Category Archives: Nicopolitan Owner’s Manual

"Oh, hello, you're back. And in one piece. Well, now it's time I do my part."

-- Greirat the Thief

Dear Nico,

Welcome back, ashen one. Appropriate that your Dark Souls III references nicely transition from your last post. You closed up shop last time lamenting the ashes, and in the time since, you have embraced your inner goth kid and learned to appreciate the beautiful melancholy of having demons. Life imitates art, it seems.

It has been some time, hasn't it? 2014 was when I last saw you. So let's get on with it, then. You're here for a complete report, are you not? Buckle up. This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About.1

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  1. This is the name of a Modest Mouse album.

late Middle English (in the sense 'far apart'): from Latin remotus 'removed,' past participle of removere.

I believe I've blogged ad nauseam about the implications, at least in a personal sense, of what it means to use the internet to be social over far reaching physical distances. And I'll gush about it to no end. The internet has, at this point, had a greater impact on my life than any other social context. But I'm not sure I've ever said anything about feeling far away from the persons I believe I had been because of it.

There is an idea of what I think I am, what others think I am, and what I perceive others to think I am, and those three variables come with subsets and variations in themselves. This is probably true about you, too.

The fact that I'm writing this from a hotel room traveling on business notwithstanding, I feel very far away from those persons I used to be, perceived and actual.

The cast:

  • My internet social presence suffered from hiding in the shadows as a freelancer for a time. But that guy is gone.
  • Before that, I was content to scurry around as an agency pawn. And don't get me wrong, those lives were fulfilling in their own ways. But that guy is gone, too.
  • And before that, there was the guy that was at another agency who also worked at a bar. Not only is that guy gone, but so is the bar.
  • And preceding, there was that lost, artistically-minded ne'er-do-well. Oh, that guy.

And I don't want to admit that friends come and go, because that's not how it should be. But in my life, they really do. It's not that I dislike these friends or acquaintances. It's not anyone's fault but my own that they don't stick around. I do not speak up about these things. I just have never been the guy to push for his own presence to be remembered. I'm too preoccupied getting my own shit together on top of or because of being self-interested, and would rather not be a burden. As much as attention is supposed to be nice and make me feel valued, there's this whole Catholic-guilt and poor self-esteem thing going on that prevents me from really enjoying any of it.

But it's been a whole year since the last nicopolitan took the stage -- the quiet (brooding? gawd, I hope not), behind-the-scenes developer. And today, it's the guy that doesn't quite fit the corporate life mold1 but tries his damnedest to make it work anyway. Wait -- a whole year? Where did all that time go?

I know I'm supposed to appreciate "living in the moment" and "paying attention before time passes", but have you seen how fucking fast this train is going? Because holy shit.

Maybe that's getting older. Maybe that's having accrued enough unrelated interests and hobbies that there is not nearly enough time to dedicate a substantial segment of the day to them. Maybe it's the relativity of life-having-lived being ever-extending to the constant values of time passing.

But it makes me fearful of what I'm going to become. Not because I'm uncertain for my safety or sanity or happiness -- but because I could never have expected to be what I am now. It feels just... really... far.

And if I'm going to end up being this remote from what I know, I just hope I still have bars of signal.

I don't speak up. I don't reach out. I'm stubborn like that.

But I need to know that I can. That's all. That's enough.

Because otherwise, the loneliness becomes very, very real.

  1. Still lacking wife and kids, but, I mean, LOL to all of that.

I think I've forgotten how to do this.

Blogging, for a time, came naturally. It was something I deployed to digest the things that go on around me in the hopes that I'd learn something from what I've seen and done. But I haven't seen or done anything for quite a while now that didn't involve the hamster wheel of being an independent contractor.

I have, every once in a while, a chit chat over drinks, but I haven't learned any new lessons. I don't date, so there aren't any fun stories there. I love (and ostensibly live for) my clients, but I'm not going to blog about them -- that's unprofessional. My creative endeavors, visual and musical, have always been floating around in the background of my life, but nobody really cares about those and I'm dangerously close to feeling the same.

This isn't a rut. This isn't writer's block. This is being uninspired. Continue reading