There’s this recurring dream I sometimes have where I’m talking and no one can hear me. I get louder and louder, but I the more I squeak, the smaller I shrink.
Blogging, I shout brave truths from my cowardly hiding place, the Internet my virtual bushes. I say some shit on here that I would never, ever have said to some guy’s face, and then fantasize about that dude stumbling accidentally across it. That’s pretty much the end of the fantasy; there is no moment where the guy realizes anything or comes to my side with an enhanced understanding of my personhood. The whole fantasy is just seeing them seeing me, through the monitor and at a loss for a rejoinder. I am speaking and they are speechless, for a fucking change, and it is awesome.
It’s a thing, not being able to ever talk to anyone, to confront anyone. Once, on a date at a Japanese restaurant, there was a teeny, tiny dead cockroach stuck to the bottom of a piece of salmon sashimi on my plate, and I was too embarrassed to say anything. I felt tainted by its disgustingness, like it said something about me, like this cockroach had been selected for me in particular. I didn’t want my date to think I was gross because I had gross dead bugs in my food, so I just pushed it under some julienned radish and kept it moving. So far, this is the best I can do.
Sketch has my blog up on his Favorites bar, although it’s not his favorite. I don’t think he has been able to bring himself to actually read any of it, and I do not blame him. Were he blogging about me, and about other women, I would run screaming through a plate glass door to get away from it. He can see the headlines, anyway, and since I’ve been posting stuff I wrote a while ago, it’s a lot of headlines about penises. He hasn’t said anything, but when he doesn’t call me back, I wonder if he’s home, reading about my adventures with penises and getting mad.
Meanwhile, there is a blogger I like who takes a turn of phrase from me. It is incredibly petty how irritating I find this. Probably because his posts get twenty times as many likes as mine; I am a WordPress nobody. His is one of the only blogs that I follow, because most blogs are freaking terrible, and his blog is good shit: funny, angry. And I have a weakness for angry, funny men.
For a couple of weeks, I try to ignore it. Afterall, this is the Internet. Nothing is original. I straight-up boost most of my pictures. And it is literally a stupid, two-word thing. I always tell my seventh-grade students that it has to be five words or more copied in a row for it to be plagiarism; otherwise it could totally be a coincidence. I have no idea if this truly is the definition of plagiarism or not, but it’s something I heard somewhere and thus I believe it utterly. But it bothers me. Finally, I wake up one night from a dream in which I am peeing in a fax machine (Why, Dream-Me? You had to know you would get caught), and it is three in the morning in New York, but I am so alert and awake that I swing my feet out of bed with great determination, ready to go and leave this guy a comment, and I crack my shin against my shoe rack hard enough to leave blood.
The thing is, though, that exact phrase that I’m being so possessive of is one that Sketch uses; I freaking stole it from Sketch. So this is really a big karmic wheel of not-quite-enough-words-to-call-it-plagiarism. Sketch doesn’t write, but the man is the anti-cliché. I follow him around with a notebook between alternating courses of kinky sex and love and breakups. It’s a parfait of dysfunction, but it’s mine. I steal from him. I feel somehow I have earned it.