It’s become a matter of some amusement to my friends and online compatriots that I have started to say that I really want to be with someone who knows HTML. They find it strange that something so unconnected to sex should impact on my desires. They think I’m joking, but I’m not.
More and more over the last few months this has been on my mind. The only conclusion I can come to is that I find my magic in a world of geeks. Not geeks in the sense of hapless individuals with no social graces – but geeks who are slightly nervous, sometimes quiet people, filled with fire and thought and insight and intelligence, people with a sense of a calling, a craft, even if it’s one that they can’t always articulate effectively, even while it informs everything they do.
I was talking about this with Meg today and I’m going to include an edited portion of our conversation (which her permission), because I think that the process of editing it down will make it clearer in my mind. And I also think it might help explain some of my stranger object choices of recent months to people who know me…
Meg: You know like you said the other day? About wanting to have someone who knew HTML? I have to agree.
Tom: I just think it would be wonderful to have some kind of relationship with someone who kind of understood the strange dark lusts we have within. Someone who understood the allure. It would be like you had some kind of common goal. Like you were fucking in the presence of god. I keep wanting to write about this on plasticbag.org but I can’t find the words.
Meg: Let’s say I was a chef. I loved cooking, and creating and understanding food and taste was my life. It would make sense to want to find someone who wasn’t just happy to settle for chips with everything – someone who understood flavour, or was at least willing to explore.
Tom: Absolutely. I think it feels something like a higher purpose that you need to share.
Meg: No-one would even question that.
Tom: You feel a connection with the stuff you create, and feel part of a larger network of creative people. Like a huge network of interconnected computers stretching across the planet, perhaps..! Or like layered words joining and conjoining in endless spiralling files. You’re a part of that – of that confluence of language and energy (which is all it all is really). And it feels special – luminous even. And I want to be with someone who can see that magic.
Meg: Yes – everything you do and are is layered with your understanding of web and html and code and design and language and and and and … and you can’t switch it off. Someone else has to be able to understand that.
Tom: So completely. You become changed by it, like you would by any passion. Your self comes to resemble your passion. And comes to respect and love people who can evidence the same feeling and insight. People you can teach and learn from. People – essentially – that you connect with.
We are practitioners of a magical craft of arcane words and structures that swirl around one another to produce pages that resemble nothing so much as illuminated manuscripts – words and images, structure and beauty. And behind them all is the vast formless expanse of other pages and people and worlds and experience. I want someone I can share that with. Someone who can explore with me.