Sunday, I bought a BlackBerry Curve. Or, I should say, my wife allowed me to get a BlackBerry Curve. This has nothing to do with being a beaten-down man, although I surely am; no, it’s that my wife maintains the cell phone account, owing mostly to the fact that she cares about it and I do not.
That may change, though, now that I’m a BlackBerry owner. Angie, who was due for an upgrade, graciously allowed me to use her upgrade slot and deferred her own until December. This may have something to do with the age of my previous phone: two tin cans connected by string. True, there were certain charms to its rustic simplicity, but times have changed, and Angie suggested that I change with them.
Now, I’m not not suggesting that I’m a technophobe. Anyone who deals with me on Facebook knows how enamored I am of that particular social phenomenon. I was a first adopter of the iPod. I blogged before the blog became a common Internet feature, and as you can see, I continue to blog well past the point that everyone else is confining his or her thoughts to 140 characters or fewer. What I am, instead, is an Antisocial Bastard When It Suits Me. I do not really wish to be in touch, at least not in a way that requires me to answer the phone, and I’d just as soon not respond to your text messages, as I do not have any luv 4 ur language LOL!
And yet, my BlackBerry has a Facebook app (I realize that 94.8 percent of you already know this), and so my world is now sufficiently rocked.
The problem now is that Facebook and e-mail will follow me everywhere, and they were nuisance enough when they were confined to my desktop computer at home. Those of you who are my Facebook compadres have probably seen my daily countdown. There have been a lot of funny guesses about what it signifies — and some real frustration, which I don’t understand at all — so if you’ve read this deep, you deserve a payoff: When I reach the number 0 (I’m at 74 now), my friend Jim Thomsen will be throwing a lock on my Facebook account Monday through Friday for about three months as I try to make serious tracks on my new novel.
It says awful things about my self-control that it’s come to this, but I really see no other way. Last November, while my first novel, 600 Hours of Edward, was just getting its legs, I put down about 16,000 words of Novel No. 3 (Novel No. 2 — The Summer Son, which is coming out in January — was already drafted). But once promotional work on Edward heated up, my progress on No. 3 ground to a halt. In the scraps of writing time I found while also holding down a full-time job, I was able to complete some essays and short stories, as well as revisions on The Summer Son, but I never could disappear into that deep trance I need to make steady progress on a novel. Since I suspect that the same struggle will befall me once The Summer Son comes out, I have to make serious hay before it does. Hence, the Facebook lockup. On weekends, Jim will restore my password and let me roam free, then he’ll lock it up again late Sunday night.
The irony here is that I’ve turned into exactly the sort of creature I so enjoy mocking: the scatterbrained, attention-deficit-ridden gadget hound who seems to have no time for nuance or deep thought. It’s shameful, when you really stop to …
OH MY GOD! My BlackBerry has an NFL app! YES!
(Help me. Please.)
One last note: If you haven’t already, please do check out Messages to Our Fathers. Some nice essays are piling up, along with some links to books that make for some fine reading.