Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I think I may now have the answer to one of my recurrent questions.

I have just passed the "6,500 unique hits" mark on this blog. Of course that only is a count since re-activating StatCounter in October, so it's something of a non-milestone; the previous however-many hits were wiped out in the move to Blogger Beta. But still, 6,500 people have come and looked since October, mostly people looking for my Shakespeare quotes, or sex-related words that had little or nothing to do with my posts. And then were the seekers after Gengoroh Tagame, and Francois Sagat, and, bless him, Greasetank. What's even more remarkable is that about 1,800 of them came back -- or allowing for the possibility that all of the 2006 visitors may have been counted as separate visitors in 2007, perhaps only 1,350. It still boggles the mind: one out of five came back.

Don't people have anything better to do?

I have just passed the 400-post mark, which is more of a milestone, I suppose, but in the long run equally meaningless. Especially when it boils down to me staring in disbelief at the gap between where I am now and where I was a year ago -- which is, for me, essentially a full-time job -- and posting another batch of essentially identical sonnets. I mean: I still find it absolutely incredible that a mere seven months after leaving home, I was pretty sure I had found "the one." And six months later, he claims to agree with me. What on earth is going on here?

For me, it is the hand of God. You can call it whatever you like, but that's what it is for me.

But the numbers, for all their vague and contradictory nature, do still tell a story. Aside from a burst after posting a link on "Best Gay Blogs" -- and what was that aside from the cheapest form of self-advertisement [self-aggrandizement?] -- what I think I can see pretty conclusively is a slow but distinct tailing off in interest in my story once I made my decision and left home, and was no longer dithering between staying and going; that tailing-off was followed by a precipitous drop once things settled down in Goatville. And why not? Who's interested in someone else's love-life, aside from people who don't have one of their own? And who is interested in cataloguing his love-life in a public diary? There's the really gritty question...

So, here I am, almost a year and a half after joining the Blog Brothers, finding myself beset with something resembling fatigue. I still enjoy sharing my story, and particularly enjoy the occasional response -- just often enough not the same five people that I occasionally believe that more than five people are actually reading this stuff -- but I can see that this is not going to go on forever. And now we are back to my recurrent question:

Where have all the Bloggers gone?

My problem is that I at least still want to know what Drew, Joe, Bigg, Nate, OJO, Ernesto, Tom, Bea, Aaron, K&K, and all the rest are up to. As I have posted before, I am curious about the way Drew's blog seems to have called a world of others into being, my own included, and equally curious that the little mini-wave seems to have passed as the Drew-vians fell off the BlogWagon, one by one. Yes, I was only granted a tiny window into other people's lives, but it was a window into a soul in every case, and so leaves me with the feeling of having looked into someone's eyes...

I suspect most of us started blogging because it allowed us to say things semi-publicly that we would never be able to say publicly, and because it was a kind of safety valve. Take away the need for a safety valve, and a lot of the pressure goes out of the whole arrangement -- or resolve the situation that drove us to blog in the first place, and the need to blog recedes.

Now, I am someone who was fascinated by the possibility of finding stories similar to mine; I spent hours copying the reverse-order posts into chronological order [first first, that is, rather than last first] so that I could read the back-stories as a book. And I ranged pretty widely at the beginning. But now, between the attrition rate in Blogville and my own change of circumstances [something else, well, someone else, to obsess about], the need is no longer what it was. I remain particularly attached to the people I thought I had come to know, but I can see that as my own life shakes out, my need to reach out both to other bloggers and as a blogger, has also "tailed off."

And there is the fact [perhaps also Chris's story, perhaps the reason that "Out at 48" had to fold] that some things are not meant for public discussion. As I mentioned when the "L word" first raised its ugly head between the Goat and me, I knew I was entering onto sacred ground, and the way I wrote about things either had to change or die. Suddenly there was a degree of reticence parallel to my reticence about Isis. I have to admit in retrospect that I owed her much more reticence than I gave, but there was simply no way to tell my own story without involving her to some extent. And that is where things began to go south, began to slip past redemption...

Someone, probably a relative or partner of a writer, once remarked that writers are always ratting somebody out.

Of course, none of us have told the whole story. In my own case, Isis taking what I posted as the whole story was in fact part of my undoing -- but it was precisely because I could lay out here what I could not live out and remain myself, that the blog became such an anchor for me. I flatly refused to stop blogging, or to drop contact with the people with whom blogging had brought me into contact. As someone wiser than I once said:

All religious acts are stupid
[i.e., appear "stupid" to others].

So, this is a comment along the way. I may continue to post, and then again, I may not. Should the Goat suddenly decide to take off for greener pastures, and leave me with endless free time to navel-gaze again, I might crank up into high gear again -- not to mention despair. But what I am beginning to see is that every one of our stories has an arc, and that, by definition, that arc begins in one place and ends in another. What I can see is that the life of this blog is "doomed" as well; it is only a matter of time before I too pack up my bags and concentrate on living life rather than commenting on it.

I suspect that I will continue to reflect on the questions and quibbles that drove me to first comment, and then blog myself, in the beginning. Where and how I do it is the question, and one which I am pretty sure I cannot answer at this point. There are, in fact, so many things I have never really gotten around to saying, and so much, in this world of polarized and polarizing debates, desperately needs to be said. But to reflect on the fact that 90% of the web receives more traffic in a day than I have in the year-and-a-half of this blog's existence, also reminds me of the extreme narrow-casting of my position[s]...

As I said sometime a year and a half ago:

How does a leather-bound gay man pick up his cross and follow his savior?

That's not a question I have tackled well, or seen tackled anywhere else, either, and it's probably because once you start with the 6% of men who are gay, and then narrow it down to those with some kind of kink, you are talking about a group so small as to be able to join that crowd of angels on the head of a pin... I have no answers, but I am figuring it out day by day... which, in the long run, is the only way to answer any serious question. But you know what? It's still my question. And it may take me the rest of my life to answer. If I can move fast enough to get an answer by the end...

So stay tuned.
You never know.
Something may turn up...

Hang in there, all.
Newbies and old friends alike.
It's what makes it possible for the rest of us to do the same...

1 comment:

  1. Well, if you do stop, I shall miss you. I wish you all the best, my dear.

    Go well. My thoughts are with you.