Saturday, July 25, 2009
My Abandoned Worlds
I am in the most beautiful place on Earth. A great silky mass of water lay before me. Flickering, winking, flirting with me. There is breeze in this great oven of summer. It picks up speed across the water and explodes in my face. Warm air, in a rush to get somewhere. But I am in no rush.
I am sitting here, as I say, on the edge of the water on a little stone bench. I am with the teacher. He is pointing his wise stony finger at me. He berates me for desecrating his oasis. His eyes, warm but shallow, want to teach me the word of the gospel. Hold on, he says, you haven’t heard what I have to say. I cut him off, the heretic that I am. Shut up, I am trying to write a blog.
My thoughts were full of poetry when I started this thing. But then something unsettling happened. The great blue heron appeared. He evaluated the situation from afar and then descended, the dinosaur, like a flying tent. The heron considered me and dismissed me quickly. I am of no interest to him, since I am neither a hunter nor am I a fish, which I suspect is his main preoccupation at the moment. He sat and waited, this creature of superhuman patience, but today is as slow for him as it is for me (unlike him, however, I just gorged myself on a gargantuan can of pineapple). Presently he is munching on algae, visibly frustrated. I seem to choose unusual places to write these entries, don’t I?
I remember starting my first blog, some six years ago when it occurred to me that I had too many things to say and knew too few people who would listen. It was on Yahoo 360, which was the coolest Beta thing around and I was mistaken for a tech pioneer for experimenting with such cutting-edge novelty. 360 never grew beyond Beta and I, the mercenary blogger that I am, moved on to Blogger.
I did not quit 360 cold-turkey, however. For a while I continued to write in Romanian on 360, where I had an established fan-base, and in English on Blogger, where I had no fan-base at all. But as it always happens when one tries to do a half-ass job in two different places, it turns out that two half-asses will never amount to more than an ass, which is to say that I was doing a mediocre job at both blogs. My jilted fan-base on 360 grew fed up with my infrequent and insubstantial posts and gradually lost interest. All was left was a pink and gray page where I announced “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” So I put 360 in the corner, as it were.
On Blogger, however, where I wrote under my infamous sobriquet “Ceelvee,” I made some new acquaintances. Among these my future stalker, a promising young mind who eventually proved to be an absolute asshole. Jilted by yours truly according to the established formula, this miscreant took to hijacking my blog and writing (with much histrionic pathos) about his fabulous adventures with me, even though we had never met. It is difficult for me to summon any positive thoughts about this character, but I do hope that some room was found for him in a mental institution.
So here we are at blog number 3. This time I had to sever all ties with the pseudonym Ceelvee, lest the big bad wolf found me and started with his shenanigans again. Letting go of Ceelvee was much like self-sabotage, because of my imbecile propensity to become attached to things and especially to words. To relinquish “Ceelvee” was a lot like cutting a part of my finger and just leaving it there.
This new blog, which I endowed with the name of my favorite Romanian food that I knew the fool would never guess, was a travesty. I wrote it for all the wrong reasons. It is hard for me to admit to such egregious behavior, for I like to think of myself as the epitome of integrity. But I did, I sold my words for cheap artifices. The truth is, I had a 3500 word list to memorize for the SAT and I needed a place for practice. The betrayal, I realize now as I review those horrid posts, was consummate. I suffused those compositions with all the unusual words that I learned. Before I clicked “submit” I reveled in my feats. Every exotic-sounding word that I correctly placed in a sentence I considered an accomplishment. More than a collection of essays, that ersatz of a blog was like the primary school exercises that they gave us as homework when we were first learning English. Make sentences with the following words: table, chalk, cat, teacher.
Since I am very talented at digging a hole under myself, with that writing pantomime I succeeded to permanently convert my previously good writing into obscure (I wanted to write “recondite” and caught myself!) drivel. And this drivel still haunts me, still poisons me like a mindless parasite, even after two years of college in the States, where those fancy words are never used. At least I got what I wanted: I am here. I got an outrageous score in that damned SAT. But what was the price? Now I am grandiloquent, disgruntled, flabbergasted, and I find myself explaining words to American students. I think that if all I knew were “like” and “cool” I would have an easier life.
This whole reminiscence about old blogs was brought about by an e-mail I received from Yahoo saying that 360 will be closing its gates for ever, amin. They were advising me to save my crap because they are going to erase everything. So I went back, after a year of absence, to see what I had left behind. The cemetery of my inchoate writing is intact. Myriad comments from my former readers lay there as testimony of the popularity I once had and relinquished, voluntarily, in exchange for anonymousness in an adopted language. Any regrets? Decidedly, no. I cannot explain why yet.
One of my many theories is that people write blogs when they are missing something. To unhappiness there can be many rejoinders. Some people move, others kill themselves, others write blogs. All of these are portals of escape. With my blogs, each abandonment was a rupture, a schism, a new stage, a replacement of one missing thing with another. I was not one of those lucky ones who found what they were looking for and did away with their blogs leaving a reassuring message for their readers. I never did stop missing something. Hence the present attempt, the incipient blog number 4. Number 4, I wonder, out of how many?