Jordan Willowbee was obsessed. His mind constantly focused on peculiar and arcane ideas. When he looked in a mirror he saw an old man. In his mind, Jordan remained an angry teenager. He was angry at the constant intrusions into his life: the rumble of street noise, the chatter from TV, and the constant spying by computers and wireless gadgets. He felt helpless against the forces of corporate media that were trying to turn him into a consumer robot. Jordan was, in fact, an old man – he’d seen the moon landing and the invention of the personal computer – observed how these events and innovations changed society and created the cult of personality. He concluded there’d been a dumbing down of human intelligence. He also realized his own culpability because he was obsessed with himself. He felt victimized as an unrecognized genius who could solve the problems of the world if he had enough time and money. He worked diligently, but after fifty years he accomplished nothing – always arriving at the same blockade, a wall of confusion. He was convinced the solution he sought could be found in small objects and inconsequential events: the micro incidents that echoed the macro catastrophes.
Jordan focused on latticework, ladders, and clotheslines: the skeletal frames that supported the body of life. He believed he could invent a frame that could change the world’s slow decline. An individual’s whole life could be preserved and resurrected with the proper tools. The life of an individual or a society could be hung and refreshed like clothes on a line of rope. Inventing such a device became Jordan’s Reason de etra (reason for existence), but he always hit a wall. The universe was not willing to change. The more he failed, the more obsessed he became, putting all his efforts into collecting detritus: buttons, rope, hinges, keys, broken ladders, frayed clotheslines, bits of glass. He knew the solution he sought could be discovered in lost or discarded objects. The search kept Jordan alive. As his lifeline stretched and he became older, he witnessed a steady decline in the world: societies spinning out of control, technology replacing human intelligence, people ensnared in virtual realities.
Jordan’s world collapsed, replaced by the wall of resistance. He failed to acknowledge that he was stuck in his own device. He hung precariously from an artificial lattice or clothesline of his own design. Jordan was inventing the world, all he witnessed, in his mind. He hit the wall full force, the moment of truth when he recognized he was enslaved in his head and nothing he experienced was real – then, it began again.