It's not something I'm proud of. On the contrary, I'm ashamed of myself. You have to understand that I'm a deeply spiritual person. I pray to 25 saints every day, I meditate on Rachel McAdams, and I'm a student of Eckhart Tolle - this German friend of Oprah's who has invented the now. But I'm still addicted, there's no way around it.
It started ten months ago to this day. My girlfriend introduced me to Facebook. In fact, many people had told me, "why don't you go on Facebook, Peter? You can tell people about your books and introduce your blogs ... actually, you can make a total fool of yourself in front of millions of people instead of those eleven who show up for your readings."
I listened to my friends. I felt the great love they had for me and decided to go for it. So ten months ago I started my new life on Facebook. My girlfriend knows I'm technically challenged, so she explained the basics like she was talking to a retard. We set up my profile and I picked a picture from my collection of five thousand portraits.
"Do you have to look so fuckable?" she asked when I chose one from last year where I'm laughing like a madman.
"I can't help it, baby," I sighed, "but at my age, it's important to be attractive. In a few years, I might not have a body."
My pale beauty started to cry and I promised her I wouldn't let any woman be my Facebook friend unless she was incredibly repulsive.
"Thank you," she said and kissed me on the cheek.
Before my addiction ....
Then I went to work. I filled out all kinds of information about myself: how I love Crowded House and mountain lakes; how my favorite films are E.T. and Deep Throat. But the first thing I saw was a sentence in my profile that took my breath away - a sentence of such unbelievably cruelty that I sank into a deep depression. It said: Peter has no friends.
"But baby, how does Facebook know that I don't have a true friend in the world and never will?"
My girlfriend explained to me that I shouldn't take it personally. It simply meant that at this point I didn't have any, but I would get many later when I found old class mates and shady loan sharks in the listings.
"About three hundred million people are on Facebook", she explained, "so there's an outside chance you know one or two".
Boy, was she right. Ever since that day my life has changed.
I've gotten in contact with lost acquaintances from the nineties, with old lovers from the eighties, and with coke heads from the seventies. Strangers in Brazil want to be my friend, women in Campobasso are lusting after my body - I'm online 24 hours a day. Actually, I've refused to leave my computer since May 31, 2008. I haven't eaten a single time; my new friends won't allow it.
"I hate what Facebook has done to you," my girlfriend cried and lashed out at me with her dildo.
She left me yesterday because I'm only able to relate to her online. I find it very confusing when people have a body, I only want them to have a profile.
A few days go I went on Twitter. And I've been on GoodReads for months - a wonderful site for unsuccesful writers who don't have any readers. Very soon I'm going to be on Messenger, Linkit, MySpace, and Ageing Danes Who Look Four Years Younger Than They Are. Yes, with a bit of luck I'll never have to write a novel again. Who needs it, anyway, it's hard work.
And I simply can't find the time any more, even if I wanted to.