As some of you know, those who have been forced to follow the sordid details of my life as I splay them out for the entire world to see, my daughter has scurried off to college. She's not that far away, just four hours and six minutes. In one respect it may as well be four days and six hours.
Leaving for the rigors of college life once meant that letters to home came via snail mail only as often as money was needed. Phone bills were outrageous. Face to face occurred only on holidays and you never really knew what was going on in the absence of your maternal guidance.
Much has changed these days, as emails from in-dorm-room computers can come in a second's notice, money can be force fed in an ATM at this end and sucked dry at the other. With the influx of 10-10-'I've got the cheapest' minutes, a phone call is mere pennies and sharing of smiles can be accomplished by virtue of video cams. But, gee, you still never really know what's going on in the absence of your maternal guidance.
My daughter is fortunate to be the child of someone who is as solitary in her meandering and oblivious to the concept of time and communication as she is. So, the infrequency of contact and information is not cause for my concern. No news is good news. if she needed me she'd email. If she really needed me, she'd call.
There is, however, a slight misconfuddlement on my part these days.
Being a 'kinda sorta maybe' journalism major, she has a good command of the workings of the English language. She knows that 'misconfuddlement' isn't really a word and 'kinda sorta maybe' is totally unacceptable. She understands the structure of a sentence, and one would think could discern a statement from a question.
So, perhaps it is I who has begun to speak a foreign language so that she understands me no longer.
Allow me to illustrate with excerpts from actual emails:
And on and on....till I must question...when is a question NOT a question?
Perhaps it's my fonts that cause my queries to masquerade as statements. Alien intervention, which provides a cloak of invisibility to my words? Does the Internet delete anything with a '?' behind it as it winds its way across the miles? Is there a cult blossoming beneath the beautiful blossoms that line the entrance to the university, censoring letters from home?
Nay, it's the power of the distance placed between us, the all reigning newly acquired power of control over communication. It's ask what you shall, hear what I will. Ignoring has become a techno-art.
The worst part of all this is, I'm beginning to understand her answers to my questions.
In other words, stop asking them.