I got a comment on one of my posts this week from a guy in Texas. It made me realize I need to be comfortable with strangers reading about my life. But then it dawned on me, that’s the whole point of what I’m doing: telling strangers about my life.
I clicked on his name, which took me to his site. He described himself as a Christian grad-student with an interest in Charles Bukowski. I was surprised, I liked what he wrote. I never thought I’d enjoy a poem that dramatizes a scene from the Bible, but I did.
Still, having contact with people on the Internet spooks me. I am Internet Shy. I don’t know why, because the only relationship I’ve had on the Internet was really good. I traded several handwritten letters and mix tapes with a guy from Liverpool for 10 years. It wasn’t love, but a common interest in The Fall.
He said he mailed a photo of himself to The White Stripes, and they actually wrote back. He had been to the beach and passed out drunk in the sun, and the rolls of his fat left white stripes across his stomach. I guess the underside of the rolls were protected by the sun, so it created a pattern of white stripes against the red. He thought they could use it for the next album cover.
The thing about sharing your life with strangers is to remember, they only want to know something about you that means something to them.
More than once this week I’ve had people say they’re done with Facebook because they’re tired of hearing the same story about a friend who’s just returned from a walk with the dog. Strangers need more. Friends do, too.