Binary friends

I am not a friend.
I am an appliance
turned off and on
at whim; replaced
when my performance
fails.
Valued for comfort,
valued for feeding
egos/stomachs/hearts 
(choose one or more)
until satiated.
Stress-walking, tense-talking,
wondering when this misstep
will negate our shared history.
This just in:
I too will turn you off
at a moment's notice.

Gardening emotionally,
I prune unfruitful relationships,
attempt to shape the unruly,
fight invasive species, but,
lately, I think I've pruned too
aggressively, fought too
vociferously, spent too little
time nurturing those pretties
who choose to live in my garden.

"Window up, window down",
Grandma's mantra. Why bother
with gradations, nuance, shades
of meaning, human failings?
Today's binary, electronic culture
can't see it's founded in
yesterday's hard realities:
"If'n it doan kill ya, it'sa prolly good,
but if'n it make ya sick, t'ro it! Ain't
no use hangin' onta sump'n gonna
maybe kill ya, sooner or latuh."

Yes,
I live not in my past but
in someone else's. It served
our ancestors for lifetimes, it
put backbone into indecipherable
existence, into amorphous life:
Symbolic living, roles for everyone--
must I think about myself,
about you, about everyone? Surely
I will die inside. I will face
insurmountable walls of
misunderstanding.

Today's non-roles just demand
different roles, other rules,
other games to play.
Just tweak roles from 
millennia past. No need to
reinvent new modes of
emotional transportation.

But still...
It's on/off, "thanks for being
there, why can't you behave,
why can't you act the way
we act, push the buttons
we push, hate what we
hate, love what we love?"

I've got some on/off for ya:
Be who you are; I'll be the same.
Maybe similar will attract 
Similar.
Or bug off.


Who’s using whom? Purple coneflower and bee. June 2017.

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