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When I first arrived here at E2 a little over four years, I was a little intimidated. After all, I had never tried my hand at writing but I harbored one of those deep seeded dreams that one day, if I really put my mind to it, I could make it big. For those of us who share the same dreams, you might know what I’m trying to get at. I never expected to be the next Ernest Hemingway or Norman Mailer or any other author who seems, at times, larger than life. Still, in the back of your head you think that if you put your mind to it, you’re gonna somehow pen the next Great American Novel.

So what did I do? I started noding factuals by the dozen. In way, I began to think of myself as “Joe Factual”. After all, the database was relatively empty back then and the subjects were a little easier to come by. Biographies of famous and not so famous people were just waiting to be catalogued as well as the details of events in the timeline of history were just waiting to be expanded on. Noding was easy back then, you picked your target and went for it.

I'm trying to tell you something about my life
maybe give me insight between black and white
and the best thing you've ever done for me
is to help me take my life less seriously
it's only life after all

As time went on, the targets became less and less easier to find. Just about every time I thought I’d come up with something that hadn’t been done, I’d come up disappointed when I found out that it had. Usually I’d rake my mind trying to come up with famous names and places but after a while, it went sorta blank. This was kind of frustrating because I had begun to think of myself as a “filler of holes”

Then I discovered daylogs. At first I thought to myself “Holy Shit!”, I can write just about anything I want and nobody can say nothin’ about it except in the form of downvotes and who cares about them?

The thing about that is that once you start doing that stuff, you kinda reveal a personal side of yourself that was almost kept hidden by the factuals. At first, it was scary but as time went on, like most things, it got to be easier and easier. As time moved on, many things that I would’ve put in a daylog began to have titles of their own.

well darkness has a hunger that's insatiable
and lightness has a call that's hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it
I'm crawling on your shores

Another day of being poked and prodded and pricked watching the nurse trying to draw blood from the veins in my arm. I tell her that I’m one of those “tough sticks” but she looks at me like she’s heard it all before and maybe she has. After all, she does this kinda stuff for a living and who am I to tell her how to do her job?

After her third attempt she summons one of her compatriots into the room so he can try his luck and he gets the juices flowing on his first try. She looks a little withdrawn and sheepish but I could hardly care. It’s what they’re looking for and the thought that they mind find it that has me more than a little worried.

I went to the doctor,
I went to the mountains
I looked to the children,
I drank from the fountains
there's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
and the less I seek my source for some definitive
the closer I am to fine
the closer I am to fine

As the years have seemingly flown by and my contributions here steadily increased, I think I’ve become a better writer. More importantly, I think I’ve become a better person. I don’t know what criteria I can measure that against but I’m somehow more open with many folks these days. That would have been unheard of in the past.

and I went to see the doctor of philosophy
with a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee
he never did marry or see a b-grade movie
he graded my performance, he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
got my paper and I was free

So somewhere along the way, I started revealing little snippets of myself and made to be what I consider a fair amount of friends and supporters here at E2. Shit, I even got my kid to catch the writing bug and the support and encouragement she received just reinforced my belief that most people are well intentioned and would rather see someone succeed rather than fail.

I went to the doctor,
I went to the mountains
I looked to the children,
I drank from the fountains
there's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
and the less I seek my source for some definitive
the closer I am to fine
the closer I am to fine

I don’t know when the results of the most recent series of blood tests are due back or what they were even checking for. I know that next week I go in for yet another stress test and after that I’m enrolled in a cardio-rehab program that consists of three nights of exercise weekly for the next twelve weeks. My goal is to drop some excess poundage that I’ve been carrying around for too long and maybe turn into the stud that I never was.

Self discipline has never really been my strong suit but I think this time I’m gonna give it a go. There’s so much more I want to do and say and pass on to Anna that it’d be a crime if I didn’t,

I stopped by the bar at 3 a.m.
to seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
and I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
and I went in seeking clarity.

So what does that all mean? Well, old habits die hard but I’d rather say goodbye to them than to have to say it to anybody else. The temptation to light up a smoke or crack one too many beers is gonna be hard to overcome and maybe that means expanding my life to take it from Point A to Point B and beyond.

That’s gonna be hard because I really got used to liking Point A and all the people and things that it consisted of.

I went to the doctor,
I went to the mountains
I looked to the children,
I drank from the fountains
yeah we go to the doctor,
we go to the mountains
we look to the children,
we drink from the fountains
yeah we go to the bible,
we go through the workout
we read up on revival,
and we stand up for the lookout
there's more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line
the less I seek my source for some definitive
the closer I am to fine
the closer I am to fine
the closer I am to fine

I’m sure that some of you who are reading this are asking “What the hell is this, some kinda borgo metanode or is it just one giant nodevertisement?”

I’m sorry if you feel that way but I’ve left pieces of me here at E2 that somehow just seem scattered all over the place. I thought it might be nice to have some of the more important ones under one roof. They’re easier for an old fart like myself to find that way.

I’m probably never gonna write that Great American Novel that I mentioned in the first part of this write up. I don’t have the talent or the time but I think that what “work” I’ve done here at E2 is a nice substitute. These days, maybe I am, in whatever strange and convoluted way, getting a little bit closer to fine.

Lyrics to “Closer to Fine” copyright by the Indigo Girls -words and music by Emily Saliers

CST Approved

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