Tomorrow Never Knows

I meant to publish yesterday. Going on stage a bit late. That feels like the right attitude though; more indie band than professional entertainer.

I've wanted to write a piece of fiction for a while.

There's a set of drafts on my disk. It's nearly ten thousand words. A collection of puzzle pieces I've long wanted to fit together into a sort of character study.

The interesting thing is that when I sat down to write tonight I wasn't planning on mentioning that project at all. Honestly I haven't thought about it in over twelve months. I was going to talk about my progress through Read Write Own, or my excitement for the next book in my developing syllabus. Or my feelings on proper nouns and their creation and how it always feels like the death of me to name something. Or how I talked to my family about what I know, one month into this place, and they didn't respond as if I'd gone mad.

Earlier tonight my dude and I went to the open mic. It's in the coolest spot. A great third place. While they sketched abstracts on the iPad inspired by how "the songs make me feel," I sat and read the orange book.

When it was my turn I got up and read from John Perry Barlow's memoir, as I've done the past four weeks. I'm early in the book and every thorsday i'm sneaking up on people with these brutal snapshots of life in Wyoming in the 1950s. It's wild stuff. Long story short -- if John Perry made it through the life he had, I really have no excuse.

I've got a half dozen of these letters in rough draft. I'm not sure when they'll trickle out but if I had to guess I'll be out of dry powder by my birthday. Which is to say, I aim to hold myself to an aggressive publishing schedule in order to force output. This place is so fascinating that finding things to write about shouldn't be an issue, but carving my observations into shape isn't going to come easily either.

I have a number of different styles of writing I plan on exploring. Hence the mention of the fiction I thought was going to sit on a shelf for at least another year. But all of these styles are in service of understanding this place. I want to explain what I'm learning, who I'm meeting, and how they are shaping my beliefs. I feel like a lunatic on some exploratory mission, sending reports home.

I'm here because of my parents. They were freaks enough to be in Silicon Valley in the seventies, and one of them wound up with a career in the tech industry. As a result of their choices I have a strong affinity for exploring the weird; the confusing; the difficult internet. That's the internet I miss, to be honest. This present moment of the same set of massive businesses iterating on utterly predictable strategies just isn't doing it for me any longer.

I grew up alongside this industry. I remember when it felt wild and uncharted. Like this place feels.

As a dude who thinks spending money on virtual goods is as obvious as tying one's shoes, my dude is growing up in a very different environment. I want to be able to show them some cool shit, and to demonstrate that not everything is set in stone. That they can change things. This is why I need to throw myself into the deep end and figure out how to live in this place.

This place is familiar. It has nearly all the land masses and transit systems and taco stands. The people are not much different than those you'll pass on the street today. Some of their clothing is different, and the words they use feel strange to my ears. By far though they are the most kind and warm people you'd ever hope to meet. Most everyone is excited about being alive in this place. Everywhere they look they see possibility and they pursue their ideas openly and with exuberance. It is so very refreshing, even if I know some of them are hucksters and scoundrels.

I could go on but for the moment what you need to know is that I want you all to come with us. Because I promise you'll have a great time. If you show up with authenticity and curiosity, I reckon you'll wind up wanting to invite everyone you know. There are parts of this place that are unfinished and imperfect and confusing. But no one sweats it much because they're all here to build.

Okay my realities are collapsing. I'm going to bring this in for a landing. This month is about planting trees. I'll tend them over time, as often as I can. My hope is that by investing in them they will grow into something of an orchard and throw off some knowledge to anyone who visits.

I'm just a dude. Living a life of blond fragility. And I'm great at doin' stuff.



PS The fiction has a whole bit about custom-built mechanical keyboards. Also surfing. And music. So much music. You're gonna love it.

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