I used to pretend I was alone. I’m not. Never have been.
I am overcome. You can’t possibly understand what it’s like to have your life’s work available to everyone in a handful of headers on a web page. Yes, there are still missing pieces, but they’re not as missing as they might seem to be. A good chunk of the text that’s not available at Shuteye Town 1999 (excepting the infamous ‘Zeezer Bible’) is available at Instapunk. You have to do an advanced search at the IP site for “punk writing,” “Pangloss,” and “the naked woman.” And the old Boomer Bible website is still sitting in the limbo of the Wayback Machine, along with links to the old Delphi Forum, where lightning struck me onto the Internet. Still. What’s here is the lion’s share of my writing career.
What I feel most of all is gratitude. To Lake, to Guy, to Brizoni, to Rob Davey, to George, to my wife, to countless others who believed enough in what I was doing to make it translatable to the Internet generation. (Null, Winston, Malechai, Kajeshell, you know who you are.) The online Boomer Bible is, to me, a miracle. I wrote the Intercolumn Reference before there was a technology to make it as instantaneous as it was in my head. Now, thanks to more hours of hard labor than I can imagine, by more people than I can ever hope to meet and thank, the impossible is a pulsing computer simulation of my mind.
How could anyone be justified in hoping for such an outcome? When I succumb, as I often do, to despair about my country or my fellow men, I am yanked out of it by the extraordinary good fortune I have had in this life. There have been many bad moments in that life, but the truth is that the bad times were always fuel for my writing. And now I feel the warmth of being surrounded physically and electronically by good people who continue to inspire me with their courage and vitality. Sue, Marge, John, Jay, Sandy, Robby, Elle, Don, Peg, Shelby, Matt, Mel, Dave, Stephanie, Linda (both of them), Rita, Janet, Michael, Genevieve, Emily, Sarah, Josh, and of course James, Sarah, Austin, Mary, Emily, and Anna. And always and transcendently Pat. Plus all the others whose names will become headlines in my consciousness after I post this. (Eddie, Helk, FA, Barbara, Peregrine John, Suds46, DRV, and on and on…)
I look up to all these people. Writers always exist on the sidelines to some degree. We are watching and making notes while everyone else is getting on with the substance of life. Raising kids, turning houses into homes, teaching the ones who can be taught, striving in their individual ways, providing the living example of what goodness is in fact, not theory.
All these years in, I am experiencing a sense of humility that did not come naturally to me. Because I’m so late to the party, I feel now my multitudinous flaws with a sense of shame. All I have to throw into the balance is the set of headers at Deerhound Diary.
Elation mixed with disappointment. I wanted to be Doctor Dream. What I am is an old man whose best days are now and seem wildly undeserved.
What a writer does. He makes things up.
A long long way of saying I value your responses. Let me know, good, bad or indifferent, what you think. I promise I will be listening.