LADEELEROY

2004-06-21

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The Computer Screen Tells Me It's Okay To Not Leggo My Ego
 
  Computer Screen: What are you staring at?

Me: You.

Computer Screen: It's making me uncomfortable. Can't you look at something else?

Me: No. I need to look at you and if I stare at you long enough perhaps something will pop into my head that will inspire me to write a brilliant entry.

Computer Screen: Do you have to stare at me until that time?

Me: Yes.

******

Computer Screen: Seriously. You should blink or something.

Contact Lense: I agree.

Me: There's nothing. There's nothing for me to write about. Nothing is coming to my head. I've lost it. I know longer have the magic. It's gone it's all gone.

Computer Screen: Maybe you shouldn't try to write at the moment. Maybe you're putting too much pressure on yourself.

Me: I came so close to deleting all that I've typed so far.

Computer Screen: No. You can't do that. You've already spent all this time staring at me, you've made your fingers type all this bold HTML, if you delete the entry, it will make it all useless. Wasted. Unneeded.

Me: But I don't have anything to write about. I can't. There's nothing coming to me.

Computer Screen: What's happened to you? You used to be able to write with wreckless abandon before. Why, I recall a time when every other word you typed was offensive and mind blowing at the same time. What changed?

Me: I..... I ...... I'm not sure.

Computer Screen: Well, what's holding you back right now?

Me: I am.

Computer Screen: How so?

Me: I..... I .... I don't know.

Computer Screen: Yes you do.

Me: No I don't.

Computer Screen: Listen, I may be an inanimate object that you're using to channel a part of your brain through, so I know you know. Let's not bullshit each other.

Me: You're right. Here's one of the reasons: I know too many people who read this journal now. I know them as people and as friends and family and, dammit, that's awesome as hell.

Computer Screen: But...

Me: But now I know that there are people reading and it makes me question what the purpose of this entire journal thing is.

Computer Screen: I don't follow.

Me: Well, like. Now I feel like I have to always write something that is good and funny and deep and meaningful and that I can't write anything personal because now some people know who I am in real life and they'll might think.... I dunno. They might think things about me. Negative things.

Computer Screen: Hm. Sounds like you think alot of yourself.

Me: What?

Computer Screen: Seems like you really think that other people are hanging on a limb to know what you feel, what you think, what your opinion is about the world. That's pretty egotistical.

Me: Wait.. no.. I'm not.

Computer Screen: You're not going to deny that you have a large ego are you?

Me: Having a large ego is a bad thing.

Computer Screen:So you're saying that you don't have a large ego.

Me: I'd like to think that I have a very small teensy weensy ego.

Computer Screen: Then why all this flustering about what to write about?

Me: I just don't want... to disappoint people.

Computer Screen: Hold the phone.. Wasn't the entire reason why you started this entire journal writing online stuff was so that you could get things off your chest.

Me: But there was this helpful thing of being anonymous while doing it.

Computer Screen: So you felt safe to write things when there wasn't anyone around that could put two and two together?

Me: Yeah. Kinda.

Computer Screen: And now that people have put two and two together, or rather, when you told them that there was a two and two to put together, that was a bad thing.

Me: Well, it was a bad thing and it was a good thing. I dunno. I see where you're going with this.

Computer Screen: You do?

Me: Yeah I do. In plain text right in front of me. You're telling me that I need to get over myself and to not sweat what other people think about what I write here because I'm writing for myself and not for the entertainment of others.

computer Screen: That's not what I'm saying at all.

Me: Habberdabbersquash?

Computer Screen: What I'm saying is to accept the fact that you do have an ego. Embrace it. Love it. Caress it. Manage it. But don't deny it. It's there. You can't ignore the ego. The ego is the driving force behind what you do as an artist.

Me: That's not right at all! I do art because it makes me feel good.

Computer Screen: But you also enjoy getting recognition for it.

Me: That's not the reason why I do it, though.

Computer Screen: Bullshit. Why do you do theater stuff?

Me: Because I like acting.

Computer Screen: Well, duh. Think of it like this. Why do you act?

Me: Because I like being characters and finding nuances and all that other granola stuff that actors say when you ask them that question.

Computer Screen: You're an actor because there's an audience. An actor would not exist without an audience.

Me: But that's not the reason why I am there.

Computer Screen: Yes it is. The entire reason why a play exists, or a film, or a book, or an online public journal is because of the audience. It's the people. It's the entertainment. It's the fucking audience.

Me: Wait I don't understand-

Computer Screen: And the audience is there-- BECAUSE IT WANTS TO BE. If it didn't want to be it would leave. It would walk aout. It wouldn't come back.

Me: Some people walked out on my show.

Computer Screen: But the majority of them stayed. And they laughed. And they applauded.

Me: I remember that.

Computer Screen: And how'd it make you feel?

Me: It made me feel good.

Computer Screen: Clarification: It made your ego feel good. Your ego knew that you put work, energy, focus into your performance and that an AUDIENCE enjoyed it.

Me: But doesn't that make me in it for the wrong reasons? I mean, doens't that make my focus entirely superficial and vulgar?

Computer Screen: I never said that the audience is the focus, it's only the reason.

Me: What? Yes you did.

Computer Screen: No I didn't- scroll up and show me where I said that the audience is the focus.

Me: Up a little ways. You say that the audience is the reason why I act.

Computer Screen: Yeah. The reason. But not the focus.

Me: Wait.. what?

Computer Screen: The audience is the reason why you act, but it's not the focus of what you do.

Me: I don't follow at all.

Computer Screen: You don't act because of the audience, you do it because you enjoy it.

Me: Yeah, that's true.

Computer Screen: I mean, you get pissed off when you know you've done a good job and the audience doesn't respond the way you want them to, but that's not because you disappointed them... it's because they disappointed you.

Me: But really, Computer Screen, I mean... there are times when I'll say or do something because I know the audience is going to like it and eat out of my hand.

Computer Screen: Yeah, that's you being a good performer. That's not you sucking up to the audience and making them your focus. That's you making you the focus of the audience.

Me: It's me making me the focus of the audience?

Computer Screen: Yeah.

Me: That sounds really egotistical.

Computer Screen: It is. It is egotistical.

Me: And how is that a good thing?

Computer Screen: It's a good thing because you earn it. You don't expect it. You fucking earn it. You don't walk around with a shirt on that says I AM THE BEST ACTRESS EVER, do you?

Me: Um. No. I'm not an idiot. I know I'm not the best acress ever.

Computer Screen: And you don't conclude every journal entry with a tag line of I AM THE BEST ON LINE JOURNALER WRITER PERSON EVER, do you?

Me: Absolutely not.

Computer Screen: So why the huge hang up? There is nothing wrong with having pride. There is nothing wrong with having ego. Ego and pride are good things.

Me: I don't und-

Computer Screen: If you walked around with a huge chip on your shoulder, then this entire dialogue would be entirely different. But you don't. And you're not an egocentric person. You're a person with an ego, and it's okay.

Me: So in conclusion--?

Computer Screen: So in conclusion, well shit. I don't know. In conclusion I guess what I want you to realize is that it's okay to have people read your stuff and see your play and want to know you..... because that's them. That's what they want to do. And some day they may not want to-- and that could be tomorrow or next week or in years. But don't let that hang you up on avoiding what comes naturally. You can't live up to expectations of people. Sometimes you're not going to live up to expectations of yourself. All you can do is just do it. Let it hang out. Let the ego be and get brusied and swell up and deflate and all those things that egos do. But don't ignore the fact that you do have an ego.

Me: You're kind of rambling now.

Computer Screen: I know and I don't care. Here's what I think you need to do: just fuck it all and write. Take the risk of failing. Take the risk of disappointing every person who reads you. Risk. Risk. Risk. Fail. Fail. Fail. Suck. Suck. Suck. Get over it. Get over it. Get over it. Repeat and Rinse.

Me: All right. Okay. Cool. I'll try it.

Computer Screen: Promise.

Me: I promise.

Computer Screen: Okay. I'm going to go back to being an inanimate object now.

Me: Thanks Computer Screen for your help.

Computer Screen: Yeah. Whatever. Fuck it. Get back to work.

Me: I will.

 
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