Douglas Coupland onthult iets over de tweets vol wanhoop die hij het afgelopen jaar online slingerde, ‘howling in the void’, mensen bezorgd achterlatend op zijn tijdlijn, een overtreffende trap van reality reading, reality writing, ‘I did this because I genuinely am so lonely’. Well, of course, we all are, we all are, that’s why we read you, follow you. Wijn is interessant vanwege de wrange smaak van tannine.
It’s odd being a human being. You have all the stuff that was thrown at you growing up in a family, and then, around 19, you’re supposed to magically transcend it all and become some totally new person completely chosen by yourself and separate from all the crap you grew up with — except, magically, you end up adhering to some version of your upbringing or its radical anti-version, which is a shadow. Truly, why is there such a weird pressure to self invent yourself? It’s stupid. Unless you have a specific psychopathology you’re basically doomed to become an isotope of your parents. Me? I don’t feel like I was really me until I was 32, and every single day since then, in all sorts of situations I feel my parents and siblings holding my personality hostage inside my brain. It never ends.
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I don’t have any scary psychopathologies that I know of except for seasonal depression, which is somewhat (and only somewhat) fixable, so I have few excuses for my personality — and I think that’s the situation for most people. I do have a few brain anomalies that facilitate what I create. For example, I have an off-kilter sense of time which, over the years, has spun itself out into writing fiction as well as thinking about the future more than most people do. I have a strong sense of space and colour and form (I did go to art school), which, especially since 2000, has taken the form of visual art. And a few times the two tendencies alloyed to create film or TV. But writing is mostly about time, and art is mostly about space, and they’re different parts of the brain. You can’t argue that.
I’m single and this is new as of half-a-year ago. I was unsingle for almost 20 years. Being single is lonely and it’s cold and the days drag on for ever, especially around dinner time when, if you didn’t plan the day correctly, you’re stuck with a Stouffer’s fried chicken breast cooked for three minutes and 10 seconds with the microwave set on high.
The texture of being single now and being single 20 years ago is different. Twenty years ago you’d meet people out in the world in real situations and you felt that maybe you were a character in a story called “Your Life”. Now being single is a free app you scroll through and, suddenly, your matchmaking choices are narrowed down to “uncutdaddy77”, who’s 860 metres away, or perhaps “Totally Oral”, who’s a mere 450 metres away. I’m guessing there are no bouquets of flowers or dinners involved there. I grew up instilled with the idea that one’s life is a story and we travel through our world as though, yes, being inside a romantic narrative. Now I’m feeling like we’re all each of us a one-person unit alongside 7.4 billion people units.
The past half year has been a series of nothing but crises for me, one after the other, and that’s life, so I’m not complaining. But what has surprised me is that the past half year has left me unsure if I believe in God and I wasn’t expecting that. All of us want the universe to be more than a cold dark void filled with frozen planets, dark matter and space junk. It has to be. To this end I felt the need to howl out into The Void, and so a few days back around 11am Pacific time I put a tweet on Twitter saying: “Dear God. I am so lonely.” I did this because I genuinely am so lonely — and also because sometimes we all need to howl.
What is nice is that The Void howled back, and The Void is not a void. I may be unsure about God but The Void is all of those Moys out there who wrote back to me, Moys who insist our lives have meaning, all those Moys who want you — me — and all of us to know that we are all real and that we will all, in some way, live for ever. And I wasn’t expecting that.
De link, I love the cijfer- en lettercombinate in de link, alsof ze een versleutelde boodschap ontsluit: https://www.ft.com/content/77c17fb6-ecfc-11e6-930f-061b01e23655