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international librarian of mystery

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

A Calm before the Storm

I tried my best on Sunday, but couldn't help but take a quick peek in the morning to see what the stats were doing. Saturday had topped a thousand visitors. Sunday, traditionally the slowest day of the week was nearly five times my average. I shut down my laptop before I got into a spiral of referrer checking and comments reading.

The door knocked. I couldn't hide any more. I opened the door.

"Oh, hello Josh."
"Hey. It's the Mystery Girl."

We walked around the corner to the Newtown shops, and took a table at my local cafe.

"Well," said Josh, "congratulations."
"What's going to happen next?"
"I have no idea."
"Man, it was amazing seeing that article on the front page yesterday."
"I can't believe they put that story about us top and tailing on the front page of the paper."
"What about the Herald article? They reprinted your story about me shitting my pants at school."
"Oh, yeah. sorry."
"That's ok, just, you know, a bit weird."
"Mmmm. Tell me about it."

We had a long brunch, in which I told the full story of Friday night to Josh. After I'd bought him up to speed, he suggested we buy some champagne and head back to my place to more fully celebrate the victory. But my vow to stay offline all weekend was starting to waver, especially after Josh, who had been waiting for a new post all weekend apparently, had told me there were 30+ comments on my last entry. I told Josh I had to spend some quality time with my laptop, and looking only mildly puppy-dog hurt, he gave me a fumbling kiss on the cheek and we parted ways on Riddiford Street.

I went home, booted up, and settled in. I didn't move again for about 12 hours, except for bathroom and snack breaks. There is nothing I find more compelling than stats-watching, especially when the stats are piling up before your eyes.

In between checking comments, backtracking referrers to see who was saying what on their own blogs, and watching the visitor count click up to the five hundred mark, I worked away at a post that told the tale of the evening. It took forever. Combined with the constant distraction of my site visitor ping going off, I had a terrible case of stage-fright. There were literally hundreds of people hitting site, and I was terrified of dropping something new into the online feeding frenzy. It took about five hours to get a thousand words down, and despite not being the most sparkling writing ever done, it did tell the tale. Finally, just after midnight I hit the publish button, did one last check on the site to make sure it had uploaded ok, and went to bed.

And still people were reading...