Anaïs Nin - Diary Vol. II

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"I live so intensely for the other, I am so abnormally aware of others' feelings that I have fallen into the habit of lying about what I enjoy. I never say, for instance : 'I am seeing Helene tonight because I enjoy seeing her, because we have such a fantastic way of talking together.' I say: 'Helene wants to see me tonight, she is so much alone and she gets depressed.' As if I were merely submitting to her need. This is meant at times not to hurt anyone by seeming to enjoy anything more than their presence, it is meant to convey: all my pleasures are here, with you. The rest is duty. But there is a deeper reason for all this. I live so much to give pleasure to others that after a while I am confused myself as to whether I see Helene for her sake or for my own pleasure. The truth is that there is such a vast sum of things I do not do for myself that it has become the dominant impulse. True identification is erroneously confused with maschism in psychology. Psychologists say we give out of guilt, out of atonement, we give to suffer. But no account is taken of the divine pleasure which attends the giving and makes it a natural function of the pleasure-loving. I am far from Catholic hypocrisies, but I am returning to religion. Gonzalo last night was talking about Catholicism and the sensual life. He said: 'You're a true Catholic. You love sinning, and confessing, and obtaining absolution, and having regrets and then sinning again.' "
p. 212-213

"The kiss in the taxi is the kiss which remains in the memory as perpetually unfinished and to be sought out again, for as the taxi moves it gives to the moment that physical proof of insecurity and ephemeralness of adventure, over swift, arousing resonances which cease at the first stop, the taste upon one's lips is a quick, deep lacination arrested by the sudden stop of the machine. The interference of the traffic is the recall to reality. Eyes out of the crowd rummage into the taxi to catch that flash of vertigo, that open mouth, the drunken look in the eyes. The street lights are the searchlights, opening crude ways into the smokey clouds of cigarette smoke, breath and perfume. And now the taxi is rolling again, the kiss is broken by fear of its termination. When the taxi stops, the adventure is broken. One steps on the pavement with a sound of a body falling from heaven. One pays with the sound of a harlot bartering. One opens one's foggy eyes to look for one's house, wishing an earthquake had devoured it and with it all sense of time. The adventure continues in the head, in the body. It evaporates, for it happened in mid-air, in unknown places, while in motion, there is no trace of the kiss, no surroundings to retain the flavor of it. It is uncannily removed from daily life. Perhaps it never happened. We were embarked and disembarked between midnight and dawn and perhaps we were asleep, as others were. Until the next taxi ride no kiss will have that flavor of life and time slipping by, uncapturable, unseizable. The thrust it made into us is unique, impossible to repeat. The taxi was moving towards an end, the kiss had no tomorrow, left only a wound of regret and the sound of a closed door."
pgs. 214-215

The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Volume 2: 1934-1939
Edited and with an introduction by Gunther Stuhlmann, illustr.
  • New York: Harcourt, Brace and World
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