I’ve only drank water and coffee for a week now. I was drinking various juices and various sodas on top of that, but I’ve decided that I have ten pounds that should leave my body. Thus, the Water diet. How much weight can I lose by just drinking water and water based other stuff? I have no clue. Yes, dear reader, I know I need to exercise. And I was jogging. Remember? But I’m only a masochist to a point. To be honest, the only reason I was trying to get all in shape is because I thought that was what girls wanted. Lately, because I just stopped caring, the idea of getting in shape seems way too hard. And when I look at myself in the mirror, I’m shaving. My gut is there, and it’s not going away. But maybe I can get it down to the point where a woman can say to her friends, “He has a gut, but it’s not that bad.” I believe that’s an apt description of me. I have a gut, but it’s not that bad.
I tried to bet someone that I could stay off Facebook longer than she could, but once the handshake portion of the event was coming to a head, I chickened out. I realize now that cutting out Facebook isn’t some innocent endeavor to test my fortification against the digital age, but a necessity, like the butcher who almost cuts his hand off on the ham-slicer because he took too many shots during his lunch break. I might be addicted. The other night, it was late, and I was scrolling through pictures of a person that I haven’t talked to in fifteen years. After twenty minutes, I stopped, fully understood what I was doing, closed my laptop and sort of just sat there for a minute, letting the shame and self-disgust sort of wash over me.
An actual conversation at the coffee shop I go to, on Sunday.
Girl One: Ok, we have our laptops out! Let’s do some work!
Girl Two: Ok. I can’t find the Wifi signal.
Girl One: It should be the name of the shop.
Girl Two: I can’t find it.
Girl One: Ask him.
Girl Two: Excuse me, sir. What is the wifi name for this place?
Me: They shut off wifi on the weekends.
Girl One: What!
Me: They shut off wifi on the weekends.
Girl Two: No they don’t!
Girl One: I’m asking someone else. (She gets up, walks over to another person. She comes back, frustrated.)
Girl One: He said the same thing!
Girl Two: Ask the waiter.
Girl One: Excuse me, what is the wifi name for this place?
Waiter: We shut off the wifi on the weekends. It reduces the amount of people that hang out, so we can have room for people to eat breakfast and brunch and enjoy…
Girl Two: This is bullshit.
Girl One: That’s the…listen, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
Girl Two: So dumb.
They sit there.
Girl One: Excuse me, sir, where is there a place that has wifi?
Me: I…I don’t know.
Girl One: Jesus Christ.
Girl Two: What kind of town is this?
This is why I don’t like talking to people.
That’s a lie. I actually like talking to people, and I do it a lot. But there are conversations that I find meaningful, where I learn something and where I get to share what I’ve learned. There are other conversations where we are obviously just talking because not talking seems uncomfortable. I’m starting to see the Old man version of me during the day, when I wake up, when I move about the world. When I was stopped on the street by people handing out flyers, I would take the flyers, say thank you, listen to them make their pitch, respect them and their need to give me information and their desire to persuade me of something. Lately, within the last six months, I not only keep walking, but I put my hand out in front of me, at my chest, as if I’m saying, Stop. Come no closer. Whatever you are saying is unimportant. I don’t even make eye contact and I’m sure my facial expression is border-lined bored. This will get worse the older I get. And, deep down, under my stomach near my liver, there’s a feeling that I’ve earned this.
There are other blogs you should read besides this one. To be honest, these other blogs you should probably read instead of this one.
Erin and I went to school together. In retrospect, we didn’t talk enough about writing, even though we talked about writing whenever we got a chance. Her blog is emotional, personal, as if she is seeing you as she walks down the street and you stop and she catches you up on how she is doing. If good writing comes from sharing that which is closest to you, then this is good writing. Which it is.
Megan and I work together. She is trying to get what I have now, solid employment. Her quest is even more important because she has a family. Her frustration with the world of the Adjunct teacher is expressed in her blog, as well as her unstoppable love for her children. Her blog is my blog if I had kids and I enjoyed talking pictures of my loved ones. I read it when I think I don’t want offspring and I always change my mind.
Z’s blog is a music blog, with an energy given to it that rivals the energy I spend doing anything. He is truly an amazing person, both inside, outside, mentally but I don’t know about physically. We’ve tried, with limited success, to work together on something. One day, we will. Or we won’t. The desire to is just the same as doing it, in my mind. I’ve never met him in the flesh, but that doesn’t seem to matter. That’s our life now.
Valeria is another person I’ve never met, but her and her boyfriend, the Randell Fever, occupy my twitter feed daily. Valeria’s blog is all pictures, which is refreshing. I tell my students that you write so that you can share the world with other people. That’s why you take pictures, I think. I don’t have the eye for it. Valeria does, and you should check her work out. It’s nice. I’ll even say it’s good.
Andrea and I have been friends for a good while, and I spoke at her wedding. She’s married to a beautiful woman, and they are going to have a baby, or they are going to try to. She’s cataloging this adventure so that we can share it. The most important thing I do nowadays is pay rent. She’s going to try and have a child. Soon. How she doesn’t freak out about this on a daily basis is amazing.
Erica and I don’t agree or anything when it comes to, well, anything. That is why her blog is so important. If everyone sings the same song, we’d only know one song. Yes, I wish she would at least attempt to think about how regressive some of her views are when it comes to womanhood, but whatever. She’s still a better person than most people. And she’d have your back in a fist fight, which plenty of people wouldn’t do.
David HG and I also went to school together, and we have the same mentality about many, many things. What I enjoy about his writing is that he does it better than I do. Where I infuse my work with a latent apology, a small recognition that I don’t want to offend anyone but that I might, David just goes to the neck, searches for the thick vain and bites down. His writing heeds the golden rule of our work: If you aren’t making people mad, you aren’t doing your job.
You don’t have to read blogs. You don’t have to do anything. But the world is more than just Katy Perry, Football on the weekends, Angry Birds and traffic jams. The world is much more than that. If you’re not going to go out and see it for yourself, you might as well read about it. You really should.