As if it weren’t bad enough discovering you’ve been found by someone searching erections, you realise that the real voyeur is right there gazing back at you from the screen. The erection looking back at itself. It’s the counter. If it had never been found, happiness and the mindfulness of my meditating friend could have been mine. But the blogger colleagues who’ve encouraged me to discover the counter defeated the breathing techniques of the Far East. Who is looking at you, for how long, from where, and as a result of whom, is the addiction. I’ve given up smoking, more or less given up drugs, given up a lot of alcohol – but the counter, the monitor catching who is out there looking back is above all of these. The desire to be read, laughed at, agreed with, disputed, observed, seen is utterly obsessive. Completely necessary. To chase a viewer around your own screen. It has come to that. I can see where you are, almost guess what you are reading, and in many cases, know who you are. Really who you are. What? Only 2 minutes and 17 seconds! It was better than that, surely? Less than a minute? You bastards. You don’t understand me. You’re not getting me. Stay here. Take time to read the whole thing. Really, really. There’s some good stuff higher up… I mean, no, lower down. Really. Good stuff. And if you just stick about a bit, you’ll see me at my best. Flying. High. You can come with me. But don’t – no don’t, not yet, not now – don’t leave me. Don’t go. I’ve only had twenty-one today. Some have hundreds every day. I’ve had over two hundred. Once. Yes. I thank Lenin for that. Perhaps I should turn off comments? Make the posts longer? No. Shorter. No. Stick at what you’re doing. It’s fine. Why do you do it? An online diary! That’s so fucking sad. No. It’s not that, it’s more than that. You don’t understand. Stay. Stay. Stay. Please stay. It’s important. What a waste. I have so much more to do. I am so busy. I have a book to write. A report to finish. A translation to begin. And I haven’t finished that lobbying work. And there’s the visa. The visa. Visas. The blog. The erection. The ego. You and me. Just to have your contact for one minute and fifty-three seconds. It was so good. So good. The hit. The high. The injection. Of course you don’t care. You aren’t interested in who’s reading you. One person, you’d be happy. But we all know it’s not true. We know we need you. We need the man searching erection, nipples. Yes, nipples. Put them in. This’ll get the count up.
And then I call a friend in Luanda.
‘Sorry I’ve not been in touch,’ he says. ‘You have no idea how busy I’ve been. It’s so hard to get things done here. It’s so difficult to finish work. It never stops. There’s so much to do. We ran out of gas and there’s been no power for two days. It took five hours to find gas for the generator.’
‘Yah. And we’re lucky because a friend runs a gas station nearby. Some have to wait a couple of days. God, I’m tired. Tired. I need to rest.’
I remember that. I know that exhaustion. Real exhaustion. Really doing. Really being. And I come back to this. The blog. And here I am writing now, writing, and wanting to stop. Wanting that exhaustion. But it doesn’t exist here in the land of shops, shopping, and more shops.