A Little Note to Whoever Is Creeping Around in My Google Doc

It’s getting somewhat weird in there during the early morning hours.

Scott Muska
5 min readJan 20, 2024

I can’t help but wonder who you are, Anonymous Chupacabra, and what has brought you to the Google Doc I’ve set up.

You could, theoretically, be anyone. Because when I started sharing it around at the beginning of the project I chose the “anyone with the link can edit” selection and let it unceremoniously fly out there into the internet’s ether, unaware who might share it around with wild abandon, enabling random people to pop in at any point to see what’s what.

Which can certainly be a dangerous game to play.

But sometimes, albeit rarely, I don’t shy away from danger — don’t go running immediately in the other direction.

I don’t usually like letting people watch, or really letting them in. It makes me uncomfortable, those prying eyes who can place in comments, make suggested alterations and, in this case, even change your words without you really knowing who did it or when. But you know how it goes sometimes in the freelance Wild West: People want to keep track of pertinent progress — see how things are (hopefully) shaping up.

You’re probably judging me. Or, well, if not me, the work I’ve done so far. I sincerely hope you’re not doing so extremely harshly.

Whoever you are, I want you to know what I have going here is purely work-in-progress — not anywhere even close to final. It’s not, as they say, fully baked or even close at all to being there just yet.

(The scribblings I start with tend to read like nonsense at best, or like they’re being dispatched from a padded room in Arkham Asylum at worst. You might start to wonder how I figured out a method for writing while potentially in a straightjacket. But that’s one of my little secrets.)

I was told I have until next Tuesday, after all. And that would be just the first round of official review, after which I would have a chance to redeem myself if what I was shilling wasn’t really hitting.

But here you are, a night owl like me, in the document at 3:30 a.m. Central Standard Time, and it seems like you’re giving things more than a once-over. I see your cursor darting nimbly around from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, back and forth in a way that doesn’t exactly make chronological sense. But I know how that goes. It’s a delicate dance.

Sure, I could pop into another document. A private one where I can toil away until it’s ready for prying eyes, at which point I can paste my work over. But, fuck it. I’m just gonna let this happen, for better or worse.

Why can’t you sleep, or choose not to even try? What has led to your late night, or what sort of darkness has coaxed you from the comfort of your warm bed to the cold, sometimes unsettling blue light of the computer at such an hour? Does loneliness have something to do with it? If we’re in the same timezone, I doubt you’ve got many people to talk with right now, as the darkest part of the night approaches.

I’m here because anticipatory anxiety regarding the day ahead has kept me from falling into even the most fitful of slumbers. It’s a shame, but it is what it is. So I have given up on rest and have gotten back to work instead. Might be able to get out ahead of a few things and then head back to bed to try again.

I want to know more about you. I’m genuinely interested now. Have we met in real life? Doubtful. Have we even ever been on a video chat? Was I camera on? Did you see me from the neck up? (If so, you’d be surprised if we ever do meet that I’m at least a little bit taller than people tend to expect. It’s always a fun reaction to get, though it makes me think I give off small dude energy, and wonder if that’s really a bad thing or not. It’s probably mostly benign.)

Are you billing hourly, like me? Or are you on salary, and as such not technically being paid for the time you’re spending scouring the sloppy mess of words that will, I promise, by deadline, become a manifesto that is at least serviceable and coherent, if not downright magnificent?

Are you some sort of stakeholder in all of this? Why are my scrawlings of interest?

Maybe we can talk about it.

I’m just gonna go for it — put a comment in there at the top of the doc that simply reads, “Who are you, Anonymous Chupacabra? And what brings you to my digital neck of the woods at this ungodly hour?”

There. Send.

Now I’m starting to think this was a strange thing to do. Probably because it is.

A cooler head would have just permitted the creeping, left it alone, allowed a little light verbal voyeurism. But in this case a cooler head did not prevail.

Maybe I should delete it, hope you haven’t yet seen it.

No — I’m gonna let it ride.

See what happens.

And just like that, with a quickness, your cursor disappears, along with your icon at the top of the browser page.

You got out before we could even start so much as a snappy dialogue, or trade back a couple of thought starters. It’s kind of a shame. I may have scared you away.

Where have you gone, Anonymous Chupacabra? I hope it’s to a better place. Or onto better things. I have a little dream in my heart now for your happiness, even if I don’t know who you are and may not know you at all. Might not ever, even.

For some reason, I’m rooting for you.

As for me? I guess I’ll return to trying to craft together some snackable content. Back to my self-editing and seeing if something, anything sticks — which will make me marginally happy. (It almost always does.) Left to my own devices until I finally call it a night, during which I will still be left to my own devices.

I’m still here, in this Google Doc, alone again with just my words.

Sometimes I like it that way.

--

--

Scott Muska

I write books, ads and some other stuff. (You can find the books on Amazon.)