Saturday, February 28, 2015

No Exit

I manage a page on facebook called 'facebook still sucks dot com' (which really nobody posts to except me); (and really, what has facebook done for me lately). It points out (somewhat gratuitously how I am feeling assailed and regularly nauseated by the misdirected endless stream of cardboard cutout political sentiment, the self-congratulatory vacation and dinner photos, the baseless snarkiness of the pseudo-intellectuals that inhabit the ad festooned pages of this virtual tête-à-tête,-- need I go on, (the cat photos),-- now, if you will, let me explain why I love facebook, and this particular realization came to me in one of the two places where all realizations come to me (either in the diner or in the shower),

--I was sitting eating this ham and egg sandwich (not in the shower) (quite a good ham and egg sandwich, in a booth facing the door, (actually in a state of semi-rapture because, I had just found out I could actually move the seat back a few inches further from the table--I may be a few pounds overweight) when a young man, relatively good-looking of about thirty five, with a scraggly/curly kind of beard and moustache of the kind you find in colder weather climes where shaving is a form of excessive self-congratulation,--anyway, he was flinging his arms and legs about randomly in different directions, as he entered the diner, in a manner that would have been alarming were it not immediately evident that he suffered from some kind of palsy that made these motions involuntary--anyway, I must tell you a little about myself at this point,--for some reason, whenever I see a person like this, someone afflicted in this manner, I invariably experience this intense upwelling of affection,--it is totally irrational and involuntary, I know,--the person in front of me could in fact be a serial-killer-rapist-grandmother-abuser-horse-sodomist but to me at least, they immediately take on the aspect of sainthood, and it is as if I am overpowered by what theologians have noted as the distinctive odor of sainthood, conveying as it were instantly that this person was the source of this upwelling of feeling and in other words really can do no wrong,

--now this is, as I mentioned, I am aware, totally irrational but, as I said, I really have no control over it,--so as the young man walks in and up the aisle toward me and the pasty, glum, semi-toothless, 280 bowler waitress standing at the counter greets him warmly, "Hello Wally".

Full stop--
That was when the realization hit me,--the reason I had experience this immediate emotional response had nothing to do with the qualities of this individual but was because some part of me had interpreted the wild limb waving as a kind of greeting, as if he were frantically trying to capture my attention (and perhaps only my attention),--,the situation in my warped consciousness had been transformed and it was not that he suffered a debilitating illness but rather that he was at that moment in fact, so overjoyed to see me that he had lost total control of his limbs--this is the simplest explanation but of course totally irrational, yet, I will not apologize becuase this is just the way I interpret these things,
Half stop
-- I have always been this way for as long as I can remember,--for years I remember walking down the street hoping to hear my name yelled out by some random stranger, hoping he or she was a long lost friend or brother or sister or lover, that is just the shape of my emotional architecture, I long for this abrupt and public connection with another person that will bathe me and them in the joy of mutual recognition,--and here it seems it was at last, in (of course) the unlikeliest of places,  when this young man walked into the diner so,

To get back to my original point, this is why I love facebook, it is it seems constantly waving its limbs uncontrollably in this palsied frenzy to grab my attention and mine alone,--the content or character behind the facade is irrelevant,--I just crave the mutual instant recognition it affords. This may be as shallow and irrational as posting cat pictures or last night's dinner, but I swear it is the truth. So, at the point where I find myself walking down the street or into a diner having lost control of my limbs, I only hope you, dear reader, are the one sitting there, waiting to receive this entirely
involuntary impersonal and somewhat abstract embrace.