All this weekend, people have been setting off fireworks outside my building. They whistle and pop, crackle and boom. They’re fireworks—some of them explode in the sky like proper celebratory blooms, like someone hit a homer down the block. The dog has not been sleeping well.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to get my Internet access working properly. This involves a mixture of technical troubleshooting, for the technical issues, and social tinkering, for my social issues. I make too big a deal out of stuff that people write on the Internet sometimes. Sometimes they’re writing to me, sometimes about me, sometimes it has little or nothing to do with me—I can still blow it out of proportion, no problem.
Except, wait, it is a problem.
I fret and fidget and dwell and obsess. I mistake a forum post for, pardon me, actual writing. I sometimes spend time trying to get the language and nuance of a forum post right, to reward a deep reading for context and subtext and what I didn’t say in addition to what I did. I craft tweets to work in little series, to counterbalance my doldrums with my guffaws, to modulate the ups and downs in a way that convey my mood that day. I open the browser and I fiddle. These may have been hours misspent—nobody’s putting half the damn into reading my forum post that I’m putting into writing it or dissecting the response to it—but there I’ve gone, misspending.
Without steady and reliable Internet access, though, I’ve been spending less time reading and writing that stuff and more time breaking stories, building up game adventures, designing games, and outlining books. I’ve been putting more of what I want to say into writing that maybe—just maybe—will last longer or be better regarded than a forum post or a tweet. Writing that has a chance of doing that, at least.
For a few days, I was really dreading what was happening on the Internet without me. What gags and dramas passed by? What glimpses into other people’s lives? Was I falling out of the conversation, falling behind the discourse?
Outside, a firework went boom.