Prose, poetry and prattle: some published, and some ... well, not yet.

Sunday, 16 February 2003

Perhaps An Answer

(This was written in response to a request that a form be filled to introduce myself to other members when joining a virtual community.)

Is it necessary? Is it necessary to commit myself to what I am, and what I think I am about? Today I think this way. Tomorrow I think that. Somedays I like Alannis Morissette. And once in a while I retreat into the embrace of Nat King Cole. I am as ever changing as change will allow. As growth will construct. As inclination or expediency may destruct.

When I fill out this form I will do it simply out of a sense of duty. Not because I want to. Not because I have to. But because someone asked me and that someone matters. And, to refuse to do so seems like saying "Yes" when the answer should be "Maybe". To complete the form would complete me to a fault. I am not ready to be complete. Nor do I wish to be faulty.

This I know:

No matter what I do, say or believe now can hold me hostage - and your form bears down on me like a Chechnyan kidnapper. I fear for flickering images of me atrophying in someone’s mailbox, and then to be re-cast like a bad pirate VCD on someone’s memory. Like a photograph that no longer flatters its subjects. Or like magazines out of time in the doctor’s waiting room. More than that, I do not wish to remain a website profile. I do not wish for the virtual completeness of my being sculpted by my tapping fingers at a moment in time slither away from the grasp of my complicity.

If you want to know me, to really know me, ask me over for tea, coffee, or ... just simply. Let’s have a conversation that ripples along like a brook, winding this way and that through different terrain. Where its twists and turns will sometimes confirm and sometimes contradict your conclusions about me. Yet, give interest to the canvas like swirls on a painterly Vincent.

Yes. If you are my friend, please take time to enjoy the inflections, the pauses, the rise of a brow, the flare of a nostril, the open vowel through a constricted larynx, a hesitant utterance, each one meaning one thing to you and maybe another to me. When sometimes we will concur and sometimes we won’t.

If you are a good friend, we will repeat these rituals to illuminate you, baffle you, reveal truths to you and hide secrets from you. Where pregnant pauses between us will bear greater progeny than paragraph spaces between you and your screen. Is it necessary this form of yours? Can we not just learn to be good friends? Is it really, truly necessary this form of yours?

It turns my reality into roadkill. A rotting carcass slowly becoming something else from what it originally was.

Don’t ask me to fill up a form. I wish to remain formless. And I do not wish to leave a smell.

"Do not ask me who I am and do not ask me to remain the same".
- Michel Foucault