* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.


2 October 2003
Matt writes a letter

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 mean.

For example.

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.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
23 October 2003. Matt writes: Topology
2 October 2003. Matt writes: Haunted
8 September 2003. Matt writes: The Gardener's Diary
21 August 2003. Matt writes: The Starling Variable
31 July 2003. Matt writes: Two stories
14 July 2003. Matt writes: What is real?
23 June 2003. Matt writes: Mapping and journeys
29 May 2003. Matt writes: Extelligence
5 May 2003. Matt writes: Religious experiences
17 April 2003. Matt writes: Seeing the Light
27 March 2003. Matt writes: Flowering
10 March 2003. Matt writes: Climax state
10 February 2003. Matt writes: The Role of Cooperation in Human Interaction
20 January 2003. Matt writes: The same old subroutine
2 January 2003. Matt writes: New beginnings
9 December 2002. Matt writes: Packet Loss
18 November 2002. Matt writes: Wonderland
31 October 2002. Matt writes: Having and losing
10 October 2002. Matt writes: Trees of Knowledge
19 September 2002. Matt writes: The online life of bigplaty47
29 August 2002. Matt writes: Divorce
8 August 2002. Matt writes: How to get exactly what you want
18 July 2002. Matt writes: Eleven Graceland endings
27 June 2002. Matt writes: Listopad, Prague 1989
3 June 2002. Matt writes: Engram bullets
6 May 2002. Matt writes: Sound advice
15 April 2002. Matt writes: How it all works: Cars
21 March 2002. Matt writes: Proceeding to the next stage
25 February 2002. Matt writes: Spam quartet
31 January 2002. Matt writes: Person to person
7 January 2002. Matt writes: All for the best
13 December 2001. Matt writes: Life
19 November 2001. Matt writes: Giving is better than receiving
25 October 2001. Matt writes: Ludo
1 October 2001. Matt writes: Gifts, contracts, and whispers
6 September 2001. Matt writes: The world is ending
13 August 2001. Matt writes: The Church of Mrs Bins
16 July 2001. Matt writes: Things I Don't Have
25 June 2001. Matt writes: Fighting the Good Fight
31 May 2001. Matt writes: Code dependency
7 May 2001. Matt writes: Up The Arse, Or Not At All
5 April 2001. Matt writes: The increasing nonlinearity of time
19 March 2001. Matt writes: Hit Me Baby, One More Time
22 February 2001. Matt writes: Space, Matter, Cities, Sausages
29 January 2001. Matt writes: Truth in Advertising
1 January 2001. Matt writes: Six predictions for tomorrow
7 December 2000. Matt writes: You must reach this line to ride
16 November 2000. Matt writes: The truth about the leopard
23 October 2000. Matt writes: Shopping mauls
28 September 2000. Matt writes: Heavy traffic on the road to Utopia
4 September 2000. Matt writes: Sixty worlds a minute
17 July 2000. Matt writes: You, Me, and Face-space

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