Sunday, August 2, 2009

Not bitter part 3

the OED defines bitter as "one of the elementary sensations of taste proper: obnoxious, irritating, or unfavourably stimulating to the gustatory nerve; disagreeable to the palate; having the characteristic taste of wormwood, gentian, quinine, bitter aloes, soot: the opposite of sweet; causing ‘the proper pain of taste’ (Bain)."

so maybe i'm a little bitter. but also:
  • morose: "sullen, gloomy, sour-tempered, unsocial."
  • humiliated: i have thought a lot about humiliation this month, not just my own, you'll be glad to hear, but the routine humiliations of everyday life. i think about GB and what it must have been like to struggle with recalcitrant despondency, particularly in a world that takes chipper as a prerequisite for lovable. i look around and wonder how humiliating it feels to be chronically obese in the new 21st-century moral order: those hungers must mortify you. i think about the endless humiliations of poverty, being 50-something years old and standing in line after line after line. humiliation, it seems to me, accretes and compounds until the night you find yourself texting from the west side of the high level bridge.
  • angry: the chinese say anger is a function of liver imbalance, as are resentment, frustration, irritability and bitterness. the job of the liver meridian is to keep energy flowing smoothly throughout the body. when it doesn't: migraine. (huh.) in this case, though, it's hard to say exactly what i'm angry at. an anonymous reviewer? a poor chair? a corrupt process? "the system"? this is me, punching fog.
  • dismayed, disgraced, discouraged, disconcerted, disheartened and, perhaps most of all, and most inarticulately, disappointed.
taste of soot.

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