Date: Wed, 27 Apr 1994 13:11:24 -700 (PDT)
To: fragments of thought
Subject: Re: Stuff ...
I'm sitting in my room, this 10 x 12 cubicle filled with books, records and trash. I have stacks of recyclables that have built up over past few days. There's one in particular ... a pile of computer paper and those little strips at the side of printouts that has fallen over ... I can't quite bring myself to clean it up. Two of the lightbulbs in my room have burned out, so it's fairly dark, at best. I don't really feel like changing them. I'm not listening to that Superchunk album right now, tho' it's in the changer. Right now I'm listening to an acoustic cover of "Bizarre Love Triangle" and I feel broken. I think I'm too sick to move. I don't feel like reading Heidegger, writing my papers or doing anything else except disappearing. I don't know what's happening anymore, sleep no longer provides an escape and I'm just sitting here, basically numb. It's not like I'm in shock or anything, although it's possible that I am and I'm just denying it, which would add denial on to my state of shock. Wonderful.
So I'm sitting here. I should be doing research, or something, but I'm not. I'm writing this because this is something I can think about. I'm still confused. The new Velocity Girl album has this song called "Sorry Again," and it starts off with the lines "This'll never happen again/ Is a promise I just may keep/ When I'm all alone on the porch/ And drifting off to sleep." Then Sarah sings "If you let me stick around/ I'll never let you down." Why the hell did she have to go and sing that? It gets worse though. She also sings "It's hard to admit it's the end/ So I'll say I'm sorry again/ And again and again and again."
Don't worry, I don't think this is the end. I just feel bad about this whole situation. I've pretty much decided to shut down for a while, that is, turn off, sort of stop ... well, feeling for a little bit. I mean, it always seems to wind up like this ... just a bunch of people trying to make sure no one gets hurt, never really admitting what they're thinking or feeling, just trying to tiptoe their way through this minefield of romance and love and all that other stuff. I told you a few times that I didn't know how to make love stay. Yeah, I was either quoting or paraphrasing Tom Robbins. I think I told you that too. I'm not sure love stays constant. Maybe it wanders a bit, like we were talking about last night ... looking at other men and women and all that. Maybe love is like a free range chicken. Maybe it's like a rain dog that can't find its way home after a storm. Maybe my friend was right and guys can't love as much as women, or as deeply, or as completely. I don't know anymore.
It's not like I ever claimed to hold all the answers. I liked to think I did, but I think I'm just as clueless as everyone else. That thought is simultaneously reassuring and terrifying ... reassuring because I imagine everyone else is in the same boat. Terrifying, because it's nice to think someone might have the answers. Maybe there are no answers. Maybe this is a test without questions, answers or grades. Maybe these metaphors I'm thinking about are the equivalent of dancing to explain architecture. Whenever someone tries to figure things like this out in cute little catch-phrases, something always gets cut off. So I guess I'll shut up about it.
I still don't know what to do in the long run. But I know what I'm going to do in the short run ... I'm shutting down for a while. Whether I want to or not, I'm going to come to grips with technology. It's sort of an ironic subject after everything that's happened ... maybe as I'm coming to grips with Heidegger's concept of the "challenging to reveal the real," or whatever exactly he calls it, I'll come to terms with myself. He claims that technology is a process of revealing things as a standing-reserve ... a field, instead of being a farm, becomes a source for coal and ore ... etc. I'm beginning to think this computer is helping me challenge myself into a revealing, stripping away layers slowly but surely, trying to challenge myself into becoming something more than I was and something less than I will someday be, if that makes sense. I'm not sure if I'm sort of standing-reserve. If I am, I'm not sure what it may be ... mostly salt-water I guess. And in some weird way, as I sit here writing to you, thinking about Heidegger's concepts, it's becoming clearer ... humanity shouldn't be challenged into evolving because of technologies such as genetic engineering, wetware, neural nets, etc., or using those technologies as the means to the evolution. Humanity should be challenged into becoming more HUMAN, which is a majority of the word "humane." I'll probably wind up using some of this in my paper, so lest you think that I'm sort of tearful, shivering wreck (I'm not shivering), I think I actually managed to accomplish some work as I worked through this in these words (I'm nowhere near finished with the project or the introspection, but it's a start), and challenged myself to relate Heidegger to myself ... to try to understand what exactly the hell he is saying in this essay. I'm not sure I understand it yet, but I understand it more completely, if that makes any sense.
I've been writing this letter for nearly 45 minutes or so. I think I'd better go. I miss you. And as I sit here at the end of this letter, back to "Bizarre Love Triangle," I seem to have come full circle, both in terms of the music that was on and my emotional state. I still think I'm going to shut down for a while. I just don't want to hurt anyone in the process. You know what? You're incredibly easy to talk to. I wish somehow or another we were in the same place so we could sit in some coffeeshop somewhere, drinking Italian sodas and giggling about daffodils growing where they shouldn't. Be good to yourself.