One to One SMS and Illusion of Connectivity

In school, passing notes was a kind of past time that involved thinking of a short message, writing it out in a covert fashion - often when you were supposed to be doing something else. Then somehow getting it to the person intended, where often the act of reading it was covert as well.

It was fun.

When we passed notes to class, we had goals for the messages - for example, a favorite of mine was to write a note that said "Hey, look at the footprints on the ceiling". And then watch how the message passed from person to person, by how they all tried to look at the ceiling. Cheap thrills. =)

I've received text messages from people who have said they had a thing for me. And yeah, I'm married. One that my wife really liked alot (translation: she almost killed me where I stood) was a message I received from a person in Australia who said she loved me. Although I have things I keep from my wife (mostly related to software, and private data) I make a point out of not keeping anything thats going on with other women a secret. So yes, hon, I had a sub but not anymore. And you can throw in the emotional affair as well if you like.

In fact, the emotional affair was classic. This was a person who liked to call me while she was doing chores or if she'd finished a party or something - she would call me her personal entertainment channel. I didn't mind, I was bored. But the result of that was that one day she actually sent me a picture of herself - and you know? I couldn't find her in it, really - she would hold signs which obscure her body, or paint colors over her while she's holding a note up over her face, or she's standing behind - yes actually - behind someone. One of them was actually her, standing amidst three transvestites. Pretty cool, huh?

Except, that it's not quite a good thing if you wanted to see a picture of her. So I said so. End of emotional affair. She sent me a message somewhere along the lines of "your rimy heart can't tolerate honesty".. and then we darked down. It was a good thing, too, I guess because at some point it was getting kind of serious - not sure where, but probably the deepest I'd ever been into whatever form of alternate relationship beside my own marriage , that I'd ever been. So, it could be said - I had an affair. Stillborn however it was. It was over then. She dropped off the face of the earth, not a single message or phone call.

Its fun at this point to draw a line between those who know me , and those who don't. If you knew me, you would think one thing. And if you didn't, it would probably be something different altogether. How did I take the eight six?

Good enough I guess. I just went back to work, and my lonely life kept right on going.

But in retrospect, I realized that her text messages had a role in my life - my very favorite one was "Have a lush, intergalactic violet day". There were others, but by and large the idea was no different than having someone to pass notes to, in class. Often I would get a text while I am driving. I have actually never gotten a text from my wife - she demands I speak with her in person. Even if it means travelling 10,000 miles. But these text messages were fun. They were something that dealt a bit of uncertainty into my day. I would get them during meetings, or while I was driving.

And honestly, I felt a connection as a result of it. A celebration of life. My little phone would chirp that it had a message. Its nice to see it happen.

My phone is dead now. I think if I'm going to have an affair, its going to have to involve someone that I can tie up in my bedroom. Getting a message only means that someone else fired off a thought that can be obliquely related to you - and they chose to send it to you without regard to your own privacy. Whether or not you drop your guard for the person voluntarily , that ability to get under your skin forges an illusion of connectivity that often persists to meetings in real life.

In my case, somehow things just shut down before she was standing at the airport in Atlanta. I just got her message today that she was there. It was dated August 28th. In a couple of days I will delete all messages from the phone and it will be gone. I think I did a slow blink when I realized what the message said, but that was about it. The irony.

What did I do next? Am I a hypocrite? A bad dad? A liar? .. It all depends (no adult undergarment jokes please) now into those who know me, and those who don't. Guess which category you occupy. Here's a hint: what did I do, when someone had stolen my bike from me in college? If you know the answer to that question. You probably know what I did next. (you there in the back, let me see the note you were passing )

I am not going to Financial Peace University tonight, instead I'm going to go home and do some work for an hour then go work out. Dave Ramsey figured out how to get alot of money when he was young, but he went bankrupt. Talk Radio is the domain of the failed entertainer.

Moral of the story: If you are the recipient of an impersonal message, or even one that was crafted in the constraint of short messaging - it doesn't mean you're involved in anything. Dave Ramsey may have the odd hour out of my drive home, but it doesn't give him the right to escape his own past.

God I miss Florida sometimes.. Its such a fucking boomtown. She makes you feel like you're the only one in the world. Get me down there now.