I never said hi
Or so much as a may I
Before I read
The words that you’d bled
Onto the screen
The only go-between
From you to this reader unseen

I never offered praise
Or observation on your ways
Or shielded you
From barbs the others threw
No response, no judgment
No replies to the questions you sent
Out into ether, not even acknowledgment

I watch you
That’s what I do
You entertain, you amuse
You also provoke thought, when you so choose
Your missteps, your very frailty leaves me nothing to say
It’s also the reason I’ll never go away
Where your words go, my mind will follow
Unquestioning, silent every step of the way

~O~O~O~O~O~O~

A long, very long time since I rhymed. So long ago that I even heard creaks in my head when I was turning over each word. But many of them just happened so I didn’t agonize over the ones that didn’t.

As a blogger, I know the frustration, the maddening silence of the vast majority of my readers. The ones that never comment, never answer a poll or a question, never show me their existence except in the mysterious numbers on my stats charts. But oddly, I also know the side of me that clicks through every album visible to me on the social network, spends an entire night reading every post on a particular blog, ego-surfs the names of people I know slightly (or better)….and never mentions a word of it to the person it’s about.

I know that person, by nature, is never acknowledged publicly. There’s a heavy stigma around the word ‘lurker’ with associations of creepiness and stalking. But perhaps because the newfound title of writer gives me carte blanche to be curious, maybe because I can explain it away in the pretty sentence of “Every person has a story”, I acknowledge the lurker in me.

This post is for all those nameless people, you know who you are, who’ve kept me pondering and wondering and agonizing. But really, it’s also for the people whose lives I’ve vicariously lived, who’ve shared with such generosity, the important moments of their lives, in blogposts and photographs, the people in whose lives I lurk. Thank you for everything.

9 thoughts on “Lurker”
    1. @Dreamcatcher: On The Idea-smithy, you’re an old, dear friend who has carte blanche to browse, sit around and not say a word if you so choose. πŸ™‚

  1. Hi, I wondered for a bit before posting a comment but here I am acknowledging my presence on your blog! I am Priyanka (PK), initially I had wandered to your blog with a curiosity to know who the boy was seeing. But then, I kept coming back to the blog simply because I liked it, so thank you for many enjoyable and insightful reads.

    Many months ago, I found myself stalking a person’s profile on facebook, he didn’t know me then and I was just hovering aimlessly on that page waiting for him to somehow discern my invisible cyber presence and send me a friend request! I knew then that I had reached the outer limits of healthy stalking, weird as it sounds and since then I have never gone back to that stalker’s paradise – only the occasional blog here and there I guess !

    1. @Priyanka: ….and welcome to the blog and thanks for speaking up! The one thing I didn’t expect this post to do was to bring any of my lurkers out from the shadows but I’m glad it did. I don’t know about ‘healthy stalking’ any more. Just this morning, I read an article that called the social media, voyeuristic by nature. We are in the age of over-sharing and reality TV. I don’t think there are any limits anymore. If one’s online, one better get used to the idea that one’s (online) life isn’t private and act accordingly. We’re probably just feeling the natural stress of a paradigm shift. I wonder what the generations to come will make of the concept of voyeurism.

      Thank you again for commenting!

  2. πŸ™‚ i think I have not been a lurker. Yeah, I do try and search for poeple i have come to know through my blog on FB and try to know more about them.

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