On the way to Jones Beach. The four of us, are doing that thing where everyone talks and things move along slowly. I don’t really care. I have no ideas or opinions today except that I have to get in the water. It’s just nice to be out of Manhattan but really I can’t wait to get to that ocean. It’s been much to long and the weekly street sheet horoscope I read at the bar has been telling me I have to get myself to the water all summer. And I simply have not done that. I just haven’t. I’ve denied myself the salty kiss of the beach day nymph and I don’t know why. Well not today Summer. Today I play in the current. Flirt with the flow of the sea. Submerge the angst and let it float away into the tentacle sting of the jelly fish.
So I’m in midtown and I hear the distinct sound of a quarter dropping on the sidewalk in the middle of heavy foot traffic. I want that quarter. I have three in my pocket and one more makes the dollar menu. But that quarter belongs to a man in a suit and he’s not giving it up that easy. So he bends down and picks it up as I jingle my own in my pocket. Satisfied with his recovery he moves on but not before I fish a quarter out of my pocket and toss it toward his feet. He hears that familiar sound of coin on concrete, stops, looks confused but does not hesitate to pick it up. He has no idea it was me. But another man in a suit does, he looks at me and we share a smirk. It was a twenty-five cent show, it was just for us, and it was worth every cent.
So you know how I’ve been all excited lately about getting more followers on Twitter. Up to 819 by the way. The funny thing is I don’t have any followers on my blog. Someone recently pointed out to me that it is impossible to follow me on WordPress because the toolbar is simply not there on my blog. There’s a reason for that.
Blogging can be one of the most personally revealing things a writer can do. Obviously. There are a lot of bloggers out there who came to terms with putting their lives on display a long time ago. I never did. It’s always been a very intimate thing for me, as I’m sure it is for many. Often, now for instance, I write with the intention of having a conversation with this audience at the other end and other times I’m writing for myself, speaking in a code that only I will get. And then there are times when I write things that don’t ever make it out of my journal.
A few years ago I switched from blogger to WordPress because I thought it seemed more professional and I wanted more options. But playing with new themes and plug-ins can be the most distracting and counterproductive thing a blogger can do. At least for me anyways. It can be fun but it really is my least favorite part of the game.
As I told my buddy who inquired about the follow button, I got rid of it long ago in a fit of social media angst. I just didn’t want to know anymore. I just wanted to be alone with my blog for a while. Go on hiatus. Have a Mariah Carey style breakdown. Disappear. I just didn’t want to care anymore.
To be honest I still don’t want to care. I still think I’d rather not have a followers option on my blog. But I know I’m going to make the switch back soon. I feel it. Everyday you have to do something, even if its a little thing, to get you closer to your goal. My goal is to have readers. I can’t have many readers if I don’t have followers. And I can’t have followers if I don’t have a follow button. And I can’t have a follow button of I don’t plug it back in. So I guess you know what I’ll be doing after I post this.
I had my tarot cards read yesterday. I was waiting to meet with my friend Paul in Washington Square Park when I saw a man in a wizard hat and a deck of seasoned tarot cards. He seemed nice and at eleven bucks a read I thought “why not?”
Before we even got to the cards the first thing he read was the psychic energy he was picking up, a board game of some type, from me, like Monopoly or Parcheesi. “Does that ring a bell?” he asked. It didn’t. The only game I’ve been playing lately was the game of Twitter, 769 followers and counting. I told him that Parcheesi was one of those words I knew but I never really knew what it was. I was a little disappointed. I felt misread.
When we got to the cards he said I could ask them about anything or anyone and I could chose three possible paths to find out about. I didn’t tell him but my first path was my writing career, my second was a career in hospitality, and my third was a future in balancing both. I’ll skip the mysticism and ritual but the first thing I learned was that trying to juggle both writing and hospitality wouldn’t pan out well. A future in hospitality though would be a successful one. Stands to reason, I’m a good bartender and I genuinely like what I do. Still I was a little apprehensive, the cards hadn’t yet told me about what I really wanted to know. And then they did. I couldn’t tell you what most of the cards were, I’m not too familiar with tarot, but the man in the wizard hat told me that option one looked good for me. Even better than option two. He said it was almost like I had a love affair with option one. There would be some amount of confusion in the near future but things should fair well. Then he pulled one more card. He looked upset with himself. He said he shouldn’t have pulled it. This one showed a lot of despair. He almost tried to put it back but he knew he couldn’t so he pulled one more and there it was. The Star. I was relieved to see it myself but more so the look of relief that it brought to him. I was happy to end on that note. So when he asked me if I wanted another reading I told him I didn’t have the money.
After my quick spiritual pit stop, I eventually met up with Paul, had a bite to eat in the West Village, got keys made in the East Village, coffee on the Lower East Side, made our way to Brooklyn and walked around Park Slope for awhile until we ended up at a coffee shop Paul had been wanting to show me. When we sat down we played a quick game of Tic Tac Toe on a napkin. I was the X and Paul was the O. Not to toot my own horn here, but yes, I won. Paul mentioned it would be nice if there were some board games to play in the cafe. I had told him about my run in with the man in the wizard hat, so we both raised our eyebrows at that moment and kind of laughed it off. We thought it would be funny if the there really was Monopoly around. Or even Parcheesi, even though we both admitted we didn’t know what it was. So we looked it up. Parcheesi, if you didn’t know either, is a brand name American adaptation of the ancient Indian game of Pachisi. Pachisi is a cross and circle game. Ok man in the wizard hat, you were close.
The truth is I have such a long list of house keeping matters to take care of. I’m talking debt. Dentists appointments I should have made long ago. Unpaid library fees. I actually have a written out list probably about two and a half pages long that I think I started late in 2011 in one of my journals. I scratched a few things off but that particular journal had been shuffled around so much that I’m not quite sure where it is. Finding it is on the list. There’s so much to take care of that just writing about it makes my stomach bubble up.
I’m typing this on the subway and I just realized I have stink face. Not my favorite thing to see on other people and I certain don’t like it on myself. That’s just how those chores in the back of the mind surface I guess. But I started writing this for a reason. Perhaps the list has grown enough and I know it’s time to trim it down, like unfollowing dead accounts or unfollowers. It’s just that not tending to the tasks at hand sometimes lends itself to creative bursts too tantalizing to resist. I think sometimes, when I’m not busy ignoring the matter all together, that maybe I could be one of those people always on top of it, always getting things done, always moving on to the next thing on the list. But then I start reading something interesting or doodling on a napkin and before I know it, it’s time to go to work.
Still headed downtown on the A and I don’t know where I’m going to get off. That depends on where I am when I finish this paragraph. I also don’t know what business I am going to tend to when I exit because I’ll have already scratched post to blog off the list.
Yesterday I posted about how I wanted to read something I found on Twitter. Other than an article anyway. I wanted to look for a good fiction piece or even a bad one to be honest. The point was to specifically use Twitter as a tool to seek out something to read. I knew I didn’t want to commit to anything to long but I was hoping to download a free fiction collection or at least a sample. While hunting around for something to read I skipped plenty of romance, a lot of Sci-fi, horror and crime. Wasn’t in the mood, not to mention they were all novels.
I was actually really impressed with how many people out there have written and published full length novels. You know what I’m writing right now? Nano fiction. I’m talking less than two-hundred words. I don’t know, my attention span is like. So I write shorties. And I like to read them too.
After narrowing my search a bit, #shortstoryday to be specific, I stumbled onto a writer by the name of Bernie Deehan. His story is called Joe Lean and it cracked me up. I recommend it. Not to mention that if for some reason you have a natural aversion to reading, there is an entertaining YouTube reading of the story to go with it.
I’ll let you know what I read next. I’m still on the hunt for a good self published short story collection, but who knows, I might be in the mood for a mystery if the right one comes along.
Before I started my own personal Twitter followpalooza the other day, I was following about 170 people and had 445 followers that I’d accrued over the years. In a little over 24 hours I upped the amount of people I follow to 1045 and as of the moment I post this, to 671 followers. Not bad. It’s fun. And addicting. It’s like playing a game that everyone wins and every time I get a push notification about a new follower a magic coin pops out of my phone.
Yes this is all a grand ol’ time, but a little deal I made with myself before I started, was to make sure to balance the mass following with some actual content. Which I guess is why I’m writing this, but also to remind myself about that whole “Do unto others…” thing that I had mentioned I was going to try. Yes I want more followers but not just because every new follower fills me with a breath of life more nourishing than the last, but because the whole point of all of this is that one of those followers actually check my blog and read something I write. Right?
So in the spirit of doing unto others, I’ve decided that before I continue followfest 2013, I have to do some reading. Good thing I love to read. And now that I’m following 1045 unique individuals I have a lot of material to chose from. I’m going to troll around for a good short story collection or maybe a graphic novel.
Maybe I’m in for a good scare. Or perhaps I will fall in love (not likely). Or I could just laugh till soy milk comes out of my nose. If there’s anyone you particularly enjoy reading on Twitter, do let me know. I’d like to give them a whirl. It’s my day off and I’m going to do some reading.