so when we call "hello" -is there anybody out there?
-we do so in the midst of a crushing mass of bodies.
we do so with what little breath has not been squeezed out.
if the cry is weak, it is because everything muffles it.

the outside is not the inside's outside. it is another side.
the chain links together accidents, non-accidentally; it is
a series of moments of attention and passion, and of lessons learned
with no confidence that our fallibility has been overcome.
commitment to commitment is the will to make the next link, hopelessly.
we said that everything repeats, that nothing happens.
what would it take for something to happen? that the hints or
secret glimpses of an outside would expand like holes
in a deteriorating reel of film, would take on a nuance and depth,
and grow to be panoramic. that is what it would mean for
something to happen beyond history. OUTSIDE EVERYTHING.

we said that we have found each other, but we still have no
idea as to the way outside; we are in the breakdown, in the crisis,
in everything. everything is the way things are organized, but it is also
a command. everything is the way we talk. everything is the way we
sleep and eat. it is the way we stand in line,
but also the way we confess our love. everything is waiting and being
waited on. everything is apparent. everything is visible, set in bright relief
against everything else.

one night you might find yourself speaking out loud.
you might hang out of a window or peer down a shadowy alley,
saying "hello"  as if speaking from an old place, an originary place
that is no longer visible, its sound no longer audible. in the past, in a past
we are removed from by much more than the passage of time, when one would
meet another person on the street, the proper greeting in english was
"good day" or "good evening"  our now familiar greeting "hello" was something else,
a kind of question call one might cast into the woods, or a question-greeting-call
uttered in the direction of a noise in one's home: hello? is there anybody there?
the invention of the telephone, it's invasion and reconstitution of everyday life,
changed affairs. it was so unnatural to speak into the machine that people were more
inclined to say "hello?" than "good day" since the presence of another could
no longer be assumed, it seemed appropriate to call a question into the void.
and that question-call is what we have inherited.
the greeting of the era of telepresence, of ghostly pseudopresence.

obviously we are no longer just talking about the telephone- but we are talking
about a world in which people talk at length about their telephones.