Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls. For Me. Right Here in Oakland. Me.

In bed with a heavy cold, having collapsed with joy and fever after collecting my lady wife at the airport.

Trying to be marginally productive by going through email. I have more than 600 in my queue, which I'm guessing is probably average. I think I am going back to phone messages. Too many emails are beads on a string, discrete elements of a chopped-up conversation, a time waster, not a time saver.

Also, one thinks one controls the dialogue by emailing. One doesn't. *This* one has gotten in more misunderstandings with friends and colleagues by email than by conversation. It's irony, you know. It's trying to be funny and being offensive, instead. And then you have to clear up the mess the best you can, and that takes time and that's *more* time wasted.

Indeed, no more phone conversations either. From now on if you aren't looking me in the face, I'm not there: It's my doppelganger -- though *that* raises another question. My hearing grows iffier every day and recently I was in a restaurant with friends, and one of my friends starting talking about "doubles" -- as in literary doubles -- but I thought he was saying "devils," and responded accordingly.

Friend said later he was beginning to worry about my mental competence. I think it's time for a handwritten note. That little tradition kept communication to a blessed minimum.

Hack hack, he said. Hack hack hack....


Amber said...

This is not a response to this post, but I just wanted to share with you that I spent the last 40 minutes reading your blog instead of studying for my Media Theory and Criticism midterm. If I do poorly, I may have to blame you and your engaging and entertaining writing.

Thanks for the diversion.
-Amber (your former student and current University Scholar mentee - is that a word? 357,000 hits on Google makes it so, I suppose)

....J.Michael Robertson said...

I have been complimented!!