Let’s be real. If I had a 60-day, brunch-fueled, globe-trotting vacation planned, this is the last place I would be. No offense. It’s cool here. The Internet, that is. I’ve been here many times and had a wonderful time. So don’t think I’m knocking it. The truth is though, I’m here because I’m not there. In a way, I’m not there because I’m here. But mostly, I’m here because you’re here.
The internet is like that. A confused logic. Though mostly I think of it as a buffet. And it’s the most wide-ranging buffet you’ve ever seen. The added bonus is that you never have to take the three-hour old Palak Paneer that actually has no paneer in it anyway because everyone who came before you have picked it over.
Or perhaps it’s more of a friend you default to when nothing else works out. She’ll always be there — Eager McEagerson — ready to talk your ear off about all the things you want to know. How the IMF works, the tragedy of child soldiers, what’s happening with Ai Weiwei. Anything that might be useful when a conversation runs out of road and you want to avoid staring at a nick in the table like it’s an installation at MOMA. All the better if the topic’s punchline fulfills my need to feel indignant about something. I love being indignant. It’s so life-like.
But back to Eager McEagerson. She takes the cutest pictures of cats and puts hilarious captions on them. And she always knows the sort of books you’ll want to read and the documentaries you’ll want to watch. Plus, the porn. She has so much. You could stay up forever looking at all her porn. Like, nights on end, meth-binge sort of forever.
What’s really nice about her though, is that it’s not all about her. She always takes the time to ask you what’s on your mind, what’s happening. She truly wants to connect with you. Like that time when you told her about your awful break up and she gave you *hugs*. That was nice.
All of this is to say I like her. And I like it here. But when I stop and think about the times I’ve left here and gone somewhere — be it to camp in the hills of Wales or a summer night spent sitting on the cool tile floor in my kitchen, just talking to a friend and drinking beer — I come back here and feel disappointed. Nothing interesting has really happened. I only find myself flipping from page to page, scrolling down the screen chanting, “Boring, boring, boring.”
That’s usually when I vow to stay away, vow to make plans that don’t involve sitting, plans that don’t require Facebook messages or questions that need to be Googled rightnow. It lasts for a day or two, but I always come back, listless and needing the comfort of a cute dog or the rediscovered memory of hair crimpers. Happens every time.