Blog – a shared, on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies.
Jeremy stares at the definition and curses his mother and his friends who convinced him to become what he swore he never would – a blogger. The word itself makes his skin crawl. He refuses to use it, and may anyone who refers to him as such be stricken down by lightning. He is an online writer. Nothing more. Nothing less.
It’s 4:00 am. He hasn’t slept in three days by his count, though usually once he hits two days, his ability to differentiate time gets mildly distorted. Work used to prevent the blending of minutes into days, but he hasn’t been to work in near two years. That’s when it all happened. He stares at the definition through the contact lenses his doctor prescribed to help his eyes adjust to the hours a day he stares at the monitor. The doctor also recommended that Jeremy get a monitor dimmer or eye shield, or that he take an hour off for every hour on. Jeremy laughed. “Monitor dimmers are a marketing scam. Eye shields hurt. And taking time off is not an option.” Jeremy said all this without so much as a glanse at the doctor. He was too busy transcribing the conversation in narrative form. His opus at that point in time. He was narrating everything that happened to him, all day, every day. Only taking breaks when he slept.
This is the longest his fingers have gone without typing for months. He’s never experienced this unspeakable phenomenon. He’s afraid to admit that’s it happening, afraid to say what he knows it is, for if he says it aloud, it’s real. He copies the definition into the text frame on the New Post Page. He tries to start a sentence but gets quickly distracted by a misplaced comma in the definition he found on a generic dictionary website. He allows the distraction to excuse him from his current calamity and returns to the open-source definition website. He finds the well concealed webmaster’s page and writes him to explain how to appropriately use the second most commonly utilized article of punctuation. He feels better after his email based tirade and attempts to return to his predicament. He stares at the definition. Nothing. He erases it. Nothing. He screams. Nothing. He is forced to finally admit it; he has writers block.
Thirty one months ago, Jeremy was an unemployed writer who had not once, since he scribed his first word at three years of age, had any semblance of writers block. He was working on his first novel, finding employment in a restaurant, drinking regularly to, as he said, keep his creative juices flowing, and smoking half a pack a day. Each morning he was woken up by a phone call from his college professor mother who liked to make sure we was writing and eating (and enjoyed dropping not so subtle suggestions to quit smoking). Each conversation ended the same way. Jeremy would tell her he needed to get to work. She would recommend that he start a blog. And Jeremy would remind her of his intense hatred for blogs – that he has no inclination to spew mindless dribble into an online forum read by Twilight fans and college students with too much time on their hands. She would remind him that she reads them regularly. He would laugh, and they would say goodbye.
Though his mother would hate it, a long night spent with tequila (the liquor not the MTV realistar) is finally what converted Jeremy from the ultimate anti-blogger to online superstar. Amidst his drunken ramblings that night in mid-November, Jeremy discovered something far more dangerous than drunk dialing. Drunk blogging. His first post (which was written on a dare from a saucy red-head named Sarah but liked to be called Gypsy) was a short story based on a job interview he had been on that afternoon. It received enough overnight attention to convince him to write follow up. In fact, it received so much acclaim that he decided to take the job, which he absolutely hated and was undeniably awful at, solely for the purpose of daily writing material. He chronicled each nine to five block at the telemarketing powerhouse. And after a few months, with no intention to do so, he revealed certain fraudulent activities the CEO was involved in, thus launching his blog, and him, into the global media spotlight.
Jeremy loved the attention and the freedom his new found celebrity granted him. For the first time, he could write absolutely anything and people would read it. And he did so, falling deep into the world of blog. He tested his fans devotion by writing blog after blog – everything from a daily exploration into the life of his big toe to a weekly update of the behaviors of a group of Midwestern housewives and their young men lovers to the aforementioned narration experiment (which, without a doubt, became his most well known online journal – he still refused to call them blogs).
He opens the Merriam-Webster website to find a grammatically correct definition.
Blog: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.
Nothing. His fans expect a post any moment, and Jeremy has nothing to offer. He can’t think. Words bounce through his head like Mexican jumping beans (which do not jump, they slightly rattle). He tries and tries to start something. To write anything. He proposes the thought that he just write through it. Just write. Anything that comes to mind – the Grady Tripp solution. He starts to pour his inner most feelings and insecurities. And after two minutes of that, he erases everything. Time is running down faster than the sweat on his furrowed brow. His fingers ache. His eyes are getting heavy. His mind races. And suddenly he realizes what it is. The problem. The cause of this inexplicable breakdown of his body’s strongest muscle. His playlist ended. There’s no background noise. Silence surrounds him, and it’s deafening. He opens iTunes, and as though as a message from the God he doesn’t believe in, he sees it. “4’33” by John Cage. Arguably his least favorite song, but now his inspiration.
In an instant, he knows exactly what to do. His fingers shake, ready for action. His eyes brighten and the spark behind them bursts into a magnificent glow. He scrolls the mouse over the “Publish” button. He wipes the sweat from his palms, and, with his index and middle fingers, he clicks. A message appears confirming his decision to post the entry and summarizing the piece –
Title: 4:00 am
Number of Characters: 0
Jeremy confirms the information and watches the browser window load his masterpiece, his Sistine Chapel, his apex of writing. He always knew it would come to this. The culmination of the ridiculous nature his blogs had become. Almost a post-modern stab at the world of blog itself. To post the most anticipated entry of his career, the most read blog worldwide, Oprah’s pick for “Blog of the Year,” sans words, it was his legacy in writing, only not in writing. He revels in the glow of the blank, white screen, anxiously awaiting the slew of comments and likes assured to follow. He crosses his arms, takes a deep breath of relief, turns on his favorite Bob Marley playlist and starts working on his next post, “5:00 am.”