I’m deep in the squalor of that stage which I dislike the most, and yet by some quirk of the internet, is now the most important thing since Martin Luther King had a dream – making friends and following people. It would be easy for an opening paragraph like this to come across as cynical, even bitter perhaps. And so it damn well should. I have loads of friends, they are the lubricant of my dreams, but I mostly meet them in the bars of Paris – their IP addresses are as yet, unknown to me. But the friends I need these days live in Ulan Bator and Reykjavik, far flung distant lands with wifi – the friends of the new millennium.
In search of these people of fabled colour and form, I joined an online book club – for purposes of self-promotion and grand riches. “Promote your own book here” they belched proudly from their servers, “Just copy and paste your ISBN number into this nicely fashioned box, we will do the rest”. I felt the dapple of sunlight upon my cheeks, I could practically smell the coconuts. My book did not appear. Bugger.
Undeterred (as is my financial duty and want), I pasted said ISBN number into Google’s nicely fashioned search box also, and bingo, there I was, spread across the internet, across the entire universe, little old me and my 13 digit passport. And then I thought to myself, those digits have become my iris scan, they have propagated across the planet in a thrice and now Homeland Security know exactly who and where I am. It’s like when I used to travel through Dubai and immigration took everything, save collect my sperm for the fostering of relations, to identify me. That’s how it feels.
Is it too late to retract this dream, take back those numbers and say goodbye to my island in the sky? Is it?
Yes, it is.