I love my email. Not because I love my email but because due to the swings and round-a-bouts of modern life needing email, and because writers and publications I want to hear from send emails, I’ve figured out how to have an email account that I love. Which according to my friend Steven, isn’t possible. Perhaps it is not dissimilar to training a demon to do the housework.
But one day, I can only hope I am so unimportant, so unneeded, so unplugged from the swings and the round-a-bouts, that I can profess what Don Knuth wrote in the nineties:
I have been a happy man ever since January 1, 1990, when I no longer had an email address.
His very-90s blog post is seemingly popular for advocating that the hyphen be dropped from e-mail, but I am so inspired to reach the stage of life that Knuth quotes in the post:
`I don’t even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.' – Umberto Eco, quoted in the New Yorker
A former boss told me that as you become more important in a job you start getting more keys, and you seemingly start on a path to have so many keys. Keys to the front door, back door, your office, someone else’s office, the stationary cupboard, the storage room, etc etc.
But then you reach a stage in that job where you are so important that you start handing keys back, and all of a sudden you have no keys.
Being that important sounds lovely, but I’m more excited about being in such a position that my importance in the world is not an ongoing concern. Instead, my friendship, my love, my efforts would be so valuable to my friends and family that none of us would be measuring importance - or likes, views, follows, or subscriptions - but that we would be in that beautiful utopia of just being a friend.