Monday 19 March 2001

I'm obviously brain-damaged. I'm sitting here, knees knocking together, brows knitting in serious, writerly angst, Converse toes propped up on the desk, being stupid. Being blank. Blank as fuck. I've done this five times this weekend now. Sat my ass down, split the laptop open, chug-a-lugged Word into action, and waited for 'inspiration'.

Waited? Does two minutes count as 'waited'?

Nah, course not. Opening Word and 'waiting for inspiration' is just the fake preliminary before we get to the real action: the internet. Opening Word is the 'no really I shouldn't' you utter, before wrapping your fingers and lips round the gorgeous tan cylinder of an illicit cigarette. It's the 'do you want a coffee?' preceeding the casual fuck. It's the interview for the job you don't want and won't get; the awkward silence before bolting from the blind-date cafe, the swiftclosing of browser windows when the whole world knows you're in Hotmail. It's shit. It's fake. It's a lie. It's my life.

This computer, this laptop, is the gateway to the internet. When I try to do anything else with it: write a letter, type an invoice, let alone write anything proper - I know that I am seconds away from the internet. Oh, the internet! The internet! The bloody bloody internet, love of my life, salve of my soul, my redemption, my damnation. The internet. Like, (imagine fake New Jersey accent here) lemme count the ways, you know what I'm saying?

First, it's just email. Then it's information. Then you discover online journals. Then Napster. Then message boards. Finally, ICQ. Then you're doomed. Doomed. You are an American teenager, polishing your guns, layering trenchcoat over check shirt over string vest, pinging the elastic bands on your braces. The internet!

Posh voice: The internet is a conceptual space, existing somewhere beyond this electronic screen.

Demotic tones: The internet is crack, and I am its crack whore.*

Every druggie needs a dealer. Mine's this i-book, sweet and innocent-looking, handbaglike, tangerine of course. No boyish blue or grim graphite for me, thanks. Now look: I do not fancy my computer, OK? I don't want to lick the thing. (Though I have been known to kiss the Apple logo on the front - but NEVER with tongues. Honest.) But, there is a (ahem) complex interrelationship between me and this machine. This computer needs to be opened up, split in two, spread, to make it work. (Cough). It doesn't just sit there all the time, perpetually ready, waiting to be turned on, like a traditional moniter and keyboard. It needs coaxing prying fingers to bring it quivering to life. (Knowwhorrahmean, dahlin'?) Its edges are curved. When a light is behind it the translucent plastic shines, pearlescent, enticing. It's... seductive. Sensual. Feminine. Come on, didn't you get all that opening splitting spreading stuff? It's pussy! My computer is a cunt! I am a lezza in lust with her computer!

Jeez, I creep me out.

Hah! Joke! Nyah! Fooled you! Maybe I am in lust with an i-book--

But I'm in LOVE with the internet.

It's getting really, really bad. That's why I haven't updated this diary for ages. I linger in Word for, ooh, two minutes, and then WHEEEE! IT'S INTERNET TIME! The computer may be the locus of my desire. Or focus. Whatever. But my desire is not for the computer, not at all. Just what it can bring me.

My desire is to get out there, beyond the screen, into the dizzy deep rich world of nothingness, the 'consensual hallucination' that is the internet. From physical space to metaphorical, symbolic one. From sensibility into a land where I talk shit. In just two minutes. Usually less.

Next week, I'm going to tell you about all the fabulous people that live in my computer, sharing in this 'consensual hallucination.'

And I'm going to tell you why my boyfriend hates them.

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*This phrase nicked off Vodkatini. Check her out, she's ace.