Spent most of the weekend restoring a ton of blog posts that I’d lost a couple of years ago when, fueled by technical stupidity and impatience, I’d attempted an amateurish update to the template.
Guys, it was a lot of work. I’ve been blogging (admittedly off and on) for 18 years. EIGHTEEN YEARS. I am prehistoric. A dinosaur of vanity. Delusional in thinking that anybody would care about my thoughts on life, let alone 18 years’ worth.
And yet here I am. I don’t quite know how to do this, or why I’m doing it, despite 18 years of experience. I kept my mouth shut the past few years because life came at me hard and left me like a wounded deer limping through a Darwinian woods, my life razed to the ground and me, shoved down a hole with the depth and distortions of Wonderland.
(I haven’t lost my taste for melodrama.)
All of my thoughts were bleak and I couldn’t stick them on the internet. Someone would have called the authorities.
A guy I know, after scanning a couple of my posts last week, asked if I tended towards melancholia, and I spit out my coffee. Dude, that’s my default setting.
I look back at those posts—after hunkering all weekend in their moody climate—and I see a guy upon whom life hung a little heavy. 18 years of posts reveal patterns. Loneliness, addiction, terminal illnesses. Embarrassing—in retrospect—to see how I fawned over a Fireplug. How I still fall prey to unrequited blah blah.
Old patterns worn into the wood. Men and dogs. Dogs and men.
God, I wanted to delete half this blog. Sometimes for content. Sometimes for clumsy, pedestrian writing. Mostly for the unvarnished earnestness. But it’s like I struck this deal 18 years ago— a deal that nobody demanded—to keep it all up. A social experiment in voluntary humiliation. A Dear-Diary-I-think-he-likes-me-back for public consumption.
It’s a Monday in western Massachusetts. I hit the snooze button four or five times at dawn, dragged myself out of bed, made coffee, walked and fed Agnes. Showered, dressed, and packed a lunch. I drove 26 minutes through relatively light traffic to Springfield, to the job I’ve held for six months, where I wield words for a living. It’s my first professional writing job, and they seem to like me enough.
I still don’t quite know how I got here.
It’s been four and a half years since I left my life in San Francisco. And it’s only now that I’ve pulled myself out of the hole. Half-blind, unsteady. My beard turned gray.
And here I am again. Not sure what to do or what to say. A more guarded man than the 30-year-old boy who first strung the words “dog” and “poet” together on nothing more than instinct. Trying to build my world up again with words. Hanging them on the line for all to see.
Hello, I think. I think I’m here.