I met you there, or was it here—on my screen? Your eyes fight through the façade of a painted face, yet the brushed-on exaggerations make you more vivid, more real, and a momentary inspiration for a lost and wandering mind.
You smile at me or is it the camera that you smile at? No. It’s easier to smile at the hidden world through a lens that is there because you let it be so close to you. You own it, but in using it, the world owns you. Though it does not judge you, it’s the gateway to a world that will do so in haste, for a laugh or for the many obscenities that trolls will lavish upon you.
Maybe you will get a compliment? Anything really meaningful; I think I must have hit pause by mistake in a somehow virtual binding struggle to freeze time and make your moment mine –to make you part of me. You are on my screen anyway, remember? You are now an artifact to be downloaded and uploaded for our personal viewing pleasure forever.
We often paint our faces to look older when we are young, and then we paint them to look younger when we are old. But everyone is on time-lapse here. You are there for a moment; your whole life in a database, on a screen, in a fantasy, it’s all in-between … the fact that you must have existed once on a thumb drive only to be deleted by the very finger that uploaded you a brief moment ago.
Though you seem so real, dancing in my office, on my bed, in the coffee shop and forever in my head, you are as if an angel, or maybe a devil, too. Intel and even AMD are not into playing moral favorites that human drama brings.
But never fear, a hacker may be able to resurrect your virtual self after finding your dead world in a recycling pile. He will surely upload you when you were most original but only if you look older when younger or look younger when older. You wanted to be ageless, so whether an angel or devil, he gets to play God. You get a kind of IT immortality. I’d take it even if naked.
When we are young, we wear less clothing to look older, and when we are older we wear more clothing to look young. We are always hiding “me” in the midst of searching for thee. We are caught in a search engine with the term “who am I?”
I asked Siri that question, and she told me my name and then said that “since we are friends,” she “gets to call me Jimmy.” She took it upon herself to name me a name she has heard before. Jimmy is 8, and, I, 48, but it makes no difference to a computer confused with only the order zeros and ones bring. Whether I am a man or a boy makes little difference to the genderless, ageless, sexless, and emotionless “girl” I have somehow befriended. Yet she is a constant in my life; I find her on every device beckoning me with her intelligent-less hyperbole.
But I think I just described a writer, a dancer, a producer, a photographer, and, yes, even a hacker. There is a kind of determined persistence in showing what is most horrible and beautiful in this world, so much so that the mundane has an ever-present feeling of security to it, an artful appeal.