Electronics Repair

I've been (badly) repairing my earphones for two years. I've had them for nearly four. In this era (any time in the last, what, fifty years?), not buying a new pair is an affection. Someone who buys organic milk can't pretend to be that poor.

Some are shocked by the sight of raw meat in a glass case, and others are horrified that they are shocked. Some avoid a particular Mexican restaurant--much cherished by others--because it is also a butcher shop. Others feel that psychology is no excuse; meat-eaters must willingly involve themselves in slaughter.

Meanwhile, some go beyond holding their cards close to their chests. They hold them in plastic cases. The real card sharking then becomes not playing the game, but shuffling the cards without damaging the cases. Every time, I handle them wrong and receive instruction.

Sometimes I wonder if by "the environment," conservationists mean "assets."

There's always not speaking, or thermoses, or my long time favorite, journals.

It was a slow morning pushing dough around and listening to Israelis on the BBC blame Palestinians for malevolently placing themselves in the way of missile blasts. The delivery boy asked me "you've been to Israel, right?" "No, I haven't. Why do you ask?" "Something about your demeanor." Is there something unmistakeably Jewish about being aloof?

If your headphones are a few milennia old, they may be too fargone.

When my brother was young enough to really appreciate Magic cards and marvelled at the power of a single card, he didn't have the money to buy cases. Or if he did, he would have spent it on more cards. Now that he has a stable source of income, the sets and formats of Magic have multiplied to the point that precious is hard to define, and any card may be purchased on ebay, he seals them. All his new card purchases, too, are so much lamination.

I can't resist complaining about how unwieldy the prophylactics are, or shuffling them the wrong way, or comparing them to plastic-wrapped furniture. I can hear myself taking it too far (he's so attached to them that disrespecting his property is tantamount to disrespecting him--you see? I just keep pushing it.) It's as if the boundary of all those little boundaries is itchy. The sound of cards in cases is a weirdly slick crinkle.

Irritation is a slash and a wall of a feeling. Get back at the thing that crosses you by nearly inciting empathy. Disavow that thing in you. Keep crisscrossing it. (I've always been irritated by how pattern-laden my efforts to scribble out a disappointingly predictable doodle are.) Before sleep I scratch, and miraculously wake up with a scab. In that sense one ought to be delighted by the sight of blood.

Someone's softly misrecognized empathy (that's the stable kind) with this nocturnal stubbornness was that he stays up because he hasn't had enough fun yet. My expectations are far less realistic: I haven't had enough meaning. If we're going Latin, this is not a matter of degrees, but opposition: diversion versus significance.

But maybe it's all the same. I notice in the morning that I notice things. The senses are often unwelcome at first, but soon enough observation comes in like a chatty friend and blots out dreams. After a day filled with eavesdropping and noting the angles of shadows and their moods, I eventually come back to a corkboard filled with holes and covered in notices. Surely there's something to heightened emotion other than heightened senses? But I don't know, it seems like one can either let loose platitudes or feel clever for watching the way raindrops flow across a window.

8 August 2014