|An HourGlass, a Slate, & a Letter Opener|
It’s a techie-term somebody dreamt up to reassure some sap that what he was reading was real. This means based upon behaviors and actions the writer witnessed. A person who “journals” writes “non-fiction.” In other words the stuff I write I can not make up! Really! The phrase non-fiction is for people who can’t tell the difference between amusement and news on television. Television? The word’s an anachronism; wireless streaming entertainment content is more like it. Cable TV? What a dumb dedicated content pipeline.
When I was 14 I had to take a school course in, get this, penmanship. Yup, the technique of writing legibly by hand; Salisbury School, Salisbury, CT, summer of ’65, all boys, no girls. Penmanship. I don’t think there was a Boy Scout penmanship merit badge. I have every other merit badge. I don’t do penmanship now. I stopped when my late ‘60’s early ‘70’s professors wanted assigned homework essays typed. I used the Olivetti Lettera32 portable. University students today cannot read their professor’s hand written notes on their HP – whatever - printed-paper. Students, legal adults, cannot read cursive hand written notes. The students complain. I can still do a legible cursive.
Anyway. I type. I cut & paste. I type again. I scroll up down left right. I click, double click. I don’t use a pencil or a pen. I don’t use paper, though I may print what I’ve typed into my computer onto paper, or I guess, written, no, wait, composed. Yeh, it’s composition. Nope. It’s content now. Nope, sorry, it’s text. And in and out it flows through a big stupid pipe-cast-line.
Hey, Bill, how are ya?
“Oh,” I nod & bob my faccia’s head up & down, “I guess I’m good.”
Yeah? It’s good to see you. What d’ya been doin’? I don’t see you.
“You see me now. I make content. Where you been, Dennis?”
“Content. I write content for a blog.”
I don’t tell him it’s about my spiritual renovation; he wouldn't get that; it pays me nothing.
Really? A What?
Dennis used to earn a really good living as a really good lawyer. He’s a curmudgeon deep into retirement. He once said, “Every word is important!” with a feeling of frustration. He turns up his hearing aid takes oxygen tubes from his nose and says, Do you want some?
“And I mow lawns in the growing season,” ignoring him.
Really? I didn’t know. Wait a minute, what are you talkin’ about?
“Yeah, I walk and push; it’s lawn care. It’s trim, mow, and blow, a lawn care gig. I don’t ride. 1Man/1Mower. Why should you know? Nancy mows your lawn three times a week.”
Really? Are you kidding? What are you sayin’? I don’t know what you’re sayin’.
“I know; that’s OK.”
No. I’m not kiddin’, it’s just text or content. And I don’t use a moleskin. Moleskin is a particular fabric, a hard-wearing cotton fabric of twill weave used for work clothes. Ernest Hemingway didn’t write on moleskin. Go ahead show me one photo of EH using a fountain pen, or pencil, writing in a moleskine, back-in-the-day, notebook. OK, he may’ve used moleskine, which was a particular handmade binder of paper created by French mom & pop bookbinders that supplied them to stationery shops. Moleskine is not moleskin. What a bunch of hooey.
I type on a screen, a cathode ray tube (CRT), but, not even called that, except by out of touch viejo-burros like me. Tube? Maybe you know what it’s really called. Screen? I used to think screen is what keeps bugs out. And bug is just something that fucks up my program, makes it sick, when I click on a porn site.
English is kŭhhh-rā-zeee. Or maybe it’s just our quantified gee whiz market culture. I don’t feel like I can even use the word our. I mean, just what is that our anyway? In market culture only the market-me, and maybe collective aggregated quantified clicks, which might kinda-sorta resemble my market-me, has market value. HAL 9000 knows what it is. Market-Me is my avatar, my Mini-Me, a click construct, a really sophisticated digital guess construct.
Everything else is I-can’t-get-no-satisfaction. I’m just knocking days off my calendar tryin’ to figure out an authentic living. I want to feel useful and meaningful and of value to my self and to anyone else who’d care and listen and do and who might desire I’d think they’re my beloveds.
My everydayness and attending church takes me nowhere but out the church door back to the sidewalk to the parking lot to my car to drive itself home to continue being the invisible man nobody listened to before when I thought church was taking me somewhere and I believed people did listen. In the right now my our feels like it’s kicked to the curb. Well, no, not really, one and two, and maybe a third, and some spiritual friends and what my non-fiction blog is. I’m lucky; I can still count my wee blessings.
Non-fiction, is it real? Feels like it but I’m not so sure, ‘cause sometimes my everydayness just feels like fiction.