Tuesday, September 14, 2010




1 : to revoke (a command) by a contrary order
2 : to recall or order back by a superseding contrary order

So what. Big deal. Somebody took something back, changed their mind, COUNTERMANDED. It happens every day. I see the evidence at work—a chocolate bar resting on the display of brownies, a second thought, a new craving, eyes opening on the reality of another option. Wait—this is what I really wanted. They leave the chocolate bar there for me as though to say: here are the inner-workings of my decision making process, make of it what you will. There is great intimacy in being offered a glimpse into a stranger's train of thought.

I sit on a rocking chair in my living room, laptop resting on a hatbox resting on an ottoman, pulled toward my body, comfortably between my straddled legs, and I can think of very, very little to say about COUNTERMAND. To revoke an order—it's so simple, so straightforward. Either you do it or you don't. Black and white. A counter-command. The command and its other. Take it back. Think of a better solution. Do this instead. Usurp your own authority. An act of practical self-insubordinance.

I have a better idea.

Except, I don't have a better idea about this word. Just a better idea. In general.

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