The Museum of Vestigial Desire


Function is a dry vegetative notion of dry humdrum activity. Repetitive as a machine, reliable as a tool. Liminality in function is a factor worthy of study. At which point does function break? And is there such a point at all?

For our suspicion was that each celebration of function is a grim acknowledgement of dysfunction, of break down. Every narrative of function is a narrative of a specific percentage of function. Beyond that percentage there are no guarantees. But even for ordinary contractual commitments this percentage is not talked about. This discrepancy gets hidden in the general prevalence of error, guilt of the knowledge of making mistakes and callousness. Each function is a range and engaging in discussions outside those ranges does not yield anything. You cannot approach a machine and demand everything from it. Because you will only get so much, the rest will be the burden of your angst. The angst of unrequited desires. The mark of a driven person. The angst will make sure that you never sleep with an empty head ever again, you will always wake up with the potential energy of a piston with a push, an engine retrained at fifth gear, ready to go off at a moment's notice. At some level this angst keeps whetting your appetite and leads you on towards your next disaster.

Function then is an analogue entity not a digital one. There is no flip flop possible and talking of it in isolation and singularity can be quite meaningless. There is no construct of language which renders function as an adjective. It is only an abstract noun that further needs to be qualified relentlessly and impatiently.

The functions which the many cleavages of our desire wish to be performed are an amorphous mess. Vague, mysterious and and bewilderingly consuming in nature. In the moments we spend groping around in the dark to figure out what the contours of our desire actually are, we actually live our entire life. The periodic clarity that you feel is as much a distortion as it is a clue. Someone was once telling me that she has stopped listening to her moments of clarity because those moments took her towards more enormous disasters. Now every time she feels she is very clear, all figured out, she laughs and looks and looks in the other direction. And then does nothing at all. There are two ways of unraveling the fabric of your desire. One is to think like a gun. A gun has no process time; you press the trigger and boom. There is no choice, there are no logic gates. The path of the bullet doesn't have to be mapped onto any curve. Just boom and then locate the corpse. The second way is to act always in a way that you are alone in the whole universe. No other sentient being even exists. We know, we know desires, alive and dead, vestigial and functional.