..and you, my Faceless friend, read… (You can read the original content that followed that introduction here. For the new and old, it might be good context for the
steaming mental detritus stream of consciousness that follows.)
That was the original premise: I Write, You Read. (And, on occasion, You Comment.) But that was the extent of it, really. Or at least, that’s what I believed our relationship to be based upon. I was confident that our affinity was based on this one simple rule; but as it turns out, it never really was. And then, somewhere along the way, it all changed.
But it wasn’t really “somewhere along the way” at all, was it. I stopped writing, full stop: and in doing so, I ruptured the I Write/You Read Continuum we’ve both been trapped in all this time, thereby starving it of its reason for being and giving you no real reason to be here (although I do still get an unusual number of pings from Australia, and the occasional note from Mrs. Tema Williams from Zimbabwe who, after losing her husband last year, is in desperate need of my help in moving $42MILLION AMERICAAN DOLAR out of the country. Weird on both fronts, but appreciated; I certainly could use the cash. I’ll get back to you with that copy of my passport shortly, Tema). Now whether I stopped because I simply disregarded the urge to pen every inane, nonsensical thought I had and blast it out for you to mull over and muse about, or whether I just stopped seeing the things that thrilled, or disgusted, or intrigued me is something still open for debate. Personally, I think it’s much more than that.
I used to believe that I wrote for fun, or for entertainment: mine, yours, perhaps some strange combination of both. I used to believe that my trigger to write was a defense against the boredom that was always lurking behind me, threatening to slither over my shoulders and ultimately smother me. (This last theory has some validity: despite my best intentions, I can exhibit the same mental behaviours of a four year old on a sugar high. Have I mentioned I drink a lot of coffee? I think I need lunch. Is that a squirrel…?)
And maybe all of that is true, each point in its own way. But the past several months of NOT writing have led me to believe that I don’t actually do this to entertain, or to educate you; I don’t pen any of this to stir up “controversy” or discord, to move you or to even put a much-needed smile on your face (disclaimer: admittedly, and quite selfishly, I hope that my words have the ability—regardless of how small—to do any or all of those things). I write to process and to decipher the world around me: to give myself a larger lens to scrutinize the way I think and the opinions I form, to dissect who I am and what I believe to be true or false and to lay it out for analysis at the feet of those wiser than I am. And that “larger lens”, my Faceless friend, is You.
Why in the hell would you want to prostrate yourself to a bunch of random faceless strangers on the Interwebs, you may find yourself asking. I believe it’s more than simply being a glutton for abuse, self-inflicted or otherwise (I’m not ruling that out), or evidence of my desire to jump onto my scaly friend’s back, or to pull his jaws open and stuff my head inside, daring him to chomp down. I believe it is more than catharsis or escapism: it’s my own strange evolution at play, and I’ve dragged you kicking and screaming into it for the simple, remarkable fact that YOU ARE NOT ME. Instead, you are equal parts therapist, spirit animal and carnival mirror: you take my images and words and twist them into occasionally-comical and often-hideous caricatures of what they once were before feeding them back to me. And through that process, I grow. You see, I’ve come to realise that you’re not my audience at all: you’re the reflection I need to make me better than I am.
As is always the case, everything preceding this line could be pure, utter bullshit—this is me, after all—and I’m simply in need of medication/better medication/a hobby. Perhaps, “somewhere along the way”, we’ll figure it out together.
(I would normally end this with -Your Writer, but you know who I am — and I plan on doing my part to rebuild our little continuum. I hope you’ll do the same.)