I'm sure that many are beginning to wonder what could possibly be the heinous nature of my sin, and why I should feel this apparently overwhelming need for confession. Have no fear that I will make you wait any longer however, for the moment of truth is in fact upon me. Here it is: I admitted both to the writing of this blog and likewise to my efforts for the Toledo Free Press to some of my co-workers.
"What, that's it?" some of you may now be saying. "Jeez, what a let down. What's the big deal about that anyway?" Others however, perhaps writers themselves; or at least older and wiser in nature of things must now instead be saying, "Oh my God what's wrong with you? Have you no sense at all, let alone a decent sense of shame?" The former question is one to which many learned doctors have lent their talents, in a long and largely unsuccessfully quest for an answer, so don't expect to get any insight here from me. The answer to the latter is proving equally problematic however, in spite of the fact that I am more than familiar with the concept. (Those of the Jewish faith may have cornered much of the market on guilt, but for shame one really needs to turn to those of us raised Catholic.) For while I always thought I met reasonable requirements in this area, recent actions must call that assumption into serious question.
Also of course, he doesn't have to go back into the office next week and face people who by then may well have made the fatal mistake of reading some of his literary version of natural fertilizer. He will never have to survive the guilt of having wasted some part of their finite time on this Earth (time they'll never get back) in joining even temporarily, with the rather twisted following that he might have gathered over the years. Worse still, he will not be worrying that in doing so, they may perhaps have gained a greater insight into the shallow nature of the intellect and trivial nature of the soul that produces this malodorous tripe. He will not have to face up to the fact that having thus plumbed the depths of a personality that's usually found wanting in fathomage by comparison to the local kiddy pool, they must now attempt to cover (at least as best they can) the obvious disdain in which they must now hold this mostly disreputable scribbler in an attempt to maintain some semblance of good order and discipline in the office.
Having now exposed a soul best left to hide in the shadows however, there will inevitably be changes ahead. You know what I'm talking about. Sidelong looks filled with equal parts of pity and disgust, reluctant handshakes with oft-averted eyes, and of course the whispered conversations just out of earshot (accompanied by the sadly shaking heads) that must inevitably follow. No blame of course can be attached to such behavior on their parts, since what these co-workers have been presented with is little more than a form of Indecent Exposure. They didn't necessarily ask for the experience they were subjected to. They were innocently minding their own business when confronted by something that no reasonable person can hope to be prepared for.
You know, come to think of it, perhaps I should be accepting responsibility for what I've put all of the rest of you who have been following "Just Blowing Smoke" for some time now (and apparently in ever-increasing numbers). The fifth anniversary of the creation of this blog on this venue is fast approaching, and there are times when feelings of guilt for the damage that I might have caused to a faceless and mostly blameless audience over that period is all but overwhelming. To be honest with you, I have from time to time seriously considered giving up this horribly perverted exhibitionist behavior in the name of common decency. Having done it for as long as I have often makes it difficult to face myself in the mirror in the morning (which may in some way account for the beard).
While I am more than willing to tender my most sincere apologies for all that I have put you through, I unfortunately find that I have neither the strength of character, nor of will, to abandon these disgusting practices that have become so much a part of my life. Overwhelmed by my own twisted desires and the demented sense of satisfaction that I gain from continuing this personal perversion, I suspect myself likely to continue for some time. (Besides, I don't want to add to the national unemployment figures by throwing the JBS staff out into the street.)