©2021 Michael Raven
Sometimes I pine for my hermitage.
It wasn’t so much a place as an idea. Without completely rehashing ancient history… I went sober after hitting rock bottom. To get my head fixed, I shut down all my outside interpersonal interactions (social media, RL “friends”, coworkers, family gathering I didn’t like except for those I couldn’t avoid, etc.). Ten years, almost to the day, I had only my immediate family, and I had buffer there as well. Then I stepped out of my reclusion, oh, about 2-1/2 years ago.
I’m not sure it was one of my better ideas, honestly. Every once in a while I think about that little bubble I’d wrapped myself within and think, goddamn, maybe I didn’t go deep enough into being a hermit. Instead of opening up doors, I maybe should have just left them shut.
I dunno. Stupid shit, y’know. I’m not convinced that I have any talent for being social, although I used to be the big bullshitter back in the day. Or booze made me think so. As Joe Abercrombie wrote: “… the conversation of the drunk is only interesting to the drunk. A few glasses of wine can be the difference between finding a man a hilarious companion or an insufferable moron.” I probably was on the insufferable moron end of the spectrum.
And now, I write and post the the artistically questionable results on a website. It is a kind of socializing, I guess. Or I go off on posts like these, the kind I honestly refer to as “brain vomit”, mostly because they are something I spew out that would probably be best kept inside. But that’s not socializing, not really, as it lacks interactivity for the most part. It’s not that far from the conversation of the maudlin drunk in the previous paragraph. [Just don’t let me know that you need to drink to read this blog… I might cave and join in.]
In the end, I often wonder (yes, even more than you, Gertrude) why I bother with writing, let alone with sharing it. Sometimes, I look at my imaginary two-walled shelter under the banyan tree and wonder if it wouldn’t do everyone a favor if I just slinked off and accosted myself in all kinds of unseemly ways with pretensions about socializing with the snowflakes and the arctic fox who has fluff in his ears to stop them up so he doesn’t have to hear my murmurings. They could give me water-soluble ink and melt-away paper and I could write all day and night. And — at the first rainfall — watch everything melt away.
Now that is a sexy thought… Ephemeral writing that fades away… Read it on the off chance it is a masterpiece (in the hands of another, of course), commit it to memory if you can and watch it wash away. Self-destructing poetry. I might have to try that.