The Day after Watching Catfish

(Catfish is a documentary about New York photographer Yaniv Schulman, who is filmed by his brother and friend as he falls in love with a woman via Facebook, who turns out to be a married Michigan woman taking care of her husband’s two sons who have disabilities.)

The closing chorus ties up loose ends, expresses the last beat, the last word, the last sound. The story lingers in the air, silhouettes hang on the stage, the applause is heard.

The completion is never quite what we expected. The rush through the finish line is pure exhaustion. Taping and shipping a box of art through the navigational system is pure speculation.

Still we wait for the end. Even when the author does not supply us with the desired end, we wait for our ending. We think and some of us say out loud: if I had written that book I would have let them find their love.

Americans want endings with love. Europeans want adventurous endings with death. South Americans do not want endings. Japanese want endings with metaphors. Australians want eternity. Endings require beginnings.

The firsts are full of flight and fright. The first one here in this world of temporal existence will be lost and gone in the archives of the cloud.

The people building the cloud are the same people unconcerned about global warming. The cloud is a place of storage. People’s thoughts and feelings and images and identities. Seeking an identity on the cloud is like taking a walk in Volunteer Park. You smell the texture of the vibration of the words and the chosen avatar. It is safe. Safe identities are made to be morphed into unsafe identities. Into danger.

The truth is, if it must be told, we do not have one identity, or one personality, or one love. We are a people of many identities. Multiple beings. We drink Bourbon and Chardonnay and we wear jeans and tuxedoes. We watch Ratatouille and the Wire. Our feet stamp to rock-and-roll. Our hands clap to jazz. Our throats melt to opera. Our bellies churn and burp to country.

We are in the habit of coveting firsts, of memorializing firsts, of reenacting firsts, of reorchestrating and replaying firsts over and over again in the caverns of our overthinking minds. We study men who lose their touch, who fall to the bottom of their game. We name diseases after them. Streets and highways are named after the dead. Plants are named in Latin. Spices are named by the tongue. Tools are named by hands. (A pair of scissors was the first tool placed in my hands.)

The cloud is a place where people drift in and out, where strangers meet friends, where porn is found, where agoraphobes reach out, where introverts become extroverts, where answers to questions can be found, where women in bad relationships can carve out good relationships. The cloud is a place where bullies can bully. Where forlorn can escape. Where wounded can rest. Where drama can become a pebble that grows in a pond.

I have been told that I must become a part of the cloud, and so I am here now. My first crossing into the cloud I am dressed in an eggplant-colored sweater with brown buttons over a brown-laced camisole, burgundy corduroy pants, and black engineer Frye boots. Everything I own is left behind. All of my private thoughts are placed in a proper drawer. My hair is brushed and my nails are unpolished. I sip a cup of steaming black coffee. The furnace blasts heat through the vents and a troubled noise begs me not to enter the cloud, warns me not to enter the vapors of another machine. I do not listen. I am invincible. Thus, my first blog is born.

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9 thoughts on “The Day after Watching Catfish

  1. This floating through cyber clouds on your words intrigues me. Your words, your play of words have always invited me with their dreamlike quality. Have I now entered the cloud too on your coattails?
    Love it!

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