I work in the so-named clicktivist game. In many respects, the empty ends of a marked petition take their toll. It can feel like a meaningless game, the thumbs up you award your Facebook reflection. It’s not that petitions can’t be terribly effective things, it’s just the slow-moving nature of collective action; its reliance on an organizing force to bend the crowd and push it against some obstinate force. It’s hard, and as a platform, we [causes.com] very much rely on great organizers to set the stage for change. Our company certainly doesn’t do everything right [yet], but petitions and other behavioral turns will always struggle to satisfy the immediate kick our time yearns. That said, I’ve recently come to appreciate the immediate impact and satisfaction giving money away can have. In the past six months my dollars have built twenty-five trees, helped fund a woman run the tour de france to raise money for pediatric care, helped the relief efforts in Oklahoma, bought a bicycle for a kid in Rwanda, amongst many others. I’ve discovered this monetary jig to feel oddly fine; I help because I can, and the technology removes any barriers to the quiet ambitions of a man in bed at 10:36 on a Tuesday night; work done.
When you’re twenty-five, your twenty-five year old friends are taken to dark places by older men. You’re left in wanton disregard, set still. The pattern takes to rinse, repeat; wills itself complete, a friend circle picked apart. When you’re thirty-two you take the part. A twenty-five year old taken from her circle to a seedy bar for small talk, and you give a knowing nod to the memory of your twenty-five year old self wondering where they all went before.
A single look, the thumbs up. One after another, the procession of possibility marches forth. I decline the odd girl, the mark of adult consideration. In truth, victims of type — meek in one bucket, over-weight in the other. A two-second response, the simplicity of seen and swiped away. The breakfast habit, a cup of coffee and a croissant, forty-two women willed into the trenches of fantasy. The elevator before work, standing quietly with a bicycle, a quick fix fouls another three, nine more jump the fence. Standing before a coffee machine, the sixty second count before the water screams, another fifteen make the list. Three hundred into the day and four respond, picked him too. Validation as a crutch, turns the phone off.
“How you doin’?” he said, and I regretted his dropping of the “g”; this was not a time for casual speech. I wanted hard consonants, harsh pronunciation. I wanted every word.
From the book, The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets.
i’ve said it once before; the people i favor most in life take their coffee black. it’s hard to say why, except to say it matters. she’s the kind of girl who leaves a line in tatters, won’t stand behind your mocha-prefixed bender.
to argue for a feeling with flailing articulation often fails. i’ve often thought a sentence feels right, despite a lack of something said. there’s an inherent rhythm to the way the words stick together, and sometimes that sound conveys a meaning. clearly, most disagree. i disagree with said disagreement without much reason, herein lies my problem.
a man i once knew said to someone else, “i measure intelligence by the way someone is able to describe why he or she feels a certain way about something.” it’s funny that i chose to remember that. in many respects, he was quite right. a smart person will sound a stance, and fill the round with well-versed reason.
a girl i still know once told me, “i remember, in describing something you’d written, how you’d picked a particular sentence because it felt right. i remember rubbishing your answer then, but now i’m not so sure.”
it’s no conclusion, but it feels right.
youth passed. remembers a head awash with the vigor of a hit. easily excited; an overheard conversation between two homeless men, a sunny sky, the forlorn lead of a romantic deadbeat. remembers how easy it was to turn on, the excess of a night culminating in a stroll. music in ears; the national, perhaps. they were good for an empty trail, his voice circles the hole, hints at a beautiful verse.