Introspection

This story is a little different. More Romance than Lusty sex. (no pouting!) As I started to write it, I realized that I could have easily switched all the pronouns and every ‘he’ could have been ‘she’. I stuck with He, but it really didn’t matter. Hope you enjoy this flight of fancy.    WW.

He stayed up late writing stories, poetry, satires. Writing letters to the editor. Writing… Writing… and waiting. When he wasn’t writing, he cruised the Internet. There, he read. Stories, poetry, news, anything to keep from going to sleep. Finally, around dawn, his eyelids would grow heavy and he’d sleep at last.

He wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but eventually he’d find it. He knew it was out there. Youtube, blogs, movies. Nothing. More writing. He started posting on websites, first other people’s and then he took a chance. He started a blog. First as a diary, a memoir, and then he posted the first of his writings. He actually got feedback. Comments from people and he was encouraged to write more. Heady excitement. The urge to perform even if it was on the pseudo-stage of the Internet. He checked his blogs to see new comments, how many people had visited and who was following him. Some days he was so busy, he barely had time to write.

Then guilt set in. He remembered a quote from one of his favorite authors, Heinlien… “A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits. “ He stopped posting. Stopped interacting with people. Instead, he put away his pens, paper, his computer and walked away. How could he be so self absorbed and delusional, thinking that people really liked what he’d written? Yes, people read his stuff. Commented on occasion and even shared websites with friends. But did they really care? It was eating his life and yet… He didn’t know, so he switched off the computer and closed the door.

Life changed. The garden grew. Dishes were done on time as were meals. Work was well.. work. There was still an empty space in his soul he didn’t know how to fill. He thought some nights of the room at the top of the stairs, the computer and his writing, but he was afraid.

One night, he was trying to remember a fact. He looked through all of his books. Called the library and the snotty voice at the other end said, ‘Why don’t you look it up on the Internet?’. He hung up the phone and went for a walk.

It didn’t help. By dusk he was back. He walked up the stairs, opened the door and turned on the light. The computer was still there. It took a moment to start up. He opened a browser and found the information he needed in a few minutes. He felt like such a fool. As he was ready to turn off the computer, he saw his email icon blink.

735 emails. He sorted them quickly. Most of it was ads for viagra, or letters from Nigeria promising riches. Then there were the last 149. They were from people who’d read his blog, his stories. He thought about dumping them in the spam can, but changed his mind. Some were from people who said how much they liked his writing. A couple were nasty bits about how self absorbed he was or what a dick he was for writing stories like that. Then there were twenty all from the same email address. He opened the first one.

“Dear Adventurer,

How I love your work. It sings to me.

R.

The next three were similar, praising certain stories or laughing at predictable characters that made her smile. Then he opened the next one.

Dear Adventurer,

Are you alright? You haven’t posted in a week and I have begun to wonder if you are okay.

R.

The next one, nearly a week later read:

Dear Adventurer,

I’m worried that you haven’t posted or commented. Is something wrong? You are missed.

R.

He wasn’t sure what to think. Someone out there was asking about him. Seemingly worried about him. He read through three more. All of them similar. Asking if he was alright, had anything happened and that the writer was worried about him. He opened another email.

Dear Adventurer,

I’ve read all of your stories again. Even made new comments. And yet, you have disappeared. I miss you.

R.

He wondered who was writing the email. From the looks of the address, they were female. And the tone of the letters was feminine as well. He opened the next one.

Dear Adventurer,

While I don’t understand why you’ve stopped writing, know that it was appreciated. I loved the way you pulled me in and wrapped me in your stories. Should you ever decide to write again, please let me know. I’m not trying to stalk you or anything, I just want to talk to someone who seems to see the world as I do. I understand what you write are stories, fiction, but they sing to my heart.

R.

He didn’t know what to think of this. Was there truly someone else out there that felt like he did? Is that why he was writing all those stories? To find some sort of social soul mate? He was confused. Why did he write those stores? Why post them on the Internet. He opened the next letter, dated nearly a week after the last.

Dear Adventurer,

I’m sorry, I must have offended you. That was never my intention. I simply wanted to reach out to someone I thought might be like me.

R.

Now he felt a right fool. Yes, for his own sanity, he stopped writing. Or at least he thought so. Perhaps he’d been too hasty. He at least should have said why he stopped. Explained. Something. He felt like such a fool. He looked and the next email was dated nearly a month later.

Dear Adventurer,

I decided that while I may have offended you, I would not let that pull me down. So, instead, I have begun to write. You can find my blog at…

R.

He looked at the web address. He read the next few emails, which were similar to the first one about the blog. She mentioned how she hesitated to write at first and then began to gain confidence. She was happy when people began to comment and when her stats began to add up. The next email was nearly a challenge.

Dear Adventurer,

I wish that I knew if you were reading my stories. I would love it if you’d comment and let me know. I hope that my stories might be as enjoyable as yours were for me.

R.

He thought about opening up a browser and looking up one of her stories. See what she had written. Instead, he read through three more emails. He figured he’d finish them and then go look at her blog. They were much the same, talking about her writing, other people who wrote and comments people made. Then he opened the last one.

Dear Adventurer,

I hoped by writing that you’d show up. I don’t know why your posts meant so much to me, but they did. I’m taking a little break from my blog. I’ve realized that I was spending too much time writing and not enough living. I’m not giving up on my blog, but trying to spend quality time instead of quantity time. I still look forward to hearing from you.

R.

He felt like he’d betrayed a trust. Opening a browser, he found her blog. He started with the very first post and read through it, post by post. She didn’t write every day, nor about the same kind of thing every time. And yet, it was captivating. He felt she was in some way, his compliment. He recognized stories that were similar to his. Not that she had copied, but simply of a similar theme. He found himself reading faster and faster. He didn’t stop to comment. When he got to the last story, he felt somehow bereft. It was dated a week ago. He glanced up to the top of her blog and saw the About page. He clicked on it.

Hello! This blog is a new journey for me. I was inspired by the writings of Dear Adventurer, a writer who blogs at……… I realized that for the first time in my life, that someone else in this vast world felt just as I did. He vanished one night and so, I began my blog. My desire is to inspire others to write. Our world is so small, and life is too short to worry about what others think. We shouldn’t feel guilty for writing stories or reaching out to one another via the Internet. So, While I may not write every day, or even every week, know that it is my joy to share what I write. To involve you in my stories and bring a smile to your face.

Below the paragraph was a picture. He realized he knew that face. She… she worked at the local Internet cafe. Her name was Rose. It took him all of thirty seconds to start moving. He changed his clothes, combed his hair and brushed the crumbs out of his beard. Grabbing the car keys, he was out the door so fast he almost forgot his wallet.

8 thoughts on “Introspection

  1. dryfly2005 says:

    WW, it was different and I liked it a lot. I’m sure all of you who write so well and often must go through phases where you don’t know if you should continue or not. It sure would be good if all writers had a light at the end of the tunnel as this story does. Tip

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