I often think that the goal of our world now is not to connect with anything. To have no substance. To have no enjoyment, fulfillment, passion; to never be vulnerable, to never risk. People don't want to connect with other people. They don't want entertainment with which they can connect. They went to skim, they want to surface. They don't want to dive. You can tell them--hell, they can know--that fifty feet down there is max entertainment, max joy, max comfort, max humor, that they'll feel good about themselves, feel cared for, and they don't want it, they want anything but to go away from that surface, or to go away from their distance.
They'll enjoy themselves less, get less, get far less, so long as they can not connect. I have hundreds, thousands of things to write in these pages. The time to start offloading all of that from my head and my heart is not now. I have worked since before dawn, and it is night, and I have worked until this very moment. I am sore, I'm in pain, I'm beat down, I am so tired, I go for eighteen hours every day, there is not a second of stoppage time, I try so hard. I was at a cafe on Hanover Street tonight reading, making notes, planning the next battle of this war. There were four women at a table next to me. Let's say they were all around thirty. They were there the entire time I was there. They were there before I got there, and I left before them. The entire time I was present, all four stared at their phones.
What conversation they had was to share something from their phones. They looked at photos, at texts. One woman read the texts from some guy. They were vapid. There was no story there. No drama. It was tedious. She knew it was tedious, everyone knew it was tedious, but no one could think of anything else to say. And that was all they could talk about. Some attempt at clumsy flirting, but the retelling took the form of reading these texts.
If any of the people whose texts any one of these women were focused on had been at the table, and the other women at the table were somewhere else, that one person--whichever one of these women remained--would now be texting the people where were not there.
It's not that anyone is more interesting than anyone else. You listen to the conversations people have, because you can't miss them if you have ears, and it's a wonder we're still a species. It's a wonder that if the universe, or God, had a design for us, that this is all we are. You wonder what the point was. The point is this?
The degree of entertainment, interest, humor, what have you, does not matter; what matters is the distance, the lack of connection. That's what everyone wants. Everyone wants to see what they see from 100 yards away, and experience it from 100 yards away. They don't want it up close, in clear focus. It's no wonder we are so depressed, broken, mentally ill. We're alone. We have no connection in our lives. We make it that way. Who wouldn't be broken, alone, depressed, while being alone? Socrates? Me? Beethoven? Who else? Thoreau? It's a short list. What if you have work that everyone could connect with--could connect with more intensely than any other work, ever, and get more love, joy, strength, back than any work could give them--but no one wants to connect with anything? Thought about that all weekend, too. More than all weekend. I think about it all the time now.