are you out there?

Dear reader, did you know that I can reverse-spy on you? I have a statcounter and sometimes I look at it, and it tells me what city you’re in, and that makes my head spin, because you’re from so many different places, places I have never been- little towns in the desert and along both coasts and up into Canada and on Tuesday someone in Mexico looked at my blog three hundred times, which sets a sort of record for most page-views from a single browser. And still I wonder- are you out there? Where are you, right now? How old are you? Is it morning, afternoon, or evening? Are you in the midst of making breakfast, checking your email, scanning several blogs at once? Are you leaning on your kitchen table, has your cup of tea gone cold? Are you late for work? Is life ever so ordinary? No, there is always something else- stormclouds threatening on the horizon or just above, feeling like they might crush you, like you have to run, run to keep ahead of them, attempting not to fall. Something tragic has always just happened, or is about to happen, to you or someone that you love. And if not, the boredom of life! What monotony! Or joy, that rare thing, that so many of us exhaust so early in life, and can never manage to find again. But right now you are cooking breakfast, in spite of all of it! These moments, that continue to pass! Are you not as astounded by it as I am? And I am curious for your story, dear reader. You have some of my secrets, and there is part of me that wants some of yours. But no matter how hard I look at my computer screen, good-hearted stranger, I will never see you. The audience is always dark and I am up here all alone, and can only write you anonymous letter after anonymous letter, from now until forever. But they are not anonymous! They are for you, after all. I may not know your motivations, hopes and fears, I may not know the color of your hair or the foods you eat for breakfast- if it is always something different or the same thing, day after day, cooked in a cast-iron skillet the way I cook mine- but in a sense I do know you. I know you like I know myself- and in a sense I do know your motivations, hopes and fears, because they are my motivations, hopes and fears. In a sense I know you because I carry you around inside of me, everywhere that I go- the way we carry the ocean around inside of us, the way we feel a familiarity for the stars, the way we long for things we no longer remember- and as much as we wonder where it is we are, as much as we wonder who we are, and where we might be going- it has to be, right now and tomorrow morning- it has to be enough that we exist. I exist, dear reader! And this is my letter to you! My personal letter to you, like a real paper envelope that the mail carrier drops off, with dented corners from its long overland journey, clanging in the metal mailbox, on the best afternoon of your life- because I know you, dear reader, like I know my own heart, like I know the way the winter rain feels, cold and dense, like being underwater, and I wanted to write to you, to remind you that I haven’t forgotten- I haven’t forgotten about you! And I wanted to tell you that I believe, with all of my guts and soul and everything, that YOU EXIST TOO.

15 thoughts on “are you out there?

  1. i had no idea the tracker thing could show me cities that people were looking from until i read this. and now, having look, my mind is falling out my ears in tiny pieces. strange, anonymous internet. how seductive and mysterious…. how cold and alienating…

  2. Statcounter is cool. You can tell search terms,entry, exit pages, down loads. Some visitors you might be able to guess who they are if you know them. It would be a terrific tool for a business website.
    Your writings are super.

  3. tis 23.36 right now. just returned home after a long day in london. ate two full meals, scored two free dishes on the account of a moody waitress and her super-service boss, ruined my off white tights, slip slided away on slushy streets, finished ‘perks of being a wallflower’, just jotted down things to do tomorrow for my move to another place. boyfriend in bed, sighing, reading the paper, pissy. drained. looking forward to free morning tomorrow.

    how about you?

  4. Holy carp ! That was spooky ! Reading this blog installment made me look at all my windows. Which one is she looking in through ? Which window has a heartbeat behind it ? But my house is a mess right now ! You can’t look in without scheduling it first ! Straighten, straighten, must appear better than I really am !

    Lol, thanks for the little taste of the fishbowl you sometimes must feel like your in. Thanks for sharing your life with us so often.

  5. all this time i thought i was being super sneaky, until jessaca pointed out that she can back-stalk me and was therefore aware how much i read her blog, as you must be too! but it is good to read, southern friend.

    today there was 3 hours and 40 minutes of sunlight, just barely squeaked above the horizon, but tomorrow we have 13 more glorious seconds of light! hallelujah! celebrated with a midnight bike ride to a bonfire, then a day of dog walks, trying out my new chainsaw, and chopping up wood to ready the cabin for my absence while i’m visiting ptown. also wandered through the willow bushes in search of the garden space the former renter swears is here somewhere…….

    i get the feeling you would like fairbanks in the winter.

    that’s all.
    but now you are surely aware- i read your blog quite a bit.
    yer northern friend,

  6. Emmit!
    I could see that I had readers in fairbanks, but I wasn’t sure if one of them was you. What a magical winter wonderland you live in! If only I could teleport there, part-time. If only I could soak up the intense interior silence like the sweet, sweet drug that it is. I am pining for it! I wish you would write about it! I wish you had a blog. I’m in the city so I am romanticizing the country something fierce. Will you whisper sweet nothings in my ear about sled-dogs, woodsmoke, noon sunrises and the aurora borealis?

  7. i am reading you from connecticut, rhode island, vermont and soon new hampshire.

    i trudge through snow, find somewhere warm with loving faces, tear off layers, warm my hands by the hearth or the tea kettle or the radiator spitting steam, exchange story after story after story with old friends and as the nights get late and i open this small box this modern portal, i find you here. a treasure! a treasure that travels to remote corners of the earth!

    and sometimes, i treat myself and read a few old ones, which feels like reading your diary, like i am getting away with something, these glimpses into such momentous and minuscule moments, these stories! these stories!

  8. What a sweet post. It may interest you that I found your blog when I googled Chapman School chimney swifts and a post of yours came up. I guess your words got spun into their vortex. Or something.

  9. Enia- thank you for your small story. So far away, stranger- London! I can’t even imagine it. And your boyfriend, pissy in bed, reading the paper. It’s perfect!

    Blecky- The swifts? Google has been a friend to this blog. People find it by searching for some pretty incredible things.

    Corinne- I can tell that you’ve been reading my blog! Because you use alot of exclamation points! CB! IMY! HM! KM! AAAAAAAA!

  10. dear carrot quinn,
    i love how you write, how words you choose light pictures in my head.
    i’m a friend of frantelope’s, from 8 years back or so, when ears were filled with whistlesounds more often than not. i spend my days dreaming and you inspire good shit in me. I live in soggy vancouver, B.C., with a snorty little brindle pug, and an apartment closet full of rattling rakes and hoes and shovels.

  11. yes i exist.

    right now in pennsylvania but usually in minnesota and i really like your blog and tell my friends about it sometimes!

  12. I exist. You exist. Whenever I breathe, you are breathing too, thousands of miles away from me. We all exist, we are all breathing!
    This thought comforted me when my sister was sad in Spain and I was in Wales, only hearing only her voice coming faintly down the phone from far away.

    Right now she is playing the guitar next to me, there is melting snow outside and we’re going to see a film in a bit. It is Christmas and there is too much food in the house.

  13. We exist! And you haven’t forgotten about me. Creepy me! In New York now but in New Mexico in a few days. I know this was years ago, but still, we exist!

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