I thought I could have my cake and eat it too, but now I’m not so sure. I’m getting to that point again, the point where I no longer think in words and sentences, but in regular expressions and pointy brackets; where a web page isn’t a linked record of lives and thoughts, but an object tree to be manipulated and reformatted. The Internet no longer a fertile landscape of loosely knit communities and bottom-up cultural transformation; it’s just a lot of work that I need to get done this weekend.

Whenever I start a new job, there’s a sense of a fuse being lit, and as that fuse gets shorter, I sink deeper into code and my understanding of everything else begins to slip away. And when that fuse runs out, something quietly goes off. I shut down, clam up, and wait for my chance to escape. And then I spend a few months on the couch undergoing media therapy, waiting for the money to run out so that I know it’s time to look for another job and light the fuse again.

This is why I feel bad when people compliment me for living a footloose and fancy freelance lifestyle: I like to front like it’s some kind of postmodern rebellion, but it’s really not a choice; it’s a self-defense mechanism.