I’ve been away. The time now has come for truth.
A year ago I tried to plug in my writing career (whatever career that may be) to the internet as a response to the publication of GOODBYE CROCODILE and the advice that the cultivation of an online presence could directly correlate with higher numbers of sales for that collection of stories, which interested me, because cash money dollars. So I created this space, and a facebook page got made on my behalf, and I started a twitter account. Now I have the impression of an alternate school which says: we’re all whores, and twitter is our brothel.
So, I resurface. As ever, I ride the populist tide.
Of those three entities, the one I failed most with was (and remains) the Twitter. Here is my problem: I don’t know what Twitter is actually for. Out there in the bending glare of time are (say, political) events in which people have leveraged that platform to unify a voice, as voices are thusly unified in the acoustic (harmonic?) spaces of, (say), a church. Only big and, yeah, digital (digimal?).
In my mind the voice of Twitter is the white scream of a V2.
Like, Twitter isn’t for the Arab Spring, neither is it for reflections on feminine convexities. It may be for advertising.
Stay away? Yes, but also, How boring.
Looking at it there are all these values and modifiers, controls and variables. Quantifiable only through numbers of followers (which is a curious word, yes, to have been chosen, because chosen it was–but by whom? Followers. Has a religious zing.) Each element of each post (being: amount of characters used, hashtags affixed (themselves springs, creeks, and deltas of this river, to be tapped, even capped), twitpics attached, retweets harvested–) mutations each that bring us closer to null hypothesis.
What is a tweet, stripped of those variables? A tweet which uses each character as part of a whole structure? What is water kept out of the cycle? Is there a difference between what belongs in that space and what inhabits it? Is it possible to produce something meaningful in that space? Are we even meant to try?
So I am left with: I don’t know what Twitter is for. Or, more simply, whether it is for me. So I am doing the only thing I can do with it, which is to see what happens when I exist in it but also not in it. I am writing these:
Maria lived in the drainpipe in the culvert in range of the roar of the turnpike. Brackish, she remembered the wonder of the telephone.
— Conor Patrick (@conoriswriting) December 4, 2014
They put the baby in her cot a little after dark. It was snowing. They sat together at the kitchen table. Each drank a glass of cold water.
— Conor Patrick (@conoriswriting) December 19, 2014
Lee Hoyer walked to the peak of Mt Kline. To get out of the noise, he told his wife. At the summit they were building a cafe and gift shop.
— Conor Patrick (@conoriswriting) December 30, 2014
The boy dragged the antlered carcass from the side of the road. He dragged it headfirst through the afternoon. Maybe they could cook it.
— Conor Patrick (@conoriswriting) December 31, 2014
The children howled when given the ice creams, had what they pleased and jostled in the back seat. A hot day was a hot day, funeral or no.
— Conor Patrick (@conoriswriting) January 11, 2015
Sal found two dead baby pigeons on the sidewalk. Why were they together? He took a photo with his phone, went home, and got really high.
— Conor Patrick (@conoriswriting) May 19, 2015
Whether they are meaningful or not I don’t know. But I have come to understand that this is the way I reconcile whether I am in that space to sell books, or to piss into an ocean of piss, or to witness and respond to the digital and cultural landmass rising beneath our feet.
The only thing I’ll be doing on Twitter from here out is more like the above. Maybe lots or maybe five months apart or maybe never again. Maybe I’ll delete this post and the Twitter and all tomorrow. What then happens to Lee Hoyer?
You can, obviously, follow me. @conoriswriting.
Remember, kids, what your old pal Hal Incandenza says:
I am in here.