It's one in the morning and I am drinking red wine from a bottle I half-drank more than a week ago, and have triumphantly found hiding behind the sofa. It was never very good wine to begin with, but now there's very little of its original flavour left to comment on: just that vinegar tang representing the end of a party.
My laptop has been propped in front of me since I got home from work. Housemates have come and gone, and I’ve phoned-in conversations with them about how their respective days have been. I had Supernoodles and a bell pepper for dinner, because a trip to the shop seems like a waste of time and resources. I am working on The Website.
The Website is the closest I’ve ever come to being a mother, and god willing, the closest I ever will. It’s something that has spent months gestating, and even longer being formatted in my own head. Now that it’s finally live and out there in the world, I am determined that everyone tells me how cute it is. I feverishly check my twitter feed for compliments on how great a job I’m doing, how my baby is making the world a better place and how I have single handedly fixed the internet. I need everyone to think this because otherwise, I’m staying up until 2am for no good reason.
For the first few days that Work in Prowess was active, I felt an enormous sense of smug satisfaction. I had the rosy glow of a new mum. “Your website” people would lisp, enviously “so lovely.” I would nod magnanimously and whisper “I know. I know.”
I was approached by people who wanted to contribute to my baby’s life: to write things, to help me help the internet. “Yeah, man.” I’d say, strapping my website into one of those hemp slings that hang suggestively from your hip “It takes a village to raise a website, y’know?”
Now it’s three weeks later, and I am tetchy. I wake in the night, and look at my website. I fear it looks malnourished, and may succumb to cot death at any given moment. I am obsessed with not only the performance of the writers on my site, but all writers, everywhere. When I go with some friends to see the new Seth McFarlane comedy Ted, I end up launching a critical tirade that turns into the lunatic ramblings of a madwoman.
“I quite liked it,” says some poor soul who manages to hang out with me.
“It is an INSULT,” I roar “It is an INSULT to TALENT and WRITING and POTENTIAL and the career Seth McFarlane has built. It is a WASTE of time and a gross waste of money.”