12.04.2005

With the Click of a Mouse

Tools > Address Book > Contacts

(Right Click) > Delete
(Right Click) > Delete
(Right Click) > Delete

...

Within a few minutes I erased what had represented years of interaction. I had gone to the computer with the intention of sending an e-mail to a coworker. Instead, I spent my time marking the demise of many and assundry relationships by deleting all the contact information on each. Every name at one time in my past represented such promise to me, but now had lost its potential or fallen by the wayside.

I deleted a few e-mail addresses for reasons innocent enough. Friends married or changed their names and addresses. Professional contacts, once so vital, lost importance and relevance. In these clear-cut cases, I deleted for the sake of a more organized address book. However, deleting others contacts was so much more than the simple click of a mouse indicated.

I deleted addresses of people I still care about, but will no longer associate with closely. About a year ago, I severed ties with my church because I became disillusioned with the hypocrisy of a few of its members. I found that in order to walk away from an organization, you must also walk away from its people. Tired of the questions, the looks of disappointment at my decision, I refused to answer phone calls and e-mails that still come my way to this day. I also moved from one town to another without as much as forwarding address. If it weren't for my work and the inability to change my extension and e-mail address, folks from my past couldn't find me at all. And while I am resolute in my decision and this course of action, as I deleted the names, I still felt the conflict and the pain, which has always characterized this decision.

I also deleted e-mail addresses of old friends and lovers. In some cases, I gave up fighting for or simply lost interest in the relationships. Others, however, hurt or rejected me. The end result whether my decision or not was the same. It's the feelings inside me that differ and vary in intensity. And as I worked my way through the list of doomed contacts, clicking away fervently, I imagined the people who probably deleted my name from their list. I cannot help but wonder if I ever hurt someone the way I've been hurt.

Probably, so.

Through the processes of deleting my contacts, I found it disconcerting that I only needed to click the mouse twice-- when selecting, then deleting. Never once before I hit the delete key did a warning box pop up and ask me that seemingly simple question,

"Are you sure?"

No, I'm not sure. But, in at least the small, controllable ways, I make efforts to move on. I may be taking what seems like a bold and final step today. But the truth is that, with so many people from my past, I will still seek closure beyond the stroke of a key.

4 comments:

The Door Steward said...

"Tired of the questions, the looks of disappointment at my decision, I refused to answer phone calls and e-mails that still come my way to this day."

Sounds like me. You're never sure whether you should delete the contact...sometimes its for the best though.

Mister Hand said...

I don't delete the email addresses of people who have rejected or hurt me. I keep those addresses for sending mail bombs and viruses.

Mu-WAH-hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

(Continues laughing maniacally even as he enters his word verification and posts comment, and then for quite some time after.)

sethro said...

I'm a lazy sumbitch when it comes to cleaning out address and phone books. I have a phone number in my cell phone from a woman I met downtown a year and a half ago, and I never even called her.

Diane Mandy said...

Oh...so you're one of THOSE men, sethro... HMPH!