Tuesday, July 10, 2001
Fragment of my Imagination
Many interesting and creative journal entry ideas
have come in gone in the last many days, lost forever
in the fickle tides of mood and inspiration. I am fragmented.
My energy is pouring out loose ends. My short-term
memory has simply given up under the load, and I spend
all day discovering entirely forgotten half-finished tasks
which had been interrupted by other half-finished tasks,
sometimes hours or days ago. My house is a mine field
of administrivia. In the eighteen inches between my
keyboard and monitor alone are three full sized documents
and half a dozen post-it notes -- all peeping at me, hungry
for BTUs (bureaucratic time units). Behind me is an
entire desk full. I've lost the living room coffee table
beneath them, and even the closet doors fly open as I
walk by -- "Vacuum the guest room!" they say, "Make the
bed! Do the laundry!". The fridge flies open "When was
the last time you ate, Simon??" Then it looks inside
itself and frowns. "I'm hungry!" it says, "Time to go
shopping!" I run out the back door, for a moment's
reprise. Two dozen plants and bushes start calling
"Water me! Water me!" "No, water me!" "No, me first!
Look, I'm all wilted!" I look angrily toward the timers
who's job it is to keep the plants happy. "Give us
batteries!" they had insisted a month ago, "The rolling
blackouts are coming!" But the blackouts never came,
and the batteries died instead. I stumble over a pile of
tree branches, fall to the earth. My eyes turn toward a
hissing sound -- it is the grass overtaking my garden.
"Sssss'no problem" it says "Ssssyou jussst lie there...".
The roots weave into the cloth of my sleeve. I stumble
up, run to the front yard. The postman is fanning my
mail into a pennysaver, and stuffing it into my mailbox.
As the truck pulls away and the sound of hard rock fades,
I hear the fourth ring of my phone. The front door is
locked. There is a note on it from yesterday about
a failed certified mail delivery I can pick up in the
post office in Oceanside. I walk around the side.
The trash can is down, trash strewn everywhere by dogs.
Thinking of trash day reminds me its a weekday; an item
bobs to the top of the queue -- I call Megacorp, ask why
they never sent my last paycheck. The hold music is
snickering laughter and the sound of a clock ticking.
"It was a mistake; the final paperwork was done
incorrectly. Here's what you need to do..." I grab
the postit note pad, start scribbling instructions..
[send back PTO check] [call so-and-so tuesday] [fill
out this form on the Megacorp internal website...] "But
I don't have access to the internal site anymore..."
[call so-and-so and request a copy by mail] [and more;
and more]. I hang
up the phone, suffer a delusional moment of joy at
having completed a task, and then I look down at the
postit note, the spawn, the next level of the fractal,
the embodiment of my recursively fragmented existence.
I put the postit note down; it fades into the camouflage.
I bring up a web browser. It's dead. The Megacorp name
server won't talk to me any more. I bring up a
terminal window to look up an alternate name server,
but I find I'm in the middle of editing a file. Oh
yeah, got to finish this. But it will take too long;
the garden is dying. I get a battery and a screwdriver,
go outside and rejuvenate the sprinkler timers. I
turn them on, the plants all sigh, and two minutes
later it starts to rain, in San Diego, in the middle
of July. I laugh. I cry. Where was I? I can't
remember any more.
Simon Funk /