Girl reading on beach, Tangalle
I met a nice girl but I couldn’t stand her text messages. I didn’t want to see her l8r. I met another and we didn’t use the phone at all. We shared books, I read her poetry. She told me stuff I didn’t know, I wasn’t talking to myself all the time. It was nice. Get back on the Internets and I can’t read her emails. She didn’t use full stops at all. I was in Galle and I met a cute Pakistani divorcee sitting alone. We struck up a conversation and it was all good, till I noticed the Dan Brown book on the table. She mentioned a Murakami she was reading before, but I couldn’t shake my incipient dread. Bit of a turn-off, all of this. My sexuality is very textual, in the end.
These girls are all quite intelligent, but still. We have our quirks and this is one of mine. I exist, as it were, in transmission and I can’t do it if the communication is not right. Not anymore. Beauty is wonderful, but I’m getting old. I need to have a conversation. I like words, and in a particular shape and form. I can’t deal with hyper-emotive shorthand in text messages, for example. I can’t read email in gasps, I need paragraphs and a ritual coherence of thought. I have my pretensions and condescensions about literature and I inhabit a particular world where one does not read The Da Vinci Code in public.
I realize that this is all peculiar and ultimately vain, but such is my perception of the world, and its girls. Such is my textuality.