I’ve been away from FB for over a week now and I’m amazed at how much time I have that I didn’t before. I few seconds here, a minute or two there, a half a day here… you get the picture, don’t you? I also seem to be a little more focused at work. I’m not checking my phone nearly as much as I did just a week ago. Not only am I writing more I am also writing for longer stretches of time. I once did that. I once could sit down and write for hours on end and it feels good to get in a couple of hours of writing and not have to worry about someone tagging me with a story about a dog who rescued some kid who can’t keep his ass out of wells.
This has, effectively, cut me off from the people in Dog Rescue and I’m not sure how to get that back without FB. More on that later.
While I’m here in the Land of No Book of Faces, I wonder what’s happening on the other side. (Hello from the Other Siiiiiiiiiiiide) I had close to 300 friends when I left and it’s going to be interesting to see how many people are gone when I get back. There’s a core group of people, who know me in real life, who have known me online since I got here, and a few that wouldn’t cut Charles Manson off their friends list, who will still be around when I get back, but there will be a lot fewer, I suspect. FB is like that. It’s a society that demands some signs of life or it’s considered rude or you might be dead.
The one thing I truly miss is the Hive Mind. If you had a problem, no matter how large or how small, you could throw a question out there and get some honest answers as to how to solve them. From how to unstop a drain to how to beat the next level in some game to how to summon a Demon, there was nothing you couldn’t get an answer to from the Hive Mind. My friends, I suspect, were above average at this because that’s the kind of people I connected with. (Yeah, I do believe that’s true, dammit)
I really miss watching people’s kids grow up on FB. Children I have known since they were little kids are now becoming young adults and it’s a little scary to think of some of the kids I have seen in incredibly funny photos are now going to be driving cars and having sex. It’s hard as hell to picture the kids I know now, at the age when I was doing things with girls even younger than I, doing those same things, but I know they are going to do those things. It’s an odd thing that at sixteen and seventeen years old I felt as if I knew enough about my body, and her body, to take chances that in the heat of the moment seemed worth it. There are eleventy billion new diseases out there that weren’t there when I was that age but I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t have let that slow me down a damn bit.
Still, most of the kids I know are great people who are going to make their own mistakes and make their own way in this world. They’ll turn out fine despite my fears and the things I did at that age that they’re doing too. I can only tell them to stay away from redheads because that’s trouble in your life you do not need.
I also miss the photos and adventures of dogs that my friends keep company with. I worry that some of the older ones might pass while I am away and that would be a terrible thing. Losing Popeye and Ranger so close together is a tragedy but both were given the best life and the best love they could have ever known before they went. I never met either dog, never met the people who loved them both, and I might not ever. But I do know there are people on this earth who truly raise the bar in the care and love of dogs and for no other reason, for this I will eventually return to the Book of Faces.
But something tells me not yet. Something within tells me that right now I need to be away from that place and I need to develop my short story that I have been working on and teach Greyson Charlotte to sit and wait for treats. I need to spend this weekend cleaning my house and I need to spend some time looking for a new laptop because this one is dying very quickly. The last thing I need is to buy a computer out of desperation and if this one goes black I won’t have anything to write on and that is going to freak me out.
There is this temptation to set a time on the return but I do not think I will. It’s a feeling thing. It’s a comfort thing. There isn’t an explanation I could give that would make sense to you if I gave you one that was true. There is a lot of noise out there right now and I need some quietness. There’s a lot of shouting and yelling and politics and I do not need any of that.
So here we are again. I’m still gone from there and I am still here. This has been an interesting little experiment and I think it will go on for a little while longer. The urge to walk away totally hasn’t arrived. The idea that life without FB will be better hasn’t formed. I do wonder what would happen if I became one of the twenty-three people on this planet not connected via FB, but I do so miss the dogs.