Monday, May 24, 2004

wherein i confront my past

In my profile I claim that this weblog is primarly for organization. I'm obviously sidestepping the issue that posting your journal on the internet is different that writing in ballpoint in a blue mead notebook. However, it's not as different as it should be. Back when I kept a journal in a blue mead, I was still, for some reason or another, writing for an audience. I was probably more likely writing for a fictional future audience, perhaps after the journal had been published in hardback after my untimely death. That's what it's like being a lonely teenager. After that, I actually did start a website, where I kept a rudimentary weblog, with semi-regular postings and even an archive. I actually did this twice, once in high school and once in college. Each lasted about a year and then disappeared. These spurts of productivity coincided with (of course) periods of change and frustration. None of this has changed (except that popular culture has provided me with an easy, boilerplate posting process).

The question of the audience is still important. I'm writing this ostensibly as a journal, but with the possibility of an audience there is obvious provisional editing. Thus this is not a record but rather anonymous communication; it's a hopefully-less-pathetic version of a cry for help.

That's not the whole story, either. My writing skills tend to veer between pathetically self-depreciating plainness and baroque wordy overkill. This is probably as much a sort of mental game, like playing chess alone. I guess that's where the title comes in.

I've always been terrified of brain damage. As a kid I would monitor myself periodically to check and see if I had been getting dumber. Afraid of Alzheimers at 8. I'm still wary of Cruzfeldt-Jakobs and alarmed about the cheesecloth-like quality of my memory. I'm operating in a state of emergency; paranoia as fuel, a "nervous system" in its most basic sense. None of this is really helping me to figure out if I'll like New York.

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