taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Sunday, July 11, 2004

I spend more time writing e-mails than almost anything else. I thought that might stop when I stopped working, but I kept the email habit, and now when I have a thought (a rare occurence, admittedly), I send an email. I don't bother to articulate the thought in any detail--it's part of an ongoing offline conversation I have with the recipient, and so it makes reference to events outside of the email dialogue. And then there are people with whom my entire dialogue is actually in email, and so when we get together, we're actually referencing emails. It's confusing and thinking about it requires many levels of abstraction that I can't possibly muster, since I've been watching bad TV all night and drinking wine.

I've got all these letters that my dad wrote to various people, to his family and love letters to my mom, which my mom gave to me in a fit of pique shortly after he died. (She now resents that I have these, as though she weren't about to throw them away before I took them.) In any case, it makes me realize what a pathetic writer I am, and I blame technology. I have too many outlets for my badly-thought thoughts, my terrible turns-of-phrase; I don't have to actually type anything, or actually consider the alphabet. I don't have to think about the consequences of whiteout (did she mean that? was it freudian?) I don't have to ever commit to any act of writing, and so my novel goes unfinished. But my emails? They are considered and weighed, perhaps because they are more permanent, because they have a recipient who will read them, because someone is actually reading. And the rest of my shit, forget it.

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