Forester on the R

I’m on the train. I’m reading The Machine Stops. It’s the only Forester I like. I’ve read it a few times over the years. It really nails the digital age.

I used to have a copy in a pretty little odd shaped paper back, but I lent it to my good friend’s boyfriend several years ago and when I asked for it back he claimed to never have had it, so I’m reading the digital.

This time the reading was a little different. I’m writing a little adaptation of it for Script Tease Adapts, so I dug into it, to get a feeling more for the characters than the story.

It’s a mother and son story. Since C was born I’ve been pretty fond of those.

This mother and son have a total disconnect. They just don’t understand each other. They can’t. He says something to her, like about how bad he needs real air and physical experience with the natural world, and she says basically “what the fuck are you talking about?”

I love my parents. I love my step parents. But it does feel like there’s a necessary disconnect between us, a disconnect within those relationships. I end up feeling judged sometimes, even when logically, rationally, I can try to realize that I’m not being judged. I’ve made some weird choices. I’m not always sure I made the right choices. Then again I’m not sure that the word “right” has any real meaning anyway when it comes to things like life choices.

I wonder if my parents felt like they knew my heart, the way that I feel I know C’s heart, the way that I feel like his heart is my heart and my heart is his.

When does this disconnect happen? Does it happen before you even know? Does it have to happen? Is it gonna hurt?

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Close ’em up, we all know it ain’t that big.

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This woman smashed into me over and over again like it was her job.

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from E.M. Forester’s The Machine Stops

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