July 30, 2010

Whatever happens, that's the plan

The Artist and I, apparently, are having creative differences, as some on the Left Coast say. You could also say, we are unable to accommodate each other's needs. But in truth? I am not sure how it happened, how it went from feeling like "us" to sensing she was already gone, long before I realized.

It makes me sad: I had such hopes -- initially we seemed to share the same sensibilities, to laugh at the same jokes, shake our heads in joint irony; I thought, perhaps, we even comforted each other, as well as the fun stuff. Fun is another element that had left the building. I wanted something I could not get, something I can't quite, or don't want, to articulate here.

But apparently, whatever happens, that's the plan. That's the tune everyone around me is singing. Or at least for the moment. These days, I suppose it's as workable a motto as any. Erases the sting of "Be properly scared," something that has echoed in my head.

I am at a point where, whatever happens, that's the plan seems quite apt, considering my shortage of definite plans for my future -- what will I do for a career, given my lack of interest in running a financial planning business, and my technological incompetence leaving me unable even to try to get a job in my previous field, editing.

Then there's the fact that the magazine industry when I left it was alive and practically well. Now the print world as I knew it is gone. The magazine industry's on life support, and we're all to blame for that. I do wonder: who the hell decided that we were better off reading brief articles on a Web page, and let print go to die.

I realize the irony: I'm writing on the very instrument that has helped push my old industry into the ground, making use of exactly what I complain about: the Internet. I just think the pace of technochange is way, way, too fast, and that something has gotten lost in the mad dash to computerization.

That would be, among other things, our attention spans, our ability to talk with one another in person and think real social life did not involve sitting at a screen typing in lieu of talking, leaving the vocal intonations completely devoid of a job for which they are better suited than a machine: conveying emotion, whether cheery or dour, sarcastic or earnest.

Here I return to Luddite-ville, apparently alone.

Only last week did I find out the Artist had been trying to figure me out from reading my blog entries -- and noting that my travelogues seemed too self-focused, and why didn't I talk about the settings: for example, what was new and different and interesting about each culture?

I tried to explain how much of my view was, alas, that of a tourist more than the traveler I would like to think I am. No, I don't write about seeing homeless people in one part Buenos Aires juxtaposed against another neighborhood that could be Paris. I think and observe more than I write. (As for Buenos Aires, I could not tell whether I was watching the ghost of New York past or future: a city falling on hard times, again.)

For another, this blog is the world through my eyes -- and if you happen to share an interest in how I view the world, that's why you're reading it. If I weren't sufficiently entertaining in some manner, well, how would I have met and become real-life friends with other bloggers to whom I was introduced through their writing?

Back to the plan: whoever made it has a very slanted sense of humor. Black comes to mind, but that is how I get by, how I see things. When I went through chemo, people kept telling me how wonderful it was that I kept my sense of humor. What else was I going to do with it? Tuck it away in a safe deposit box to make sure I knew where it went? Cry?

You don't make it through a year of doctors and tests and chemo without laughing at some of it. Or at least I don't, didn't, couldn't. It is, after all, how I get by.

And, you have to admit, it is peculiar that two different straight women in the chemo lounge admired my boobs. I should thank them here -- for reminding me that all was not lost, that my body could be a toxic waste swamp, and still, I have great tits.

That, apparently, remains the plan.


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