"If I acknowledge my dependency, I do so because for me it is a means of signifying my demand: in the realm of love, futility is not a "weakness" or an "absurdity": it is a strong sign: the more futile, the more it signifies and the more it asserts itself as strength.)”  --Barthes, Fragments of a Lover's Discourse

Never before have I felt so starkly the strength of a futile desire. Recognizing impossibility does not lead to ceding the desire, but rather to increasing the demand. I feed off of impossibility; my love grows fat in proportion to my dwindling hope. My desire resists all efforts at starvation, and relishes an exquisite meal of dusty crumbs that were swept away weeks ago.

Any way I parse it--cold turkey or sly deprivation in increments--this monstrous love finds a way to increase. Futility finds a way to make a feast on famine.  I try to drown it in wine or other intoxicants only to find that it becomes more lucid rather than less, its hold more grimly firm even if not as steady. Sleep is no respite: there my unconscious tries on alternate futures for size, trotting out past lovers to play the part reserved for the stage-shy hero of this scene. My waking mind re-arranges the parts, though, and strips out the day residues, fills in the blanks, but will admit no rebus and no ambiguity in interpretation.  

The only thing I can do with this sign is to read it...attempt to best it through reading. I pull Barthes' "le discours amoureux" seminar off my shelf, where it has been sitting patiently for a matter of years. I seek a new home for this futility, want to root it out or discover its better fate. I get lost in other days, other pages. I stumble across a quote from Totem and Taboo, "one could almost say that every hysteric is a deformed work of art." I find lines that make me sigh not to have had in my hands when writing my dissertation (Describing the seminar as 90% description and 10% evaluation which actually reverses the deprecation of the description: "C'est a celui qui lit, qui écoute, de repérer l'évaluation, de percevoir le renversement de la description, de la déprécation.") My god, my god, I must finish that book, I must write what I began writing...and then I am lost momentarily in the grip of some other force. That force, though, also calls my mind back to the other for whom at least some of my current desire to write is addressed...and the futile love only feels the more emboldened in its iron grip.

I must learn to welcome this unwanted guest, to play the perfect host. Dear unreasonable love, here's the spread: eat up, drink up, read up, and be done with me.