2 October 2003
Okay, so I think what I mean, what we're talking about here, is something to do with the way people, or at least, um, specific individuals perhaps, make some kind of impact, or not so much an impact, but more just little changes on the environment around them, and around you, or us, even. Changes, little things that are shared, that affect us all. Or perhaps not affect, but just inform, or not even inform because it's unconscious pretty much, but are just there. People do things that create things that when we do things influence how we do them. Something like that. Maybe.
I'm sitting here using my computer and I've got an instant messaging application open, and that's despite the fact I'm not a very chatty person, in fact probably I might go so far as to say I'm not a small-talk person at all, but I installed that application so we could talk together. And to be honest I leave it set to Away most of the time so nobody messages me, and I don't use it that much, but I've never got round to uninstalling it. So it's just there, always on my computer, and that's because of you.
I don't know, it's all kinds of things, it's a difficult thing to explain this. But there's something they call "muscle memory", like when you start doing things on automatic. Perhaps learning how to drive a car and when I started I remember distinctly I had to think about moving my foot on the gas pedal and now I don't think of it at all, I just will somehow "more speed" and my foot moves.
No, that's a bad example.
A better one is when I type my password on my computer at work, every morning when I get in, and once a month I have to change it, and for days afterwards I come in and before I know it my fingers have typed in the old password, like they've got some memory of what keys to hit themselves. Muscle memory.
So this is what I mean I think, I mean, like when in idle moments at work and I've got nothing to do, just filling the gaps so I open my web browser and before I know it my fingers have typed in the address of your homepage to see if you've updated. And it's not until the page is loaded and I read the date at the top that I remember that of course you've not updated it.
Like, when involuntarily my eyes flick to the buddylist of the instant messaging application when a new user comes online. For a second I think it might be you, but it won't be.
The way I live my life accomodates all kinds of things that you did, or liked to do, so I have a folder for your emails, and stuff installed on my computer to talk to you, and my back aches slightly and always because the chair we bought (and shared) is slightly too low for me, because it had to do for you too.
I can feel your presence on everything, but you've been dead for months. That's why it doesn't feel strange writing you this letter, because it just feels like you're away for a long while, like a holiday, or university or something.
And now I say that, that's something else that's weird. Because, um, I don't know, when they have those robots that drive into dangerous buildings with cameras and microphones on them, all the engineers stand proudly round the screens and say that they're "telepresent" in the building. I'm like that building that's about to fall in on itself, I think, if you see what I mean, but where you're present from... well, I don't know.
All these things. They're like ripples on a pond from stones that haven't been thrown in. I'm that pond. These little things I notice because you changed me, my house, the way I get up in the morning, the side of the sofa I sit on, my life. And I know it's not you when I get an email in my inbox, because it can't be, but when the predictive text on my phone suggests your name, I feel haunted.
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
Also by this clown:
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
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