It's been too long.
It gets progressively harder to come back, as you watch the days, weeks, soon months between posts piling up, at the same time realizing that just seven posts ago is an apology for an earlier extended absence. Zembla has been weblog in name only. It has been a skeleton, a ghost, something to pick through for jokes and ironic commentary on '90s hip-hop. If Zembla were a real place, it would probably sell hard candy out of enormous bins by now. And I would have to pay royalties to the Nabokov family to avoid a big(ger) lawsuit.
I tried to break through writer's block, I really did. Please to note this post from January 11, which never made it past "draft" status.
Winter can do terrible things to a man.
Increasingly, I was away from my computer at night. I couldn't write multiple drafts of public transportation-based song parodies during leisurely days - I had to work. I used to say that people got less funny when they got into relationships. I attributed it to the absence of misery. In a stable, nurturing relationship, there would be less need to settle the score with angry mock-newsflashes, less reason for elaborate efforts to be funny simply for attention.
Observe my sporadic posting habits of the previous six months, while in a stable and supportive relationship. Maybe I didn't feel as much of a need to show off. Maybe I was able to simply bore my girlfriend with trivial minutiae about my workday, my eating habits, and assorted opinions regarding politics, fast food, and Marvin "Young MC" Young. She was able to fall upon workplace stories like they were cuteness grenades, shielding innocent people of the Web from adorability shrapnel.
While I was drafting various incarnations of the Zembla Returns post, I was going to suggest the notion that my earlier belief about relationships being Comedy Poison was perhaps unfounded - Zembla was Returning, after all. Now, this post will be premiering one day past the breakup of this relationship, so maybe my thesis is still intact. It might make a good dissertation idea for Clown Graduate School, at least.
Here's what really made me step back and take a look stock of my weblog. I was on BART last week, headed to the Near East, as I have been so many times in these past months. There was an inebriated man, possibly crazy, arguing with another passenger in an animated fashion.
"No more instant messages!" he shouted, whipping his right arm out in an arc, as if to symbolically wipe instant messages off all of our screens. "No, what they're doing instead is blogs!"
I winced, remembering my own abandoned blog, its virtual feet bound, left to die in the metaphorical cyber-mountains, cast aside like so many unwanted instant messages. The man must have sensed something in my reaction, because he wheeled around and looked at me intently.
"What's that mean?" he asked. "You know, 'blog'".
I felt ashamed. "It's short for 'weblog'", I stammered. "Like, an online journal."
He smiled in recognition.
"More accurately", I said, "It's like a pie crust website - easily made, easily broken."
"Then, why blog?" he asked.
"We - Some people do it because they have something to say. Some do it to stay updated with their friends. And some people do it because, well, because it's been too long, and the little Post-It notes with ideas on them are piling up, and Kristen read through all the archives, and I should really tell the story about the Indian restaurant even if it's better with the accent, and what the hell else am I doing that's so godamn great?"
"But mostly, it's that some people are just sick and tired of instant messages."
More to come...