Vribble Point Zero
I have been looking through a lot of my old notes on my phone and thinking back at the moment when I wrote each one. I have been thinking about the difference in how they sound depending on whether I was moving or sitting down while I wrote it. I remember walking through a park while clicking one into my phone. I remember one was typed on my computer after having touched something sticky like honey or glue or something that I couldn’t get off my fingers. The sensation returns. Many of my notes have voice recognition mistakes because I wanted to quickly speak something in before forgetting it. A new kind of scribble. It’s not difficult to recognising these vribbles. They stick out a lot because they are very fluent and don’t have a single spelling mistake, but then suddenly there are words that make absolutely no sense in the sentence, like ‘gerbil’s scenario’ in a note where I’m trying to say something about the president of Brazil. Setting aside for a moment the politics of the fact that my phone has no problem spelling the names of contemporary western leaders, I’m struck by how these ideophonetic detours tickle my vocal cords.
I say the words out loud again and the situation returns in a way that takes my attention away from what I intended to communicate to my future self. A bit like the sticky fingers, but the stickiness is more like an aside or an obstruction to the intention. The new words in my throat arrest the intention for a moment, suspends it, lets it vibrate among countless other meanings and intentions and lets it go again. But before letting me get back to my past train of thought I am myself also suspended in an echoic memory that feeds back with the physical sensation that it is to make that sound. A bus whizzes across my bedsheets and lets off that loud hissing sound of decompressing air that I have always wondered if are set off intentionally by bus drivers to scare people. A small flock of pigeons rise up in front of me and struggle against a wind that is not blowing. Everything falls from nowhere into a cup of soft feathers. I see myself throw myself backwards onto the bed and I am still in front of my computer, undone.
You know how there are certain words that you avoid saying because you don’t like the way they sound, like ‘error’, and other words you don’t write because they are difficult to spell or maybe they look weird or remind you of something that doesn’t fit in the sentence, like the word ‘thorough’ which reminds me of Aladdin when I see it written? Those words create new ways of thinking about things; new paths of meaning and intention. But they are usually very personal and idiosyncratic. I’m trying to imagine what it means for the vribblers of the world to be tied to this common strangeness of writing with the voice. Odd new paths.