[Sic] by Joshua cody

by Chavi

Memoir of living with cancer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though there were moments where I felt like I had accidentally ended up in an upscale lounge somewhere where men wear $2000 suits, and drink $1000 bottles of wine and discuss their art collections, and where they invested their fortunes. (In short, privileged and over educated, and unaware of their own narrowness.)

There were pieces of it that were great. Fragments. But the story of illness, I barely saw it. Maybe that’s the beauty of it. The story of his illness is the story of life – the ups and downs of it, the people who come in and out of it, the moments where it is glorious and vivid, and the moments it’s just heaviness, and there’s the thought of ending it.

To explain feelings he uses metaphors or analogies, long, intellectual and fascinating, metaphors that are thoughts complete in themselves and don’t necessarily lead back to the feeling. The golden ratio, Citizen Kane, Klee, Ezra Pound – these are where he goes to make sense of things, his language for understanding the self.

These references, and the detours into artists and art and lyrics and girls are, told in this rambling, exploring way — are captivating, but in the most intense situations, where he is trying to convey something particular, it comes across flat.

My favorite passage is a description of  a girlfriend, only because it pertains to me:

But she had to assume this identity as she had to assume her other roles: girlfriend, New Yorker, freelance designer, person walking down the street, person eating breakfast, person engaged in conversation, person giving someone a hug.

None of her actions was in the least inauthentic but her degree of alienation from goals, actions, simple states of being – the acute inescapable self-surveillance of the addict – resembles that rareified ontological space of the depressive, the anxious, the ill, the poet.

That describes me too well. And I would venture, based on his own writing that it describes Cody, to some degree, as well.