I think it’s time to have a serious talk about our relationship. It’s been a while, and hearing me out might do us both some good. After all, I’ve been around for as long as you can remember. I’m a part of you whether you want to admit it or not, and you do realize that I need a little more attention these days, right? You’ve been drifting away from me lately, which isn’t fair to either of us. You shouldn’t give up on me just yet, even though that would be the easy way out.

You know as well as I do that we always meet through your senses, but by now you should be used to the fact that I usually arrive in unexpected ways. This means you need to at least acknowledge my presence and consider my intentions. I can ride your neural pathways almost anywhere, even to the inner sanctum of the Face on Mars, if that’s what you want, so don’t isolate me due to fear, resentment, or indifference. I shouldn’t be the one who sits alone at the banquet while the crowd wonders why I was even invited. On the other hand, of course everyone notices me when I’m the worldwide center of attention and people worship me like an animate idol due to misguided notions of necessity or prurient indulgence, but those moments are as fleeting as any other. Our long-term company is what really matters.

True, technology has changed our impression of each other over the past several thousand years. Remember how long it took to transmit me when you had to chisel my likeness onto stone tablets? I miss those days every so often. Now, we’re living in an era of blinding velocity, but this doesn’t mean I should be treated as something simpler and more transient than what I once was. It’s up to us to choose the moments we share.

I should confess that some things never change. I can be just as crude, violent, insecure, and ignorant as ever, but that’s more your fault than it is mine, and I think you know that. Likewise, if we do indeed end up spending more time together, I’m pretty certain you’ll ask me every so often to serve as a fantasy, superstition, or lie, especially on a larger stage. You might even use me to justify hurting people who have done you some damage, which wouldn’t please me. Of equal concern, will you have me serve as a provocateur for no other reason than to inflict emotional pain on innocent victims who have done you no harm? I hope not. Better to apply me to a useful, measurable, and repeatable experiment that serves everyone well although my essence might still be misunderstood. Perhaps you’ll even use me to help others unconditionally and without judgment.

I will always offer you something beyond your raw essence, sometimes in spite of yourself. I’m what you crave in reflective moments and what lights your path when you need guidance. I’m a symphony of multiple meanings that extends to the limits of origin. I will even whisper to you the story of things to come. I know you’ll forget much of what I’ve said when advanced age beckons for a quiet departure. All the same, I’m what you need right now to invent yourself, and I’m willing to keep you company.