"I have been a wreck," the message begins, "with being down on myself," it continues, "the past couple of days and today," it says, "my horoscope said I would be fired up," says the message, "over frustrations but would get some good," it promises, "professional opportunities."
The message continues for eleven more lines of text, none of which have any punctuation, not even at the very end of the message.
The message only tapers off to the left of its grey shape, at the bottom, in the whisp of a tail that signifies a text bubble, or the insultingly flat appropriation of a speech bubble. As if the sender has breathed into a balloon what could become infinite lettering in an exchange of smart-to-smart-phone correspondence.
The grey color of the message's shape makes me consider that the sender is dead.
Which is to say it makes me feel as though the sender were dead, a shade of a thought. Grey matter is a vital sign of smart.
The message spouts gas like a bloated body into the white purity of my screen's ultra brightness.
We are smart-to-smart and not talking about ourselves, unless calling each other a machine.
We are not that smart though.
We are not that good, as in capable.
Being able is a privilege, but prefixing cap- to the beginning is like putting a cap on ability, or privilege. Maxing out a capacity for its potential for reward. Ability is retracted when the credit card is declined.
The message I have received is long-winded like dead air. It is standard for our smart-to-smart conversations, in which I am not a machine and neither is my correspondent. Smart-to-smart in which we are only as smart as our ability to respond to the reactions and advice of another.
You learn more deeply by teaching than by being taught.
I am only as smart as my privilege grants me access: to phones, to correspondence, to horoscopes. I am privileged that I am a Cancer, that my corresponding Cancer is a grey bubble of astrological dead air to remind me, so that I should not forget my emotions. Too emotional or too needy often come as reactions to being Cancer.
The message sits without any end punctuation. The thought is over in two dozen lines, there is no risk of an ellipsis signifying an influx of more to come. The grey bubble hovers with its faux-tail designed like a mistake. I think of how being overly distracted can create a slack-jaw slant of not all there. Like sliding out of your seat when your eyes glaze over with daydreams. Or drooling on a pillow during sleep.
The message sits like a drool stain. I do not wipe it off, I am not embarrassed nor judgmental towards the sender. I am turning down the brightness of my screen. I am in a position of response that needs consideration. I need to prepare a delivery of privilege in words.
But I am busy for the most part of the day, and leave the grey bubble paused in its place. I leave the screen, I abandon the correspondence. I will return when I am capable. Because I cannot send the assurances of advice and enthusiasm knowing they will elicit more in return. Right now I need to put a cap on my ability. I am overspent mentally.
Even though the message is a dead grey, I know it will reanimate on its own, regardless of my responses. I know that I do not directly influence the influx of messages I receive, and that by not sending messages I still too will receive more.
I back away from a bloated body. I need to rid myself of retention. I am only meant to be so much blue water which is not even blue but rather a reflection of greater images - my smart-to-smart correspondence being blue for the majority percentage of my living body, the majority percentage of our life-giving planet. I am blue as a response and a reflection of greater images, a mirage of smart to send to smart.