Got too close to the publishing side again. That edge draws out the immediate and at that immediate, the end. I sit there to type an e-mail thinking—I want this to be a good e-mail—but because I am so close to pressing Send, I never think about the e-mail in its young stage, when it’s bare and not good.
So I turn to TextEdit. Here at least is a hopeless whiteness, not waiting to be stained—in fact, hoping against it. And it’s not me coming to the rescue of the hopeless blank page, but a bit of desecration.
It starts as a bit anyway.
The letter S.
Grows. Grows, becomes sentences and as I continue to mark, even defile the blankness, I am pressured by whatever is internal to—if I’m going to admit to such action—make the defilement look cool. Use the right symbols.
I wanted to think of something to ask it.
> Hello, I am Eliza
* Hello, I’m Eric
> Did you come to me because you are Eric?
* Yes I did
> Are you Sure?
* I am Positive
> Do you believe it is normal to be Positive?
* I believe some people are not Positive, but I think yes.
> Do you really think so?
> I understand.
Using such a Computerized therapist to derail people’s bad moments. Most of us need to talk honestly at least once per week. If we don’t, we gather depression.
I return to that space of near-publication. I think about how an essay for SHARKPACK Poetry Review is on my list. How I did not post anything to Grok & Timber. How this could be that! I just have to turn and start spouting about honesty and it will cover so many bases and I misspell bases basis and I think how. Base. Is.
How is base.
My beard is shaven to the base; correction—my mustache—I’ve left on beard to be not quite youthful but still quite honest. People are Positive, but not always Honest.
I could turn this into The Typecase!
Jesus. Eric. Production sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooows.
I liked the idea of writing this machine-therapist. ELIZA, as story or program. Says Wikipedia:
ELIZA is a computer program and an early example of primitive natural language processing. ELIZA operated by processing users’ responses to scripts, the most famous of which was DOCTOR, a simulation of a Rogerian psychotherapist. Using almost no information about human thought or emotion, DOCTOR sometimes provided a startlingly human-like interaction. ELIZA was written at MIT by Joseph Weizenbaum between 1964 and 1966.
When the ‘patient’ exceeded the very small knowledge base, DOCTOR might provide a generic response, for example, responding to ‘My head hurts’ with ‘Why do you say your head hurts?’ A possible response to ‘My mother hates me’ would be ‘Who else in your family hates you?’ ELIZA was implemented using simple pattern matching techniques, but was taken seriously by several of its users, even after Weizenbaum explained to them how it worked.”
Because people talk to free something. They need some probing to know that they are being heard by someone of an understandance, but it needn’t be much.
People write to free something, the same. Ink, first, then their kinetic motion. The expression happens in the digits—my five fingers and this change in the visual landscape can sell someone else on the thoughts that run bubbling along my insides, only they’ll run on their insides.
My thoughts on your insides. A skin inside your skin. Eventually the skin disintegrates into your own like a pair of compostable contacts, like sugar across your eyes.
I could use a shower, S.
Writing allows the freedom to speak to yourself with all of your voices. Not limited by cigarette smoke, or the din of a noisy restaurant. It’s just as prone as speaking to be misinterpreted. But if you only need to monologue . . .
Anything can probe you to release. A dog can push its nose into you and suddenly you’re crying into its fur.
If it was robotic? Look at that last sentence from the Wiki, man—‘was taken seriously by several of its users . . . ’
I immediately thought of a one-sided question box that receipted you a diagnostics report and a list of solutions.
I call it REPENT.