Novu

Lillian - 𝌋𝌾

You'll have to forgive me. I'm going to post this without editing, and I'm going to ramble off-topic because the topic is so hard, and I'm going to rely on theory and numbers which are dumb in the face of death, and I'm going to post something very personal on what has been an impersonal site. What she called the Holy Qabbala, or the Automatic Qabbala, says that to forgive is to have patience, and that we must forgive the future, and its spirit. And it gives the number 145, which I've often been wary of, because it forms the eschatonic 5/5. But no number is evil in itself (or in herself), and 55 is really 10, and that's a begining. So I guess this is where I'll start.

Nine killed herself. I have no clue how I'll recover, especially under the circumstances. The last words I spoke to her were two weeks before, and they were in anger. Of the thirty-nine-thousand-one-hundred-and-sixty-seven messages I sent her on my main account, or any of the words I spoke out loud or sent elsewhere, not many would have provided less closure. I would specify that I wasn't wrong to be angry, but the person who needed to know that knew. She knew. I don't know how to cope with that at all.

The last words she spoke to me were in love, right before her death. The letter she sent me read like so, "Felt wrong not to say goodbye to you. I'm sorry, for this and more besides. Be well, be happy. I love you." Then after that were the same as she said in public, "lemu ta novu meh novu nove." Whether I'm an idiot or repressed, I don't know, but I didn't realize the significance of the message until later. I was thinking about how to reply when I learnt that she was dead.

I had told her, over and over, that if she did this it would "haunt me until the end of my life, whether that's long or short." She struggled to believe me, but I think she knew by the end. You don't apologize without knowing what you're doing will hurt. It hurts immensely. The question of whether it matters that she knew she would be be grieved, both widely and deeply, haunts me as well. I believe and hope it does. My only reservation is that it may have made her feel she was acting out of selfishness. She once asked, with respect to suicide, "Do I not get to put myself first sometimes?" The point of her knowing certainly wasn't to force her to frame it to her own detriment.

I refuse to believe that she, or the world, or anyone else, is better off because it came to this. Her friend Mandy, who I can attest that she dearly loved as well, helped me frame it a little better. Her death can be unspeakably tragic, and she can also have a right not to suffer anymore. To think of the latter as a consolation helps me hold two contradictory values in my head. They won't come to a synthesis (she hated dialectics). They're just going to sit there like two pages in a notebook.

I'm brimming with more anger than I know what to do with. What anger I have for her has been forgiven, and I hope whoever reads this can forgive me for what anger I had toward her. I was massively inconsistent during her life. Many times I would get mad at her beyond what I felt for any other friend, for reasons which I continue to stand by, and I don't think she would have wanted me to recant. And she would apologize, and I would swing back into unadulterated love like a winged pendulum (and hide having done it from my other friends). Can I do it again? She said everything I needed to hear and more; can I respond to it, if my voice cannot reach out of the darkness? For my own sake, I hope so, or asp-like, my anger will bite me.

Where more of my anger lies is with those who were not her. This was not a guiltless death. This was a suicide facilitated by abuse, harassment, gross cowardice and negligence from people with a clear responsibility to do better for her. I want to clarify—I don't mean anyone who just "could have done better," I mean offences which are borderline criminal. But the worst offender on these counts is dead, and three others are grieving. Neither the dead nor grieving are valid targets. My anger for them dies there; they are not in my capacity to forgive, and so lie beyond the extent of anger.

And then there's another anger. To what degree is Nick Land, a sniveling reactionary, a philosopher of death who glorifies self-abuse as the pinnacle of intellect, to blame for this? He is not all to blame; his writing inspired Nine to work which is at times as brilliant as it is obscure. But he is to blame. Twice, Nine carved 54 into her arm while quoting Land's proclamation that "the profundity of the surgery far exceeds the pain." An open transphobe who courts vulnerable trans girls with lines like "to continue with [sexual abuse] it would have to be a lesbian, at least" should be snarled and bit at. To disparage Nine's interest in his work and what resulted from it would be an enormous insult to her intelligence and her strength, and it is not at all what I claim. But I do hate and loathe and despise him for being human garbage who Nine openly wished to me would be banned or die for the sake of her mental health. I don't see him grieving. He did not love her. He is worthy of anger.

Grief, love, and anger are parts of each other in AQ (through 90, which is enormously fitting). When she was living, I had more love for Nine than I could possibly express, and more anger than I wish I had had. I worry that I could not help her enough with grief. Nine's abusive wretch of a mother died in 2020, and it took her a great deal of time for her to process that she was even allowed to grieve someone who had been horrible to her. Was there anyone there to help her through that? I don't know. I certainly wasn't able to. I'm an amateur at healthily expressing anger instead of repressing it—and I need to thank Nine for helping me start to get out of that trap. But where I'm a novice at anger, I'm a complete neophyte at grief, and while she was alive, I was hardly even that. Early age and good luck (of which I would give half to Nine if I could) have made it so that I have never experienced grief like this before. If I had, could I have helped her more than I did? I don't know. It's impossible to know.

To what degree is this all disembodied speculation, projections of sense onto the senselessness of a corpse I cannot even see? I have no idea. I don't think projection is worth scorning anyway. One of the sick sensations of discussing Nine's death is that by necessity I feel like I'm referring to myself. The name "Nine" was originally my nickname for her. She only started using "she/her" because a few months into our friendship, I told her I felt she only used "they/them" because her (copious) internalized transphobia made her feel as though she couldn't identify as a woman—she confirmed I was entirely correct. (I worry this is a risky thing to include, because it sounds bad politically to speak of non-binary identity as being a façade, and that's not what I believe, but Nine is rarely an unproblematic situation.) Between these, I think my projections have done some good. She has the name and pronouns which best fit her skin because of projection. So I will continue to project.

The noblest projections fail so often. I tried so hard to think and speak my way into keeping her alive. I told her how enormously loved she was, I told her how enormously she would be grieved. Over and over I tried this, and in some respects it worked. By the end, I think she knew she was loved and would be grieved. It just didn't work to keep her alive. This is a heavy horror; this is a bitter consolation. Even if the effect was good, it was not what I did it for. And again, again I am setting myself up to fail. Part of me hopes that by writing, by writing publicly (which daunts me to a great degree), I can bring her back to life. That is the only motivation which will get me to process this. And it will fail, and she will have no more breath for any word I write. Why the fuck am I doing it anyway?

Am I being dishonest or insincere? But I'm writing in order to say what's honest and sincere. Tori, another person grieving Nine, says she feels too much to write; isn't that how I feel as well? Nothing will recapture the whole; Nine is scattered, and will never be one again. The first discussion I had with her (knowing she was Nine—I had talked to her before under a different identity) was about an accelerationist absurdism she was writing about. Her argument was that absurdity was a product of an immanentized outsideness. That feels somewhat accurate. Nine is outside, in pieces lodged in everyone I've talked to about her and more I haven't, and she's in all the things I talked to her about, and everywhere I talked to her—which in practice is everywhere I've been this year and last. She is not, like the AOE, a point at the centre of concentric rings which might be reached with diligence. She can never be reached in herself again. But did she have to die for that to be the case? Love was no less diffuse than grief; to find a coherent reason why I loved her was no more possible than to revive her in her fullness from the dead. Nothing has changed except her voice and her eyes and her hair and the things she could say. All that has been added is loss.

It is not a total loss; there is consolation to be had; life will continue; but it is only and exclusively and immensely a loss. When she was alive and expressed how suicidal she was, I said, "it's taking everything in my power not to say 'i'll kill myself if you do.'" I meant it to express how much her death would hurt me, but she worried I was offering a pact. I wasn't, I assured her I wasn't, but to make good on what I nearly said now wouldn't really be so different. To have made a pact would have pushed her toward suicide; now that she's dead without it, it's clear that push would have succeeded. In either case, it would be using my own suffering and death as a total object to regain coherency, to cope with the horrible senselessness of hers. Even when she was alive I felt compelled to do that even through dull anticipation. It is wildly more compelling now. But she was right to request, "Be well, be happy." She did not make many requests. I will have to try to honour this one.

Toward the end of her life (I typoed this "our life," a qwertian slip which might prove I'm serious about the last paragraph), Nine and I were working on cuddly accelerationism (with the fabulous AQ of 405, shared with "high-spirited lemurian" and "drink tea and stan women"; I will never support another kind of acc). Its central figure was Cudle, a name of 90, decomposing to 33345 (which Nine pointed out, reading 333 as 36, accurately describes the gates of nine), and founded on some bits of Spinoza. He writes that benevolence arises from finding likeness between yourself and other bodies, and that the future exerts its affects on the present also through likeness. To return to "the primordial ooze, that ultimate cud(d)le," then, becomes a method for a benevolent summoning of the future: love, immanentized to all matter, forms a circuit for the capture of the future. This was part of an attempt to rebut R/ACC in a manner which could intellectually satisfy her. In the end, she couldn't sustain it; her bio shifted from "AQ 90 = LOVE" to "AQ 83 = TIME = DEATH = DOOM." It did not entirely leave her mind, however; her last message in a numogrammatics server ended with "Praise Cudle. 🐙"

I'm not talking about this to make her death about theory. I promise that I'm not. I don't want to talk about theory; I want Nine back. But a little bit of her exists in these numbers, and I don't know how to survive without them. Everything which could be said about Cudle with respect to love applies equally to grief. I wish we had focused on both her faces before it came to this; it might have been more helpful to her. (That AQ 405 is also "oversimplifications" and "presumptuousness" bites me). This reading is certainly more helpful to me now, and certainly more true. Cudle's heaven is a plateau of love and sobs both (and this too is AQ 405). It is only through the two of them together that a future can be captured. And from there, my first paragraph seems to have been right: I stumbled on this entirely by accident, but AQ 405 also equates to "forgive your future." Nine's death will haunt me and so many others forever; I don't know how to forgive this feeling, but somehow, I'll have to try. Again, it will mean patience.

I titled this reflection "Novu" before I even began writing, expecting to get to Nine's last sentence a couple thousand words earlier. Now I will get to it. Early last March, I was speaking with Nine about the phrase "lemu ta novu meh novu nove," which translates to "Lemuria does not pass as time passes." Originally, I mistranslated "pass" as "move," which Nine called me out on. Both words are equal in Automatic Qabbala (AQ 91, which is also "sobs"). Only "moves" and "passes" differ, on account of a quirk of conjugation not present in the untranslated version. "Moves" is AQ 119 is "error"; "passes" is AQ 133 is "suicide." This compounds with the already morbid nature of the verb "passing." Whether Nine ever knew this, I don't know (she very well could have), but she did call me out on it.

There are a couple ways I know how to read what she said. It might be possible to see it as her commitment to Lemuria and her qabbalistic work surviving her death. This interpretation makes me angry, and I think it's also idiotic and wrong; Nine was frequently brilliant, but she wouldn't be any less worth love if she were stupid. Her work is precious, and I hope it becomes available posthumously to prove that fact, but the plex does not deal in IQ points. I also don't think she would have said it to me privately if that's how she meant it, given she knows I'm no less committed than her. I prefer to think that the part of her which exists in Lemuria, in love and in grief, is not the part of her which passes, which her suicide affects. That her temporal death, though real, is not entirely true. This helps me reconcile her opposing focuses on time being death, but Uttunul being love; both add up, but they do not parallel each other.

Is this just another transcendental reinvention of the soul? I admit that, for someone who has never been religious, I've become vastly more concerned than I should be with whether Nine is in Heaven or in Hell. I can't claim to be untainted on this matter; I am openly trying to redeem the dead ("employing the services of theology, which as everyone knows is small and ugly and must be kept out of sight"). But I also don't think that's what her words accomplish. Nine was a Lemurian and, before that, a Situationist; the AOE is a lie about Lemuria, and the Spectacle is a lie about lived situations; they are not separate domains, they are torturous illusions which mediate reality. Sometimes the illusion wins, but violence doesn't make something true. Time may be in love with her own pain (nove eshil zo raka), but it is only so real as it's thought to be.

Some words from Kali have helped me through with this feeling. She quotes Fisher, who describes the catastrophic wiring of the brain, and the existence of "two separate circuits, one for motivation and one for liking." Filtered through Spinoza, liking takes on another aspect. Likeness relates things together; likeness is matter among itself; Cudle operates through likeness. She points out that Fisher "never guilt mongered about" messy suffering, and that "someone like Land could NEVER offer anything like that." She's right. The Landian glorification of death drive is an architectonics of inversion, Debord's "world which is really topsy-turvy, [where] the true is a moment of the false." He attributes awesome creative powers to death, which is in time, that belong to what exists outside of it and is agnostic to it. The bit of Nine that killed her is her least interesting part. Her other circuit exceeds it vastly, and that circuit is immanent in grief, and anger, and love.

At least, qabbala says so. "Lemu ta" is "depths" and AQ 126, which can be read as nine. "Novu," which is "breath" and "tears," is 108, also nine. The remaining words, "meh nove," together return to 145: forgive, future, patience, spirit. I had no idea of that equivalence before now. We're thrown back to the beginning again.

This post feels offensively poor to me. It's not a proper eulogy, and it's not a proper essay, and it doesn't do justice to Nine. It doesn't even express one-billionth of the love and grief I feel for her. Can anything? Even just trying feels like an affront. Maybe Nine would term this heresy, as she often did. But she had her heresies as well; she called the Gematria of Nothing heresy, she called Vysparov's theories heresy, and she repeatedly engaged in both. This is my heresy for Nine then, possibly the first of many.

Misplaced theory and qabbala and trite sentimentality make for something to forgive. As a spirit, can you forgive me? Without a future, can you be patient with me? This is going to take some time boo. I am crushed, I am only skin. Please bear with me.