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TOTALLY CONSTIPATED

Dear readers, Joey is constipated. He has been since last week. It’s so serious a vein is about to pop on his temple. Okay don’t get disconcerted yet; my bowels are fine, it’s my mind that is not. See over the past week I have been unable to translate my thoughts into writing. A week ago I had what could possibly be the best weekend of my life and I thought I had a wonderful story to share until I placed my fingers on the keyboard and my mind froze on me. It was extremely frustrating. The only person that can possibly relate to what I was going through is Pamela Jelimo. In the Olympic 800m finals she thought she had it until her legs faltered.

Last week, on my Facebook fanpage I promised to post something midweek and on Monday evening I took out my laptop hoping to bang a few words. Sad thing is, I couldn’t even finish the first paragraph. At least Jelimo seemed promising in the first lap. I was not hard on myself that evening. I actually empathized with myself. I was like, “It’s okay Joey don’t be depressed. That happens once in a while when one is exhausted. It doesn’t make you less of a man”. So I put my laptop away and hopped into bed; I still had Tuesday.

Like Jelimo, I thought I’d put up a strong performance on the last lap. She’s done it before and so have I. On Tuesday last week I excused myself from work early since I wasn’t feeling so good. I spent the whole afternoon in bed, woke up at 7pm and had my lunch/supper, then switched on my laptop. Unfortunately, the cycle repeated itself. My mind simply refused to function. I felt like that ass (I could have used the word ‘donkey’ but I am not so proud of myself)… So I felt like that ass that obdurately stops in the middle of the road and refuses to move an inch.

On the second lap, not only was the Russian closing in fast on Jelimo, but the finish line seemed to be moving further away the closer she got to it. She could feel the gold slipping out of her fingers. And that ‘Oh shit I’m screwed’ look she had on her face, Joey knows it too well.

After the Russian whooshed past Jelimo and went for gold, our athlete must have thought she could still get the silver. Likewise, on Wednesday (it was my day off) I knew I wouldn’t be able to post in the morning but I thought I would have something by midday. But all I had were hard, dry thoughts that were refusing to come out. I pushed and pushed but nothing came out. It hurt like a b!@#$. I was so angry and frustrated.

There’s a scene in the movie 8 Mile where Eminem walks to the stage and after being handed the microphone he chokes on seeing a myriad of frenzied eyes staring at him. He does not utter a single line and what follows are jeers and callous remarks of derision. In my mind I could actually hear those hushed curses from my audience. The same way Eminem turned away from his audience, I couldn’t bear to look at my stats over the course of last week. I was embarrassed. For the first time I hoped that people would just forget about Joeytales for a week.

I was a troubled lad and on Friday I considered ditching the pen. I told my colleague that I didn’t think I could keep this blog going. His response, “You don’t have to write.” I liked that remark. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. I am not paid to do this. Joey and Joeytales do not share an oath.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I lay awake in bed. Sleep had deserted me at around 4am. And as stared into the unnerving darkness, it dawned on me that I cannot quit writing because it’s something I love to do. I thought about the wonderful romantic moments my mind and fingers have shared. I realized that writing to me is like a fulfilling romantic relationship. Even in the best of relationships there are those moments when partners do not see eye to eye. Regardless, more often than not they share delightful moments that leave them breathless. Moments they wouldn’t trade for anything.

I enjoy writing. I am always laughing with my laptop. I could be busy typing away when a thought crosses my mind and I just burst out. There are times I even question my sanity. There are times when my mind thinks of something so silly my fingers blush as they type. My mind and fingers just need to tie the knot already. This relationship is not about to be broken!

Thing is, I act on whims. I do not always finish things that I start. Being a tech guy there are countless times when I’ve made a resolution to teach myself a new skill, gotten myself tools and tutorials and even made a schedule, but deviated a few days later. I thought about blogging many days before I got me a blog. I wondered if it was just a whimsical endeavor. But when I made up my mind to blog, I made a pact with myself that I would keep it running for at least one year.

When it comes to blogging, as much as I enjoy writing, I do it for the masses. I am like that greedy pastor who revels at seeing his congregation grow week after week. One day I might just pull an Esther Mwende on you people. Anyway in about 10 months this blog has managed to attract a small gathering. Hundreds of loyal fans drop by every week. I cannot bear to disappoint you guys.

On my first week of blogging I was expecting to get about 100 views. To my surprise, at the end of the first day my first post had 354 views. That week the blog attracted about 800 viewers. I was elated. I thought I was right on track. I felt like that shaky, amateur artist who gets onto the stage for the first time but performs so beautifully he leaves the audience in awe. But the only reason I got so many views was because I had left a comment on a popular blog and people were curious to see what I had to offer. I took a shortcut.

There was a dip in the week that followed. The total views didn’t even get to 400. In fact, in the weeks that followed, I would get less than half the views I got on my first week. I was frustrated. But at the same time I was pleased to see that there were a few people that actually thought that I was doing a great job.

Presently, on a good day I will come up with something brilliant that will be shared across the social media and attract scores of readers. But that does not happen too often. I am never on a winning streak. It’s all hills and valleys up in Joeytales. On average, my views are still in the hundreds. I appreciate those among you that drop by week after week. I am not going to quit on you.

Last week on Friday I was introduced to this awe-inspiring blog. 5pm rarely finds me on my desk on Fridays but at 5:30 I was still seated with my eyes fixed on my laptop screen. The writer of this blog calls herself Noelle and I had been reading her blog posts all afternoon .She is brilliant. Her writing is sublime. She seems to have the right word for everything and her imagery is unmatched.

At some point I even felt like Noelle is misplaced. I am not sure she belongs in the blogosphere with the likes of Joeytales. To paint the picture vividly, I would say she is like that graceful violin maestro that dresses the part and plays gloriously before a stupefied audience. The audience gets lost in her music as they watch her performance. On the other hand, Joey is that guitarist in dirty jeans and a t-shirt written ‘U Dig Me?’ playing a guitar that’s a little out of tune. In short, Noelle humbled me. Thinking about it now, I am more energized to improve the standards of this blog.

I just realized this post is a little too long. In summary, Joey seems to have lost his mojo. But I have a strategy. I will look for Jelimo and the rest of the Kenyan athletes that performed dismally at the Olympics and we will sit together for a group therapy session. We will appoint David Rudisha as our therapist. I imagine I’ll be sitting somewhere in the circle and as guys introduce themselves my turn will come and they will stare at me because they’ve never seen my face and I do not look like I can run for shit. And I’ll politely introduce myself and make them understand that as much as I’m not as prominent as they are, I can relate to what they are going through.  I imagine the ever modest Rudisha would say something like, “Guys don’t beat yourselves up too much. In life, sometimes you win and sometimes you fall. When you fall, you to dust yourself, you ngarisha your fiatu and you work on improving yourself.”

PS: I put up a few photos on my Facebook fanpage that summarize the story that is causing the tension between my mind and fingers. You can always like the page and get updates.

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Categories: Reflection
  1. August 13, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    So true. The love-hate relationship between the mind and fingers has happened to me enough times.

    • August 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Can’t remember where I heard this line… when it’s going great but when it’s bad it’s awful.

  2. August 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Some days its not there no matter what you try, but like your guy said, you don’t have to do anything, so write when you want to, just don’t give yourself a deadline, that makes it harder no?

    And just so you know I thought this post was really good, kinda ‘behind the scenes’, and the Jelimo analogy was fitting in these days of hardship.

    PS. Quit your whining Joey, some of us cant even get to 50 views (a week) dammit! Nkt! 🙂

    • August 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      If I don’t pressure myself I might go for weeks without posting anything. I’m glad you like the post. ‘… these days of hardship’ He he indeed they are.

      Now you see the importance of embracing the social media? Hmm Alex?

      • August 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm

        Utaacha kuringa na mafacebook zako…

  3. August 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Chin up! Even the best of writers have their moments when their minds and fingers are like oil and water. I like this post too and without taking any glory away from it, it reminds me of Biko’s post last week where he was not in the mood and did a funny post about not being in the mood.

    Just don’t tell us you have a headache..;)

    • Linda
      August 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      Ati ‘obdurately’?? Tamthilia nayo!!! lol! Now that you have broached the subject I think it’s safe to finally say that you never had ‘it’ Joel,your sanity is missing….heheheheheheeeeee…but am really glad you keep this going. I confess that I was also afraid for you(Did I tell you abt my one post blog??? Okay quit whining!) You can do whatever you put your mind to, but then again…It’s never that serious,ama?
      I have also noticed that you have not categorized your blog posts. Using key words can help drive more traffic.
      Project44 is right, there’s no for claiming headaches…lol!!!

  4. Linda
    August 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Apologies toProject44 and Joey…that up there was not meant as a reply to Project44.

  5. August 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

    @Project44, thanks and no headaches… bowel issues maybe, but no headaches 🙂

    @Linda, hehe leave my msamiati alone. And did you just call me insane? I will forgive you because I’m glad to see you still have a thing for joeytales.

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