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2003-04-13 | 11:15 p.m.

Squirrelx really does make the best banners. I think her "What Would Jesus Do ...for a Klondike Bar" is my favorite Diaryland banner of all time. But I cannot get through so much as a single entry of hers. I do try. I want to like squirrelx, because I like her banners. Clearly, the woman can write, and she's genuinely funny. But the entries are so looooooong, it seems like each one just goes on forever, as if she is not writing a diary at all but taking notes for a novel. And I absolutely cringe at the pickin' and grinnin' style. I tell myself to get over it, that it's just a stylistic choice and I don't have to agree with everybody else's choices, but I just can't get past it.

I don't mean to sound like the Queen of All Grammar. I'm just talking about responses that I can't control.

I do get the impression that squirrelx's diary is wildly popular, while mine is not. I wish it were different, frankly. I wish I had more regular readers. I wish I had thousands of people hanging on my every fucking word. There is a diary (okay, blog, whatever) at which is thought to be the only blog coming out of Iraq. Millions of people, including me, keep checking to see if it's ever going to be updated again. And some stupid part of me feels like, damn, it's not fair! Of course his diary is interesting. He's in Baghdad! Who can compete with that?

Of course, there's no guarantee that if I were in Baghdad, I wouldn't be writing some variation of the same drivel I write now.

The other day I stopped for a funeral procession that went on and on and on. I could tell the funeral was for a biker and that he probably wasn't very old, and most of all, that he must have known half the people in town. I couldn't believe it. The cars just never stopped coming. Waiting in my car, I realized that my own funeral probably wouldn't attract a fourth as many people. Maybe not even a tenth. I went home and looked up his obituary and found out that he had been 37, a year younger than me, and died in an accident. Again, it crossed my mind that I didn't have as many friends as this guy, and I thought about how it's probably because I'm not a very good friend when it comes right down to it. Maybe a lot of this guy's friendships were made at bars and bike runs, and I no longer make such opportunities for myself, but even if I tried super hard, I don't think I'd ever end up with so many people at my funeral.

Then I thought to myself: Christ, you're jealous of a dead guy. That snapped me out of it. I think I'd rather outlive everyone I ever met than die before I'm forty.

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