A number of long distance friendships that were extremely important to me have turned out to be Schwarzenegger sound board pranks. Please understand you are still in my heart and my thoughts but if your voice sounds even slightly like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s I am going to need some time and distance right now.
I was in line for groceries. As if pulled by a tractor-beam, my hand moved to the front pocket of my pants and fingered distractedly at the phone inside. I ran my fingertips over the case, playfully teased the home button, and entered and withdrew from the connection port over and over until it was time to pay for my food.
I didn’t look at the phone, because I didn’t need to–just being so close to it, being one with it, was enough. This is what the Internet has done to us. We all sit at home, staring at our computers and touching ourselves. We shower with our tablets, sensually rubbing soap onto their gleaming front faces. We sleep with an external keyboard in our bed, waking with rounded-square impressions on our skin and the sheets stuck to our genitals.
We all do this, all of us. And we can’t help it because it’s not our fault. It is the Internet’s fault.
I can’t tell you how many people I see kissing their phones on the bus, because I’m too distracted by kissing my own phone to check. But I bet it’s a lot of people. I bet it’s all of them, because we’re all… we’re all victims. Of the Internet. Or maybe social media. The websites are in our heads and they’re… They’re making us do things.
Should we fight it? Sometimes people tell me to, to stop, to please stop. People tell me to get out, or to leave them alone (probably so they can touch their own devices in private). But it’s pointless to fight back. Resistance is futile. You remember the Borg, from Star Trek? Well, the Borg is here, friendo, and we’re having sex with them.
You’re probably not even reading this right now. How could you? A few moments of staring at the screen and you’d be overtaken with the desire to compulate (a portmanteau I made out of ‘computer’ and ‘copulate’). I know I would. It’s a miracle I was even able to type this out, and I was only able to because I used… Well, let’s just say I didn’t use my hands.
There’s no going back. The Internet has won, and all of us will have this erotic compulsion, all of us, forever. We all do this, and it is awful.
Yes, I folded my fitted sheet, but I'm no hero. I'm just someone who watched a YouTube video twice, got frustrated, read a tutorial, gave up, came back an hour later to try again, watched a different YouTube video, watched it again while trying to copy it with my sheet, somehow got it all mixed up, slowly went through the process while narrating exactly what I was doing so I could be sure I didn't make a mistake, and then watched the video one last time and finally understood how it worked.
Hey guys, we’re having a preliminary meeting this Wednesday to strategize and discuss a timeline for action. I’ll be bringing cookies, so use this post to let me know if you’re allergic to anything. Posted at 12:32 on Thursday 20th May, 2023. No comments.
I guess we’re re-scheduling the meeting since nobody turned up the last one. More cookies for me, though! For real, folks, write in your suggestions for a better time for the meeting. We need to get to work on Taking Facebook Back from the corporate overlords! Posted at 20:45 on Wednesday 26th May, 2023. No comments.
Everyone is being real quiet. You guys can see this, right? Posted at 01:14 on Thursday 27th May, 2023. No comments.
Okay, can someone–anyone–please just comment to let me know if this post (or any of the others) are just invisible to everyone, or if you can see them but Facebook’s changing your mood so you’re too lazy to comment? Posted at 03:23 on Thursday 27th May, 2023. No comments.
Okay, I’m shutting this group down. I’ll talk to you all individually about joining the new group, Eating Cookies And Not Discussing Anything Else. Posted at 12:32 on Tuesday 18th May, 2023. No comments.
There you are. You were out for quite a while. How did the surgery go?
Oh, I can’t say, really. I’m just a nurse. Could you fetch the doctor for me, then?
That decision’s not up to me. The decision to ask a doctor to talk to me?
Exactly. Who is that decision up to?
The doctor. Just the one doctor, or any doctor?
Any doctor, I suppose. So… any doctor can ask you to call the doctor, but you can’t decide to do it on your own.
Precisely. You’re becoming quite the expert on nursing, there! Okay, um… I’m a doctor.
You are? I don’t see that on your chart. That information wasn’t relevant to the surgery. Can you call a doctor for me?
And you’re a doctor at this hospital, are you? Sure. So you can trust my decision, and make that call for me.
You’re not lying just so that I call a doctor, right? I wouldn’t do that to you. We’re friends now.
Oh dear. Fraternization is extremely frowned upon. I should go.
You’ll have to forgive this attempt at a poem
I have never been good at writing them
and I’ve relied on simple rhymes in the past
to try and hide my lack of comfort with the form
not that that ever worked
the use of a common tool
the strict adherence to expected expression
will always indicate fear of failure
I am afraid of failing
That will never leave me, though I’ve been trying
I’ve been trying to let go of my anger and hate and fear
Most important, the fear
But it is tough going
Knowing that those emotions have been a driving force
in my life and work and interactions
both with others and with my own mind
The hate especially has been a ship
I’ve used to sail the oceans of opinions
that would be harder to experience
and now I’m trying to abandon that ship
to dive in to the water with no life jacket or boat
not even a raft
and very little experience with swimming
Fear is not a mind killer
Your mind is never more alive
than when conjuring up the possibilities you’re afraid of
But there is no power in those what-ifs
At least, I think there’s maybe more power in the present
in letting go of fear
as trite as that is
Will I manage it?
I’m afraid I won’t
You’ll have to forgive this attempt at a poem
Just as much as you’ll have to forgive me
For acting out of fear and hate and anger
You’ll have to forgive the lack of rhyme
or reason in my actions
I am scared of drowning
and this ship has been a comfortable place to live
the water looks so cold
and I am far from shore