When I sit down to write a post, I have you in mind. Sure, my picture of you isn’t very clear — you’re an amorphous, all-gender, ageless, purple person to me. But your shimmering presence is out there (or in here, lodged in an area of the brain somewhere between my left ear and right eye), and it changes the way I write.
Because I have you as an active, alive reader whose act of slowly swinging your eyeballs over my piece in mind, the tone of this blog is conversational, even in the more formal pieces. I address you, using the pronoun “you”, often, something markedly different from, say, my college essays. Yes, I know that there are souls who read my college essays too, but as they are doing their jobs when doing that, like I was doing my job in writing the essays, they don’t carry the same immediacy & familiarity for me that you, my blog readers, do.
You shouldn’t take from that last line that I creepily think of you as my best buds. In fact, you’re very different from any of my “flesh and blood” friends, i.e. friends who are not mediated by teasandbooks.wordpress.com. They have faces(!) and definite personalities when I think of any of them. Dr. B. is tall, white, and proud of his distinguished forehead. T. is a redhead, capable, and much too fun for somebody who’s so capable. P. is my peep, my fast-talking, who-knows-where-from-left-field-she-will-be-coming-from-this-time oldest peep. They’re friends that I call for medical “emergencies” (what’s this new mole I found?); friends that I cook with; friends that I share the messy (if boring) details of personal life.
You shouldn’t take from those last few lines that you’re not a friendly face to me. My unmediated friends are un-complicatedly my friends, but I would never stand in front of them and pontificate for 20 minutes about books that I’m reading, talk endlessly about what I think of the process of writing, pester for details in publishing, or presume an interest and permission to float all sorts of musings on libraries.
For those things, I have you. Maybe it’s just the difference between writing and verbal communication. Maybe it’s the effect of talking to a specific person versus writing for an amorphous reader. Maybe it’s not knowing you outside any comments you may choose to leave, but I am with you as I am not chattering on the phone about my mole. You exist, and so my blog isn’t my personal journal. You exist, and that, even if it does not change everything, changes enough.
PS. Should I ever get readers on this blog whom I will also know away from teasandbooks, please don’t give anybody we know in common the impression that I have an obscene number of moles. I don’t. Really!
PSS. Should I ever get any readers on this blog who are in a position to extend me a job offer, please know that I have exactly the number of moles that the job calls for. And that I’m a very serious, able person.