It is always exciting getting comments from people, especially those I don't know. It is amazing to think that other people read what I write and care enough to leave a comment about it.
But at the end of the day, I can't help feeling that the people at despair.com are right with this comment and t-shirt:
The Blogosphere is exploding- like a self-replicating supervirus bursting with mundane observations, bad poetry, and generously misrepresentative photos. Never have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few.
“What can be done to stop it?”,you ask, the alarm clearly palpable on your face.
“Don’t look at me with that innocent expression. I know you have a blog, too!”
“But so does Despair!, you retort, your voice faltering.
“The difference is that people actually READ ours!” I deftly counter.
And, of course, when confronted with that most painful of truths, tears well up in your eyes. You feel the familiar burning cheeks, those very same cheeks that have for years betrayed your vulnerability as others less gentle than I tormented you. The tyrannical bully who gave you atomic wedgies in junior high. The fetching green-eyed linebacker or cheerleader in your Home Economics class. The indifferent boss who yawns every time you start talking about the novel you plan to one day finish.
Only the stoniest of hearts wouldn’t be moved at the heart-rending spectacle you make of yourself in this moment of desperate frailty.
As I look at the sobbing sack of shoulders you become, the words well up in me, “Quiet you pencil-necked, Home EC taking wannabee novelist! Like I don’t have my own problems to deal with!”
But I swallow those words before they are spoken. And instead, moved by a force larger than myself, I offer you a cloth with which to wipe your tears. At first, you shrink away, knowing me too well, expecting the final blow to be delivered and somehow knowing deeply within yourself that you probably deserve it. But there is no such blow, no back-handed smackdown. I only shrug and offer the kind of pitying look that you fantasize millions might offer you if they would only read your blog and got to know that most secret side of you that you… can’t… stop…posting…onto…the Internet.
As you wipe the tears away, you feel something unfamiliar and alien on the cloth. A rubbery texture. You pull it away- seeing for the first time a screen-printed word.
You unfold it, the word becomes a phrase- the phrase becomes a joke, and the joke is on YOU!
MORE PEOPLE HAVE READ THIS SHIRT
THAN YOUR BLOG.
And now, oh the tears how the flow! One shirt proves not enough, and I hand you another, and then another, and with practiced fingers of a Classical Pianist, you reduce them all into your personal snotrags, blubbering away, desperate to escape to a computer, any computer, where you can recount yet another moment in another chapter of an impossibly inconsequential drama that you continue to foist upon the two regular readers of your blog who aren’t you*.
Mustering as much dignity as is possible when unknowingly sporting a dried mucus plug in your left nostril, you state calmly, “I’m going home.”
“I understand,”I reply,“There’s something you need to do.”
“Yes. There is. Goodbye.”
And you run, faster even than your still-open right nostril does. Yet you are not so fast that my final words do not sting in your ears, “You know you gotta pay for those shirts!