Sunday, October 5, 2008
"Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation."
Spouse met, quite by chance some months ago, a former acquaintance of his. The individual was most eager to know about my own background and what precisely I did for a living.
While Spouse was engaged elsewhere during a subsequent gathering, the fellow sought me out.
"Are you in hardware?" he queried bluntly, thinking perhaps that Spouse and I were colleagues. At the very least, he was convinced that we three must be skilled in the same field.
"No." I told him I was not in hardware.
"Are you in software?"
"No." I told him I was not in software either.
He fought to control his curiosity, his facial expressions, and his confusion. He failed on all counts.
"So," he said at last, after a considerable pause in which I suppose he hoped I would supply him with the answer, "what are you?" His hushed tone carried a note of true bewilderment: he was the stupefied explorer who had stumbled unwittingly across a hitherto unidentified species, a creature with no title, a being with no ascertained utility.
There are all sorts of people in the world, and a significant number of them are not, as it might happen, involved in hardware or software, or any ware.
The expectations of those who fail to formally recognise a life removed and different from their own are, I must confess, wildly amusing to the ear.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 11:57 AM