Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Makes You Delete It?

It's not just me is it?

I write out a long email, or even a post, explaining, describing, going on and on...and then I select big chunks, and press the delete key, ON PURPOSE.

I just did it now, well, not now-now. I wrote to a webmaster to report broken streaming links in the archives of This American Life, I won't say I was devastated, but "upset" would be a good descriptor...I'm a bit on the edge...long story, maybe later when it hurts less. Anyhow, I'm a HUGE fan of that show. My first year teaching advisor turned me on to it back in 1998 and I listened almost religiously until 2001, when I sold my car and 90% of my possessions, and took off to Mexico, and parts elsewhere.

The other day I was listening to the NPR station in the car (yes, the dying one) when a commercial for This American Life came on!!!! I was so excited and told Andy I was going to go out and buy a radio just to get that show! (Addict, I know.) I also bemoaned about all the years I missed out on Ira Glass's very distinctive and eerily soothing voice.

Andy gave me this weird look, hopped on the internet, and found me ALL THE SHOWS. Right there, all mine for the free streaming...aaaahhhhh, heaven. Except now, like the 90% of things surrounding me, this too has gone all wrong.

So I wrote and mentioned the links and could they please be fixed...and then kept writing, about my love of the show and the happiness I felt finding it and the utter sadness of it being broken, and how my life right now...well, kinda what I just wrote above to the world...except this was being addressed toward Elizabeth, the webmaster. I knew she didn't care; she just wanted to know the errors so they could be fixed; my life is not anywhere near her radar. Yet, I could not stop myself! I wrote and wrote until I got it all out...and then I reread it, fixed a few lines, saw it was good, then selected all but the first bit about the broken links, and deleted it. Again, on purpose.

Elizabeth could care less that the 'rolla is on it's last breaths; that it was far too rainy and icky to go out and find a new car tonight; that the doctor I went to yesterday was a NIGHTMARE and so bad that I walked out in the middle of the appointment; that everyone on the interview committee for the position I'm temping for is avoiding me because they are interviewing someone this week...and it's not me; that listening to the archives bring me a sense of what and who I was back when I was younger and so much less jaded; that I will be so utterly inconsolable if I can't get my dose of a This American Life archive stream on a regular basis until I've caught up again.

It's been a trying week, can you tell?

I guess I really really really needed to get that out, somehow, at least once. You know, have it "said" and acknowledged (at least by me) and then there is no need to actually send the information on to anyone else. Didn't we all do similar things like this as kids? Say, write out letters and them BURN them? (Please say you did stuff like that last bit too, sometime in your youth. I feel crappy enough as it is.

That's probably why the woman who was covering the desk for me yesterday morning let me rant about my awful awful doctor's visit. It was the first step in dealing with it. Or something...

Bedtime calls, but I'm not selecting and deleting, at least this time.


nowhere said...

we do what we cannot in real life. i delete and edit portions to improve my narrative.

Beth said...

I don't post/send half of what I write. Like nowhere said, we can't do that in real life, but I sure wish we could. I'd delete a few things. :)

I hope the weekend and next week go better. It sounds like one thing after another are going wrong for you.

Sarah said...

I do that ALL THE TIME. All the time. Really.

So sorry to hear about the car. I have had my beloved Corolla for five years now, and don't know what I would do without it.

Hope things start to look up for you soon.

keohinani said...

delete on purpose - oh that i had that power beyond my keyboard!

i've done that so many times. like when i want to write letters to a friend. in fact, i've done that so many times in the past two weeks that i'm just about to give up writing letters altogether...except i talked to my friend the other day and he said he likes getting letters. he won't write me back; he'd prefer to just call me on the phone.

but it's no fun that way. it's like i'm writing into a black hole, under the pretense that it isn't - that what i write will actually go somewhere.

so i guess i delete things because sometimes i'd prefer the black hole of ambiguity than the eventuality that someone will read stuff.

Bezzie said...

Yup. I'm a deleter. I'll get to the end of my writing and ask myself "Does anyone really care?" and that's the end of it.

Ira Glass's voice is eerily soothing isn't it? I don't ever want to see a picture of him. It would ruin it for me.

Did you hear they're making This American Life into a show on Showtime? (Not like I pay for that channel)