A few nights ago, I had the thought to write something here. I almost followed up on that thought too, but then sense forced its vice-like grip around my neck and began squeezing the air out of my lungs in sharp bursts. At that point, I shelved the ridiculous idea. Sense, however, is clearly out on the town this Friday night, probably getting wasted on cheap, throat-burning alcohol. Unfortunately, it’s left me with the keys to the internet. Big mistake, Sense. You’ll regret that oversight.
In truth, I’m scared of this place and will never write here again on a regular basis. Yes, you heard: I’m scared of a blog. I’m a fully grown (very fully grown) 41-year-old man who has had a presence on the web, in some form or other, since I was 29 years old — and now I’m scared of it.
I’m also scared of writing. For three years I avoided the naked, nagging, wheezing orphan-demon in the corner telling me that I should be writing. I did this by reading the prose and poetry of others, choosing the few that grabbed hold of my brain and shook it in pleasant or alarming ways, editing even fewer of them, and then putting them online in a literary journal. I was what you might call an ‘editor’, albeit an anonymous one until I revealed my identity on the final page of the last issue. I suppose I might call it being an ‘editor’ too, but I’m very backward at coming forward. I tend to just shift sideways in an uncomfortable manner, looking at the ground. Please don’t look at me as I sidle. Thank you.
Anyway, that’s gone now. I got bored. I have a very short attention span. As a result, the naked, nagging, wheezing orphan-demon has woken up. I’ve been silencing the minor irritant by concussing him for hours at a time with the help of a sound beating from a 5kg dumbbell. I am not a violent person at heart, but even I will shamefully confess that he’s looking satisfyingly bruised and bloody.
What else? I am currently unemployed (no pity, please, it was my own choice) and as a result I have long periods between job-hunting in which to gaze at my navel — otherwise known as ‘thinking about what I’m doing with my life’. My life, however — like my navel — is extremely tedious, and to stop myself becoming the kind of nauseating individual who considers such a self-obsessed matter in insufferable detail, I mete out the same punishment I impose on my nemesis and use the aforementioned 5kg dumbbell to knock myself out for entire nights. Unlike my nemesis, I remain remarkably injury-free. This is rather disappointing.
So what caused me to begin writing this aimless bout of prolixity tonight?
First, I received a reminder from my chosen web hosting company that it was time to renew both the unreliablewitness.com domain and the hosting for this site. As with the last time this annual request arrived in my inbox, I considered letting both expire so that this site would drift off into the internet ether and only remain fully intact on my hard drive. Sentimentality is, however, difficult to resist. Before I’d thought about it, the necessary electronic transaction was complete. As a result, this almost dormant site will remain online for another twelve months. Please kick away the tumbleweed if you happen to pass through.
Second, while carrying out this piece of tedious administration, I was watching the live broadcast of a concert by The Cure. Yes, yes, I know, this isn’t 1989 and I’m no longer sitting cross-legged in my teenage bedroom burning incense, drinking cheap cider and mournfully thinking that the band’s Disintegration album is “like, written just for me, yeah, like, you know what I mean?” But some music from those foolish, innocent years still carries the emotional power to make me feel wistful, even while the cynic and misanthrope I’ve become can look at the TV and sneer that Robert Smith should act like the 53-year-old man he now is and get a sensible haircut to clear out the insects almost certainly growing in his signature unhygienic mop.
Third, well, as you’ll have noted, this already overlong entry has a much more conventionally conversational tone than most of the posts you’ll find in the archives. That’s partly because I’m very out of practice with writing, but in this particular case it’s more due to the fact that I haven’t spoken with anyone face to face — on my own terms and in a relaxed, informal way — in just over three weeks. Except, that is, for my mother, one electricity meter reader, one postman and three different Tesco delivery drivers. This lack of decent conversation and meaningful social interaction is quite a frequent occurrence for me, and I generally cope quite well with these periods of hermit-like existence (with only momentary diversions into abhorrent self-pity). However, this recent spell of solitude has found me talking to myself even more than usual and I’ve become rather concerned about the bouts of addled jabbering. Instead, then, I decided to talk to you, my dear old blog.
I still hate that word. Blog. Blog. Blog. As I once observed, it sounds like a small, ugly and particularly hairy marsupial. No one would want to stroke a blog or own one as a pet. It would undoubtedly be the runt of the litter, the ugly embarrassment in the corner of the cage. I remain very glad that personal blogs have mostly died out. With any luck, we can kill that other scourge of the web, social networking, next.
I don’t know how to end this tedious screed. I probably shouldn’t have written it in the first place, should I? (That’s a rhetorical question, needless to say.) The last thing the world needs is yet another self-obsessed blog post by someone who thinks they can write. There are enough bad writers, too: we don’t need more of them. If I remember this entry tomorrow morning, rest assured it will be deleted in haste and repented at self-loathing leisure. My only worry is that with my terrible memory, I might forget.
I hope you enjoyed reading this. If I’m honest, I didn’t especially enjoy writing it. Don’t hold your breath to read anything here again. Not for a long while, anyway. See you around, blog. See you around, writing.
Edit 25.08.12: Surprisingly, I did manage to remember this post the next day. I came to remove it and found that two kind people had commented (thank you, two kind people who commented). I am far too decent to delete a post after it’s received comments, so these words will remain here for posterity or until the end of the internet (whichever arrives sooner). In the meantime, as if to prove that writing really isn’t my forte anymore, I have just performed about thirty-seven small edits on this piece in an attempt to improve the parts that thoroughly irritated me upon re-reading, even though I actually hate the whole entry.