LIZA WALLING Data Personified

A one-sided dialogue addressing the seduction of data.

Yeah it is a lavender latte! they are DI-vine. 

So have you heard about what’s going on with her

She’s unbelievable. Unbelievable. But this time she’s really outdone herself. You wouldn’t believe… Sorry, I keep glancing around. I’m just so paranoid that she’ll come in, you honestly never know when she will pop up, I swear. Exactly. I see her everywhere- that’s exactly why. Well anyway, so, I HEARD,she is sleeping with EVERYONE. 

No I mean EVERYBODY, no standards. 

Yeah, no. Apparently, she’s bisexual. Don’t give me that look- I know everyone is these days! But she says she’s always been that way, before it was “in” or whatever. Doesn’t care about age, can you believe it! Apparently she’s even started sleeping with, like, people’s grandparents. 

Oh my God! Stop! What if she is sleeping with mine! Unthinkable, I need to ask them… it can’t be, that’s TOO revolting.

 

 I’m so glad I ran into you here! Holy shit, your hair! You cut it!I love it, so cosmopolitan. 

Well, okay, so, I have to tell you the latest. About her. 

SO I was talking to this friend that she’s sleeping with. Like I said…

Everyone…

I was trying to find out what’s really happening, you know, I understand it’s this private thing but… ugh. so I just came out and asked, you know, really positive, really enthusiastic, “Is she good in bed?”

Maybe it was a bit blunt…details!

Exactly. 

So they replied, “she keeps me up all night”. And I just raised my eyebrows,like, seriously? First of all, who says that? I thought it was supper braggy, but then they followed it up with “It’s not even, necessarily physical… it’s just…there’s this anxiety. She’s so complex. And I swear that she’s never sleeping either, I can’t help it, she’s constantly on my mind. There’s so much tension,and it’s exhausting.”

Yeah, exactly my thoughts. Is it worth it? Anyway, yeah, I asked them that. And they said that even if they wanted to there’s no way they could stop. There’s this pressure, I mean, EVERYONE is. And then on top of that, I mean, you andI both know that unhealthy relationships are as addictive as any drug. Stop- I would not! I would not know more about that than other people. I’m only doing uppers now anyway… If everyone is staying up with her, then I need to be awake too!

Well, yeah, then there is that…

But you can’t really talk. You totally take Xanax too. 

Don’t give me that bullshit about prescriptions. I’m sure EVERYONE is. If the stress that they are talking about is as bad as they say it is… 

God, life can be so depressing can’t it? What are we going to do? At least your hair is cute!

No, sexy-cute! Not cute-cute! I promise.  

 

You got it this time! So, how is it…?

The flavors these days are so inventive! And FUN, don’t you think? 

There’s more gossip about her, of course. I feel like it’s all we talk about these days! Or at the very least she works her way into every conversation…

Everyone is kind of starting to rely on her, ya know? Someone said she’s even starting to tell them what things to buy…

But that’s the thing! It isn’t for her.  It’s for them. 

No according, to everyone, she doesn’t have a motive! It’s for them not her. One hundred percent. 

It’s not a have-to-thing, it’s a want-to-thing. She doesn’t need to tell anyone anything. It’s all very suggestive, very seductive. And so smart. 

What I mean is, she knows everything! 

Come on, you know how close she is with everybody. The access she has!

Honestly, and with a memory like that-

Do I trust her? I dunno, doesn’t everybody? 

Come on, this has gotten so serious! Let’s get another coffee! I’m so close on this punchcard! And we both have a million things to do, it never ends does it?

Never, ever!

 

Hey! You sounded so weird the other day! I’m glad we’re getting this chance to talk. How are you? 

It can’t be that important can it? 

Ahh, you’re starting to make me nervous! 

Spit it out. 

She KNOWS. 

It’s not like we’ve said anything really bad… have we? 

Ugh, it’s not like I’ve been analytical and judgmental, I mean she’s the analytical and judgmental one… This is just gossip! Harmless.

Wait- how do you even know… 

You’re with her too! All this time and you didn’t even tell me! 

Ugh, I am not mad; I’m just numb to it at this point. I shouldn’t be surprised. 

Don’t explain it. You don’t need to make excuses…

Just tell her, will you? That this is just gossip, I don’t mean anything by it. You know that too, right? 

What do you mean “why don’t I tell her myself” She’s not here? Is she? Is she?

Everywhere and everyone… Well, I’ll leave you two to it. You really don’t need me at all if she’s here. 

I’m really not leaving you alone. You are never alone. 

She’s here and

She knows you better than you know yourself. //

 


 

Liza Walling is an undergraduate architecture student at Iowa State University. Her interest lies in the political and social realms of design.

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