Single White Nerd: Real Life vs. Blog Land
a blogumn by Michael Kass
She knocks at my door. I open it to let her in. It’s the first time she’s been to my apartment and I’m wondering what she’ll notice first. The fact that I cleaned for her? The scent of garlic and butter emanating from the kitchen? My cheerful tiki lights?
We hug hello. Her hug, which on our two previous meetings has been warm and giving, feels reserved. I sense trouble.
She pushes me back and her eyes dart around the room.
“Hi,” I say, “It’s good to see y–”
“So what’s it going to be?” She asks.
“The Break-up Bookshelf? The Litmus Test? Is your Imaginary Girlfriend going to pop out and serve us dinner?”
“Ah,” I say stepping back carefully, palms raised in supplication, “You’ve found my blog.”
“It wasn’t difficult,” she huffs.
“Well, I’m not trying to hide it.”
She strides to my bookshelf and starts reading the titles. “Clive Cussler? Voices of Terror? This is what you thought would drive me away? You’ll have to do better than that!”
“Umm. Actually those are just books that I’ve been reading. See, I don’t really DO those things I write about, it’s just a –”
“And what happens now? You serve some dinner that you’ve cooked and tell me some story designed to test my moral compass? Something about meeting some disadvantaged person and you do something nice, but then there’s a twist at the end that makes it not so nice?” Her eyes are wide and she has backed herself into the corner of my apartment, arms raised as if to ward off an attack.
“No, I was thinking that we’d eat and have a more free ranging conversation. Then maybe make out or have sex or something.” I smile in what I hope is a harmless, charming way and wonder if there is any way to salvage this situation.
Her eyes widen. “Oh, no you don’t. I know what you’re doing. You’re a wily one. You don’t get any of these goodies.” She jabs her finger at me, keeping me at bay.
“What am I doing?” Maybe if I can get her to tell me what she thinks I’m doing, I can do the opposite. But then she might think that I’m trying to manipulate the situation. Which I am. So maybe I should do exactly what she thinks I’m doing to lure her into a sense of confidence. Which would be manipulative. Maybe she’s right. Maybe I am wily.
“Right now,” she hisses, “you’re having a long internal monologue about the best way to diffuse this situation,” her eyes narrow, “I can see the little wheels turning in your head.” I see tears starting to form in her eyes. “Oh no. Michael, am I going to be fodder for your blog? I am, aren’t I? Are there cameras filming this? Will you change a couple of letters in my name to protect my anonymity? Make me into some shrill harpy as you play the role of the innocent victim? I’m in the right. It’s your blog and I’m right to be suspicious of anyone who writes such things. And yo–”
“My name’s NOT Miranda. It’s Lorinda. See, you’re already doing it. You’re changing this to make yourself look better to your readers.”
“But this isn’t a blog, it’s real. You’re standing there, all crazy like, crying while my chicken simmers, accusing me of writing a story about you that I haven’t written–”
“That’s just like something on your blog. ‘Crying while my chicken simmers.’ You’re writing about this in your head RIGHT now!”
“Am not. And I don’t really have any readers. Maybe three. And they won’t care if your name is Miranda or Lorinda.”
Miranda takes a moment to gather herself. She steps close to me, trembling. “Goodbye, Michael. I hope you enjoy writing about this. I’m going to find myself someone less confusing to date.” She strides towards the door and tries to open it without turning the lock first. She looks back at me. “You’re going to write about that, too, aren’t you? Something like ‘she pulled at the unyielding door like a weasel gnawing on a piece of rendered bacon fat.’”
“Actually, you can’t gnaw on rendered bacon fat, it’s more of a liquid.”
“Whatever.” She rolls her eyes and leaves.
“I wasn’t going to blog about you, but now I am,” I call after her. “And you have no one but yourself to blame!”
Shaking my head, I take my chicken off the stove and dig in. Pulling my laptop towards me, I begin to type.
“She knocks at my door.”