“The domain name … is about to expire.”

I was going to write again next week. Something witty. With a recipe. Reminisce maybe and tell a story. I like telling stories. About when I grew up, where I grew up, how I grew up – all stories of my youth, of my past, of what I was way back when. I’d add a recipe at the bottom. I like cooking, I’m good at it. The food would taste good, the recipe tell it’s own story. So next week I was going to write. A witty story from the past. With a recipe at the bottom.

Then an email arrived. “The domain name for your blog strivefortone.com is about to expire soon …”. I thought to myself the week had surely flown by. But it had been a year. And I still hadn’t written. No wit, no tales, no no measuring with kitchen scales.

I got fired that year. For being drunk. Not at work that is, I wasn’t quite that functional an alcoholic yet. I wasn’t even sure if I was an alcoholic then. But I’d come home from work, sit on the air-con unit outside, smoke cigarettes, and drink beer until Big Bro came home. Then we’d get a burger, sit on his couch, and watch TV. I’d smoke some more cigarettes and have a few more beers, and then I’d turn up to work, after my staff had started, and sit at my desk eating muesli from a takeaway cup and wonder why a few months later I was told my employment was being terminated. I actually laughed when I was told. I thought it was a joke. I remember being angry, walking out, my boss shaking my hand then looking down at his feet. “Yeah sorry mate, but I need your key too.” Should have been plenty of time after that to write a witty story. Even just cook. But I didn’t. I drank beer and smoked cigarettes and never wrote a witty word and never planned a recipe for the bottom.

Two more jobs? Three more? There was the suburban specialty coffee shop with the ex-army boss and his wife. Working 25 hours a week and cooking again I started getting some semblance of shit together. I made some beautiful coffee there. And calmed down a little. Breaking up with my now ex-fiance had clearly, at this point in self-reflection, had me go just a little fucked up. Sitting at home on New Years Eve smashing back the best part of a 24 box of beer and staring up at fireworks in the sky can bring about it’s own special brand of insight. Time to get my shit together. I think I might be drinking too much. Coughing, then staring down at my yellowed fingers I thought it might pay to add smoking to that list as well. And procrastination. There was way too much of that going around.

“The domain name for your blog …” Fuck had it been a year already? Two years and no words and I’m paying this $34 because I’m sure I’ll start writing again I just can’t seem to get past this block but I got ideas man. I got recipes. After this beer. After this cigarette. I love cooking. Just not so much that I want to keep writing about it. I want to pivot, turn to something else that I’m confident in. Like coffee. I want to write about coffee. But I’ve got to stop drinking. Got to stop smoking. Got to start writing. This is getting embarrassing. It’s been over three years now. And I haven’t written a witty story yet. And I know now there won’t be a recipe at the bottom.

“The domain name for your blog strivefortone.com is about to expire soon …” 

She said “hey”. Dechen said hey. I didn’t even know how to pronounce that name. Her profile looked cute. “Looking for a partner in crime” it said. I could get criminal I guess. But I didn’t even know what she looked like. All her profile pictures were weird ones of her in a bumper car or dressed up for Day of the Dead. We messaged back and forth. A day later we were Facetiming. I told her a witty story. She laughed and a week later we had coffee. A week after that we made pasta, kneading the dough and rolling it out. We made pesto together, we ate together, laughed and joked together. She wasn’t ready though. Not yet. Her wall was too high and I couldn’t climb over.
But brick walls are there for a reason. There to prove how much you want something. But it wasn’t like I “wanted” her. I just couldn’t stop thinking about her. So we tried again. And she said no again. And then I tried again. And she said no once more. I kept climbing but I couldn’t reach the top.

I got a tattoo. I grew a beard. I gave up smoking then realised I’d have to give up drinking too. I played ukulele with her on her couch, outside on her balcony. I listened while she spoke of her flatmate. I counselled her on how to deal with him. I sold her my iPad. Taught her how to use it though we both knew she knew how the damn thing worked. We watched Game of Thrones and once I brought around an entire picnic, with three different styles of pork, and I slept on her couch because I went well overboard with the food and it scared the shit out of her. She wasn’t ready yet. Not yet.

Then she went to Italy, and we spoke some more, and we talked in the morning then said good night before we slept. We were nine hours apart and closer than we had ever been before and when she returned home, that day in January, I finished work early, caught a taxi to her house, and kissed her full on the lips for the first time in forever.

A year later I proposed. Six months more and we were married. Four months later and I got an email.

“The domain name for your blog strivefortone.com is about to expire soon …” 

And I thought to myself “fuck this it’s time to write.”