Thursday, September 25, 2014

in the weeds

Do you know this phrase? My manager used it at a waitressing job I had in college. Just when you needed to get drinks to table 3, bring extra salad dressing to 5, take orders at 10, and garnish the Manhattan at the bar, the kid you just brought a straw to at 4 spills his milk all over his mother’s lap.

The dad looks at you as if you personally dumped the offending beverage. The people who haven’t ordered slurp their sodas out of the bottom of their glasses with a loudness that disturbs their neighbors. The person at 5 rolls his eyes and starts eating the naked salad while calculating the miniscule tip he will give you later. You want to drink instead of garnish that Manhattan on the bar, but instead, you fly through the kitchen with a tray over your head yelling, “I’m in the weeds!”  

It’s such a great phrase. It can mean you’re overwhelmed at work. It can mean you’re bogged down at home. It can mean you’ve stepped off the path and gotten lost. It can mean you’re fishing and you’ve floated into a particularly vegetated area. In the singular, being “in the weed” could even mean you’re the dude with the good connections. Of course, it most often means you haven’t gardened in a while.

But who knew it could mean you haven’t blogged in a while?

In the spring, when the oregano in my garden is bright green and the spaces gape between new plantings of basil and cilantro, I am attentive. Everything has so much potential and needs so much care. It seems I can’t walk past my little plot (which is right next to my driveway) without stopping to pull out this or that individual green intruder. As the summer progresses, however, and the herbs turn woody, I grow complacent. Now, not only do I walk past the weeds, I even dismiss the strawberries I can see hanging like red exclamation points in this otherwise indiscriminate sea of green. The garden isn’t dead, but it has the harried look of a thing unkempt, unused.

And so it is with blogs. I didn’t know that leaving my blog to the internet would be like leaving my garden to nature. In the days when I was attentive, posting here twice a week, 50 hits in a day felt like the big time baby. Though this was never a big time blog, posts were plentiful, hits were real, comments made sense.

But now that I’ve left the premises to the elements, I get over 2,000 hits per day. All weeds. Thankfully, these “readers” only manage to leave the occasional comment. Things like: “You can as well mechanical phenomenon from one taxonomic group of treatment are numerous and studies rack up been fit to put in the freezer.” It seems the bots have been into some weed of their own.

I now see my blog as this miniscule and irrelevant bit floating in the flotsam of an internet that too seems choked with extraneous and suffocating things like pop-ups and click bait.

How to reclaim my space? I thought by posting—intruding—I could take it back. Will the bots scatter like sparrows interrupted? I doubt it. In fact, now that I’m at the end of this writing, I’m wondering if the repetition of the word “weed” in this post will only draw a whole new hoard of spammers, these coming perhaps from the dark internet, looking for a person with weed instead of just a person in the weeds.

How disappointing for everybody.