What do you reckon?

Author Topic: To say it and mean it too


To say it and mean it too
« on: March 29, 2020 »
Crossposted at yacf.co.uk, though I don't think it lasted very long.

Happy birthday YACF. There’s a reason I’ve kept wandering back over the years, and it’s not that I take pleasure in making some of you so uncomfortable that you cross the street every time you see me (coronavirus or no coronavirus), and others walk on by with lips pursed in silence. That's if I'm even registering on your radar.

You demonstrably don’t repel me: I see names that still make me smile after all this time. Though it sounds a tad patronising to suggest that I feel like your father – being the one responsible for building the house on which you based your blueprints almost to the letter, possessed of a memory of battles with trolls from the earliest days, with countless hours of worry and care and joy under my belt as it all came together – well, I do: even though I’m a contemporary of your admin and probably many others.

For goodness sake, I’ve still got much of your work stuck up on the fridge door!

I continue to take great pleasure in well wrought sentences even when they’re just posted on humble forums, and often feel the urge to talent scout. “I’ll take her and him and him and her,” I think as if I were putting together a dream team. But of course, forums don’t work like that: you take all comers within reason, set out rules and conventions, establish a mood, and hope you don’t have to play the heavy too often.

Simple Machines is like the world’s most comfortable old shoe. Though CycleChat has its virtues (how much server space does that guy have, anyway?), I can’t stand how you’ve only got 5 [make that 10] minutes to edit your post, though that's an administrative decision rather than a constraint of the software.

Here at yacf, handed down from its forebear, there’s no mysterious edit line announcing that I've returned for what could be sinister reasons but would in fact mark the occasion that I corrected the spelling of ossobuco. You’ve retained the ability to delete my own stuff without fuss should I wish to, and the atmosphere of a forum for cyclists rather than a cycling forum, with a board structure to help make that happen. (I hate to bang on about that last point, but every time you post on Freewheeling or OT Knowledge, or delight all and sundry with a clever caption on Caption It, remember, a human being had to come up with that; to slot it all together and make it work, tirelessly moving topics until even I wanted to tell myself “OCD much?”)

As someone with genuine OCD, I’m entitled to joke about it. I quite literally washed my hands bloody as a child, and even as an adult suffered from mental tortures I wouldn’t wish on anyone. You’d think I’d be right at home in these horrible times, but it took a huge amount of willpower to be able to get through my days without spending half my hours engaged in pointless rituals.

It's not a condition I would recommend just for its famed ability to help you sweat the details.

As one of you said way back when, acf was me. We were indivisible. You may have come for your mates, not me personally, but it was my ethos that was the mortar. It just was. A little eternal gratitude would be nice. <Here I’d insert a smiley, but, you know.

Mistakes, of course I made a few, including such a big one at the end that it sealed my fate as whatever you make of me now.

12 years is a long fucking time. Too long to hold a grudge. (It feels good to be able to swear now and again, doesn’t it? I learned that from Mum.)

I’ve forgiven you, even though I figure you would bridle at the suggestion that forgiveness might be required, and it’s a terrible Christian concept to boot. I ‘forgive’ because I understand why you set up a home so much like the one you left or were kicked out of. I had my cup of rage at the time, being one of those content creators that content creators like to bore on about, and therefore highly strung when it comes to what I regarded as plagiarism. (On a lighter note, see this? One can only marvel at the… synchronicity.)

When I went to bed last night, thankfully to sleep through till nearly the morning for a change, it was with a sense of defeat and a measure of self-loathing. “I’ve done it again, I told myself, unbelievably weary. “Fucked up again. Stop. Just stop. Let it go.” And maybe, after writing this, I will. I’ve said my piece. Accept it or not. ‘Forgive’ me or not. I will know if I have succeeded soon enough, and so will you.

Sorry for the length. I didn’t have time to make it shorter. Here’s hoping it’s just right.


PS. Please consider doing me a favour. Call it closure, of a sort. Come over to my place and have a chat. Tell me anything, or ask me anything; feel free to delete your account afterwards. It will be the proof I need that we have, as that guy from The Doors put it, been able to break on through to the other side.


unfinished business
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020 »
From the mailbag (an admittedly small bag):

Thanks for what you started, what you’ve done and continue to do, Sam

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed your magazine pieces and forum posts (Blovious!). The care and complexity involved is obvious.

On forums, I am a (fairly clipped) responder to queries, rather than an initiator. Well aware of my limitations (engineer, rather than a creative type), I’ve rarely replied in any of your threads because it feels as if I’d just be cluttering up a well-appointed stylish room with a lumpy, worn out sofa. Don’t take my passivity as holding a grudge or reflecting a lack of interest.

Please continue in any way you feel comfortable with. I look forward to exploring your contributions here, on YACF and elsewhere.

. . .

Theodore was last seen in 2012,* “cutting off a man on a mobility scooter as he raced his lonely tandem along the waterfront towards the ruined pier and the setting sun.”

Doubtless afterwards he payed a visit to the Hastings red light district.

Rumours that he has since taken up residence under a bridge are wholly without merit.

There was another purported sighting of him in a garden in Kent, but that turned out to be his twin brother.

The search continues.

* correction: 2015. In Wales, of all places.