Monday, May 15, 2006

Okay, now I’m scared.

This post was supposed to go up last night. I think it’ll be self evident why it didn’t make it until this morning…

It started innocently enough. After I posted today’s blog, the thought kept bugging me that it was, perhaps the worst blog entry I’ve done. It’s boring, it’s not insightful, it’s just lying there like a dead armadillo in the road, bloating and boring, flies buzzing overhead.

I was catching up on my periodical reading, and I read this article in Newsweek, about how Megan McCafferty (she whose writings were allegedly lifted by Kaavya Viswanathan, or Kaavya’s handlers, or whatever) keeps a retro blog . She’s kept a diary since 1987, and her blog are the posting from BACK THEN, as opposed to now. It’s brilliant and weird all at the same time. You’re vulnerable, but you’re also over it.

I’ve kept a journal since I was 16. The collection is split up, half of it is here in Los Angeles with me, the other half is back home in Alabama, so whatever natural disaster happens, be it earthquakes or tornados, I can be assured that some part of me will survive. It will most likely be the boring part.

In my living will (which my parents nagged me to get done years ago, and that’s a whole other morbid discussion by itself), I had it specifically written that should I go down in a plane crash, car wreck, bank robbery, toxic shock syndrome, what have you, the journals all go to my sister Agatha, and she is the gatekeeper should anyone from my past come sniffing around to find out what I wrote about them. Agatha is hoping more than anyone else on the planet that I live to be 102, because this is not a role she looks forward to. In fact, last year when I got on a plane, I called her, as is my habit and said, “Okay, if the plane crashes, the journals go to you and you know what you do with them, right?” “Yes, I sell them to finance my daughter’s college education.” NOT FUNNY. Not to mention the fact that they’re worthless right now, because I haven’t done anything of note. YET.

Take a look at this. Those are 14 Mead Spiral bound notebooks, plus one black file of extra journal entries that I printed out from the computer for some important reason. I had no idea there were that many in the file cabinet. When I finish a notebook, I shove it in the drawer and promptly forget about it. Until tonight, when I decided to pull them all out. It was like a literary clown car, I kept pulling more and more out.

Yes, I write longhand. It’s a bad habit. If it’s been a particularly eventful day, I write on the computer. But writing longhand is most of it, because you can take the notebook anywhere with you, while you’re waiting in line at McDonald’s, or getting a drink at Tom Bergins, until a pesky barfly leans over and breathes “Whatchoooooo writinnnnnn” in a cloud of bourbon. (always happens. Every single time. Only the alcohol fumes change.)

Can I just take this one moment to publicly chastise the MEAD corporation for discontinuing the 200 page 9 ½ inch by 6 inch notebook? That thing ROCKED. I could cover at least three fourths of a year most of the time. But no, now they only make the 150 pager, and it’s just not the same. You SUCK, Mead. You really really do.

14 notebooks. The oldest is from 9/12/94. Holy shit. My brilliant idea was that to make up for the boring post from earlier today, I would go back through the journals to see what was going on with me on this date in such and such a year, and maybe we could make some sort of parallel that the spiritual questions I’m wrestling with now are the same as the ones I was wrestling with five years or so.

And now I’m staring at them at all, and suddenly, I’m very very glad I had mixed a margarita for no good reason. I’ve got a reason now. Shit.

Okay, well, here goes nothing….

(half an hour and another margarita goes by…)


I mean, MY GOD! THAT BLEW! I’m paralyzed with a billion awful memories swirling around my brain. Like a Pandora’s box opened and ghosts from my past are doing laps around my ceiling going “Nyah nyah nyah nyah NYAH NYAH!”

Um, um, um, well, folks, it was a brilliant idea, and maybe it will work in the future. On a different day. Just not today.

Whoo boy.

(Okay fine. The memory of an ex boyfriend wanting me to use a particular sex toy on an particular orifice of his, and my particular declining said request and the particular ensuing hoopla that followed had been successfully blocked out of my memory. Until now. I’m going to get another drink. Sheesh.)


Midlife Virgin said...

When I moved, I discovered at least a dozen half-filled scribbled notebooks with poems, stories and journals. It's amazing to look back at your life that way - and a bit scary as well. Enjoy the journey and share some of it with us!

Josephine said...

I'm out of time to read this post right now, but I will return to it later.

I just wanted to let you know I posted your meme on my site today.

Thank you, and it's nice to meet you!!