- the computer says this is a run on sentence, but what the hell does it know? That was a sentence fragment that I recently included in a letter (yes – an actual real letter) to the only person in my family that I give a fuck about. I have a half-brother and a half-sister and some cousins somewhere, but I haven’t heard from them in thirty years and have no desire for contact. But that is another story – the point is:
When I refer to my computer I call it an it - it has no name. The message that stuck in my id was that the computer says. This brought about one of those can’t sleep, midnight, mind wandering conundrums that the monkey mind grabs and wrestles with despite my ardent desire for my mind to shut the fuck up and go to sleep (a run on sentence?)
I begin to think about all the inanimate things that we give human deference and refer to with human qualities.
• The gas gauge says we have a quarter of a tank (the fucking gauge can’t speak.)
• The envelope says there is postage due.
• The GPS says (but it actually does) that we should turn left.
• The sign says it is a one way street.
• The cell phone says your mother is calling…
We claim that these inanimate things without a name speak to us. It is not like, ‘Jane said to turn left at the corner’ or ‘John said your mother called.’
They are inanimate – they have no name – they can’t speak.
But then the monkey did a 180 around the tree trunk and I started thinking about the things I have name in my life: inanimate things with a name.
• I use to name my cars and trucks (but for some reason never named my motorcycles.) The first car I owned (as a teen ager) was Comanche; the second car I owned was Clyde (probably having to do with a song about a camel.) After that all my cars and trucks had female names.
• In my early years I use to name my guns. After all Davy Crocker had ol’Betsy.
• I have named outboard motors (it is easier to cuss something when it has a name), fishing holes; and of course dogs, cats and birds; and I have even assisted my wife in naming teddy bears.
Don’t blame me that all of this doesn’t make sense. It is that god damn monkey that controls my mind at midnights – grabbing thoughts and running here and there – it is his fault.
I think I will name this post: NIGHT MONKEYS.