That night I had a strange dream. A tall Canadian woman stared at me from a snowy wilderness. “My name is Renee Miller,” she said.
I tried to drag myself away, wondering whether it was a dodgy Dim Sum, or an excess of beer.
“And you’re tagged.” She laughed, causing a small avalanche.
Was that the same as ‘branded’? “What do you mean, tagged?” I said, struggling to wake and finding I couldn’t.
Her voice was remorseless. “But in exchange……You will be granted an award…”
Dollar Bills, lots of them, flashed before my eyes.
“…The kickass, awesome, most impressive, shiny, blog award.”
"I don’t have a blog,” I said it like I knew what one was.
“But you will.” Her voice was becoming impatient and the thought of what this Canadian Amazon might do if made angry, alarmed me greatly.
“Okay,” I said, admitting defeat. “What do you want from me?”
Her voice at once became soothing. “Just answer ten questions, Mike, and you’ll never see me again.”
“And I get this ‘Kickass, awesome, most impressive, shiny, blog award?'"
“You have my word.”
The questions came from nowhere and a voice other than mine answered:
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
I can’t blog anonymously. The whole point of Record of a Baffled Spirit is in creating a family and historical record. Even if I changed the family surname to Anon such a timid foray into cyberspace would be a little strange.
2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
Doing my O levels and A levels (essential university entrance exams) in two years rather than the normal four years – because I realised I could.
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
Beer, cold white wine, grapefruit juice chilled. But in very hot weather – water, lots of it.
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
Write, read, swim, walk, listen to radio, drink unobserved in country pubs
6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
Success as a writer, and a hopeful death
7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
Undoubtedly shy. Behind a hardened carapace the fear of others is still there, muttering blindly to itself…Shut up; are you mad? Get away from there. Don’t say anything. These people are dangerous!
8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
My parents’ death. You don’t miss them till they’re gone
9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
No, I’m happy with myself. Not smug but accepting what I am and what I’m not
10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Read. I hate talking on phones.
"My calling card," she said, before disappearing. A white card fluttered on to the pillow. It looked like snow and melted as I read:
It didn't make sense and I slept, determined on pondering these things in the morning.