I came back--two words I find no decent synonym for, that's the best I can do--to E2 to give me a break from writing a book, writing music, and playing World of Warcraft.
I never left. I never stopped writing. I am still here. Mostly, I am unchanged. I still love my daughter, I still love this place, this world, the entirety of existence around us with its forms and colours so inexplicably brilliant and its noises and scents and immediacy. That is a truth. Still the same old guy, a few more gray hairs maybe, willing to spew forth words in a vague and nonchalant attempt at discovering and codifying his purpose on this blue and brown ball hurtling through space, freefalling around an unremarkable yellow star forever.
Nothing has changed. My return--don't call it a comeback, I've been here for years--seemed to coincide with that of several other people I'd considered somewhat dear to me, and I would like, to take some of your time to write this, and in so writing, perhaps I can understand the draw, the quickening felt when poring over old stuff I've read a billion times.
It's the people and the learning. Sometimes they overlap. Just because I wasn't writing--or talking, whatever--doesn't mean I wasn't reading. And learning. I couldn't shut that off if I tried. It sucks, sometimes.
Miles and hard-drives exist between us but there is a connection. The distance remains. Although this daylog--truncated now to "log"--is not a paean, it is about a person. Her moniker here is graceness. With relative ease I could find many more examples. I will not. Her list pretty much covers everything/everybody anyway, and besides, I could cite so many people that it would be irrevocably exhaustive and tediously boring. I will not. I want to explain a relationship that's changed from what it was, and remains valuable to me.
I have known Grace for about five years, and we are friends. I like to learn about her life. We are close and distant. We do not speak often. There is a connection. Normally this is where a person would say "I wish we would talk more," but that is not the case. In the last three years, we have contacted one another perhaps three times. Once a year. Not much of a friendship, you say? All things are not equal; often we would forget these friends. It's my way of assuring myself that everything is OK: graciepants is good, hubby and kids are good, everything is OK.
There's a respectful admiration there. That is a connection. She has a husband and kids. Read her writeups. That is a connection. I have a girlfriend and a kid. Those are connections. I've written about them. Knowing graceness (and certainly, many others here at E2) has enriched my life. It is a constant.
I do not remember the beginning. E2 has changed a great deal. I first ran into Grace when she'd commented on a writeup of mine, so I promptly read everything she has to offer you. I asked her what she would title a writeup I was working on. She outdid herself. Returning to E2 the first thing I noticed was how antique the interface looks. Many writeups later, we spent significant time playing Literati and idling in #everything. Then, the bar-raising began, and I was not frightened. One day some subconscious thing happened and I realized Grace was not around, and I wondered why. It turns out that she was not really enjoying her place of employment and was working a lot and could not find the virtual sort of relaxation time she needed. There were other things, other secrets not for your ears. A situation disallowed me from editing, so I gave up the post. I had not spoken to Grace in months. Of course, the world spins and we return to the beginning and now Grace and I talk quite frequently, even if it's a partially-awake "hummina" kind of sound.
People are stubborn about shoes, comfy ones that are sprung in all the right places, even if they're a uniform slate-gray with busted soles, and the great thing about old shoes is that there's no guilt about what you do to them and even when they're ugly and fucked beyond all possible redemption they're comfy and you need comfy. The sad day comes when it's time to get new shoes. Like empty match books or broken pens you keep old shoes, but they are security shoes now, so later you buy new shoes and in time they beoome old shoes. But you need to walk, so you always have shoes, or sandals maybe, or flip flops of some sort, or maybe Eeyore slippers that match your tattered bathrobe. Because you need to walk, and walk comfy. Every day you need to walk. Braving all sorts of elements.
I don't know if that's a metaphor for E2 or not, or just a pointless anecdote in the midst of a ramble (I am almost certain it's just rambling), but continuity is what I'm talking about. My friendship with Grace has not changed despite considerable changes in my life and her life. I am not much different. That's what makes me stay. Being involved in the storytelling.
And I really hate to tell you this, because everyone is being quite good-natured about everything, shaking hands and going, ah, you said exactly what I have been thinking! This website you all come to is barely different from when I first arrived. That's six years ago, now. I cannot place value on that. It is not different, and if it is, it's only minor stuff. Oh, you say, standards are changed. Oh, you say, rules are in place. Oh, you say, everything is oh so hard. No. It isn't. Oh, you say, now they're wanting some sort of standard of quality? Well.
You wake up, have an idea, and tell me about it. Not all these other guys: tell me your stories. I want to know. Tell me about that corner store by your house, and the crazy guy outside with the methamphetamine voice and the pricey stolen books he wants to sell you. Tell me! That's all you have to do, man. It's writing, you're not climbing Everest. (But hang on a sec, maybe you are. If you're going to climb Mount Everest, I would like to know everything about that, please. Awesome stories in strange places are okay by me.) The "administration" hasn't changed. They will still point you in the right direction if you don't know what you're doing. Editors and gods should be the least of your concerns, villain. Write me something. Write me something I can understand and nod to or giggle at or shake my fist at in mute appeal to all gods. Give me something to hate. Or love. So, please. Please write more. Thank you.