I always write in Courier New.
I started doing this 20 years ago, when I thought there was a future with me in writing for the screen. Two scripts, neither one great, especially not by my own standards. Each one saved in a hardcopy printing, and shoved into a Bankers Box for generational safe-keeping. Since then, the only things I’ve hung onto are an antiquated font, used mostly by fictional characters in Noir films of the 1940s and ‘50s; characters that usually end up dead by the end of the movie, and the other, that same belief as those dead writers of black-and-white films, that their words, one day, would matter.
But in reality, I still don’t know that my words matter.
Because, by the standards of the world we all live in, the metric by which what matters in the creative spaces is, “Do people believe in your words enough to pay for them?” Barnes & Noble, The New York Times, Oprah, fucking Amazon, are all nothing more than a barometer by which I can gauge whether or not my creative words matter. Words, that to be impactful, must become monetized before their worth can be assessed.
And yeah, I know this all started out as a tiny essay about fonts. But what does a tiny essay about fonts, or any other seemingly innocuous feature in our lives… noses, shoe sizes, how we comb the hair we still have left… say about what is always living right below the surface of our lives, every hour of the day?
That human worth is primarily validated transactionally.
In my younger years, I wondered why it seemed so difficult to find non-transactional friendships, and why the bullshit of quid pro quo was so overwhelming for me. For a while now, I have been hard at work trying to eliminate that system of emotional barter from my life, and at the same time, to eliminate my need of the transactional relationships offered by others, that I allowed into my life. Are my interpersonal books balanced yet? Fuck no. But as the CEO of my life, am I trying? Fuck yes.
The other day, while scrolling and swiping my way through a morning of coffee and stalling around before setting fire to another to-do list, I stumbled across THIS meme…
…which started me down a path of self-reflection, and gratitude that any friend of mine would post something so thought-provoking. Now, a couple of days of contemplation later, there came the rambling, tiny essay thoughts. Not complete by any means, but complete enough to share here while I continue to think my way through them.
And complete enough that, once this ramble is posted, I plan on going back to what I was doing before I went down this rabbit hole.
More on THAT, later.
So much is packed into this tiny essay.
“That human worth is primarily validated transactionally.’
Such a difficult lesson to learn. Before it was likely used as a means of hard core survival. The person who provides the food is the least likely to become food when the predators approach. Much more(?) useful than a 9 year old bribing another with a sleepover for helping one ace a spelling test, never to be acknowledged until the next spelling test, or something like that.
The jaded among us learn to wall-up and give another the, “No really, tell me what you really want.” look when seemingly approached out of the blue. It isn’t healthy, but self-preserving.
Looking forward to reading more about THAT.
Thank you for sharing that meme. Words to live by.
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