Monday, March 01, 2004

excuses, recluses

As I was just noting in an e-mail to a fellow blogger, today is one of those infrequent-but-not-exactly-rare days where I have been here in the RV all day, with the vast majority of the time spent here in front of my PC. I had a three-minute telephone conversation earlier, which have been the only words that I have said out loud today, I think. It's strange how one* can go an entire day with no face-to-face social interaction. Even stranger is how, with current communications technologies, one can go the whole day with no face-to-face social interaction and not feel like one has been deprived of socialty, as I have been e-mailing with people all day. That said, I'll probably talk on the phone to at least one friend later, and, I might go to the grocery store, which will result in me seeing other real-live-flesh-and-blood human beings. There is a reason they call communication online "virtual" interaction, after all.

* I'm not sure why I'm saying "one" when I basically mean "I," viz.: It's strange how I can go an entire day with no face-to-face interaction and not feel especially deprived. If you would have told me such a thing lay as an infrequent-but-not-exactly-rare-thing in my future 10 years ago, before it was apparent how big the Internet was going to be, I would have thought either that you were lying or that my life had taken some desperately unfortunate turn. When I first arrived in Madison it was the middle of winter (I started here January 2001). That first semester, working down in the bowels of the second floor and knowing hardly a soul in Madison, I had a couple of streches where I went 3-4 days where the only words I said face-to-face to anyone were "Hi" to people I passed in the hallway and my order to servers in restaurants. That, even for someone who enjoys a wide berth of solitude, was awfully lonesome.

Update, 8:45pm: Whoops, I just realized Whole Foods closes at 9, not 10. So much for seeing other human beings, then, I suppose. Tomorrow, I teach, so I'll get humanity by the bushel then if not before.

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