From the beginning, Lukacs’ interpretation of Marxist theory was free-wheeling, speculative
He reads those words over and over, but they can’t really sink in, it feels like watching clouds or something and not being able to figure out their shape. Clouds that might easily darken, get heavy and dense, start spewing splashes of a silver something over his head, iron filings or whatever, they’d get stuck all over him, they’d sink into his ears, come in through his nostrils and his mouth, get stuck in his brain, make everything even more confusing than it already was. Make everything too heavy and dark. He’d once tried to explain this feeling to his sister, she said he still had to read more if he wanted to understand anything and if he wanted to learn how to express himself properly like he said he wanted to. He hadn’t seen her in weeks, and she was the only one who he could talk to about some of the deep and scary stuff that wandered across his mind sometimes like those hungry, unhealthy clouds. He likes to sit on her bed since she’s been away, scan the room, she has these dark pink curtains, what’s the material, linen, and thin, so some of the sunlight comes in even when they’re drawn, making the room more orange than it normally would be, leaving barely golden shapes on the walls that he thought sometimes resemble aliens trying to dance. There’s a flowerless plant on the nightstand by her bed, when she was here it looked alright but now she’s been gone all these weeks it’s begun to wilt and turn yellow and its earth is so dry it almost looks like sand. The bed is made, lilac sheets are a bit creased from him sitting on them, sometimes he takes her pillow and puts it on his lap, doesn’t really know why he does that. There’s a pile of books by the nightstand, many more on the shelf opposite him, where she’s left behind a black jewelry box that plays music when you open it, just a nice little melody that goes around in circles the kind that a toy ballerina would slowly spin to, you’d open and close that box and get the music and get her dancing again. He liked the idea of that, the power it would give him, to make that little thing dance at will. Power and relief. He’d like to have something like that. It wouldn’t leave him alone like this with his own thoughts, his own quiet confusion about everything.
The book he has in his hands looks really old, she probably got it secondhand, the cover is a beige that’s turning brown, there are what look like traces of fingerprints on them and the corners curl outwards, the font on the cover has a groovy vibe, orange and navy blue, the words printed sideways across the page. Against Interpretation. Looks like the whole book is interpreting stuff though, which is weird. He doesn’t like that, feels like a joke he doesn’t get. He flicks through it, someone’s underlined parts, maybe his sister, maybe its previous owner, on the back cover there’s a picture of a woman, black and white. The woman’s hair is neat and short and dark, she looks sideways. He can’t figure out what to make of that, how he feels about her and the fact that her gaze is somewhere else. She has a nice smile, just a slight one, the corners of her mouth curled, she has big lips, not like a porn star or anything, just natural, actually the more he looks at her face, the more it occurs to him that there is nothing at all wrong with it, everything seemed perfectly in the right place, the eyes are a nice size and a nice shape, the eyebrows look like half moons, don’t have that arch to them that some girls have, he’d once watched his sister draw on her eyebrows to give them that arch, did it very carefully, her fingers not even shaking a little bit, didn’t understand why she did it though, drew them in so angular and dark. He liked eyebrows like these a lot better, like there were two very small hills sitting above her eyes, hills that would be quite fun to walk over, like a pleasant stroll. Imagine that as a pick up line, the look he’d get, the way the girl he’d have approached would turn away and roll her eyes at her friend. No, talking never did him any good. A woman like this would definitely roll her eyes. This serious woman with her eyes looking elsewhere. He still couldn't figure out how he felt about her. Guess it depends on what she would say when she opened that big (but-not-porn-star-big) mouth of hers. He closes his eyes now, and, as a thought experiment, tries to imagine her talking to him. He kind of knew how she’d speak because of all the words in the book, many of which he didn’t understand. Would she use those words with him? What if she didn’t? What if she was a whole different person with him? What if she took off that elegant scarf, what if she takes off that tailored jacket with the collar turned inwards, looking at him and tossing her hair back - a delicate movement - knowing that he was watching her, and then she’d say something that wasn’t like something she’d written in this book, something just for him. They’d share their own, secret language together, a way of communicating that no one else understood, there’d be this intense feeling between them that was only theirs. She’d understand him perfectly, he wouldn’t have to say anything, he wouldn’t have this feeling he has now, staring at this book trying to figure out his thoughts on things, she could figure them out for him, and maybe he’d have his way of helping her out too, tell her she didn’t have to always look so serious like that, serious and distant. Sometimes she could relax a bit, let that neat hair get a bit messy. He wonders about that distant look she has, like she’s with you but not really. Could he figure out his feelings about that? Part of it made him like her even more, because she was cool. She didn’t care what anyone else thought of her. Except him. She’d have to care what he thought of her. That was the whole point. That’s what made her look so special. It showed that she didn’t like many people, that there were a lot of people she just couldn’t be bothered to look at. But that she’d look at him, obviously. Because what he thought about her mattered. He had that power over her, she could be his toy ballerina. But instead of a music box he opens and closes her book.
He feels a buzz in the pocket of the jeans, pulls his phone out holding his breath. Nope, still no response from his sister. Just the pizza delivery guy.