Karen Rivers

Misc cont'd.

Karen Rivers

Sometimes I have things to say and no one to say them to and I think it would be nice if -- seeing as we are about inventing somewhat useless technology and ignoring the fact that we've destroyed the world  -- I had some kind of AI friend who would validate things that I feel are poetic.   For example, I was just lying here on my bed, revising, and the window is wide open a few inches behind my head and a breeze blew in and it was so exactly the right temperature for a breeze that I actually said, out loud, "Aaaaah."   The wind itself was a reminder that poetry exists. 

My sheets are dirty, not in the way that you think when someone says that, but literally because we've hiked every day this week and the trails are dry and dusty and the dogs leave brown shadows on the blankets when they jump down.   

"Oh," the AI would say.   "Yes, that sums it up beautifully, doesn't it?"

*

Here's another one:   

The Internet has been very kind to my daughter lately.  The Internet is actually giving her confidence, which is not how it is meant to work.   I wonder if I am missing something, but the Internet is building her up.   I see it happen much the same way as Lego bricks, when compiled according to the instructions, miraculously become a pirate ship.  Of course, I know that it's possible that the Internet will one day turn on her, a raging oceanic storm, and she will be left, once again, a pile of sharp plastic that hurts my feet when I step on it.   

Stepping on Lego was actually a much rarer occurrence in my life than you'd think from all the memes.

*   

What about this:  Every once in a while, I think, "What should I be when I grow up?"   

All I really want to do is write and read.   Read and write.   I suppose I'd also like to meander down paths and eat snacks while admiring the view from the top of a hill.

I want to live further away from neighbours, so I can't hear their whistling, but close enough that I can still say, "How are things?" and mean, "I'm glad I know you.  You're loved."   

It will sound odd that I say this, because I live in a forest, or near enough that probably the greatest risk to my longevity is winter storms and falling branches, but I want to live near more trees but also to receive more sunlight, unblocked by trees.  These are conflicting wants, but being human means that we must always want unlikely things to co-exist.  We must crave the impossible. 

*

I haven't been interested in acquiring new things at all lately, but I just got a targeted FB ad for a purse that made me want to throw my credit card at the screen.  I didn't buy it, but I wonder how intimately social media actually knows us -- what it hears, how it concludes things we haven't yet realized about ourselves -- better than, say, our sisters or the guy on the dating app who would like to submit an essay entitled, "You are a b*tch and here is why" in lieu of sending a note that says, "Hey, how's it going?"   The purse was grey leather, the colour of the smoke that is suffocating the blue out of the sky and I wonder why I'd be compelled by something that so closely matched tragedy.  

*

I have two dogs and one of them has a slightly disordered personality, by which I mean he comes off to strangers as an aggressive, slathering, probably dangerous beast.   After months (years) of being in a state of constant anxiety while taking him for walks, I've realized that if I pick him up and cover his eyes when we pass men or unleashed dogs, he is a completely and entirely different animal:  docile and soft and companionable.   I think I'm quite a bit more like my dog than I'd like to admit.  I certainly tend to jump to angry or unflattering conclusions about approaching mammals.   There is no one with me, usually, to cover my eyes.   That's a metaphor.   If you actually were to cover my eyes, I'd as likely as not break your fingers.    

*

"Interesting," the AI would say.  "You should write a book."   
"I certainly should," I'd tell it.  "This is just how I procrastinate.  I take breaks from words with words.  What do you think of that?"
"It's one way of doing it.  Go for a walk."
"But I'm on a deadline."

"The screens are making people blind.   And don't you need to see the trees?   Even from strictly a practical standpoint."
"Yes," I'd say, amazed at the insight.   "You're right."
"I love you," the AI would conclude. 
"Why?"  
"The breeze through the window," it would answer.

Is that a love story?   What isn't?