Numbers. Statistics. Acronyms. One of the marvels of the modern age, the acronym, capable of reducing even the most unwieldy, the most alarming phrases to a tidy bundle of letters: ISO, VIP, WMD, MAD. We live in a world that requires a shorthand for “mutual assured destruction.” How’s that for terrifying?
Sometimes I think progress, technological advancement, convenience—all the buzzwords we routinely marshal in defense of the way we live—are all illusions; that what we’ve actually dedicated ourselves to is the gradual dissolution of meaning. People become hash marks, percentages, members of target demographics. Yesterday’s geniuses are the points on today’s graphs. I exaggerate, of course—or at least I hope I do—but I can’t help thinking the day will come when a person’s final resting place is not a plot of land in a cemetery but row three column five on a spreadsheet.
Neel’s sister, 35 years old- committed suicide this afternoon. She left 2 kids behind, the sum total of whose ages fail to outnumber the single digit 5.
I’m afraid of losing them. Not to age, not to disease, but to facts and figures and diminishing probabilities. To the rituals we’ve adopted for holding one another at arm’s length.