Speak, Memory




<-- (In)conclusive evidence -->

p.11, ¶ 1

Writing was, for a while, a strange activity for me to be engaging in. Junior and senior years of high school, I'd had several pieces in the yearly "look how talented our students are" thing. Things that I can't quite remember but I'm pretty sure I would be deeply, deeply embarrassed by now. I had that notebook(old-school composition style) I took with me everywhere for so long that there were two white spots on the covers from where my hand wrapped around while carrying it. I filled in the white veins with differently-colored pend during boring classes. I took the time to actively change the way I wrote, down to particular letterforms, hanging indents, and random odd conventions whose origin I don't even remember. During part of my short, destructive stint at college and subsequent stranding in Oklahoma, I went to readings at a little alterno cafe that actually was run by artists, and was decorated with their work as well as that of other local people, including a piece by the owner's wife that was this great big screaming red mask thing hanging above the toilet in the womens' bathroom that we referred to as the Angry Red God of Menstruation. If only it had dispensed tampons...

There was a communal piece of paper in the middle of our table which we would use to quietly[indiscreetly] comment[make fun] on[of] the other[all those] writers[idiots] on stage. I became known in part for spending ten minutes one week belting out a screed against the new age ass who would always show up and bore everybody by chattering about connections with the universe and crystals, all without him, of all people, noticing.

And then I shut up. I decided to disappear. I stopped writing; actually became incapable of it, in a way. The words and their meanings would constantly shift out of reach, and I just wouldn't be able to get anything I saw and heard in my head to come out of my hands or mouth. The problem is still there though not as bad, and sometimes, if you really pay attention while talking to me, you can see it happen. I destroyed what I thought was everything I'd previously written that I was still in possession of. Much later, I found one of my notebooks, still awaiting a decision on its fate, and another that I'd taken a marker to because it contained sketches for something I was planning to build and some meaningless glyphs that I started drawing after I stopped writing; those I wanted to keep. I'd got it into my head that I didn't want to leave any traces behind me. Somehow, this was summed up by the idea that when I am very old and very tired, I will go into the forest and not come back.

To be perfectly honest, I still like the idea, although there will be traces. I eventually had to accept that as a simple fact, if only because some of the people I knew at that time were so determined to know every little damn thing about me, their concern or not, that it almost turned into a game. They all knew some things and suspected other things, and if they got together, they'd know just about everything, but they were such backbiters that they'd never actually reach that point. And I was just amused because they could've just asked. Instead, I was hetero-/homo-/bi-/a-/tri- and pan- sexual all at once, depending who you asked, with the occasional hint of B &or D &or S &or M. And then there was the "Do amoebas feel love?" joke. I just wanted to be alone.

So. Lots of traces. All of them different. And that's better in some ways than a single blank, no?

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