Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

08 Jun 2009, 0:34 a.m.

On Desire And Vulnerability, Like Everything Else I Write These Days

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2009 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

The scariest question is "What do you want?"

The first time anyone seriously asked me, "What do you want?" it was a teacher, after I'd gibbered at her about a boy and asked for advice. She was moving around a desk near the door side of the portable classroom. She tossed the question at me, exasperated, under the fluorescent lights. I was gobsmacked. I had no answer.

Just now, talking with Sarah, we kicked around some answers to "what do you want," and realized that lots of them are recursive or palindromic.

What do you want? I want to be wanted.

What do you want? I want not to want.

I know what I want; I want to be known.

I want to know myself.

"I want to tell you what I want."

I want you to want to know me.

What do you want? If I tell you what I want, you know how to thwart me, you know the black hole that distorts my beliefs and behavior, you know who I really am.

Or, worse, you might give me what I want.

And then who am I?

P.S. No wonder it's terrifying to ask myself what I want. I might be listening to the answer, and might carry it out!


08 Jun 2009, 10:08 a.m.

And how could I forget Morden from Babylon 5?