What Would Rilke Do?

This is another metamodern passage from my forthcoming novel, Hot Love on the Wing. Criticism is appreciated.


daniel adler  My words come drifting back to me in empty shades of mediocrity. What was I thinking? I was so young, so unlearned in the ways of the world. If I had just left her alone a little bit, played harder to get, she would have been drawn to me.

 It didn’t even occur to you. You were so absorbed in your own reality, the only reality you could comprehend. All you knew was that she kissed you. That was enough. She liked you, and you had the chance to culminate the plan.

I was a fool obsessed with the future. Even today, I entertain thought like I owe it something.

It’s not your fault. It’s one of life’s greatest challenges to come to terms with the present. It’s even harder to sideline Thought and kick it out of the easy chair onto the ground and just be, alone. You know that, and yet pretend not to. That’s why you seek others when you have a problem, you need someone to spell out the answer for you.

Whoa, I don’t need anyone to spell out anything for me. Never have. It just so happens that it makes it a lot easier to know what my own problems are by talking. That’s part of why people see shrinks. And sometimes I have to be reminded of lessons you forget, which is why it’s healthy to have a good friend to talk to.

That may be, but sometimes you have to just deal with your problems alone – any 18 year old can figure that out. Just revel in misery. Rilke would agree. You may think it’s easy now to overcome those feelings because you’ve already done it all. But when you were young in those pits of passion, when the world loomed, you didn’t even realize the insignificance of it all, you just went with what you felt.

Have I changed? Am I so jaded?

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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