DORA AND I
Dora y Yo: Our Affair in Mexico
By G. Martin Roman
She became mine here in Mexico. She is young, sleek, exotic and “with it.” I am none of those. She knows far more than I will ever know about subjects I never heard of before. She could learn a few things from me too, but she resists. We concur we have little in common. We don’t even speak the same language. Yet there are those times we are so immersed in being “us” that she seems to be a part of me–or am I a part of her? I did not know it could be like this, a compelling craving for her daily presence in spite of her limitless, arbitrary, and even bitchy ways of making constant alterations in our relationship communications. Then just when I have once again begun to trust in what works for us, she persists in saying that I must be the one to conform to her next incomprehensible whim.
When my work is going well, I’d swear she is jealous. She challenges and dares me with naughty or evil tricks, like sabotaging my writing, which is my heart’s-work, or my contact list, in other words, my essential links to others on this planet who are more like me than she, a fact she resents. I wonder why I put up with her when she’s at her worst. Has she enhanced some alien hyper-link transplant in my cranium without my knowledge or permission that enforces a virtual acceptance of her pretense of being my ardent beloved?
That is, until I become a bore or she sickens of doing my bidding, and then she just quits. With no warning I am left alone and bereft, as a test of my devotion. And all the while she knows there is no backup plan for that kind of mental/emotional hijacking. Damn her, she plays a dirty game.
Surely you understand my visceral response to that level of betrayal, my frustration, and yes, even hatred. The lesson I’d teach her, if only she’d listen, is to consider the feelings of someone who loves her as much as a person is able. She should show some compassion and try to see my viewpoint. As smart as she is, our life needn’t be made so difficult. If only for a nano-second, I doubt our connection. But no matter how she behaves, I always do what I must to placate and please her, for I have come to feel I need and want her as much as air and water. We have this “symbiotic thing” where we each must have the other in fingertip reach in order to live, mi computa Dora y yo, (my computer and I.)
Which is when, my fellow human beings, the universe steps in and yells Stop! in the only way it can, to get my attention back on this business of being within the literal physical existence, that it has to tell me over and again, I was born to be living in person. In the present. Not in bytes and bits of recorded this and that, which strangers have chosen to woo me to their interests, make me a statistic, watch their stupid ads, and have me pay for the privilege.
That is when this body I neglect demands its right to be freed from its narrow subsistence of being pinned in one place between that glowing 12 inch screen and a cross-eyed 15 inch focal distance. Whenever not beguiled by Dora’s hypnotic persistence, this body screams at me, “Get up! Go out! Walk! Stretch! Eat! Kiss! Hug a living being. Remember to pee. Those are the things a body misses!”
I know all this. And still, although I can barely glimpse it through dry-eyed, spastic, strobe-light blinks caused by exhausted facial muscle tics, I reach for the phone. With shaky fingers cramped into a claw-like fist from excessive Point, Scroll, Tap and Drag, I must call someone this instant for immediate assistance. Come and heal my Dora! Quickly! Quickly! I’ll pay whatever you say! That’s how badly I want her here with me, giving me her all even as she flirts, tortures, teases, and tests my limits.
And, oh yes, grants me a satisfaction I have found with no one else, for we are more present for each other than any usual lovers, and together work miracles of perseverance. We go without sleep to grope in the dark for words and thoughts of substance amidst the dross of easy responses. We wander the unexplored caverns of the thesaurus in search of that treasure, the version of a vision worthy of a reader.
We obsess beyond back aches, and my legs that wobble as I attempt to stand erect after many an hour spent hunched to peer with wide-eyed interest into her compelling, gorgeous wide-screen abyss which holds me entranced with seductive infinite offerings, options, solutions, imaginings and facts. Not to mention, Ooo . . . , the inspiration she grants that lures me away from this actuality and into hers, which is more pliable and manageable than the literal life I am stuck with, and cannot sign off from, whenever I feel I must to protect my sanity from too much reality.
But then there is this: although I pretend my own life, time and ideas will wait for me until after I’ve had my next Dora fix, they never do. My life vanishes, time dissipates, my thoughts “obliviate” as I choose to believe her assurance that she has all the answers for my every quandary, and is the best next step in the evolution of my perfected existence. When extrapolated unto all of humanity that could well scare me into thinking long and deeply. But I have decided not to think about that until tomorrow. Perhaps. No time today. And no real need to think anyway since she does much of mine for me. And are not the best relationships based on simple acceptance? Meanwhile, my pupils dilate. My fingers itch. I palpitate. Dora and I have another hot date. Instant gratification awaits; if she is still in the mood.