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Friday, May 11, 2012

you didn't have to be so cold

make it like it never happened and that we were nothing

I love reading about Mark Zuckerberg. The founder of Facebook, I am CEO bitch his cards used to say . No matter what people say about him he changed the world completely. I still remember the first article I ever read about him, a lengthy profile in the New Yorker. How I found it goes back to one of my older loves, the West Wing. That was a television show, that was a great television show. The dialogue in the writing, the beauty in the words the power in the drama and the comedy in the slip-ups all combined to produce magic every week. The first episode I ever watched was on a Sunday evening, sitting at home at  5 p.m. tuned into nation TV.  When it came on I was blown away. In my mind the first episode I ever watched was my favourite, it was called the two cathedrals, and since I don’t think it makes sense to offer spoiler alerts for things that were shown in 2001 (10 years should be the expiry date, except I still get pissed off when I read the essays in front  of Tolstoy’s books and get this lengthy exposition about what to watch out for and the trainy endings of Anna Karenina so…) SPOILER.

In that episode the president’s secretary dies in a car crash, she had just bought her first new car and on her virgin ride she gets hit by a drunk driver. There’s a lot of emotion swirling around at this time, the president had concealed the fact of a disease that he had. His re-election is in the toilet because the truth always comes out and bites you in the ass in the worst way. His wife is angry that he still wants to be president again despite promises made and paid for but  power is the most seductive siren that ever sang. A storm is brewing on one of the coasts and it reminds the old man of another tragedy. He is angry, he is angry at God and after the service he asks for some time to talk to his creator (he is a deeply religious man.) he stands there and looks up at God and lets his anger flow. “You can’t conceive neither can I the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God said Graham Greene, I don’t know whose ass he was kissing there because I think you’re just vindictive.” He says in a speech laden with examples of acts of God, like in the Brothers Karamazov when after listing the cruelties of the world one brother says to the other "it's not God that i don't accept Alyosha only i must respectfully return him the ticket" he talks in Latin and English, he expresses his anger in a way that I have never heard spoken to a deity before. We weren’t allowed to be angry at God you see. After I watched and found myself in my-angry-at-God periods I wanted to write a character like this, I had things I wanted to say to God in ways that I couldn’t without calling blasphemy and lightning down on my head and I wanted to say them, or write about someone who could, hide behind the cloak of artistic license and this is what good writing does, it inspires you. A writer is a reader moved to emulation said Saul Bellow and that scene moved me to emulation. I’ll just paste it below after doing what I hate all those Tolstoy prefacers for doing.

After watching the West Wing I loved Aaron sorkin’s writing he’s probably my favourite screenwriter, there’s nothing he would do that I wouldn’t watch twice. Then I read that he was going to do a movie about Facebook, the social network and I began to read about it. I read the New Yorker profile that talked about Mark Zuckerberg’s reaction to the movie and his portrayal in it. The writer had said he would be more faithful to a good story than he would be to the truth, so I watched it as entertainment. But in the profile they interview Aaron Sorkin, they tell him that Mark Zuckerberg had listed the west wing as one of his favourite series and that Mark’s favourite episode was the same as mine(not in those words exactly.) but after the movie he had taken it down, "I wish  you hadn't told me that" responded Aaron Sorkin.

i don't even need your love

Well Facebook, I can’t keep up with it. The timeline came out and I didn’t want to move but I knew I would and I knew that with time I would like it more than anything that came before, I knew that their innovation knows user friendliness more than my human inertia can. So I moved. When they mixed chat with messages and made all the threads into a long spool of sooner forgotten, half tipsy flirtations I was angry but now it’s what life is. Still I find new things about Facebook all the time.

A few years ago I had no idea how to remove a friend, I just let people wallow into obscurity till their posts no longer come up and it works for me. And I never felt that anyone would treat me different but I was removed as a friend. It happened a lot. It keeps happening and I can never know when it did or does exactly since those are people whose profiles aren’t touched on enough for me to notice that they don’t want me to. And it’s always my friend’s exes. I don’t get it. Am always so nice to these girls, I get to know them and find a place where conversation is easy, I try to turn them into wing women and give them alone time with their boyfriends, I keep a professional distance but soon think of them as acquaintances then they break up and they remove the whole cancer. They poison themselves with the treatment of burned bridges but maybe its what they need to heal.

Once I was removed as a friend, personally. I couldn’t believe it, I thought  it was a glitch, she wasn’t the girlfriend of any of my friends and while things weren’t a rose bed they also weren’t a rose bed since they weren’t that thorny or muddy . It’s like only I can’t see the stains of red and mud that relationships leave behind.

Then recently Facebook sent me another lesson in usability. I had come home tired and tried, it was 5 in the morning and since we are in that kind of season the sun had already stretched its fingers over the horizon grasping the earth in tendrils of light and making the sky that azure blue it becomes at dawn. I got home and turned on my computer, I had a girl on my mind and I wanted to write her a message, I had been putting it off since… I don’t know why. I know she meant something and the worst thing is that maybe I made her feel like she didn’t and the end was sad, it was mournful and mourned. But distance gave us some time and we were going to find a way to be friends. This can’t happen with everyone we should realise, sometimes  even when it’s no one’s fault  the smiles stretched taut still break our skin from the falseness and eggshells carpets. But it was time to write the message and I put on my internet, I go on my Facebook, search the name and get nothing, search my messages and try to write then I see this

you cannot message... learn more

I never knew that was even possible, unable to send messages, and Facebook asks me to click on something to learn more. So I click on it, I want to learn more. A stupid part of me seems to think that there will be an explanation posted there, a “dear….. I don’t want to get messages from you any more since I can’t…” but that’s never going to be what you get. When you go into surgery you need warmth and love, you need your family and words of encouragement, instead you get a cold slice of steel, it cuts through your skin and blood gets pumped out and sucked, it’s ugly and professional. It’s technical and that’s what I get a technical message “if you would also like to do this to someone we can show you how…”

Sometimes am completely vulnerable and so easily bruised. Maybe I had done something that deserved such a complete shutout and I looked through he messages seeing eggshells cracked everywhere, seeing explanations that still make me yearn for the time they weren’t needed and so much hostility that I can’t believe I never saw it before. I get more heartache than I do headaches and as this happened it touched me. Anger was unavailable. I didn’t know when this happened, a year, a few months? The closer messages spoke of reconciliation in a tone of wistfulness. We may want it to happen but the world doesn’t give people that many chances and we blew that one out of the water. There’s no timeline for broken friendships and like stars we can keep seeing their light long, long after their heat has died and soon we realise how cold the night really is. But still I ached. 

but you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough


  1. Gotye featuring Kimbra! I absolutely love that song! :-)

    On Facebook - I'm one of those people they would charge if they could for under-use. Sort of like those lanes I hear of where you're fined for going too slowly.

    On West Wing - I found it too political.

    On Friendship - been there and had that done to me without the faceless intervention of FB. It sucks. But in time you grow a thick skin and move on.

    1. yeah that song is awesome i seem to have all the words down just from hearing it in clubs, and yep friendship can be fickle

  2. I loved the quality of dialogue on Westwing. Very well written.

    1. and he has a new show coming out called networks so yeah!