Dana NEACŞU – When Parallels Intersect


Dana Neacşu 2

When Parallels Intersect.


On Oct 7, 2015 9:18 AM, he wrote: Despite all expectations for greatness, the year turned out to be unremarkable. Except for his brother’s death. But even that had been on his mind for the last five years since he learned that Colin, his brother’s name, had been scheduled for a heart transplant.

On Oct 7, 2015 9:19 AM, she wrote: For her life was a constant struggle. An obsession with alienation captured her imagination and it never let go. After decades of grappling with the monster she finally had a way in: „Mommy, write a zombie novel. The best.”  Now, that was something she could do. If only she had the time.

On Oct 7, 2015 9:20 AM, he wrote: That morning he was late for work, though blocks away from home. Imagine the envy he caused when he went to MaryO for a beer after work or in between meetings. He was encouraged to drink between meetings.  Otherwise he might have become a candidate for the services he offered.

On Oct 7, 2015 9:21 AM, he wrote: His work was interesting. It made him meet people. People who struggled to stay alive. People who missed to jump off a building for example. He worked with the police department.

On Oct 8, 2015 9:14 AM,  he wrote: Sometimes he showed up when the NYPD were carefully folding up­­ the huge inflatable ­­mattress used to discourage people from jumping off buildings.  It would make them look like Peter Pan. Few adults like to be seen as searching for Peter. That’s why the next time they try to kill themselves they won’t use the flying method.  They would do it quietly,  behind a locked door. Most likely in the bathroom.

On Oct 8, 2015 9:20 AM, she wrote: Bars were perfect research venues if alienation is your obsession, she thought watching him closely.  She took her phone and startedscribbling ideas. „Empty eyes” was replaced by „hollow eyes. ” When “eyes”became a noun replete with qualifiers she moved on to other body parts.  She briefly thought of herself as a surgeon and the analogy made her smile.  „I’m a soul surgeon, ” and the alliteration pleased her momentarily.


On Nov 1, 2015 9:02 AM, he wrote: What got into him to contact her would remain unclear. Today he would go and meet her. Finally. Her blog, simply called “Hashtag #SHE,” did intrigue him. She wrote amazing psychological observations. „My upstairs neighbor banged in my walls so hard I thought a genie lived in my cupboard.” That was lame in itself but she continued, “Then, when I got ready to leave the building I tripped over the garbage-filled bags she had moved from the stairwell to the common hallway.” Okay, nothing impressive: Some minor incident with a drunken neighbor. But no, hold on, here came the golden tidbit: “That inexplicable angry behavior from someone in her 30s, modestly attractive, on a weekend day at noon did not make sense ” He continued mesmerized. „She wanted something. She was after a specific goal. As a single woman she might find weekends terribly painful. The garbage became that significant other who had abandoned her.” Bingo. She was right. Almost all breakups, including suicides, happened on Sundays, with some left over for Monday mornings, he thought and he took another bite from a Subway sandwich he found in one of his pockets. How many pockets did he have? He could not possibly know. He only guessed.

On Nov 2, 2015 10:04 AM, she wrote: She took the bus that morning because a man, with whom she only corresponded via Twitter, with the hashtag #he, wanted to meet her. He said he had read her blog entries and found them fascinating. He sought her help. He was a forensic psychologist and worked with the NYPD, whatever that meant. He needed her inside to solve the problem of suicide. “Why do people kill themselves?” She did not believe him but then why would he lie to her? He suggested the top of the stairs at NY Public Library at 42nd street. He said “#she should not be impressed by his size although it competed with the lions.” She smiled. He was clever. He intrigued her. How big could he be?

On Nov 3, 2015 10:02 AM, he wrote: Now he was used to look up at billboards because of his job. Professionally, he was still pondering the question: “What caused someone to take the elevator to the last floor, break the lock to the roof door, get sweaty only to jump off the building?” One possible answer was the billboard on the building across. He knew that the billboard advertising Google music for the undecided music lover in us could drive him to suicide by its linguistic ambiguity. Anybody with a suicide bent would be push over by addressing indecision. The slightest note of condescension would force the note. „What, you don’t think I made up my mind? I’m decided damn it. I’ll jump right now.” Followed by Hollywood jump. Of course. That was a theory. He never proved it.

On Nov 4, 2015 9:11 AM, she wrote: The bus stopped to pick up a person on wheelchair. She had plenty of time to stare out the window and ruminate. She reminisced how much she enjoyed Sundays. She could eat all the cookies she amassed during the week. She sugar-starved herself during the week, and went sugar-crazy on Sundays. She would wake up early, before her kids, make coffee, pick up the Times from the common hallway – she enjoyed door delivery – take the can of cookies and go on the veranda, the terrace she had covered in glass so she could bask in sunrays whether summer or winter. It was fun. Her kind of fun. Now she was reading about George Bell. The Times picked him as the dead man of the week: He was a 70 year old man who had been found dead in his apartment. Actually he was found this past July, but it took the Times writer 5 months to write his posthumous meaningless story. She understood that the author was well connected to the Pulitzer Prize Committee, because the Times gave her/him six large pages of The Times’ best print real estate: section A. She read the story and decided she would vote for it as the “2016 fifth best human interest story with the least human impact.” At first she was amused, but then she got so upset she finished her coffee having touched no cookies. She would have to throw them down the disposal because each week she started her cookie stashing anew. That sickened her. When her children woke up she tried to give them to them instead of breakfast. They scoffed at her, “Mom, we’re no garbage.” The spoiled little brats.

On Nov 5, 2015 8:50 AM, he wrote: Every time he had to walk he had strange thoughts. For example, write now he was thinking that he wasn’t married. It just happened. He never considered it. Like the hors d’oeuvre served before a big meal. He never considered them either. They would have destroyed his appetite. Okay, he always made an exception for hard boiled eggs stuffed with mayonnaise, deviled eggs, but then that was a different story. He entered a different world when he touched them: He would literally go crazy. Every time he ate them he swallowed them without having chewed them first and he ended up in the emergency room. He loved them so much he would start screaming for more and when everybody would have been forced to give him their half bitten eggs he would bite them to get what they have ingested. Hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise made him into a cannibal like screamer. To prevent this from happening he hired a lawyer who got him a restraining order against “deviled eggs.” He carried it with him in his breast pocket every time he attended a party. He carried it with him today, but he doubted #she would invite him to a party with deviled eggs. But then, one never knows.

DANA  NEACȘU este doctor în filosofie, lector de drept la COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL, din New York, profesor adjunct la BARNARD COLLEGE – Columbia University, dar și dâmbovițeană de pe malurile Ialomiței…