Tuesday, September 8, 2009

stencil #014 - paul bowles

Inspiration for every 18-year-old from Paul Bowles:

About two months after my eighteenth birthday I ceased being a child. Possibly there was a whole period of transition which prepared the way for my sudden
compulsive decision, but if there was I have forgotten the details of it, and remember only the evening when all at once I became aware that there were two possible choices to make. One was to swallow the contents of a bottle of sleeping pills, and the other was to disappear, that is, to go away, leaving no traces. When I looked at the little bottle, I knew I had no desire to be dead, so my decision was made. I remember leaping onto the bed with my shoes on, and jumping up and down with elation . . . When I had run through that phase of my good spirits I sat down again and drew up a plan of action. First I made an inventory of all the saleable objects in the room. Then I wrote a letter to my mother in New York, saying that I needed $125 for textbooks and miscellanies and please to send it immediately . . .

A week later, Bowles booked passage for $125 on the next transatlantic steamer to Europe.

From An Invisible Spectator, a biography of Paul Bowles by Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno

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