Love Addiction

Vivienne Issue: Section:

“ A week ago we were double dating in a hot tub, going to readings and making love. Was I duped?”

Our culture exists and (sometimes) thrives on our newfangled technology; we are able to connect instantly with a friend in Tokyo, read the faded words on a t-shirt worn by a man crossing the street in Paris. Instant messaging, bbm…Google Earth. The world is so open. It’s as if a tribe of very successful dictators decided every nation, every colony, every tiny island needed to be accessed. That the Old Souls of our world needed to grow up and acquiesce to the new generation’s toys.
And there’s no tangible proof (yet) as to how this will affect us all. We may get some form of cancer from talking on our cell phone’s too often, and/or directly too near all the other whizzing mechanics. When I’m typing ‘A Two Dollar Vacation’ or ‘We the Sneaky’ on my Mac and I hear my phone whimper and putter I instantly know I’m soon to receive a call. The over stimulation of energies has even my Blackberry exhausted. As it fights to ring, it starts to vibrate as well. “Help me…” I discern in its feeble stuttering. It has instant internet access and endless icons for applications I don’t need- -it shouldn’t be fighting for life; it’s less than a year old. Beyond cancer and lack of family time, lower reading comprehension scores and de-socialization, I am genuinely concerned about how our relentless thirst for niftier gadgets and bolder technology will affect Simple Communication.
I text message. My mother text messages. Nine-year-olds text message. And e-mail has been around for quite awhile now. However I still call people, when a plan gets too detailed and back & forth, it’s easier to telephone. Also, the pleasure of hearing my old friend Maureen’s voice is gratifying. To feel like you’re next to someone who is three thousand miles away- -to laugh in unison and pick up where you left off four or fourteen months ago, that’s irreplaceable. As well as for important details, it’s good to be sure everything is aligned. I may text an address and miss a 4 or confuse 1st Avenue with 1st street. So when I opened my e-mail one day and saw one from Mel, I perked up. Concert information? What if he surprised me and got Hot Chip tickets already?!?
Nope. Instead:

Vivienne:
I know things have been a little odd recently. Sorry about that. I feel
a little uncomfortable with how fast thing are/were going and need to
step back. It's been nothing but fun and very enjoyable, but I don't
know how serious a relationship I want to have right now. Decided to
write you an email because its awkward for me to talk about it over the
phone and I though this way I could be a little more articulate.

Not saying that I don't want to see you, just don't know how I feel
about being 'together'. I know that sounds bad and I certainly came on
strong, its just that it seems like things got away at a point and
didn't feel quite right. Feel like I need to slow things down. Don't
know if this makes any sense to you. I do hope that you are doing well
and lets talk soon. Again, sorry for the recent lack
of communication.

-Mel Beck


Things were odd? I guess I hadn’t seen him in a few days, and he didn’t hold my hand the entire walk home after being out at that mojito bar, however this was news to me. Irate and embarrassed, I read it seven more times to be sure. I kept thinking ‘Do unto others as you would do unto you’. It’s a simple credo, functions in lands of everglades, places with only one god as an option, cities developing development. With freak accidents, there are always analyses, and with intelligent, attractive adults, a certain governance ought to be understood and followed. My insides clenched their tubular fists of rage and I began having trouble breathing. How did I think I knew him well? A week ago we were double dating in a hot tub, going to readings and making love. Was I duped? Clearly. Dumped? Obviously. But I deserve more of an explanation. Empathy. Evaluation. I never even broached the subject of “are you my boyfriend?” I called him less than he called me. I’m six years younger and he’s balding. F*@##ck him!
Then I began analyzing other elements of the ‘non-relationship’ we had been in. I thought about all the texting we did. Both of us being writers, (although you wouldn’t gage that from this e-mail of his) the texts were often crafty. However they were emotional at times. Texting should be informational, not emotional. Also, when texting so avidly with him, I surmised who he was: an Ideal Him. I pictured him writing texts to me while cozied up on his couch (cleaner in my daydream) with his shirt off drinking tea, smiling out the window (that faced a rolling meadow, not a brick building four feet away). He was perpetually “on” in our Textiverse, there was no stuttering, no awkward pauses. And I was impressed with the promptness of his responses, that they were unique to me. But some of the sweeter, wittier ones could very well have been forwarded from a secret stockpile in his ‘saved messages’ that he had created for semi-special women.

There’s no “real time” in Textiverse, we own the remote control. But getting to know someone entails all of the little idiosyncrasies: the deep breath before discussing a past girlfriend, the contagious yawn we both fall into, rambling for too long about my boss, etc. Nervous laughter is the nectar Apollo brings Zeus. Immediate reactions, as candid and true as a newborn’s giggle.
I could scrutinize the lameness and immaturity displayed here by Mel Beck at length, however it’s pretty apparent. I was more than upset, I was flummoxed. He had completely assumed that I was in search of a relationship. The balls! However I’m not alone here. Men continually assume we are trying to tie them down- -it begins with time, dinosaurs, when glaciers were grass…

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