Ago 22, 2004

My last day at the Evening Standard. I have learnt much in this place. I have learnt that shallowness is the supreme evil. I have learnt that rapidity, hustle and rush are the allies of superficiality. My fastidiousness has been increased and with it a loathing of the uneducated. I have come to believe that the gulf between the educated and the uneducated is wider than that between the classes and more galling to the opposite side. I have not been popular in the office. I make perfunctory farewells. As I leave the building I shake my shoes symbolically.

Harold Nicolson
August 22, 1931
Diary entry


Good day 2

Another way to make the day bright with halogen lamps instead of the sun goes the following way. Remind yourself of the future.

Perhaps it's in order to remember that things there will end even as you embark on another early morning trip to begin another week of work. Look, whether or not you get another contract, the day will come. One semester, two years, three decades, what difference does it make? The twilight cometh.

Imagine how many mental tableaux you'll have by then and how full you'll have to consider yourself on that last day if you're to give meaning to that mass of names and faces, that multiply moving, manifold entity that will have the name of the baths. Imagine how you'll not have a tear on that day for those crystals were meant for people more moving than you, more encompassing, more akin to a child. Yet remember too that on that day, you didn't get any older. You just up and went.

You yourself will be your only memory, all your vaunted lessons reduced to a few inkblots in hundreds of unseen, inconsequential diplomas. Pretty soon, those blots will lose all meaning, just blood-black scratches referring to nothing. Everything they learned, they will forget. Perhaps, that is your truest consolation.

On that morrow, sooner than the later you think though more late than the never you consider, the place will recuperate and every footstep out shall be eaten by the rise of grass. Happy grass, the last to know me, the first to forget.

Tomorrow, that tomorrow, you'll grow sincere. You'll acquire the illusion of achievement and wear some of the airs from a sigh of relief. These excrescences too will evaporate. And when emptied of them, remember there never was relief nor achievement, only sighs and illusions.

In more ways than one and in one way above all, that day is now.

Lose the light for a while and meditate on the semester's lessons without the aid of charts, pens, and screens. There remains much room behind the eyelids.