How my negative Facebook rant helped me overcome writer’s block

So my official blog was supposed to be up weeks ago. Having crowned myself something of a street festival connoisseur, I was going to cover the How Weird Street Faire and Bay to Breakers. By contrasting them and offering my “unique” perspective, I had planned to entertain and amuse my readers with a quirky little introductory adventure into the life of Damian Drummer. But as fun and unorthodox as these events were, I just can’t find the motivation. To me, the experiences were no more blogworthy than the previous 5 or 6 times I’ve attended those events.

I’ve been unemployed for 2 months now. My aspirations had begun to falter under the advanced stages of chronic procrastination and a touch of writer’s block (which I think is really just an internalized form of procrastination). It’s Memorial Day weekend and it’s Saturday night. I’m at home with some leftover three-meat DiGiorno, about to watch Sherlock Holmes online with a browser open to Facebook (but pretending to not be on Facebook).

This guy named Matt from my hometown is online. We weren’t exactly friends growing up, but I knew who he was. I remember him being a skinny, quiet and harmless kid. But since I realized that people from “back in the day” tend to be the most obnoxious part of social networking, I actually let his friend request sit in the queue for a year before I decided to accept it.

It turns out he never left that town and, like many of the folks I grew up with, doesn’t seem to be doing much with his life these days. As an adult, he takes pride in being flippant and unrefined. He insists on this unsettling profile picture of himself that resembles the final shot of Anthony Perkins in Psycho. He has that punk rock way of not giving a fuck that you just don’t advertise on your wall if you’ve ever wanted a job that requires a suit. East Texas will do that to you if you’re not one of the cool kids, or if you’re not focused on starting a career or a family. Matt reminds me a little of myself before I moved here. I once described the feeling of living there as being “trapped in a rundown insane asylum I have to fistfight my way out of.”

I can safely say that I’ve mellowed out a lot in 7 years. SF has been good to me and I’ve had more fun than I thought was possible. You learn to be grateful while never forgetting the time in your life when you should have demanded more. I adopted smugly-written, but wisely-lived credos like “Listen more than you speak” and “It’s better to be kind than to be right.” As it stands now, Matt and I don’t really have much in common except for a couple of acquaintances, some comic book movie geekery and perhaps an antisocial streak.

So it’s 11pm and he posts:

Guess I will stay up all night and get drunk by myself.

Yup, one of those kind of nights.

It’s a sad but not surprising declaration. I’ve been in a playful-snarky mood that night, having already pissed off one oversensitive friend enough to unfriend me. I write on Matt’s wall:

Your community failed you, Matthew!

He Likes this and writes:

I had a community Damian? Damn, I must’ve been drifting through the crowd.

His people start commenting about beer and chicken and the desire that they could taste the same and I’m still chuckling at my silliness. I write:

You’re 30ish, single, not a sex offender that I know of, and you have nothing to do on a Saturday night of a 3-day weekend but drink (probably domestic) beer by yourself and stare at your FB page with that Columbine look on your face?? No, sir! That doesn’t fly in my America.

I’m fully aware of the hypocritical nature of this indictment when he responds:

lmao! Oh Damian, you know me so well. That gave me a good laugh.

I guess that was kind of funny. But really, look at this poor bastard. I think about most of my old friends and where they are now. Sure, my town had a high school homecoming court, a couple of small colleges and a “world famous” downtown Christmas light tourist attraction. There are places I can and won’t direct you to that will sing the praises of that “sweet little town.” But for me, all the plucky civic pride and small town “values” are cheaper than the knockoff greeting cards they were printed on. Greeting cards in a moldy cardboard box left to rot inside the boarded up gift shop inside the empty mall that dried up the minute Wal-Mart open up on the other end of the highway.

And sitting here at my computer, I suddenly feel the ignition. The Molotov cocktail I kicked around for weeks finally bursts in my brain and I am at long last motivated to step up to the soapbox … to beat up on my old hometown. No one was going to argue with me on Matt’s thread. I’m preaching to the choir. I don’t even entirely believe everything I’m about to say. But I made the conscious decision that if anyone disliked what I was about to write – fuck ‘em.  To me, this was like a drunken frat boy who had attempted to pick a fight but had tripped on his own shoelaces. And I was going to kick that son of a bitch in the ribs on general principle. In other words, it was better to be mean than to be right.

Marshall is like Silent Hill populated with extras from True Blood and Easy Rider if it were run by the smarmy principal from Donnie Darko. Why don’t you just hang out and drink with your friends in the parking lot of Sonic? Or is that meager territory still ruled by assholes who shop at Baskins? So maybe the few local property owners have choked all economic growth and opportunity out of the town like a Down syndrome giant in a ratty barn choking the life out of a pack of bunnies. So maybe your drunk ass fucked up and got banned from the one decent bar that town has ever seen. The mayor, the church leaders, the PTA, Miss [jr high principal], whoever goes to town hall meetings… it is likely/mostly their fault you’re sitting at home alone, drinking lukewarm Coors and wondering if you can make the label on the can change colors if you blow hard enough.

Matt was entertained. He told me it was the most spot on interpretation of the town he had ever read and that I touched on everything except the police.

I went on to add:

I was actually going to throw in a bit about the police department being a bunch of Marine Corp boot camp rejects with too much time on their hands to reflect on their cheating wives and broken dreams, but I didn’t want to be too long-winded.

So now I revisit this mean-spirited rant and figure this will do as a half-assed Blog # 1. It’s not great. But it is a couple of pages and that’s a start.

Is the ice broken yet?

Hi. My name’s Damian.