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06-Jun-2018 00:04

Out the front is Happy Foodland, a small grocer that sells over forty-five varieties of instant noodles (and also, grog).

There is Rapid Café, a Japanese restaurant that makes udon noodle soup.

It is a day when compulsion is getting the better of me.

The letter ‘H’ might be routed through a completely different path to the letter ‘e’; each letter is addressed to my friend, along with information about where it came from, the order in which it should appear and the size, colour, etc.I wonder what she’s doing now, and how the book ended up on a free table outside an organic grocer in Rapid Creek Business Village. Once I’m back, I go directly to my i Phone and take a picture of the front cover of my new book. Instead of getting back to work, I skim the introductory chapter, which is titled, ‘Hi, my name is Caz and I’m an Internet Chataholic’.I tweet: ‘An absolute gem at the free books table outside local organic grocer. Carol reports that she is writing these introductory notes at her favourite cafe, with pen and paper, a ‘latte by my side’, which is her way of getting physical distance, or escaping from, the computer; ‘I find it hard to be at my computer for long spells,’ she writes, ‘and not go looking for my friends online’.Despite the pulpy title and cover, the book narrates a deeply unsettling and tumultuous year – 1995 to 1996 – Carol spent exploring ‘cyberspace’, spanning from an initial period of self-discovery and experimentation to internet addiction.

Carol’s marriage ends, she enters numerous new romances, moves from Melbourne to Perth, and then travels from Perth to San Francisco to meet her online ‘soulmate’. The internet is a ‘virtual’ space for identity exploration, experimental anonymity and text-based intimacy.

And then, if I go to the bathroom or get a glass of water, my phone accompanies me, and I’m looking at things on Instagram. It is now 12.30pm, and so far, entirely unproductive.