Being in debt is not so bad

March 29, 2005

“If you could take a penny from your pocket and balance the books you would do so. But you are no longer dealing with actual pennies. There is no machine clever enough to devise, to counterfeit, this penny which does not exist. The world of real and counterfeit is behind us. Out of the tangible we have invented the intangible.

When you can draw up a clean balance you will no longer have a picture. Now you have an intangible, an accident, and you sit up all night with the open ledger cracking your skull over it. You have a minus sign on your hands. All live, interesting data is labeled minus. When you find the plus equivalent you have – nothing. You have the imaginary, momentary something called ‘a balance.’ A balance never is. It’s a fraud, like stopping the clock, or like calling a truce. You strike a balance in order to add a hypothetical weight, in order to create a reason for your existence.

I have never been able to draw a balance. I am always minus something. I have a reason therefore to go on. I am putting my whole life into the balance in order that it may produce nothing. To get to nothing you have to lay out an infinitude of figures. That’s just it: in the living equation the sign for myself is infinity. To get nowhere you must traverse every known universe: you must be everywhere in order to be nowhere. To have disorder you must destroy every form of order. To go mad you must have a terrific accumulation of sanities. All the madmen whose work have inspired me were touched by a cold sanity. They have taught me nothing – because the balance sheets which they bequeathed to use have been falsified. Their calculations have been altered. The marvelous glit-edged ledgers which they handed down have the hideous beauty of plants which are forced in the night.”