Time Travel And You: A Beginner’s Guide To Avoiding Potholes in the Time/Space Superhighway

Posted: June 21, 2013 in Life
Tags: , , , , , , ,

what year is it

Every time I sit down to write in this blog, this is basically how I feel. Writing – at least, writing about your own past – is sort of a form of time travel. You are watching history unfold to its inevitable outcome, but this time you are an observer instead of a participant. Don’t want to stay in 1993, when your Mom was obsessed with Ross Perot and dragging you to conventions? No problem. Let’s jump to 1997 when you were sitting in a music publisher’s office getting the hell kicked out of your balls. Or we could fast forward to college. Or go back to 1989 and visit Grandpa. But perhaps the most interesting part of the experience for me as been that I get to skip the lame parts. I could explain to you that there were ebbs and flows in Mom’s lunatic behavior. I could explain that her Gestapo style surveillance and paranoia wasn’t a constant thing, just a consistent thread. But there is a line between living and telling (or re-living and telling) where things get lost. I would surely lose you if I didn’t condense at least some things for the sake of writing. Nothing exciting happens on a Tuesday….so we just skip to the weekends (in a time machine, you can do that sort of thing). I try not to sacrifice accuracy as often as possible – I consider myself reporting this, not writing, since it isn’t fiction – but sometimes, for the sake of bringing out the underlying thread of the story, it’s a necessity. Time – and words – are malleable. If I were a different sort of a person, I’d be glossing over a lot. It pains me to actually write out some of the stuff I’ve put up here. A lot of the time, my jaw is set, and I am grimacing, and my brow is furrowed. I look at what I have written and say Well, shit. I can’t say that. And on the heels of that: But did it happen? It did. So I write it. This blog has multiplied more than I ever thought it would. What I mean is, when I sat down to write, I thought it would be a project I would eventually abandon. I thought I had maybe 10, 12 real stories in me at most. But the more I wrote, the more there was. And that scared me. It scared me because I wasn’t willing to sanitize and freeze dry what I was writing. And if I kept it up, I’d have to eventually write about things I don’t want to write about (which, actually, is most things I’ve written about). But I can’t stop. This is the most honest writing I have ever done – good, bad, or indifferent.

Sometimes, I sit down at the computer and look at the screen. I know what comes next. I think (briefly) about changing it – making myself or others look better, or making the situation more demanding so the actions of people involved are more sympathetic. That’s another thing with writing – you can change what happened. But I think the day I do, I lose sight of what this blog is about. And it is about writing things out and setting them aside – so they don’t get swallowed by the sea. And maybe, for myself, getting this out, seeing it on paper, I can get some better perspective on things I’ve only ruminated on for years in my mind. I’m afraid that I’ll be vindicated in my suppositions, but I’m just as afraid that I won’t be. Everybody likes to think they are the heroes of their own story, but the truth is often far more complicated than that.

 

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