I think the god that doesn’t exist is telling me to stay away from places where liquor is served.
Last Saturday after work I went to a local bar to meet up with a friend. It was good to see him. I also saw every person who graduated from my high school. It was not as good to see them. There was no one in particular who infuriated my senses, but rather the shear magnitude of useless conversations that happen when you see somebody for the first time in half a decade and you have to scream most of your conversation over the cover band playing Fall Out Boy with a saxophone, electric guitar, and a drum-set while playing “conversation on, conversation off” because we were standing in front of the very badly needed bathroom. No one discusses the meaning of life or the merits of socialism in these conversation, instead they go like this:
“What have you been up to?”
“Oh, you know. A bunch.”
“What have you been up to?”
“Um.. a lot.”
Five years is a long time, we cannot recap what has happened to us in that span. Instead we can pretend we care and then say something like: “well we should catch up” and then forget to call/email/twittmyface them. And that’s what we do. So after an hour of forcing an excited smile to yell “HEY” every time I saw another person who felt bad for picking on my in middle/high school, I left to the solitude of my way too big for me house.
I also went to the liquor store today to stock up for this Saturday’s celebration of independence. The two cashiers were talking while I looked for something white to go with the red wine and blueberry beer that I had bought. One looked to the other and said, “My friend bought this scanner, because it sounds like faxes are a dying technology.”
Now I realize that the internet stops working when it’s cloudy here, but facsimiles are not dying technology, they are extinct. Not even dead, they are a long lost memory like the ones I shared with the “friends” I ran into in the bar. I didn’t even realize that fax machines existed anymore. And I have the reason why. Deep down, the world loves making an ass of themselves, just like me. That’s why phones and email work, because we were able to get drunk and leave a voicemail at three in the morning saying: “I miss you, where’s the trash can? come back to .. is that ‘Rock of Love?'” or an email sent at 2:38 that states: “i MISS WGEB TTIU WOUD KIDDSS MEEE sorry aklbout the capitaaals.” No one sits down to write a note before they go to sleep and then waits 15 minutes while their crayon scribbles are slowly fed through a fax machine that sounds like if captain hook had had a dialup modem instead of a clock to throw into the alligator’s belly. So there were never any drunk-faxes, and therefore no making an ass of one’s self, and therefore faxes died. Except in ruralia.
Here faxes are “on their way out.” Here people know me wherever I go, but I’m not famous because they don’t treat me with starstruck admiration but rather faux-friendly conversation. Here I feel like living my life like every day is my last, but only because I’m afraid it might be.
This friend is a friend who used to work with me at my parents’ health food store. One day he turned around the aisle to see me overreact to my walking into a glass refridgerator door while slipping on a freshly mopped floor and ironically taking down the “caution wet floor” sign. No one else was in the aisle with me. He turned the corner just in time to be my only audience. After that incident he told me that it was interesting to realize that I didn’t just do my crazy antics for attention. I was confused.
Of course I just did them for attention, but I just didn’t need the attention of others. I’m much more interesting, funny, creative, entertaining, smart, worthwhile than other people so the best attention to receive is the attention of myself. I remembered this incident today while driving home yelling the lyrics to “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” off key while making funny faces. I was entertaining myself – I needed no audience.
So, why do I hate ruralia so much? Doesn’t that work with my desire for the best audience (aka Myself) since I am forced to be alone so much more. No. Ruralia does not force me to interact with myself, it forces interactions all the time with people you are only mildly interested in. It forces faxes – information is being passed between parties who only somewhat want to talk to each other but through the slowest and most grating means necessary.