Tuesday, June 21

Milli-



It all started with Livejournal. It is so many years ago that I do not quite remember the date, but that is when I first started sharing my writing with anyone who would read it. If one wishes to go back even further, then it was in secondary school where I was nurtured by a young Australian immigrant called Miss Harold. As a child I was keen to know why she was a ‘miss’ and not a ‘mrs’; that seemed of particular interest to me at the time, especially as my adolescence found her attractive and charming enough to have any man out there. I did not quite understand it, but I was captivated by her and how she taught and encouraged me. We were given the assignment of writing a short story. I went to town; I wrote a story far longer than anyone else’s, printed it on A5 paper and stapled it so that it was similar to a book. I was very proud of it – even just holding it in my hands – and was happy when she approved. Then I moved on to writing during my free time; stories that soon descended into sexual fantasies between me and my interest at the time, seeing me cycle to her house in the village over and she would show me all the items of her bedroom – the smells and furnishings too distant – and then we would fool around like young lovers do. I did not even pleasure myself back then, but the stories were enough; it is strange, looking back.
I focused on drawing for many years and left books behind, especially as I dissociated myself from being friends with the school librarian, Mrs Guy, lest I be found out and mocked. In university my cousin lent me a book, Ham On Rye by Bukowski and, I suppose, like many other young men before, it ignited something inside me. Only, I never forgot that book. I could never forget that book. (To this day it is the only Bukowski book I can still read without cringing.) Where I was and how I was feeling was communicated to me most eloquently within the pages. I gained a certain company from it.
Through an online music message-board I heard about Livejournal.
Livejournal seemed to me to be full of all the people who had been missing from my life; people I could relate to, people who had the same kind of feelings, the same sort of interests; young people who helped me feel like I belonged. It was a community. I wrote on there for many years, gathering friends and forming bonds, all of it catalysed by me expressing myself through words.
Everything dies, though, and soon Livejournal was to die. People posted less, many left, the community broke down. I was a year into full-time work when I, too, quit the site and turned to a separate platform where community was not so influential, if it even existed at all. I no longer wanted reassurance for anything. I wanted to be appreciated as a writer, not because I was a friend. Soon I gathered many readers again. It went on for some time and built and built. I was amazed by the number of people who read my writing. I had nothing to say, yet it was interesting people. I could not explain it. Foolish me, though! having not used an alias, people at work found my writing. The website circled the office for a while before I finally found out, stumbling across a colleague’s desk while he was reading it and laughing. Everyone had been reading my writing and mocking me. I do not wish to dwell on that because it upsets me greatly, but it is history. I deleted the writing, and began again, but they found me once more, and again.
This is the only one that has not been discovered, and that is how I have been able to get to 1,000 entries.
So here I am; without readers and determined. Sometimes I am wordless in the evenings, but I cannot stop. Even if I put down nonsense, worthless paragraphs, I will take that a million times over an evening of silence. If I wanted to stop I could not.
It saddens me that so few write on the internet anymore, but there is nothing I can do about it. They are all getting on with their lives in their own way, and that’s good too. Perhaps I am a fool for persisting. I am surely the biggest fool. If any stranger can feel something from what I write, then I will take it. That is good enough for me. Because of every good book I have ever read, I feel I am indebted to provide something in return, and I suppose this is my effort.
Anyway, this is all to say – this terrible tribute to my landmark – that I thank you, whoever you are, for reading this. It means a lot to me that anyone gives a fuck. I cannot imagine ceasing to write for years to come. There is something about these twenty-six symbols that fills me with a sense of victory against the rising tide of life. Melodramatics aside, that is enough to keep me going.

2 comments:

  1. as long as you continue writing I will remain your faithful reader, always. x

    ReplyDelete

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