that glance of his family. Dick's family. Of... Adam. Sharp reminder that they still existed and that he'd had a home, though it was almost the last place he wanted to go; war had been bad but home hadn't been much better.) The world had looked different, somehow more wavered, but it had been his for the taking. His for the creating.

True returns were harder. From war. From nearly half a year's forced leave. From anything at all. Returns mean facing the expectations of others. Mean the questions that require formulaic responses. Wondering who will see beneath the veneer and what they might possibly think, how they might entertain judgment. (Judgment shouldn't matter. Shouldn't ever matter, but of course it does, of course it impacts even if the damage isn't felt until much later. Everyone sees and everyone determines, and eventually their impress mounts to some burning pressure.) Returns mean slowly feeling one's way back into the dynamics of an old world, wanting to find it the same and wishing desperately that something might have changed, something might reflect the wrenchings of the interval. Wishing there were a way to force open the eyes of others, make them understand that nothing, nothing is the same.

But it has always been necessary to play at sameness. To keep alive the image of an existence unshaken and unshakable, a reassurance that the world is safe and solid... Which is a laugh. It's never been stable and has never even verged on safety. Life is a balancing act, played out over unsuspected abysses. All of the pretense in the world can't keep those fractures from writing themselves into the fabric of existence.

So he knows. The harder it's become to maintain his own facade, the more deeply he's felt the truth of this uncertainty. But he can't say that to Ginsberg. Or he won't. Because it's true, but it isn't what you say, and more importantly, it isn't the only truth. There are hollow spaces in the world, yes, there are permanent spaces of uncertainty, yes. But somehow, somehow the human balancing act can navigate these shaky structures. (That's bullshit, but it isn't. It's impossible, but it's part and perhaps a large part of what's kept Don alive these past few years.)

So what do you say? What do you say?

"You won't be."

That isn't enough. It gets toward the idea, but what he wants to say is Ginsberg will almost certainly feel the sharp instability for months, maybe years. That it'll live on in mind and the body's memory long after everyone's forgotten he even went to war. What he wants to say is that even when the war seems to have covered all, when all has been destabilized and you're caught in a roiling of memory and terror, the world stands waiting just inches away. That it's possible to reach out a hand, open the eyes and find that everything's in place. That the war can attack from the inside, but there are ways out of it. There are ways to remember stability.

It sounds simpler than it is, of course, and he doesn't have the words for it. But the possibility remains.

"You're here."

He extends a hand, an offer that need not be accepted. "And it's good to have you back."
Edited 2014-01-13 03:58 (UTC)
knockfourtimes: (of my execution)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-14 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
The sensation of Ginsberg's hand in his own is surprisingly distinct, carrying the weight of reality out of half-lit inconstant forms. From the moment of contact, he can feel the scrape and give of skin, muscle shoring architecture of the bone beneath, and throughout all the firm and frantic resonance of pulse. Here is something without question. Here is something speaking that the world may yet exist in possibilities.

He feels himself offer the pressure of his own hand, feels the slightest crush of Ginsberg's own, and he sustains the pressing long enough to speak through it, a sign of welcome, formality tinged almost with reassurance. And then he feels release, his own body knowing just the right length of any handshake, knowing how to hold and when to let go. But he remembers the sense of that hand.

There is the question, though. The war. And after a brief moment's pause and a tight smile, Don gives response. It's an automatic and well-used phrase, and while incomplete, it holds truth: "You move on."

He must have dreamed about the war. There had been echoes of rifle fire and explosions, nights of awakening dripping cold sweat. But those dreams had been blended with the new world he'd found upon return, the world in which everything was suddenly open and everything might spell brutality, in which possibility was fused with all the instabilities of war. So he'd dreamed of selling cars to men who turned to drive daggers through his heart, dreamed of women who grew claws to rend his throat and men in suits who turned to steel or crumbled into ash, dreamed of opportunities that came apart with all the power of unsuspected mines. There'd been no telling where war came in, or where it'd ever ended.

There is no clarity to his memory of the war, either. What he remembers (so far as he remembers) is digging and travel, waiting, inconvenience, the signs of illness. Command and obedience (he had followed from habit and recognition, but in his mind it had never stuck), a wonderful stress on the body. Shots fired somewhere. Sleep broken by uncertainty and the jostling of men pressed in too close. Then dislocation as he'd found himself the sole charge of a short-lived commander. More digging, the sense of being without, tangential and impossible.

And then the fire.

It was stupid. It was a mistake. It wasn't war at all. Or it was a perfect expression of war, death without reason, destruction through a mere mistaking. Nothing noble about it (that word again, that myth), nothing worthy of song or story or speech. Only human scrambling. And somehow, that had brought an end. The mistake that sends you home, new identity new life now in your hands.

How had that been possible?

He tries not to question possibility. An answer is that war - that war (he won't call it his, it never was), perhaps any war and almost certainly the mess in Vietnam - is run without order. That all of the systems the hierarchies the ranks and regulations cannot hide the chaos at its center. It's too much for control, a creature grown beyond conception. So it's a wonder anyone makes it out alive. So it's a wonder wars can be classed as won or lost, at all.

And you can leave, but does it leave you? Everyone moves on, but moving on is not forgetting. And while Don may have forsaken memory, it occurs to him that Ginsberg can't. Not as easily and maybe not at all. Because Ginsberg's somehow too aware, and Don suspects the war hadn't changed that (how had Ginsberg come through at all, then? open wound that his mind has always been, sensitive without strong recourse of defense). Some things, it takes more than war to alter. Some things are just too deep-ingrained.

And maybe it's best, after all, not to force forgetting, the power of which has begun to seem flawed. All of the silence that Don has worked so long to build has begun to crack, the sound structures letting slip glimpses of what had been. So that images have come unbidden. So that he has begun to face recollections he'd thought to have razed long ago, recollections he might dismiss as fantasy were that not so close and clear, so solid in a way fantasy never managed. He knows these impressions. He feels himself coil at them, feels his skin give the slightest shiver.

So memory is stronger than it appears. So maybe nothing is ever lost. And the pieces you shuffle away can rise to shudder you when finally defenses fail.

The answer isn't in forgetting, then. Maybe. In any case, it isn't advice he's about to give Ginsberg.

"Give it time, and it takes up less of you. You remember how to live."
knockfourtimes: (no.)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-14 05:52 am (UTC)(link)
He doesn't laugh and he almost doesn't flinch (it's the slightest twinge, mouth flickering in a grimace, chest giving a sharp contraction), though for a moment it's difficult to keep control.

What do you mean by living. The million-dollar question. Hilarious and empty. There are as many answers as there are grains of sand along a shore or strewn across a desert, and there are no solid answers. No good answers. It's a question best avoided, one Don has done his damnedest to avoid but lately... but lately (what's left is/ what's left is/ and how do you count what you had, how count what you thought shone with substance when everything dissolves), and now...

Jesus. It'd be best to get the hell out of here. Leave Ginsberg with a couple of short words and a vague assurance that if he stops thinking so hard about it, it'll all pass away. Ginsberg won't buy it, of course - there was too clear a terror of awareness in his words - but he'll stop talking. Probably leave Don alone for the rest of the week. (Yes, and probably slink back to whatever office he'd come out of, probably hole up there until evening came on. Probably continue to circle the questions he'd tripped into voicing continue to feel their gnawing and almost certainly, certainly feel it more sharply than Don had ever known. and what would that be to feel? What kind of agony to the mind?) Ginsberg would be taken care of, Don could return to his office, pour himself a drink - his desire to drown trumping any capacity to give a shit about regulations - and let all of this fade away before it becomes too sharp.

There's still time. The opportunity is open. And it would be so simple.

But he feels... All right, he feels a small amount of responsibility here. Because a man who's only just returned from some version of hell has spilled words too raw. And Ginsberg's always been raw, but something's different this time. It's the situation or the choice of words or maybe it's Don, where he is now and what he can no longer be. (And what was it that had allowed Ginsberg to voice the questions in the first place?) Whatever Don may have felt about Ginsberg before, however much he hadn't thought about him or had avoided thinking of him...

Ginsberg's barely holding it together. The thoughts are clearly getting to him. And something should be done.

Besides, Don isn't sure he wants to let whatever this is, this rawness go. Not that he wants to engage in it, exactly; it isn't the way he operates, it isn't the way that he expresses himself to others, and especially not to employees. But he can find words around it (really? so certain, anymore?), and right now he feels closer to awake than he has in days, even feels a little more like himself. As unstable as this situation is, it gives him somewhere and something to be. And these words, these questions... Maybe they do need to be touched on. Just barely, of course. But they've been too loud of late in his own head and he hasn't found a better way of banishing them.

"Look. How about..." He breathes, takes a moment and puts a hand on Ginsberg's arm, his eyes steady. "Why don't we go into my office?"

It's the opposite of retreating. And it might be a horrendous idea, but it's better than keeping these words in the open, where anyone might walk in. Besides, getting Ginsberg to sit down might be a good idea.

"Do you want coffee?"
knockfourtimes: (was no more real)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-14 08:57 am (UTC)(link)
All right. That's that, then. No way out of this now. He's almost surprised that Ginsberg accepted the offer, but this isn't the place for questioning it. There are already too many ideas in conflict, too many pieces to keep clear. What matters right now is maintaining this holding pattern until his office door has closed behind them.

(And then? And then what are you going to say, what is he going to ask? Nothing that matters--Not true. Everything that burns. No good can come of this, but little good comes of silence, either. Only a shoving away, putting off, collecting debts of thought and recognition that some day will return, that peer through hairline fractures reach up from abysses and one day will grab hold.)

Don pours the coffee, feeling remarkably calm as the back of his mind bats away questions and pulls together possibilities, answers, phrases, ways of handling this situation. This part is simple enough. This part is under control. He can handle this as long as he doesn't think too far into it.

Ginsberg doesn't appear to be doing well, might be lucky just to make it to the office, but Don doesn't say anything. There's no need to make this any more awkward. As it is, people are likely to wonder; Don doesn't exactly make a practice of carrying anyone else's coffee, nor of inviting junior employees into his office. Especially not when that junior employee is Michael Ginsberg.

Not that all of the prying eyes will remember. Not that all of the prying eyes had been here before Ginsberg's departure. There must have been some talk of the creative-turned-soldier, but Don couldn't say what it was, and certainly he hadn't spoken the man's name. Not often. You don't think about those who have moved on and you certainly don't think about don't talk about those who have gone to war. No one should be going to war. No one.

He gives Ginsberg a nod, making sure to catch his eyes. It'll be fine. Whatever 'fine' may be. (What do you mean by living?) "All right."

It's odd. The way his step has strengthened, the way he walks with greater certainty than he'd managed on the way to the break room. And there are a few glances thrown their way, but Don takes it in the stride of renewed confidence, as if this is only a matter of typical business, as if there is nothing more natural.

When they reach the office, he kicks the door shut and nods toward the chairs, the sofa. "Take a seat. Anywhere." As soon as Ginsberg has chosen a place, Don will hand him the coffee, and then...

Well. He'll tackle that uncertainty when it arrives.
knockfourtimes: (his scorn of the gods)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-15 05:35 am (UTC)(link)
This was not, this was not a good idea.

So what? It isn't the first time Don Draper has ever made a questionable decision. And there's the smallest chance that this might be one of his less damaging turns. Not that this is some decent deed. It's only what had seemed necessary at the time, and now that he's begun, he has to carry it through.

He doesn't really want to sit. Sitting means treating this as an honest-to-god conversation. Sitting means really engaging, really looking at Ginsberg. And maybe into; maybe he won't be able to keep himself from watching, falling further in. Because this truth is awful and this truth is fascinating, and although he's spent years upon years keeping it back, although he should be all rights be able to bat it aside, his defenses aren't what they used to be. And he almost thinks he could willingly give up on them.

Maybe it's best to give Ginsberg a moment to settle in, anyway. There's no reason for Don to watch him flopping all over the couch, unsteady as he still appears. Maybe he needs a moment without scrutiny. Maybe Don needs a moment to try clearing his mind again. So Don turns away, gives his desk a meaningless search-over as if looking for some pen or memo or... or, all right, a way out of this, not just this conversation but this everything, a way to shut the world off and out the way alcohol had almost done but never entirely achieved, the way he sometimes dreams awake or asleep of finding, the way that should be so easy but has never come clear.

Of course the desk doesn't hold that answer. Nothing holds that answer. So he returns to Ginsberg, hands over the coffee, and lowers himself into the nearest chair, collected and casual. Tired as he is (even with this sudden half-awakening), Don dominates the chair, uses it the way he uses any object or article of clothing, the way he uses any other person. He overwhelms it, uses it to frame himself and draw attention to the strength of his own image.

Never mind that the man behind that image has weakened some, mind and body alike. That the hands sometimes shake in ways that have nothing to do with alcohol. That his clothing doesn't hang quite right (a product of the fact that he forgets to eat or doesn't care, that physical activity has become sporadic, creating a slow shrinking and softening, though he holds himself well enough to hide it). That a permanent weariness has settled in his eyes, overruling a life-long circumspection. Most people don't see any of this, and the faux confidence that Don so easily manufactures directs their attention from catching sight of flaws.

And Don isn't thinking about this now, not consciously. His focus is on addressing Ginsberg's words, and on keeping himself from saying too much. On retaining the coolness of their... relationship, though it can hardly be called that. It's best not to say too much. This is a business, after all, even if the topic itself isn't business. For an answer though...

"You're doing your job."

No. No, that won't do it. His own words sound tired to him. Worn-out - he's used them so many times - and probably thin from the start. In the light of Ginsberg's questions (time and living, Jesus Christ) and the awareness of his scrutiny, the words appear exactly as flimsy as they must be. Selections and sounds to cover too many ideas, to hide the fact that there is nothing solid to them, that at base they are nothing save uncertainty.

He can't leave it at that.

"You're doing what you need to do." But that still isn't it.

He's been keeping an eye on Ginsberg, and the details are starting to emerge, the individual flinches and twitches, the wild vocabulary of his eyes. The awareness is slow to come, primarily because Don still doesn't want to care, doesn't want to see more than the minimum and doesn't want to recall details long since stowed away, buried from the moment he'd first seen them (he remembers more than he would have admitted; it isn't surprising, but it does cause dim alarm). He had tried to free his awareness of Ginsberg. But now? Now, it's hard to look away. Hard not to let morbid curiosity win out, to see how far he might push himself.

What is there to see here? What is there to know, to face?

"You're trying to find your way back into yourself."

A breath. Something else. "Look. Did you want to come back?"
knockfourtimes: (to feel less alone)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-15 11:00 am (UTC)(link)
He's beginning to form a clearer memory of Ginsberg. The gestures and spilled words recall the overeager kid with too much confidence and a big mouth, the kid Don had wanted to sock in the jaw and had nearly fired on multiple occasions. The kid who'd had the talent to carry him through against all of those shortcomings, who'd had enough talent to scare Don once in a while, when his own star was slow and he could feel the cold calling of the doorway out. There'd been times Don would've given anything to get out of seeing the little prick's face, let alone speaking to him.

And what of that kid remains?

He searches out an answer as he holds Ginsberg's eyes, taking their scrutiny as a challenge and strengthening his own expression. There isn't anything to see here, nothing to be investigated. What he presents - or attempts to present (there's no helping the dislocation at the back of his eyes, no helping the smaller details indicating truth) - is assurance, the well-known impression of unshakable firmness. It's easier to conjure this expression with something to set himself against, easier when he takes Ginsberg's gaze as an intrusion to be opposed.

He doesn't know whether this is right. Whether it's helpful. He's too tired to worry about it (the coffee isn't helping; he sets it on the table). And there is enough to manage in Ginsberg's words.

It's... a lot to think about. A lot to take in, and even as a part of Don attempts to retreat from it and drift away, out of thinking out of confronting, the other half of his mind busies itself with flashing over the words and how they connect and how they might be combated, connecting them with the uncertainty in Ginsberg's eyes with the very fact that he's suddenly given so many words, so many words that mean... What do they mean?

Don can hardly doubt them or deny the truth driving their expression; Ginsberg is too earnest to speak lightly. As far as Don can recall, Ginsberg can't even avoid excessive honesty about meaningless details. It's as if somehow Ginsberg believes that if he tells the truth as he sees it, he'll have everything under control or might somehow pull everyone onto his side, find himself a little less... Alone. Whatever that means. (Don has his ideas. Though the word might not be right. Maybe he's putting too much into this scene. Maybe he needs sleep.)

So what is it? Place and movement. Pride. Validation (and oh, that's... that could be hilarious, this wishing for approval, Ginsberg dreaming on a bunch of happy ad men while he's ducking fire in the jungle, but somehow it's a little too hideous a little too wretched for mirth). And wanting...

What you want is the only thing that matters, but Ginsberg's right; it also doesn't mean a goddamn thing. You give it desperate chase but never know what it is you're chasing. Never can see that THING clearly, though you might put a name to it, some place or job or cologne or some lover who'll make everything better and cure you of wanting. And then that name morphs into another morphs into another until you find you've spent your whole life chasing shadows, or less than shadows, because they've never been attached to substance.

Yeah, well. He can't say that to Ginsberg. It's true, but it isn't the brand of truth Ginsberg needs. (And who the hell is Don to make the decision on that? He's done it before, been fine with saying what must and must not be right for someone, but he's also seen it fall apart... And Jesus Christ, brand? What's truth but another product to sell?) There are other ways of thinking about it. There are always other ways of thinking about it.

He would like something stronger than coffee.

He would like to be anywhere else.

He would like to brush away this bullshit, all of it; this office these positions and titles these years of being someone else of being the hero discovered as fraud and kept on in pity. Be rid of it all, and just... Speak. Just speak clearly, and clean.

But what there is is never clean. Not really. He can only let the words come, let them form as they will.

"Don't say that. You'll spend your life listening to people tell you it doesn't matter what you want; don't break yourself apart for them. You can't give in that easily.

"You're unclear about where you are. You're going to be unclear. You've been somewhere and been touched by things most of these people can't begin to imagine. Maybe none of us can. For a while, you're going to feel like you don't belong anywhere. But I'll tell you something...

"It will pass.

"You'll wake up one morning, and you'll realize you didn't dream about the jungle. You spent the entire night here, in New York, in your own bed. You won't stop thinking about it - not entirely, not for a while - but you'll spend more and more time here. With clients. With... Peggy, with Stan. And you'll remember why you loved this job. You'll remember why you were here in the first place, and why you came back.

"And I'll tell you something else. You're here because we wanted you to come back. We don't hire out of pity, and you know we don't operate from some sense of honor.

"We need you. We want you. And it's your choice to stay or go - you always have a choice - but I want you to know that we would be sorry to see you go again."

That felt... Okay. He isn't certain that it's true he isn't certain whether he believes any of it... But just now, he almost, almost could.
Edited 2014-01-15 11:02 (UTC)
knockfourtimes: (was no more real)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-17 05:49 am (UTC)(link)
"Why does it matter?" The question is voiced with rough immediacy, and what he means is both 'what gives you the right to ask' and why should I tell you.'

He is... he's trying to address this. He's trying to give Ginsberg a steadying hand. But those questions came so swiftly after Don's speech. Hadn't that been enough? Hadn't his words offered at least a moment's comfort, something to distract Ginsberg from these obsessive questions, the ideas (now, then, how much time, when, when) that have set upon him? Don's words had felt right enough. They'd fallen into a particular pattern (it's the mode of communication he knows, his strongest way of speaking, and it works, or it usually does, used to), but their content had been what was needed, giving form to the thoughts he couldn't catch hold of.

And Don isn't the one who almost fell apart in the break room. It isn't his situation that stands under scrutiny. It isn't his war.

Fine, and isn't that the key? Ginsberg isn't probing Don. Or if he is (there isn't any telling with Ginsberg), that isn't the main drive of the questions. Ginsberg is asking for himself. For his own peace of mind. Don's experience happens to connect tangentially, Ginsberg happens to know that, and because Ginsberg doesn't know how to navigate the waters of careful conversation, he's stumbled into these questions. It was a clumsy move. There was no threat involved.

Don pulls out a cigarette, tosses the pack onto the table as an invitation to Ginsberg. He doesn't remember whether Ginsberg had smoked - he can't remember seeing the kid holding a cigarette, but that's no definitive sign - but the offer stands. And as Don lights his own, takes a draw, he considers the questions again.

How long did it take you? As if there's any way of really settling on an answer. As if his own answer could be anything like Ginsberg's. Again, it came back to forgetting, and Don had been especially skilled at locking away the loudest disturbances. Whatever its effect in the long run, it had quieted recollections to a murmur soon enough, washed over in an awareness of the world around him. There must be something more to it...

"Not long.

"I kept myself busy. Found a job and worked every day until I didn't have any more room for thought."

That second question... Whether he had come back at all is an area of uncertainty. Whether he was the same man. For a while he'd almost forgotten about Dick Whitman, and even Anna had allowed him to embrace his new identity. His foundation had been the same, perhaps (some things you can't shake), but the visible structure had been torn down to make way for a seemingly new identity. Don Draper had been born from the war and created in its wake. Don Draper had been free of everything that plagued the short-time soldier, hadn't really been touched by the war, at all.

So in a way, he hadn't come back from the war until just recently (recently? it feels like a lifetime of its own). Until Adam showed up out of the blue. Until Pete found the pictures and Betty found the name and everything began to build again, began to come together so that old and new have begun to feed off one another in a nauseating combination, and he can't tell which is which, which he is.

But that doesn't matter. That isn't the question. Not the way Ginsberg understands it or asked it. All Don needs to do is provide a likely enough response.

"I came back because I was wounded, and my tour ended. I wanted to make a life somewhere else. I thought I could start again, and I did." It isn't anything profound, but it's as close to the truth as he's willing to come.

"My life changed, completely. That was what I wanted."
knockfourtimes: (the stranger)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-17 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
'War hero'? He raises his eyebrows, caught between laughter and disgust, and settles for taking a pull on the cigarette. Jesus. Ginsberg's got to be joking about that, or maybe trying to get a dig in. If that's the attempt (is it a defense?), it doesn't land; Don had discovered the lie of that phrase long ago. It had never sat right, and from the start his own medal had been a joke, another sign of just how senseless war was. Saving the country one accidental explosion, one stolen identity at a time.

He's not sure he believes that anything 'doesn't matter' to Ginsberg, either, though God knows why it should. What's behind that desire for everything to mean so much? And the desire to get a grasp on all of that meaning... Someone ought to tell Ginsberg it's too much. That no one can handle that much input, and you've got to tune your attention out sometimes. Pick and choose what filters through, what you really give time and space for. If Ginsberg could do that, he might be able to relax. Though it probably isn't so easy as that.

"If you want to call it that.

"Some people will tell you that every man who enters combat is a hero. Some will say the title belongs to every soldier who enlists. Period. And some will claim that 'soldier' is synonymous with 'coward.' In the end, they're all words without real weight. Ideas created to make people feel better about sending their sons overseas, or to be used as support for a self-righteous cause." Those who protest the wars are usually no better or worse than those who cheer for it; blind resistance hardly outweighs unthinking support.

Christ, the kid's eyes (and he is a kid, for all he's seen and for all he's... sure, all he's accomplished; he's still young enough to believe - maybe - the world could be fresh, still young enough not to belong to the loss creeping through the whole of his expression). Was he this intense before? Absolutely. So far as Don can recall, Ginsberg had been like this since their first encounter; always watching with too much focus, as if standing on the edge of the world, as if somehow he were electric, strange and charged.

What's different now is the deeper sense of distance. Or that's what Don senses as he keeps his own eyes steady, observing without venturing too deep, skirting the outsides of those eyes that say too much, because he can't afford (why?) to fall in, to lose himself in navigating Ginsberg's own absence. It occurs to Don that Ginsberg is still over there. It's only natural. It's to be expected. And of course it's left him even more divided, more conflicted than before. He has to give it time.

"You don't become a different person as easily as that." Maybe you can't at all, not really. Not so long as that foundation remains. No amount of change in the world, no upheaval can erase the past. Unless you're speaking of paralysis and brain damage. Unless you're speaking of death.

"People say you can't come back unchanged because it's an easy statement to make. Because they want life to be dramatic and they want to believe in war heroes. Because they want to believe that one day, their own heroism will be unveiled with no effort of their own." It's an automatic solution; send a boy to war, see a man return. Or a monster. But actuality is more difficult to parse. And what monster is not also a man?

"But the truth is that change is a matter of choice. What you saw and what you did can't be taken back, but you don't have to let it define the rest of your life. If it feels overwhelming now, you have to trust that all of this will recede. No one reworks your life without your say-so."
knockfourtimes: (don't give me that)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-18 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
He watches the laughter without amusement or alarm; so far as his expression changes, it's to allow a flicker of irritation. He'd offered advice, he'd offered words approaching honesty, and this is Ginsberg's reaction?

It is. It is, and maybe it's the most appropriate response. Maybe they'd all be better off if they just laughed at this entire charade, this whatever that life is or feigns to be. It's best to let the laughter run itself out, and so he does.

Then come the words. Don lets Ginsberg's words pass without without falling too deep into their complications. He's heard them echoed often enough in his own mind, and if hearing them spoken aloud brings an extra sting, it isn't enough to divert his focus. He keeps his ears fixed for relevant details, pieces he might use to build an argument in response. Registers the way they're spoken - raw, unchanneled by design - without falling into it, though the fervor behind them is almost impressive, starts to touch him in way the words and ideas (the truths) themselves cannot. There's a heat to them that burns the edges of his comprehension, raises recollections and starts to turn his head...

But he holds steady. There's passion to the words, there's an emotional truth, but something is missing: the logic is incomplete and incoherent. Missing a broader picture. (As if anyone holds the broader picture. As if Don's own hold on the situation is any clearer. It may be less manic, it may be... well, may have been more solid. In any case, solid or not, nothing makes it any more true.) Ginsberg's verbal flailing doesn't add up, and so long as Don doesn't fall prey to the violence of the emotional outburst - he doesn't; he won't - he can continue to hold his own.

(So long as he doesn't think about the complications behind Ginsberg's words, the truth of what change is or can be. That sometimes, little by little, it creeps over and into your being. Sometimes you look up and realize you don't know who you are or how you got here. Or you'll find long-buried pieces that have been present all along, pieces tangled up with everything you thought you knew about yourself. But that's, what, isn't that just a failure of awareness? Letting your guard down is a fault; it can't just be chalked up to chance. Drifting is no excuse for self-loss.

And don't, don't think about... How you change others. How you can kill more men by going about your daily life than by engaging in any war, the damage driven without recognition, delivering these blows without comprehension. How if death haunts Don's consciousness, it's in the images of men strung swinging from trees, stark silhouettes caught in an unmeaning wind, unknowing and irreparable.

None of that. None of that bears thinking.)

He crosses one leg, letting his ankle rest on his knee, and takes another moment with the cigarette before speaking.

"Are you listening to yourself?" He almost, almost remarks on this invocation of 'narratives,' but lets it slide. This isn't the place for picking apart irrelevant details, as absurd as they seem.

"'You act, you let.' Putting on a different face is still a matter of choice. Acceptance is still a choice. If I let a stranger on the train call me Clark Gable, I've chosen not to correct him, and I've chosen to live with the consequences... Or I might choose to ignore the consequences as they come. If I let my wife pick out a tie - and if I choose to wear that tie - I've agreed to let it become a part of my image." That would be assuming that he has a wife in the first place, but Don only barely notices the detail. It's an example taken from Ginsberg, not an actuality.

"Would I deny that we spend our lives trying to reshape one another? No. But if I let that reshaping guide me, if I go along with it, it's because I've chosen not to act. Because I let it happen. Because it's easier to be carried off downriver than to swim against the current, and because we've been told all our lives that the current wins every time.

"Of course we're affected by what happens. People will try to mold you. You'll come through events feeling like your eyes have been thrown open, like your minds has been torn apart. What I'm telling you is that you hold some amount of control in all of this. That if the world as a whole is out of its mind, you still have the tools to keep your balance." He takes another pull on the cigarette, watching Ginsberg through the smoke.

"Or would you rather bow down to the great god Chaos? Because you can. You can step back now, throw up your hands and let everything take you. If you want to stop fighting, that's your business. But it isn't your only option."

Never mind that this is the most fighting Don's done in a long time. Never mind that he isn't sure where or how he might have chosen differently. How this could have taken some other path toward completion. None of that matters. The only concern right now is Michael Ginsberg and whatever argument he's attempting to set forth.
knockfourtimes: (had shattered the harmony)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-18 05:55 am (UTC)(link)
"Jesus. Do you want to have a discussion, or do you just want to spit words at me until I surrender?" It's all he has for a moment, a release of exasperation even as he feels himself thinking over and into that torrent of words, even as he feels himself being pulled into its questions and why, why...

Why he can't just brush all of it aside. Why he can't just call it overreacting, can't just repeat the recommendation to let it slide.

Because maybe Ginsberg isn't entirely wrong. Maybe... It doesn't seem right, doesn't seem as if it should be the case, but maybe there are times at which control becomes... improbable. Impossible, even. Times the body mind everything are guided by what occurs, and there isn't time or space or power to stand against the movement, when simply identifying the agent of change isn't enough to redirect it.

It shouldn't be the case. Don has spent the majority of his life finding ways around it, finding ways of standing against it. Or reacting in retrospect, if he couldn't move in the moment. Because isn't revision a possible? Isn't it possible to choose a way of visioning what has already occurred?

For him, so far as he allows himself to see, yes. But what Ginsberg has suggested (and what Don has suspected on more than one occasion, though always he's shoved the thought back, always he's stamped it useless, hysterical and washed it from his mind) is that it isn't the same for everyone. That perhaps this ability to stand against occurrence and this ability to revise what has been requires a particular sort of character. A state of mind, no telling whether it's any stronger, probably it isn't any better... But it isn't necessarily for all.

So maybe people are pulled under without their own agreement. Maybe people fall into decisions projects relationships (can Don really claim to have been in control with all of that falling in with one woman and another, all of that looking for love and fulfillment and what? Hadn't he felt its desperation? He'd given each a reason he'd given his compulsions direction, but were all of those assignments only unstable covers?) personality traits (is that possible?) actions of any sort without having any chance to respond or to alter their direction. Don doesn't understand how everything can become cramped in such a fashion. Doesn't comprehend how choice can be taken away. But it... Wouldn't it explain some things? Or at least offer another possibility.

And who's to say it isn't true? Who's to say his own experience (or what he will admit as his own experience, what he happens to see and to recognize) is the measure of of truth? It doesn't make sense as a claim. He doesn't have any other way of evaluating truth or... or...

Evaluating truth? This is becoming too convoluted. Too goddamn intellectual, and where can it possibly lead either of them? He looks for Ginsberg's eyes again, tries to get a fix on them, find his mental footing...

But there's a thought. A return thought, resurgent, that people take their end without choice. That some speak without being able to control their words (that's bullshit) that some marry without having any say (bullshit) that some fall into affairs without any actual control (that... can't be right, can it? not the way he's seen it, not the way...) and that some hang themselves without ability to think, to revise, to halt or control their actions. That if these people don't choose their actions, it must be that they are propelled, compelled, set off by words or actions from without from others. That one person truly can alter the course of another, intentionally or not. And if blame belongs to this world, those who speak to and act upon others may be left to hold its substance.

Well. It isn't much of a surprise, anyway. It isn't as if the thought has never crossed his mind. It's only another affirmation. You were right, you were right, you were right every time.

(And why can't he just let things happen? How is it he has kept control so long? If he has. It seems he has most ways. Even when everything seems falling off to dust, why does he feel himself clinging, still standing?

Because you don't, you don't, you don't)

He's beginning to feel nauseous.

And the world isn't as solid as it had been just a couple of minutes ago. It occurs to Don that he still hadn't really caught sight of Ginsberg's eyes again, and he rubs at his own forehead, willing the pieces to come back together. It shouldn't be so easy to fall into thinking like that. Shouldn't be so easy to lose track of the thread of... whatever thread they'd been following.

He needs a minute. He'll find it again. It helps to feel the pressure of his fingers. Helps to know that the physical world is still standing (of course it is). It's a matter of checking in with his surroundings. That's all it takes.

(But it's hard. And that idea planted in mind... Something's been unsettled again. Much was unsettled before Don had left the office in the first place. He'd climbed out of it to meet Ginsberg, but he's slipping back and if he isn't careful...

There's a choice here, isn't there? There must be something he can do.)

He has to say something. Speech is (perhaps?) the equivalent to pressing his fingers against his forehead. A way of reconnecting. "If you're worried about me stepping on a land mine, don't be. We don't have those over here."

(There's something in that, too. About what Ginsberg said about worry - wait, wait, was he, had he said he's worried about Don? - but that isn't for thinking now. That isn't for... Give that a few minutes. At least. It's ridiculous, and maybe he'd heard wrong. or it doesn't matter. Right now, just... Aside. Aside.)

He forces himself to stand, feeling unsteady, trying to find his feet. "If we're going to keep at this, I need a drink." There's an implied question, asking Ginsberg whether he'd like one, as well. It might help. If nothing else, it should give him time to collect his thoughts. Shouldn't it?
knockfourtimes: (no.)

[personal profile] knockfourtimes 2014-01-18 08:54 am (UTC)(link)
Caught by the softness of Ginsberg's words, Don stands fixed through the talk about steps through this ludicrous (absurd, it is, it is, it isn't at all) idea of the both of them (wounded) dying, of a weeping medic.

That's it, of course. He has to remind himself that Ginsberg has only just return from Vietnam. Of course his mind is still clouded with images of war, with the immediate morbidity that thrives in and around combat. He can't be expected to have forgotten. He can't be expected to have completely collected himself. (Why not? Isn't it a choice?) It's still about the war.

That isn't true. That isn't the entire truth, maybe not even most of the truth, and Don knows it. Still, the thought is enough to free him into movement, and he makes his way to the cart beside his desk. Two bottles, supposed to be loosely monitored but Ginsberg can't possibly know that and Dawn won't say anything if he comes up short. He drops the end of his cigarette into an ashtray and barely stops himself from pouring a drink, arresting the automatic gesture that would have ended in downing the glass. He's going to try to take this slowly. He will. This situation's souring quickly enough as it is.

(There's the way Ginsberg had agreed to a drink. 'If we're going to keep at this, I could probably use a drink, too.' The way he'd taken Don's words or just the tone of his voice; something suggested authority. As if he'd come into control of the situation. As if Ginsberg were leading the way here. Which is ridiculous. It's only a thought. It's only an aberration, some passing suspicion.)

Keep moving. Grab the glasses - he grabs two, wraps a hand around the bottle - try talking. Don't look at Ginsberg yet, don't catch those eyes until you have to; everything's unsteady enough as it is. "You aren't dying." It's... a start.

"If you can ask these questions, you aren't dying."

It's true, isn't it? The ability to ask these questions and to see them from Ginsberg's supposed point of view suggests a... Not an innocence, necessarily, but a certain amount of togetherness. As if possessing the capacity for (healing is the wrong word, sounds too sweet, too much an ideal) wholeness, whatever that means. In any case, some quality to it speaks of living.

Dropping back into the chair, Don pours himself a drink, fills the empty glass. Sets the bottle between them. There's more if he needs it. Good. And he'll even sip this one. Just a drink. And another.

It helps to have the glass in-hand, but putting Ginsberg's words in order still proves difficult. So many of them, with such little direction, and all... Don doesn't want to admit it, but all cutting in their way, all leaving some imprint and meaning more than they ought to, more than he can explain or describe to him.

Jesus Christ, the land mines had been a joke. There was something true about them, too but that hadn't been the idea. No one had asked Ginsberg to extrapolate it that way. And what had Ginsberg said about wounding and dying, about... 'we'? We. And who asked him, who gave him the right to speak of them together, as if their situation is somehow connected, as if... as if...

And if Ginsberg's been bowled over by the war, what does he think has come over Don?

It's a lot of supposition. It's a lot of... Whatever whirlwind is running through Ginsberg's mind. Listen to his words, the way he uses words without censure, the wild gesticulations; there is nothing controlled about him. (Not outwardly.) Nothing concise, nothing that suggests careful thought or observation. He's swinging wildly.

As if such flailing is necessary untrue. Ginsberg had always spoken in rants; he hadn't always been far from something true, or at least applicable. Wildness of expression, even wildness of thought doesn't necessarily indicate untruth. (And maybe - it's a ridiculous thought - maybe it even flies closer to truth, less contained less re-wrapped and so less contrived. Isn't that the way of creation? The most untrammeled thoughts are the freshest. The thoughts hardest to ensnare yield the most fruit. Can he deny that?)

Jesus. Stop. He takes a drink, lets himself feel its burn and the warmth creeping downward. Another sensation to keep him rooted. Another reminder that he's here, he's here and all of these worries are just thoughts. They aren't anything at all. They can't do a thing.

Say something. Break the thinking; it doesn't get you anywhere. "Michael, nobody knows what to do with medals. You hide them in your desk, you hang them on the wall, you throw them away." The medal isn't what matters but Ginsberg knows that, and Don lets those words stay silent. Makes himself really look at Ginsberg again, and it turns out the kid's drawn in upon himself. Jesus. All of those brash words, and he looks as if he's been kicked into a corner.

(What the hell's going on here?)

"You can tell yourself you shouldn't be here. You can look back and take account of every circumstance that pushed you to where you stand today, and claim that you had nothing to do with it. That you are nothing more than a product of outside causes. Is that what you want?" Or is it all that Ginsberg can see? Don can't say that, though. He can't find the words for it, and there couldn't be any good in voicing it.

What had Ginsberg started to say? And how would Don describe Ginsberg? What would he have said before? Never mind, not now. Don takes another drink, tries to clear his head. Just a little, just enough to start pulling everything together again.

"I think you're tired. I think you're confused. And you need to take a step back." It won't be enough for Ginsberg - Don half expects another outburst - but it's all he has for the moment. It should be enough to carry him through until he can find more appropriate words, something to address the issue that he can't quite catch hold of. There has to be a way of doing it. There has to be a way of spinning words into a way of seeing.
Edited 2014-01-18 09:13 (UTC)

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