Friday, April 3, 2009

I've been to the zoo, Mister!

Me: I was wondering, at eight o'clock, or when I finish writing my negative case--
Sarah: Whichever comes first.
Me: Yes, if you feel so inclined, would you watch LOST with me, pending parental approval?
Sarah: I love the way you phrase things. Who says "pending parental approval"?
Me: Your mom. So, LOST?
Sarah: Sure! (In my head she said "You got it, babe!" But she didn't say that in real life.)

And in between writing my negative case and talking with Sarah, I realized I like writing. It doesn't matter if what I write is complete dross, I just, I really like it. Stringing words together, whether or not they actually say much of anything, is just something I like doing. And that is such an incurably selfish mindset, it's rather sad and sobering. Because most of the time I don't have anything terribly important to say. I just like the act of saying things, and half the time it doesn't matter to me what those things are. 

If language is a tool, what am I using it for? Words are powerful, but words fall short. Either way, I use them to carelessly sometimes. What worth can there be in saying something just for the sake of saying something? But then, how can you know if there's someone to hear what you're saying? (Did Anne Frank know her diary would touch the lives of so many people.) And from there, how can you know what words are meaningful and what words are meaningless? (When Shakespeare wrote his plays, did it matter to him if he made a statement or was mere entertainment his main goal.)

As much as I hated Edward Albee's The Zoo Story, the fact of the matter is, no word is meaningless, no story is bankrupt of meaning, and maybe there is something worth in just exercising the tool of language for the sake of itself.