To lift yourself out of a miserable mood, even
if you have to do it by strength of will, should
be easy. I force myself out of my chair, stride
around the table, exercise my head and neck,
make my eyes sparkle, tighten the muscles
around them. Defy my own feelings, welcome
A., enthusiastically supposing he comes to see
me, amiably tolerate B. in my room, swallow
all that is said at C.'s, whatever pain and
trouble it may cost me, in long draughts.
Yet even if I manage that, one single slip, and a
slip cannot be avoided, will stop the whole
process, easy and painful alike, and I will have
to shrink back into my own circle again.
So perhaps the best resource is to meet
everything passively, to make yourself an inert
mass, and, if you feel that you are being carried
away, not to let yourself be lured into taking a
single unnecessary step, to stare at others with
the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction,
in short, with your own hand to throttle down
whatever ghostly life remains in you, that is, to
enlarge the final peace of the graveyard and let
nothing survive save that.
A characteristic movement in such a condition
is to run your little finger along your eyebrows.