I think something might be wrong with me. Mentally.
I’ve been a “tech” guy for years. Digital all the way, man. We sold our CDs and now all of our music is digital. I gave away all but three of my books and got a kindle. I stare blankly at people who try to hand me printed documents and I’ve been known to call people dinosaurs for reading paperback books. Paper? Pssh, please. Tree killers.
I was perfectly happy being an ambassador for the digital age. I shed a bunch of physical possessions and organized all of my media files like a gentleman. But recently I think something in my brain has broken. Maybe I had a stroke? I don’t know.
A couple of weekends ago I was on a ferry back from the Island with my family. We were killing time wandering around the boat, as you do, and I was struck with the overwhelming desire to hold—and read, I suppose—a paperback book. We headed to the gift shop. I had, in my hand and ready to purchase, some trade paper work of fiction. The only thing that kept me from buying it was the $25 price tag. I couldn’t justify spending the cash, just in case this is some kind of strange pre-mid-life crisis or fever dream. So instead, when we got home I went to the library—the library!–to take out a book. It doesn’t end there. This book thing is just the tip of the iceberg.
I’ve started keeping a paper journal and it’s awesome. I don’t really like my handwriting and I’ve never been one for journalling, but this system inspired me to stick with it. Sometimes I’ll just open up the Moleskine and feel the paper. Or smell it. Don’t judge me. The journal is kind of where the problem started, but it’s spreading aggressively, and getting worse.
The button on my Nike fuel band stopped working for the second time and now it’s sitting in my bedside drawer next to my old analog watch which has had a broken band for years. I’m probably only going to fix one of them, and I’m seriously leaning towards the watch. It might be nice to wear a dumb watch again.
My new favourite website is The Cramped, an entire site devoted “The Unique Pleasures of Analog Writing”. I recently subscribed to the Pen Addict podcast. All those guys talk about is fountain pens and Field Notes. And I love it! I’ll listen to it all day long. Now I’m thinking I’d fancy a decent fountain pen. Or a couple of them with different inks. I’m wasting all of my time researching Midori Traveler’s notebooks and typewriters and record players.
Guys, it might actually be the end of times. Everywhere I look, people are creating websites, products, and podcasts all about analog interests. Or am I just seeing them everywhere because subconsciously it’s all I’m thinking about? Like when you start thinking about grey Jettas and then every other car on the road is a grey Jetta? What the hell is happening to me? Somebody has got to hold an intervention before I give away my iPhone and buy a pack of envelopes and booklet of stamps. Whatever you do, do not give me your mailing address.
Please. Send help.