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Freshening Up My Garbage

The only person laughing in a crowded movie theater, that’s me. All my life I’ve wanted three or four other people to laugh along with me, to ‘get’ the scene or the joke or the terror in a strange aware-but-not-aware way like myself

Like a kid given permission to play Hypnospace Outlaw for an hour a day, I’ve been working on my website. I’m an author, and a dreamer, so it’s a ‘literary’ website. But I’m also sluggish and forgetful, so mine is a ‘memory’ and ‘motivation’ website too.

Motivation is the new desire. Memory and motivation is the new Wasteland. Desire for some urging way–getting prompted–taking some stick–full of ludicrous goal-oriented quests–full of Chaucer. I love it when someone shouts me to the finish (Come on with the Seven horse!) when I have no shot of getting there.

The website is just a way to tell myself I saw something, or did something, or felt something in my dream and I wrote it down, or should be writing it down. My ‘Home Page’ is saying, “Someone made a mountain in my window. There’s snow on the peak. It’s a hundred degrees in the valley. I wish I had a bicycle.”

I looked at a lot of other writer websites before freshening up my garbage. Most smarted with minimalism—a few notes, a brag page, white backgrounds, no graphics to distract you from the links. Nothing buttoned askew. No collars akimbo. No one spelling Death with a long e-vowel, Deeth. Very professional. The type of websites I’d bring home to meet my mother. I can hear her saying, “Aren’t you adorable? Here, have some Jell-O.”

The ‘About Page’ is weird to me. If I didn’t already know a little about you how would I have known to go to your website? Isn’t what little I knew enough to know? I read your book. I listened to your interview with Michelle Martin. I re-Tweeted your Tweet about coming of age in the Nineties (it was a magical time).

Is it a fictive internet persona, or is it something darker? My ‘Contact Page’ says, “Follow this link to another website if you want to leave a message for my fictive internet persona. Don’t be anonymous to a heart that’s true.”

The big hurt of making a website–let me tell you–having to meet the Narcissism of your being ashamed and shy, how an abashed bone swivels and twirls in the back of my head. I’m a mini, even though I’m pleated in a deceptively jaunty style in person.

As a writer, the hem falls well below the knee. I’m a maxi. I might be shy, but I have a thousand words and ways of saying it as I bring three suitcases to the nudist campground. It’s so hard choosing what not to wear.

My website is confused by the mix.

I’d much rather say ‘mix’ than dichotomy. Or paradox. Or irony. I’ve noticed most of the English words involving explanation, rational thinking, and turning things into concepts all have Greek or Latin roots. And yet, no one could say that Chaucer didn’t explain, wasn’t rational, could not write to the idea of something. It’s what I like so much about his Middle English.

Plus sometimes, instead of saying the word “knife,” I prefer to say the word ka-neef.

A website is my version of the old joke, all of us struggling to be unique, but all of us wearing the same brand of shoes cobbled by the same Chausseur.