Everyone is moving to Berlin.
My days are running together. There are some big questions I've been meaning to ask but I am afraid I've already lost the time-space in which it was safe or necessary or proper to do so.
See, now, here are too many windows open and this internet is getting a draft. A certain light and beauty which draws me, still.
Earlier this week I learned that the word "jest" is Polish for the present participle of "to be". Maybe that's why Polish people are the subject of so many piss-poor excuses for jests. "Infinite" in Polish is "infinite".
So I decided to swap a crashed train for a book that I've mostly spent the past five years consciously trying not to think about. It didn't work, even after removing myself from the city where the book's set. For the past year or so I've been living where I was when I first read the thing, which is in some ways more personal/intense than the You-Are-There Reading experience, what with how memory goes lockstep with certain choices and pairings and orderings of words.
The rereading wasn't my idea but I did choose to go along with it—against all sense, considering that there are maybe five other things I am passively reading and/or digesting. My intent is to come to terms with whatever it is which led me to avoid thinking about a book for years . Whether those terms need to be arrived upon by way of processing or confronting or digesting—each a metaphor imperfect in their own way, but still a distinct way of treating a book. Digesting involves experiencing a text as a subset of reality and shitting stuff out. Processing is less organic, more linear, dealing more with the head than the heart. Confronting a text takes guts and the willingness to change head-on. I am nothough that would then depend upon whether or not I am becoming or in stasis. See, it's hard to tell, as the days are running together somewhat and I'm not back on my feet now but lying flat out.
I suppose things could always be worse.
Today I woke up after dreaming about someone I knew who had made a zine about how to commit suicide. This person made said zine in my dream, not in real life. In real life, I own one zine this person made many years ago and this person recently began using their social media presence(s) as a medium for suicidal ideation. Which, needless to say, was somewhat disturbing, moreso as this was one of the last things I looked at before going to sleep this morning. In my dream, I did not try to read the zine very closely. If I did, then I probably would have realized it was a dream and either woken up or hopefully gone lucid. I would hesitate to call it a bad dream, but it most certainly was not a good dream.
It was something less than nothing more than a weak signal to noise, which just generally resonated despair.
In the past, I would not have hesitated to contact the person who was crying for help. Then again, the person I used to be was forcibly opposed to most forms of social media. Perhaps the time to have approached my friend would have been before the cries for attention began, as there were less obvious signs before, but I wasn't sure what good I could do, really.
My critique of "social media" is that it isolates people (or further reinforces preconceived notions of isolation) much more easily than it can unify or enhance experiences. Increasing the immediacy of socialisation fuses and refuses the barriers which exist between all the different groups one may know as well as those between the self and others. The permeability of certain borders and such other post industrial woes. Consider the sometimes-tacit acceptance of such practices as focusing more on one's mobile phone than a dining partner or the occasional news report of a person (typically an undergrad) who walks into a train while texting.
Social media was used in mostly positive way in my life last week when some friends of mine used that ubiquituous social network to plan our high school reunion. It was a good time, even though I don't remember parts of the evening. It was at a local brewery and there was bbq catering by a new restaurant that specializes in feeding drunk people. The evening was highly unorganized, aside from the eating and the drinking. There was a DJ (using an ipad. no more, no less) and just enough room to gyrate and an overabundance of tables and pork rinds—the pork rinds were really good, as the caterers deep-fried the porkskin themselves and seasoned it all with curry. I usually don't eat the things, but these were outtasight. Outside there was one game, which some people chose to play. There was no air conditioning in the room, so it got very hot very quickly—everyone spilled outside or left early. Many people brought their significant others. One girl brought her mother. Some, like myself, were solo. There were a few teachers I would have liked to see. I don't think that anyone invited them and I doubt that they would have shown up anyhow.
But the entire reunion would not have happened were it not for the internet. And were it not for said social network, there would not be an easy way to keep in touch with all of these people. Nor would I have been able to learn that the people I went to high school were lovely and complex individuals, each of them unique. At the time I had confused my disdain for the institution of high school for a general antipathy for most of those who shared in my torment. Now I am pleasantly surprised at how my fellow classmates have blossomed. They are by no means perfect but each seems so much more real.
On my way home to the bookstore yesterday I found a mimeographed screed, folded over and inside a ziploc bag, stuck underneath the windshield wiper of my car. It was an advertisement of some sort but the print was smeared and the lines were blurred. It was a pink piece of paper with black ink. Inside the folds were four large ants. I ate the ants because I was hungry and took the paper home. After hours of painstakingly careful scrutiny, I was able to decipher the text. I reprinted it below for your pleasure.We owe something to everything in two ways: that is to say, both essentially, and accidentally. We owe essentially that which is due to existence as such: and since existence is our superior through being the principle of our being, we owes existence reverence and service. Accidentally, that is due to existence, that which is everything and nothing at once. For instance, if existence be nothing, it is fitting that we should do nothing and seek and seek and seek; if existence be more than nothing, it is fitting that we should ballast existence with shit; and so on in like instance, all of which come under the head of service due. Hence as Poor Richard saith, "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of."
It wasn't until I got back home that I realized that I do not in fact own a car and I had stolen the ziploc baggie of ants and screed from someone else. Oh well.
Earlier tonight I went to a concert of a band that a friend of mine recently joined. It was a really good show. They're going on tour (out west) very soon, so if you're able to, I would highly recommend checking them out. They are The Pauses! They have Interact-O-Vision and truesight!