[excerpt: “Sacred Devices”]
– So it gets like this: you never see the person and you never talk to or text the person for awhile, whereupon a lank, easy wonder (nourished by insecurity) starts to grow: Is it that they don’t want me around anymore? Why don’t they want me around anymore? Have I displeased this person? Morbidly bored this person? Said or done something that makes them quite suddenly allergic to my existence? If only there was a way to contact them (yes, quite, a sacred device through which our voices might be transported via air waves! Splendid! O: waitaminute), a dialogue might emerge. I should learn why they do not wish to speak a word to me besides lol or ttyl (I was in the hospital, I got hit by a truckload of pharma last night) and if they tell me how I have (if I have) offended, changes or amendments might, I say might then be made to my behavior or apologies made for my speech.
– Did you always have this accent?
– Fake accent. Sorry.
– Well, longer ago, it would be a piss-and-moanfest about “unanswered letters” or “he never returns my calls” but in the 20-teens it’s: A text is sent and there is no reply. Why no reply?
– That’s it, exactly. And I am sort of feeling like a teenager in this situation. I … I find myself doing things simply to get a response, since there is no response at all, and if that is not borderline hebephrenic, well –
– Hebephrenic it is. Point made. What do you do, oh wait, what have (heh heh) you done?
– Nothing, really. But listen. Do you know how you have that friend who always complains or who is always in a funky down mood or who is always tripping off on some godawful Main Conspiracy Lane (like the afterlife, you don’t want to go there) and so you do everything you can to avoid running into them at the office or campus. You might even cross the street, going, Ah shit here comes trouble!
– I know where you’re going with this. They create the scapegoats they become, don’t they? Escape-goats? When you do run into them, they’re all paranoid, like Why don’t I ever see you anymore or Why are you avoiding me? And you say, I’m not. But you want to speak the truth, at this point, you want to tell the person –
– that the reason I’m avoiding you —
– It’s that you are always pestering me about why we don’t get together like we used to, that’s why I am avoiding you. It’s a tautology and a Plutonic relationship at once!
© 2017 Thomas N. Dennis
[Two Rats, Van Gogh, 1884]