Withdrawal

(Written August 4, 2011, 9:10 p.m. At “La Taverne du Midi“, just outside Gare de Bordeaux St. Jean, waiting for my night train towards Italy with a cold beer)

Withdrawal.

I know I can get by just fine without my computer; without the television shows saved on it, my notes and drafts and the relative effortlessness of typing; and when I have an internet connection (which, these days, is easier to find than a payphone), access to my favorite sites, instant communication, and immediate information.

I know that, once I adjust, I might not even miss it. It’s almost a relief, not to feel the constant pull of my computer and (more markedly) the internet.

But what I yearn for—what the internet really represents—is distraction.

Distraction. Something to get me out of my mind. Anything to avoid a moment’s ennui.

I’m so used to having something to turn to whenever boredom creeps up, or whenever there’s something I’m trying to avoid. Avoid doing, avoid thinking about, avoid being.

It’s the transition that’s the hardest.

Withdrawal. But then relief. My mind is free. I read. I read to read, not to avoid. I write. Focus comes easier. Ideas feel less urgent, less pressing. There’s no rush. No self-inflicted distractions. No seducing pull.

Freedom.

(9:30. I finish my beer and head back into the station)