Copied, Pasted, Back for More

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.

18 Replies to “Copied, Pasted, Back for More”

  1. Thank you for sharing your personal journey here for so many years. I started reading your blog in the early 2000s as a young gay man, isolated in my small hometown in MA. Even when the stories got bleak, they helped me feel not so alone as I struggled to accept myself and keep living. For whatever it’s worth, your writing has had a positive impact on my life, and I’m glad you were–and still are–so brave to share it so openly. Wishing you all the best!

  2. Been reading you since 2005 when I was a squeaky college kid in the middle of the cornfields of Indiana. I was still very much in the closet on a conservative, religious campus and could only vaguely wrap my head around what the implications of my recently-confronted orientation could be. This was just when social media was just being conceived and I was just beginning to get a taste for what other peoples’ lives could be like. I don’t even remember how I found your blog, I just remember wolfing it down. I remember finding it fascinating that another gay introvert was out there. Your life seemed both so relatable in your expressed self-consciousness and navigation of uncomfortable social situations and at the same time so exotic and brave and cool to my sheltered world.

    I imagine blogging must at times feel like casting messages in bottles into the void. I (and I know others) have tried to chime in from time to time. This format I think creates an one-sided sense of familiarity on the part of your readers; I remember during your bleaker periods wanting to reach out but acknowledging that I was effectively a total stranger and that that probably brought with it more threat than good.

    In any event, we’re glad you’re here. We’re here too, still. All of us a little grayer. I hope you’ll continue to share, my world has been richer for having an occasional glimpse of your life in it.

    1. Tim, that meant a lot to read. I hope you made it safe through the cornfields. My dad’s side of the family is from Anderson. They say “warsh” instead of “wash.”

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