Obviously I want to be myself
I can't focus today, so I keep going downstairs to see whether Amazon has delivered the high-tech Exofficio underwear and microfiber travel towels I ordered. Allison's Exofficios arrived already, in a tidy little box from REI, and for some reason I'm eager for mine to get here too. I've read many, many blog posts on the subject of travel underwear, and the consensus is that Exofficios are the best, although the Snarky Nomad has written a lengthy screed of dissension.
I keep wondering what kind of travel blogger I want to be. I doubt I'll ever be inclined to write thousands of words about travel underwear, though obviously the world needs people like that. I'm not really into reviewing products, or places, or services, like so many bloggers seem to do. The conventional wisdom, I suppose (I think I read this somewhere, on some travel blog "How To" most likely), is that people want advice when they travel, so posts that tell people what to buy, what to pack, where to go, how to do things, etc., are very popular.
That kind of thing bores me.
Nor do I care much for interviewing people or writing profiles of "interesting characters," which there also seems to be some demand for.
In so far as I want to write at all, and I must because here I am doing it, I'd rather write about my own experiences. But maybe what I really want is a few hundred thousand Instagram followers and my own show on Viceland. In other words, I want to be Eddie Huang.
No, obviously I want to be myself.
I want to find a means of expressing myself that captures the interiority of my own mind AND my perceptions of the world as I move through it. I want to be a SERIOUS WRITER, sought after by SERIOUS PUBLICATIONS, not some damn blogger. Perhaps that's why I hardly even tell anyone that this blog exists.
It's just practice.
I'm still preparing for the real thing.
Maybe it's more like a hiatus. I've published creative nonfiction stories in nearly a dozen places scattered across the Internet, but I haven't submitted anything in over a year.
I'm not sure why.
Perhaps I became uncomfortable with the "voice" I had developed: a bumbling, obsessive, ribald caricature of myself—a kind of wannabe Jonathan Ames.
Perhaps I became discouraged by the fact that the other writers I'd tried to get to know in New York didn't seem interested enough in me, although I'd tried to feign interest in them—going to readings, introducing myself to people, even co-hosting my own reading series.
Perhaps it's because I'm still not sure what I even want to write ABOUT.
Last summer, when I was living in Portland, I tried to write a story about my misadventures on the way out there: my car breaking down, the 23-year-old stripper I had weird druggy sex with in Bozeman, Montana. But I became uncomfortable with my own subject matter, concerned that I was just coming across like some asshole having a near-midlife crisis, bumbling my way across America in a borderline jalopy, banging as many college girls as possible. Of course, that is essentially what I was doing, and I was having a fairly decent time of it too, but I suppose it's more fun to DO those things than it is interesting to write (or read) about them.
Or maybe not. Maybe I should revisit that story, now that I have a year of hindsight.
In any case, the trip to Southeast Asia will be different. I'll have Allison with me, for one thing. Also, perhaps I'm more SERIOUS than I used to be (there's that word again). On the other hand, maybe I'm just tired today. I was up too late listening to the new Danny Brown album, Atrocity Exhibition, and boy is it dark. It seems that Danny's hedonism is catching up with him. I feel the same way. Too many drunken nights, too many times telling myself I'll just have a few cigarettes, and then I'll stop, really. Too many hangovers.
Allison and I keep telling each other it won't be like this when we're traveling. We'll be having too many adventures to want to drink all the time. Right? I hope so. Time will tell.
In the meanwhile, I should really go see (again) if my fancy new underwear has arrived yet.