I am tired of refreshing the inbox on my email. I recognize the feeling arriving with repeated clicks on the open circle of hope icon to no avail. This is not one of those moments when I am expecting an email, or waiting for a verify account robot email, or I just bought something online email. All of that has already come through, done and/or is irrelevant.
Irrelevant because I got away with the last online order a few weeks ago before the bank decided to discontinue the preloaded card I was using. The last fig leaf of metropolitan participation I had left whenever I stepped out and approached a point-of-sale counter in the world. I could pretend that I still had a tether to the automatic world that people with working cards belonged to. I could forget that ever since my aged debit card expired in September 2020, I became adrift in the void between having a limping three-legged dog of a bank account and the weapon of consumerism, easily linked to all manner of apps and channels and online orders and the wily card readers out there. All of those were gone. And now, they were gone again.
So no, that is not the inbox refresh I am talking about. I wish I knew what it was, who it was, I am secretly (from myself as well) waiting to hear from. What mysterious message-in-an-email my whole being looks longingly for over the sea of read and unread messages. Maybe it will be the next “New” email, behind the tide, any day now, that will set me free.
Toning down the metaphors for a moment. Let me ask the question, free from what? And whom, out there, in the world, and possibly from my past (unless I am to be sought out by some new person, from some remote online village somewhere where I have stumbled, asked for directions, visited, or scuttled away from), and what key do they hold, and, even more curious, to what lock?
Either it is a mysterious stranger from the present, or a mysterious stranger from the past. And somewhere from the electrical signals of their neural pathways, and the chemical energy of their breakfast, will emerge the passage, the key words that will ‘click’ everything together, make it all make sense.
Because I live like I am waiting for something. Like I am waiting for… more waiting. To know it as a certainty, and no longer a faint hope. “Ah, the wait is over. Now, the real waiting can begin. The eternal wait.” I wish I was joking. Actually, I wish I was funnier. And the good emails are not enough to pass the time. Add a binge of episodes in between mealtimes. The recipe isn’t great for forward living. More the opposite. If you have a sense of belonging you can cross a very big desert. Heck, you can live in one. If you don’t, no crowded or cozy place will really help.
No. My college crush is not going to email me and tell me she knew how I felt all along. She sees and acknowledges my feelings for her, that meant the world to me, and reciprocates them in ethereal form.
No. My [insert any number of people] whom I have wronged or offended, by most likely saying something half conceived, that they understand that I did not mean it. That they have found an empathy and an insight into what it must have been like for me to live with the echoes of an accidental utterance as it wreaked havoc on the foundations of my inner-good self. That their surprised and disappointed shake of the head would have been enough if it wasn’t followed by complete emotional and physical abandonment of our shared context. For future reference, if you find yourself walking away from someone like that, keep in mind there is no forgiveness in it. Only the opposite.
No. News of my ex is not going to show up through intermediaries describing how her own actions started to speak back to her in very real consequences, her comeuppance, and in doing so suddenly realizing how she is. The person who letting you love her is how she uses you to get what she wants, with a big smile on your face.
No. The rules out there are not going to change. Or give me a break. Or invite me back. Or call me forward, to the next part of my life.
The next chapter of How did I get here, Volume IV, will mention in passing “We put it to a vote. All the voices participated, and by the majority we decided to call the present moment the other side of things. We, the person, name this moment, on this land, the beginning of the Next. From here we, the person, foreclose on our defaulting debts, release our uncollected dues, depart from our ideas of destiny. We call our new home Adrift. We are going to get used it.” A real constitution for more or less arbitrary emancipation.
I shouldn’t hold my breath. Those magic words, “We want you here”, “Accepted!”, “Your application has been approved!”, “You’re hired”, “You belong with us”, “You belong with me”… They’re not coming in the next email. The next email will most likely be a newsletter. An upcoming event I shouldn’t miss. Click here to register.
One more refresh. Can’t hurt.