The Big Experiment

CURRENT: The children and I drew for a while yesterday? Today? The cold makes it all run together. It was yesterday. Today, I drew a canoe. Empty, unshaded. I thought if I drew a canoe I might remember that I have one and begin making plans for its springtime usage. Canoeing under warm sun is a wonderful thing to consider right now. It is so, so, so cold. Even in the house, cold. Though not so cold as outside, I must remind myself. This is a heron I drew yesterday. The south Georgia coast part of me considers itself to be like a heron. It is the part of me that pays attention gracefully.

The children drew wonderful pictures. I will post them when both will scan correctly. To post only one child’s drawing would be unfair, even if they never even knew.

I am not sure why this is underlined. I need to email Verizon. Read further to learn what exactly The Big Experiment entails.

show details 7:42 PM (2 hours ago)
I am sort of over this whole project right now. My enthusiasm is damp, damp, damp.

I need to do the dishes. Vacuum. Re-paint the trim in the kitchen. So much to do – always. Why add more?

I’ll tell you why – if I don’t save these bits of myself – noone else will. I told my father I had written 174 pages. He said, “oh.”

Heartbreaking disregard. Maybe he just didn’t have time to think of a good reply. At least an “Oh?” or an “Oh!”.

Really, it all came down to the nuanced pronunciation of punctuation. His word was lowercased and period-ed. Not even an ellipse of passive feigned interest.

At least as far as my interpretation is concerned. So much of our understanding of what others communicate is based on our subjective intonation. Some people, for example, find me impossibly rude. Making exclamations out of intended questions and mistaking my accent for italics. On my tongue measured neutrality somehow turns to sarcasm or exasperation.

Why do I talk at all? Why do I care how others say what the words they say. I rarely take words for face value. I instantly and always imagine every possible way the words could be heard:

“Gooood Morning.”

(I am happy to see you.)

“Gooood Morning.”

(I am quite tired and not at all happy to see you. But, I am trying to sound as if I am.)

“Gooood Morning.”

(There is so much I have to tell you, but all I can think of to say is…)

“Gooood Morning.”

I have already replied some variant of the appropriate thing to say, but my mind is churning churning churning with questions and exclamations, a conversation imagined.

I am really a person in need of friends. Really.

——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Fw: January 2nd
Sent: Jan 2, 2010 10:20 AM

Well, then what do I want to be.

A bird? A hopeful harbinger of peace or a pesky reminder of human folly when it comes to the art of flight.

I wish I could write a letter to a friend. This is what it would say:

Dear – the chickens just jump-flapped off the porch into the alley. It is bitter-knife cold. The children have been sent out to play in spite of the wind. They have retreated to forts within the hedge.

I need to do something about those chickens, don’t I? They are quietly chup-chirping on the north side of the house. I can hear them.
It sounds peaceful yet pesky. How appropriate.

Perhaps I am a chicken afterall.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: January 2nd
Sent: Jan 2, 2010 9:11 AM

It is snowing…again. There won’t be much accumulation…but, it is cold cold cold – too cold for snow.

But it’s still snowing. The chicken ladies didn’t even come out of their coop.

Note to Self:

You do not want to be a self-help guru. Remember this.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

show details 8:03 PM (1 hour ago)

This stream of forward and reply is getting confusing. Wasn’t I writing the words I might write to a friend?

That was hours ago – if this were written by hand, I might crumple the page. But, send is a kinder word than cancel and so I the words stay.

I saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox today. In a theater with sofas. It was fabulous – all of it. The bag full of grocery store candy, the children stretched on the oversize seats, my mother laughing at all the same ridiculous things I laughed at. My father smiling, because we are laughing though he isn’t quite sure why.

The movie was big and bright and somewhat odd. I was delighted. I seldom watch things on screens. I am not vigilant in my non-watchful state. However, watching takes time.

I am, of course, staring at a screen right now. A little awful LED bright screen that I just now realized kind of hurts my eyes. I really need to do less of this stream-of-consciousness emailing to myself. It’s starting to get a little weird. Really, how many other kids have moms who are distracted because they are emailing themselves on their Blackberries? Sure, plenty of moms are engaged with screens – but, are they “talking” to themselves?

Dang. I need friends. Of course…friends take time. What would choose? Friends or emailing myself? It’s a tough call. Depends, I suppose, on the friend.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Fw: January 2nd
Sent: Jan 2, 2010 10:20 AM (current: I don’t know what’s up with the time situation here?) (Perhaps a legitimate question for the Verizon customer service rep.)

show details 9:36 PM (21 minutes ago)

Here’s what I need to do tonight:

Work for work – shapes, diagrams

Post a digital ton of communication.

Sell out to Verizon. True. Here’s my idea: I send an email to a generic customer service rep. I explain that I am an interesting and somewhat verbose lady who has written a small book – always being added to! – on her Blackberry. I will tell them I have wings tattooed on my palms, which I do. And that the buttons’ clicking noise is sometimes loud, sometimes not. I will send this customer service representative a link to this web-log, and instruct them to email it to their supervisor and whoever else might want to learn of an appealingly eccentric (?) Or just plain nuts lady in WNC who has written over 50,000 words in the form of emails to herself on her mobile phone. I don’t use text-type and I don’t use emoticons.

Oh yeah, and I draw a picture everyday. Still.

I love love love a good experiment and wouldn’t it be interesting if Verizon actually did help me to connect — I don’t want to be famous, but I do want to pay off my stupid credit card debt and buy the house I’ve been living in, put a new roof on it. Transform the attic. I’ll do all that one day, salary and thrift, muscle. However, if a stupid Verizon commercial is all it takes – not to mention that it would be a pretty clever inquiry. What happens when a near-friendless lady from WNC starts emailing herself constantly, draws a lot of pictures and then tells Verizon about it?
How long from my first email until the technological world knows my hands? They would never know me by an image of my un-blurred eyes. I am an ironically private person. Or maybe I’m just shy? Curiosity has defeated shy more times than I care to count.

I’d better be cautious. My life is very intentional for the most part. I mean every word.

I love a good experiment; Seeing what happens is always so tempting. I’m gonna do it.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Like I said, Ha!

One thought on “The Big Experiment

  1. My god…I was, and remain, so naive. to think that if I tried something, that it would work, to think that just because I wanted something, it would happen, that just because I charmed myself, that I would be charming to other people. Ha, is right.

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