One of my reasons for moving this blog to wordpress.com was that I wanted to largely dissociate it from myself: that is, my public self, my employer, my real-life friends. This wasn’t just to be able to make sarcastic remarks without any hope of non-virtual comeback (although that’s attractive). I just hoped it might get me out of a rut of not posting.
Nonetheless, I find myself reticent to write about this or that subject, for fear that the freedom I thought I enjoyed to use my real-life experiences turns out to be entirely shackles. There’s my membership of the local bridge club, for a start: it would raise hackles among the more junior members where I to be found boasting about my frankly nonpareil knowledge of Acol. And my place of work, also local; I’m almost certain that both current and ex-employees read this drivel (although you wouldn’t guess it from the trickle of unique visitors I get, mutter mutter) and if they could identify themselves from my descriptions of that hilarious thing they do with their sandwiches then there’d be hell to pay.
Now I find myself standing for local government. Not in this country’s, mind you; by a quirk of administrative paperwork I have become embroiled in the upcoming contest for the mayorship of the tiny Moldovan village of Pahamovca on June 5. I now have to worry about yet another possibility: that word will reach the ears of incumbent oaf Viku Orhei that I think he’s a kernel-chewing bumpkin who needs to be kicked repeatedly around the old waterpump in the market square. His bruiser of a brother Stefan knows where I live, after all.
Worse than any of these things separately, though, is the worry that someone following me because of one of these subjects will start to acquire an unhealthy interest in the others. That a bridge-club member will book a holiday to Chişinău, or a colleague with a relative in said club will read about me marking the card decks after hours. I think it’s an extension of my more general and often pointless perturbations regarding the collision and overlapping of my different social spheres; yet I probably worry more about this than about any other consequence of writing online.
Recently, to try to assuage these fears of multiple discovery, I’ve been turning to the great auteurs of eccentric Anglophone (pace the latter’s estimable Gaeilge) autobiographie à clef: J B Morton and Flann O’Brien. From what I can gather, the easiest way to write about your own life without being accused of pointedness by anyone – anyone who actually exists, at any rate – is to be a complete fantasist about every detail. I’ll let you know how I get on.