I’ve never been one to get bogged down in my own shit enough to be overwhelmed. Once it is done, the regret might linger, might stain my actions for a little while but then I will wipe it from my mainframe and start again. But it will reappear occasionally. Usually I will just swipe that from my memory and move on again but it can plant itself deep enough to frustrate and niggle at my senses. Recently, it has been the reappearance of girls I thought I had (or they had with me) long left behind. I’ll open up my phone, flip through a few useless snapchats and instagrams and notice that a girl from my little black book is still breathing somewhere nearby. It sort of strikes you in the face that instead of bumping into her once a year, you are virtually making her acquaintance 3 times a week.
So how do you change that? You could delete her number and all ties you have to her on social media. But that would include burning the bridges of certain mutuals and in turn that could create an awkward chance meeting sometime in the future and no one likes an awkward chance meeting where both parties cannot avoid the aerial collision that is imminent.
Perhaps you could simply throw away your phone? Perhaps you could burn your laptop? Maybe even just move to one of the rare places where there is absolutely no wifi signal and no connection to those who ingloriously survive in the urban sprawl. But no, it ain’t me babe. I’m a man of the people. I am an expert on social media and that’s a helluva lot however sometimes I feel every ounce of creativity and spontaneity is punctured by the weight of the system. This system has until recently destroyed my attachment to one of the most important forces to the unexplained, mysterious universe that surrounds us. And I’m not talking about this virtual world that is apparently our eventual place of business and pleasure. I am referring to fate. The force that supposedly pushes us toward an inevitability. And whilst I am certainly still skeptical that it is a genuine force, I am firming as a believer.
I have the ability to connect with over 7 billion people on this planet. Some in a very minuscule manner such as signing my name to a human rights’ crusader’s campaign to save free speech that reaches the heart of India, China, maybe even Russia. Some in a way that is so deeply intimate that it pains me to ever have to say goodbye. I’ve ended associations in ways that I deeply regret to this day. I don’t regret it in the ‘I walk with my head bowed in shame’ way but I still give it considered thought on the occasional quiet moment I share with my conscience. Friends I’ve slighted, friends I’ve distanced myself from, friends I just haven’t been able to fit into my schedule. It hurts me every time. Yet, it is a human necessity. We only have so much time and if we were to bury ourselves in the positive energy of every man, woman and dog who came across our path while skimping on the negatives that are packaged up in the same bundle, we would have thousands of acquaintances and we would probably struggle to remember the names of half of them. Therein lies the crux of human companionship. For one person we invite into our private worlds, we almost certainly have to sacrifice the sanctity of a relationship with another.
It is a complex two-way system that we operate within. Taking another party for granted rarely ends in anything reflecting pure friendship or love. To receive, we must give and not just in the filthiest way your mind is imagining… you sick fuck. One particular moment I still dwell upon occurred when I sat in my car with a particular female sitting across from me. I wanted to tell her that I loved her scent, I loved her talent, I loved everything about her… without actually telling her that I loved her. As to not overreach my sentiment, I was numbed by the occasion and I simply kissed her on the lips and bid her farewell. Suffice to say we both moved on, she found a boyfriend who probably told her those things and I’m listening to Jeff Buckley’s Grace at 1 in the morning on a Saturday night.
This is not to say that I am not embracing this moment. I have sacrificed other passions for my love of music. My love of music has overtaken so many other aspects of my life because when I made the choice to wholeheartedly invest myself in one passion I made a subconscious choice to change my life. And maybe it was fate that one cool December night I heard Otis Redding sing ‘Try a little tenderness’ live in Paris. Maybe it was fate that I could not tell this girl how I felt. Maybe everything simply conspired for us not to work.
I’m connected to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in a way that enables me to simply search their name and begin a conversation however ineffective it would prove to be and it amazes me. However I cannot lead a life where I attempt to stay in touch with all these people who I have an obscure and passing connection with for I would simply be playing too many hands for the pot. Life is still a game and life is still a beautiful mystery to me. Sure, I’m so frustrated by it. The manipulation, the red tape, the conflict, the ignorance and the hate. But I’m also so in love with it. The beauty of a well told story, the majesty of nature in full flight, the simplicity of human connections and those awkward chance meetings.
So tonight I desire to delete the number of the woman I manufactured a connection with during our minor dalliance in a staff induction for a cinema job. I desire to delete the number of a girl who told me how deeply she felt for me but refused to be hurt by my half-hearted commitment to the cause and I desire to delete the contact details of the people I met once overseas, interstate, perhaps just down at the local curry bar when I was sipping a few curries. But wouldn’t it be better just to leave that decision to fate? If I lose my phone, I no longer have their numbers. If a network crashes, I might just lose their contact details. If I meet a girl who is insanely jealous, she might just force me to delete all dem pretty gurlzzz in my little black book. If I slip into a coma for a few years I won’t have to worry about my obscure encounters with a kid in Kansas either. But that’s fate, I can’t premeditate how it is going to react and how I am going to move with it.
Until that force, whether real or simply an elaborate illusion, pushes me to make a decision, I will just remember that we are only here for a fleeting moment in the context of the grand scheme of this whole, overwhelmingly beautiful and befuddling… thing.
Although the frustration of these futile connections seems to persist despite my hypothetical decision to eradicate them from my life, I will just keep the door open, wish them well and continue to make other seemingly futile connections with as many people as I can. For if we cease to make connections with individuals, we leave ourselves open to isolation, ignorance and hate. I’d rather have a confused web of connections than a world littered with insane men and women screaming into their pillowcases at night because no one will listen to their thoughts and ideas during the day.