I am the pusher man.
Ok, not so much. But there are those moments. Where you buy a thing, a concept, a hobby, an interest, an activity. Where a friend pumps you up, gets you interested, and you start thinking, and then doing. Where (s)he is the pusher man, and you are thinking junkie thoughts.
And then a while later, you are the pusher man and you are telling a friend, go, do, buy, want, use, like, have, be.
It’s a funny thing.
This can be religion for those who do that drug. This can be something scary like a drug or a dangerous habit that could get you killed. This can be a sport. This can be some stupid hobby or other.
But there seem to be those moments where there’s a bump from someone that moves us in some direction.
Peer pressure? I dunno.
Sometimes it’s funny the things that can come from a minor choice; giving in and doing something you’re pushed into. Sometimes bad, clearly. That’s obvious. Who hasn’t smoked a cigarette because a friend said it would make you cool, or done another shot or three or five because your friends chant ‘drink drink drink’. Some of us have gone further, dropping or swallowing or snorting or smoking or shooting based on what our peers do or like or use or think is cool. And while a lot of that is harmless fun, sometimes it’s not harmless.
But that’s not what I’m talking about. We know that story, first hand or second or from a book or a film or the front page. I’m talking about the silly, foolish things that our friends get us doing, or that we get our friends doing.
Here’s an example; “Hi, I’m Karl, and I’m a fish-geek”.
I used to have that bad. I maxed out at fourteen fish tanks. I used to spend my weekends cleaning tanks and hanging out at fish shops, posting on *aquaria* newsgroups, debating about filters, pumps, heating systems, live food vs. frozen vs. dry. You get the idea. Hard-core geekery.
This started because a friend of mine had the bug. I used to drink and party at his house, and stare at his fish tanks. And then one day he said it; “Hey, you should start up a tank, I’ll help you.”
And I did. Went off. Bought a tank. And got it going. And then wanted another. And then he laughed at me; “sucker, I got you hooked!” We called him ‘the fish pusher after that.
And then I needed to get other friends into the hobby. “A tank would look great here!” I’d say. “You need a bigger tank,” I’d say to the ones who had one little tank.
And I was the fish pusher.
Silly, huh? But you know, it all started with a bump.
I started writing the same way. Long, ages ago, someone I was talking to, flirting with, said “You should try to write me some erotica.” And so I did. And started something that, who knows, might never have gotten started.
A lotta years later, someone else said “You should write something for me.” And I did. And somehow, this hooked me into reading blogs of other writers, and started me writing again.
One little bump. And things fall like dominos.
Out of that, I found a slew of new friends, started blogging (another bump, a push, ‘you should start a blog’, ‘why don’t you start blogging’, and somehow I’ve joined some sort of tribe). And somewhere in there found a story I had to let out of my skull which opened new areas of my life, proved to me I am in fact a writer, and has made a couple of friendships that might never have happened otherwise (That story has been talked about before, “Wanton“, an erotic novella).
One comment – ‘You should try writing a story’. The ripples spread.
Recently two friends, after reading my blog, started blogging. I can’t say I made them do so. But with both, I had conversations about the whys and the what I do it for and with one, Austin Ray, I actually said “Dude, you have something to say, you should blog.” And so he did. So with both, there’s the bump.
And I am the pusher man.
I don’t really do this stuff on purpose. But I do it; ‘read this book’, ‘you’ll like this album’, ‘ever heard of of a band called…’. Maybe it’s a compulsion to share pleasures. Maybe it’s the same reason I always want to fuck people I like; ‘This is good, have some!’.
I dunno. It’s a pattern though. Have a hit, catch a buzz, pass the pipe along. We’re all brothers now, man.
It’s not a compulsion to belong. I don’t tend to do things just because my friends do them. I tend not to follow fashions, or to drive what my buddies drive, or watch what they watch (I generally resist when people say “watch this show”), or read what they read. I think it’s more about knowing; that’s what I was doing, I told myself, when I started blogging. Just wanted to know how the tool worked. Curiosity. Maybe, in a tribe of friends physically far apart, it’s a need for shared experience. It’s akin to hanging out on a saturday afternoon, drinking a beer and watching a game. When friends are distributed far and wide, have disparate backgrounds, different tribal language, there’s a drive to find commonality. So we forge a new shared interest to connect our worlds. When one has good, truly good friends that one has never met, maybe it’s a device we use to tattoo on our tribal marks.
Friends far apart. And there I’m veering into another topic, which I think I’ll shelve for another entry.
Damn, right in the middle of this entry, there was a chocolate-fueled child disaster including silly-putty stuffed into a TiVo remote, a screaming jag and a lot of sulking. I wish I had a good joke about ‘…And that’s just what I did…’ but I can’t quite seem to get there. Ah, parenthood. Who decided that certain holidays should be all about stuffing kids full of chocolate and sugar (kid-crack, I tellya) as if this was a good thing? You know it only means someone’s gonna wind up crying and something’s going to wind up broken. Actually it’s sort of like saint patrick’s day or mardi-gras, I guess it’s only fair the kids get one also, but next time, maybe I should go elsewhere until it’s all over.