I am giving myself a Christmas present.
Or perhaps Faustus, M.D., my persona for this blog, is giving himself a Christmas present.
He is setting down his pen.
Now that I’m so much better medicated than I was when I created him I no longer have enough in common with him to be able to write him well. Our interests have diverged, our problems have diverged, our hopes have diverged. We’ve grown apart.
We still have a great deal in common, mind you, and we hold each other in the highest regard and affection. But what we share is now less than what each of us has on his own, and I can’t serve him well in this arrangement.
I’ve actually been feeling this way for a couple years, but I’ve forced Faustus to keep at the task he was appointed because I couldn’t for the life of me find a suitable replacement. I thought about John Dee, astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I; I thought about going by the moniker K.N.I. Dos, which is a play on the ancient Greek word for “sissy faggot” (or possibly “bottom”); I thought about Chris Columbus. But none of these conveyed the sense I was looking for of a character who had found what he wanted and now had to figure out what the fuck to do with it.
But what’s pushed me over the edge is Facebook. Since Faustus writes here and I write at Facebook, it became clear pretty quickly that I couldn’t import this blog into Facebook Notes, because people kept being like, “Faustus? Who the fuck is that?” and, there being no storied structure on top of which to put him, I couldn’t find a good explanation. This meant that every time I made a blog post I had to do it here, copy, paste into Word, making sure to stupefy the quotation marks, globally replace “Faustus” with “Joel,” replace the higher-order html with lower-order versions, paste into Facebook Notes, publish, realize I’d missed something that meant the Note was an orthographic mess, go back, fix it, realize I’d missed something else, go back again, fix it again, realize I’d missed something in the original post on joelderfner.com, go back, fix that, go back to the Facebook Note, fix that again, and sit in the corner crying for twenty minutes.
Something felt inefficient about this.
So for now I, Joel Derfner, am your host here at the Search for Love in Manhattan (and let’s not even get into the idea of changing that title, because it may turn out to be necessary before long as well, but thinking about it makes me want to barf). This doesn’t mean I won’t be superseded at some later date by another, but my inability to find his equal can no longer be cause to keep Faustus at a job that has grown unsuitable for him. And who knows? After all this time, Mephistophilis may have forgotten about our friend and he can go his merry way untroubled by thoughts of damnation.
Which is better, I suppose, than we can say for ourselves.