Not a very humanistic attitude, is it? I think the Kleiniens would agree with the sentiment, though I surely don’t mean sentiment. Anyway, my novel avoids positivism, almost religiously. In my other book, the one about rehab, I touch on this a bit more, with a bit less surrealism. In that one I’m writing about countertransference: the weight of problems, the past, and the need to deny.
12 examples of being nice, from Crystal From The Hills. (purchase link):
*“Of course, I’m just trying to be nice. Jeez, you don’t have to be like that.”
*thinking his moodiness would fit in nicely: if dispirited, he’d blend
*“Hey, what’s up?” Chris spoke out in a friendly voice.
“Leave me alone,” she curtly replied, and then quickly stepped past him like he was a piece of dog shit in the middle of the sidewalk.
“Nice talkin’ to ya,” Chris said laughingly
*A mop and an ammonia bottle appeared to have been thrown in a corner instead of carefully placed. On top of a towel dispenser, flanking a sink below a two foot square mirror was a book someone had left behind. Nice, thought Chris: reading that didn’t outlast a bowel movement
* He pushed his lower lip across his teeth and looked into Chris, as though the exchange were setting the stage for an opportune critique.Chris laughed heartily. Well done, he thought. Nice. “Alright, I get it. What did you have in mind?”
* There were some nice men along the way: men who were dealt with ruthlessly; men who were sometimes sent scurrying from her dorm rooms with their jeans still climbing past their knees
* A nice man: that’s what she wanted, ultimately. She actually thought she’d met a nice young man recently, someone who was genuinely like a boy. His name was Chris Leavitt. The problem was the girls. Other girls thought Chris was nice, also.
* She sort of accepted that his libidinal overdrive had been a function of his stimulant use, thus overriding the “nice” aspects of his character
* “You have a problem with my place, or my neighborhood?” They’d actually talked about this once before and her answers hadn’t satisfied Chris. He took note of her then explanations: the piece about student debt plus an unwillingness to accept her mother and step-father’s financial support made sense in the context of those supposedly difficult relationships, but it still implied a preference for living elsewhere.
“It’s my what’s-a-nice-girl-like-you-doing-in-a-place-like-this question, I guess.”
“A place like what?”
* She looked over at the bed and saw Chris roll over to her side and flop his arm onto her pillow. There it is, she thought, catching the unintended action that was a replay of the beating she’d received roughly three hours earlier. That’s what she got for being nice
* “Nice earrings,” said one. His Aunt Jenny, a woman raised on the East Coast, once said that Californians lacked irony. She was wrong. At least, if sarcasm is a subset of irony, then Californians, Chris found, were full of it.
* “I thought we might spend some time expressing how nice it is to see each other,” Chris supplied cheekily. He was fidgeting, having difficulty getting situated. His chair was a somewhat disjointed piece of furniture; misplaced, with a distorted iron bar that had gotten literally bent out of shape. As soon as he leaned back, Chris felt the hard protrusion of the un-cushioned upright section. It had a deliberate feel about it, like it was Aunt Jenny’s torture chair.
“Nice to see you?’ she echoed querulously. “Let me tell you, young man: there is nothing nice about ‘nice’. I’ve been concerned about you.”