I don’t even see the code. All I see is blonde, brunette, redhead…Cypher, The Matrix
Last week as I was flipping through the channels I landed on an airing of The Matrix. Lacking anything better to do – and despite the fact that I own all three Matrix movies and could therefore watch any of them whenever I feel like it* – I decided to watch it through to the end (it was at the point where Neo and Trinity stage their rescue of Morpheus).
(If you haven’t seen this thirteen year-old movie, some of what follows could be said to contain spoilers, so consider yourself warned.)
I had missed the part quoted above, but that line and a later scene in the movie have been running through my mind a lot recently.
The later scene is the one after Neo dies and comes back to life, having come to accept the fact that he is “The One,” and we see that Neo’s perception has shifted, and now, rather than seeing “blonde, brunette, redhead” he actually sees the code while he’s inside the Matrix.
Of late, I’ve been finding myself viewing people in a fashion that’s sort of a hybrid between what Cypher describes, and what we end up seeing through Neo’s eyes, in that when I look at people, I’m finding that, increasingly, I don’t see people, but rather the obstacles that they represent, as if they were words detailing the manner in which the course of my day will be obstructed taking on a human shape.
I look to my left and see “I will ask stupid questions to make the meeting run long,” and “I will be busy texting at the green light,” and “I will arrive fifteen minutes late and demand a recap of what happened in my absence,” or "I lack a fundamental understanding of how to do my job.”
Sadly, my ability to perceive the Matrix hasn’t translated into any sort of Neo-like ability to manipulate it.
*Which is, ultimately, exactly what I ended up doing. (See "Better to do, lacking anything.")