I’m Back


terminator

I’d hit a rough patch about four weeks ago. Hit it so hard I think the wheel came off.

It wasn’t writer’s block. I don’t believe in writer’s block. Writer’s block is simply you not having fun with whatever you’re writing. It’s a blanket explanation, I know, but not having fun could come from dozens of hard to pen down causes. Things like: lack of research, wrong direction, stinkin’ thinkin’, and getting bored with a project.

I didn’t have any of those. I was working on WARLOCK COP, my TV PILOT about a guy who is a COP and a WARLOCK. WARLOCK COP is awesome. I was having fun writing it but…

I just couldn’t focus. I’d find myself drifting away, checking reddit, watching videos on woodcarving and guitar fabrication. Hell, I’d watch videos of other people playing video games.

I’d go on facebook and just scroll around. I’d write blog post around blog post. I’d fiddle with my fantasy football lineup without end.

I’d do all these things and then sit back and go “huh. I should finish warlock cop.”

I never did, though.

Then the internet went down.

I was outside, smoking my pipe and writing down ideas in a notebook when it happened.  There was a truck working on the power lines outside.  I heard screwdrivers and electric sizzles as the worked the pole next to my apartment building.

They finished after some time. My notepad was on the floor. The only markings on the page were pipe ash.

I was busy reading movie reviews on my phone.

Then, suddenly, the next page wouldn’t load. The WiFi wasn’t working. I switched to the LTE network and finished reading the movie review, and then checked the router.

It was working fine, just no signal. I unplugged it and plugged it back in.

It didn’t work.

The first tinglings of fear began to creep up the hairs on my back.

“It’s not supposed to happen like this,” I told the router, “this isn’t supposed to be possible.”

No internet. A millenial’s worst nightmare.

My life is spent on the internet. I pay my bills online. I get paid electronically. I find jobs, send queries, submit stories to magazines, and even write blog posts entirely on the internet. Hell, I get my television, movies, and entertainment form the internet.

The internet turns me into a sappy Nicholas Sparks story. I want to cuddle the internet, stoke its face and tell it “I’m nothing without you. Nothing.”

It was gone.

What was I going to do? What was I going to read? What was I going to WATCH?

Here’s out movie collection:

IMG_1217

The thought of putting any of them in the blu-ray player disgusted me.

I had nothing to do.

So I wrote.

The first day, I figured out the ending to WARLOCK COP.

Unplug, plug, the router still flashed red.

The second day, I wrote fourteen pages.

I fell to my knees and prayed in front of the router, extolling it with livestock sacrifice. It remained silent, and blinked its wicked red eye at me.

The third day, I wrote fourteen pages.

I itched all over. I had trouble sleeping without being able to doze off with south park on my TV.

While I was downstairs getting coffee, I ran into Adrienne, who is staying at my place until the end of the month. I told her how productive I’ve been.

“I guess it was all the internet,” I said, slurping on some hot-brown-bean water, “I kind of hope it stays down so I can finish my script.

Adrienne agreed.

The fourth day, I woke up to a text message from Jared. It just said “Internets up!”

Shit.

The next thing I knew, I found myself in my computer chair, about to hit enter and blast my monitor off to REDDIT land.

My finger hovered over the key.

I went downstairs to get some bean water. Adrienne and Jared were watching the Real World and Road Rules MTC Challenge.

“So the internet’s back up.” I told them.

Adrienne spun to face me. There was fire in her eyes. “No,” she said, “get back upstairs right now and finish WARLOCK COP.” I turned to get coffee. “No,” Adrienne commanded, “write.”

So I went back upstairs and finished it.

The internet’s an amazing thing. I don’t need to tell you guys why, because you’re on it right now, you already know.

Sometimes, though, it makes writing impossible.

So I guess I need to find a place to write that doesn’t have internet.

Either that, or find someone to yell at me every time I start to dither online.

Maybe this guy.

batman write

 

Forever alone


It’s surprising how much people in our modern society rely on the Internet for, well, everything.  I for one use the internet as a thermometer, weather balloon, television, phone book and generally to entertain myself in any way I see fit.  I love the internet.  I need the internet.  Therefore, I was disturbingly distressed when I awoke this morning to the sounds of birds chirping and butterflies…chirping outside my door and booted up Google chrome on my Mac book, and discovered that none of the web pages loaded.

I pressed refresh.

Nothing.

“No…no!” I muttered under my breath.  I swiftly turned my computer’s wifi off and on again, attempting to reconnect to the network.  I had full bars.  I hungrily pressed refresh.

Nothing.

“DEAR GOD NO!!!”  I screamed, running over to the counter that held the router and modem.  I fumbled around furiously with their power cords until I finally disconnected them from the wall, tearing some sheetrock off in the process.  I counted to three in the amount of time it normally takes for me to count to ½ and plugged them back in.  Lights lit up.  I grinned madly

“yesyesYes FUCK YEAH!” I howled as more lights burst forth, like when Hugo Weaving opened that Norse box thing I Captain America.  To the passerby it would have seemed as if someone was shining a green and orange flashlight upwards under my chin, distorting my maniacal face to monstrous proportions.  I flew back to my computer and mashed refresh like 50 times.

Nothing.

“bwaaa bwaaa bwaaaa bwaaaa BWAAAAAAH!” I blabbered madly as I attempted to beat the internet into submission with my head via my keyboard.  But the internet feels no pain…

What was I to do?  Logically, I should call Sprint or whoever it is that provides me with sweet, sweet internet, but how was I to get their number without Google?  Wait!  That’s it I thought My Iphone!  That’s it.  I roughly grabbed it and searched “sprint internet help call now please god please.”  After 10 seconds the page was only 1/20000th loaded.

IT’S TOO FUCKING SLOW!!!!” I screamed, hurling my phone through the sliding glass door which shattered into a million glittering pieces.  I collapsed into a heap and wept.

After some time I stood up and got on my computer.  I hit refresh.  Nothing.  Now what am I supposed to do the whole day?  Listen to iTunes?  Take pictures of myself in photobooth?  Play the Sims 3?  Wait… the Sims 3.  Hmmmmm.

The sims, for those of you who don’t know, is a game where you create a character, or characters, who live out a fake simulated life, down to the horrifyingly smallest detal, like pooping, and you “somewhat” control.  But they are kind of really stupid children: they can’t do anything actually important by themselves.  You have to tell them to make their food etc.  Oh, and they whine.  This games kind of a pain in the ass…

I started the game and immediately started making a new sim.  I decided that this guys was going to be as bad and as I feel without the internet.  This guy was going to suck.  Fat, balding, near-sighted and sporting a styling soul patch, he was well on his way to being the worst sim ever, but I wasn’t done with him yet.  Oh no.  In the sims 3, you get to pick 5 personality traits for your sim.  These can be good or bad, but you only get 5.  I chose, not surprisingly, all bad ones: neurotic (he freaks out over nothing), slob (no explanation needed), loser (bad shit happens to him all the time), inappropriate (he always be doing awkward and inappropriate things) and grumpy (see slob).  For his life long dream I chose becoming a chess master, the loneliest of all the options..  His name?  Forever alone.

In case you don’t know the forever alone meme, a link can be found here.  You only need to read the first part.  It’s pretty much comics of something depressing happening.  The final panel is always that picture, captioned “forever alone.”  He looks like this

Forever....aloneeeee

And here’s how most of the comics go:

I decided to buy a premade house for Mr. Alone, but I wanted to furnish it myself.  Unfortunately, as soon as I bought the damn thing all the pipes in the house burst and there was extensive water damage.  This was a random event the computer creates.  I could tell this was going to be a good game.  Fortunately, Forever’s neighbor was a plumber and he decided, out of the kindness of his heart, to come over and help.   Forever, being perpetually grumpy, insulted his mother until he left.

Forever cleaned up the mess himself and then went out to find a job. At the graveyard. Not surprisingly, he got it. The job started at 6pm, so he spent the rest of the say exploring the graveyards catacombs by himself. He then went to work as a gravedigger. He has no co workers.Forever....aloneeeee

After work Forever, using what looked like a commodore 64 (it was the most terrible computer I could buy for him), went on the sim’s version of 4chan and posted some inappropriate thread and then went to sleep at 10.  He woke up at 8 and checked to see if anyone commented.  No one did, nor would they ever in the countless other posts I had him make.

Forever....aloneeeee

So far my game was going swimmingly.  I was feeling much better about my lack of internet.  Mr. Alone continued to work at the graveyard, getting promoted twice and earning far more cash than ever!  He could finally start to afford nice things, like telescopes!  Unfortunately, the game informed me that I forgot to pay his bills and a repo man was coming over to take the nice things (telescopes) I just bought for him.  I had him run to his mailbox and pay the bill, then go inside and make some breakfast.  The repo man, who turned out to be a woman, arrived moments later and entered his house.  Forever went up to chat with her, since she was the first human being he had seen in nearly a fortnight that wasn’t his boss or dead.  She, in turn, stole his computer and bath tub (yes, his fucking bath tub!  She just picked it up and put it in her sack of stolen goods!) then left without saying a word.  I had no more money to replace those taken items, since I had tried to pay the late bill.  My sim took sponge baths in the kitchen sink from then on.

If you remember, I had selected “become a chess master” for Forever’s lifelong dream.  In order to become one, forever must defeat an evil cabal of other chess players.  To simplify it in terms that all of my readers are familiar with, it’s like the gym system in pokemon.  I therefore purchased him a table and, with no previous experience playing chess invited the chess person over, wondering at the outcome.  The successfulness of all activities in the Sims are calculated based on skills.  Skills can correspond to many different activites, the higher the better.  I had gotten Forever’s logic, the chess skill, up to 7 out of 10, which is pretty high.  He should have been able to beat his opponent handily.  He lost seven matches in a row, whereupon his opponent said she was leaving because she was just too damn bored.  Apparentally forever wasn’t smart enough to win at, well, anything.  He cried himself to sleep.

Forever....aloneeeee

After some more time playing I learned that your sims apparently have some numbers saved in their phones of stock characters who they are “acquaintances” with.  I excitedly planned a party for the next day, inviting all of them.  Perhaps Forever Alone was not doomed to be forever alone after all.  That night a thief broke into his house and stole all the furniture and his TV.  The guests arrived the next day, but stayed no more than a few minutes before they made frantic and halfhearted excuses and left.  I suppose they had no desire to attend a party hosted by a creepy gravedigger with no drinks or food in a house with no furniture.

Angered by their insolence, I invited all the sims over again, and had Forever Alone lead them into the extra room.  He then ran out and shut the door, which I promptly removed from the house creation panel, so that the party guests were effectively trapped at the party.  Forever.  I then put some windows in between the kitchen and spare room Forever could talk to the people trapped within.  For once in his miserable life, forever wasn’t alone.  They all died of starvation a few days later, and haunted the fuck out of the house.  Yeah, they actually turned into ghosts.  Forever was forced to move to a smaller, worse house farther from work with even less stuff inside.

God...how many times can i have the same picture in one post?

After a while I felt like I needed to get out of the house, so I went to Starbucks.  When I got back, I just couldn’t stay interested in the game.  What else was there to do?  I pretty much beat it.  I decided to check the Internet again.  Nothing.   Worse still, I had closed out of the sims without saving.  I shut my computer and proceeded to stare blankly out the window into my backyard.  No birds flew by.  No butterflies fluttered lazily in the heat.  No squirrels danced playfully in the trees.  Nothing.

I checked my phone.  No calls, messages or texts.  I stared out the window some more, all the while wondering if maybe, just maybe, I too would become….

Once more, apparently

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