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Milf Teeth

Sometimes I Forget How to Exist Offline

It turns out there's a whole world outside of (3) Twitter / Interactions.

When I was about 12, I borrowed my big brother’s Gillette razor and shaved my legs for the first time. I didn’t know much about grooming or beauty, so I didn’t use any shaving foam or even water. I just scraped the razor over my dry legs, repeatedly, getting hooked on the swooping motion of it after I finally worked out how to angle the blade. (I totally messed up the blade, he wasn’t thrilled.) I didn’t bleed though – instead, my legs gave off a fine white surf of dry, cracked skin flakes, as I gradually removed the top layer of my epidermis. This surf did not, all things considered, look too great. It looked like I had leg dandruff. Which is how the internet feels, as viewed from a holiday. Every time I sneak away from the garden where we are staying, the beautiful cacti, the laughter of my squealing moonfaced pigchild, to come and look at my laptop, I see that mild Gmail interface containing 27 new mailouts about opinions and appearances and record releases on MP3 format and I get the same squirm of unease as I had about the leg dandruff. The squirm of unease is not because the internet is boring, though. It’s because I look at it and realise, this is where I live the rest of the time, when I’m not on holiday. In there. In that dry palimpsest of inked things layered on inked things. All the mumbling and humbling and bumbling around, all the people on top of each other, but never touching, never caressing each other’s hair. Twitter – a rolling feed of other people’s opinions and counter-opinions and outrage and inrage and cold, lonely jokes about Taco Bell. In bullet points. Everyone stacking themselves up into a list of sentences. It just looks like dry dogs' tongues lapping away over each other trying to find moisture. Trying desperately to get wet. The bit that gets me down is that I look at it and think, as Newman and Baddiel once said, you see that? That’s you, that is. “Life’s passion can be eliminated through detached contemplation,” says Czeslaw Milosz. I want to be wild and beautiful and speechful and touch things. (I note, while typing this, that Interflora have sent me an email offering to recreate my wedding bouquet. You see, this is why it’s actually a good thing that Facebook read all your messages and Google tailor their ads depending on your previous searches and the stuff in your Gmail all gets forwarded to GCHQ so they can laugh at your spelling mistakes and inability to attach the attachments that you said were attached. Hacking would have helped the flower delivery firm here. Because if they did all that, they would probably have known that I have never been married and do not have a bouquet to recreate. I like the idea of it though. In my wedding bouquet I would put a pair of old trainers with the laces tied together, a bottle of Maker's Mark whiskey, a bible and a dog.) Still, I can’t stay away from the internet. I go back to the app on my phone to put up another photo of my kid, every day, her curls even blonder, her eyes even bluer. She seems to get more beautiful every day here. We sleep in the same bed, two of us all tangled up, flapping in the heat, in our sleep, like a net full of fish. Sometimes I wake up in the night and want to wake her up too, to giggle at me again. Her legs are looking a bit dry, though.

Follow Sophie on Twitter: @heawood

Previously – I Spent a Week Trapped with a Racist at the Top of Meth Mountain