Year 10 for me today and the first time I've added anything since... oh hell... too long. Actually, I take that back. I've been lurking for a while and editing and re-editing so many write-ups from the past that I don't think many of them even feel the same as they did.
Editing existing content doesn't really count for new stuff.
But I was sitting with Bart at a bar last week and we were discussing things over bloody mary's - OK, i was drinking those, he was drinking Jameson's. He asked me the question "Do you ever wonder if the job that you're doing is really what you should be doing with your life?"
I didn't have much follow-up for that. The reason is that I've never really felt or had much respect for my own knowledge or ability.
Sometimes I feel like a complete fraud. Probably because I don't have any really good degrees or certifications... it's all based upon trial and error, learning on the job and reading, reading, reading... it ends up seeming very slap-dash. I find it odd that I'm considered critical to my firm and a bit of a mad scientist. Maybe the way I learned it all is why. Maybe I should be happy for that.
The conversation brought us around to a lot of the past, talking about this place, raising the bar, the many gatherings - eatpoopyoucat. More than anything it made me remember the way I felt when I used to actually write things here and what I enjoyed writing about the most... I enjoyed writing everyday stories that had more meaning in the dialog and the situations... I enjoyed the sillier things. Mostly I enjoyed the things I wrote about Columbus.
On Friday nights now, Keith Olbermann has a segment called 'Fridays with Thurber' in which he reads selections from James Thurber at the end of his program. Like Keith's politics, or hate it, one cannot hate Thurber. I love listening to this because, even tho he's writing about a Columbus of long ago, I still recognize mine in what he writes. Columbus ends up being, in his view, the same one that I know and love. It's something that always surprised me about this place, how there is really far more to it than the strip malls and overweight Wal-Mart shoppers who are more visible.
I really liked writing about Columbus - even in the more fantastical ways - because the city itself really does have an interesting personality and perspective. Weird. I know. But the basics are here for me - and my discussion drove home more of the ideas that I wanted to pursue. I loved the vignettes and short stories and essays that were far more personal and everyday. It was one of those "if i could do anything else with my life" moments... the 99% perspiration seems to be the biggest obstacle - grammar and skill being another. I still felt this nostalgia for what I'd written here and the knowledge that I'd never really left, just stopped writing.
As it is, with the speed that Columbus has changed in the last 10 years, I'm glad I wrote down my impressions of places that are now long gone. The high street that I wrote about in my Jacob story has gone through massive changes. The Coffee table gone, Union Station moved, Great things on High was packing up while I was imaging more things to write about David. It's sad... I see how immortals could get upset living in the states. Things change too often.
But the High street that I wrote about is literally the same one that Thurber wrote about - the vein that splits Columbus in two. The Parsons and Broad, Long, State, Town... they remain familiar. He wrote a tale about 'the day the dam broke' and when he wrote that "some people fled downtown as far as Reynoldsburg" I laughed out loud. I was connected to it. That's what I wanted to feel. He was in my head and in my space.
Bart mentioned the closing line from a piece that I wrote in '95 on the old Theater of the Vampires BBS that I ran as Armand. It was a terrible piece with a great ending - something that I have always thought about posting here but it needs a lot of work. But the line was there in his head - and it still worked. I liked that feeling - after 15 years that line was still a connection.
"Some people fled as far as Reynoldsburg"...
I loved the everyday story. Hell, even my more fantastical writings usually dealt with how the supernatural or crazy dealt with every day existence. I want to get back to that. I liked how completing those pieces made me feel. The completion was usually a surprise and the best ones ended themselves in good, rational places that I never expected. Somehow some landed in the Columbus- where I landed when I fell out of Scottsburg.
When I go and look at a listing of the things I've written I find it amusing that the highest rated things are some of my least favorite and my absolute favorite sits quietly further down the line on page two. I don't mind this. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my Dannye peice - but it was more of a butterfinger Mcflurry than a How did I get here, Sarah?. I think my more popular things just ended up under well-chosen nodeshells - location location location. I'd like to get back to my fundamentals... Of course, if that means trying to squeeze in writing something while trying to look like I'm working, I have the first step started.
Now I just have to get back into gathering up my everyday the way I used to.
This isn't a manifesto of what I plan... it's more like what just spouted out of my goddamn head when I started this daylog. It's my goal. It's been 10 years I have been looking at this day for a while and I wanted to have something to show for it. I should do it.
Random other thought:
Can I say that I miss the E2 that was without seeming like an old fart? Can say that without denigrating what it is? I hope I can, because I always knew that things move on and The world breaks everyone. It was great. I used to run a BBS in Columbus and it was the way that I met many of the close friends I still have... those friends led me here and I met many more close friends that I still have. Each path to those destinations changed and either faded away or became something else. It's one of those circle of life kind of things. I'm lucky that none of them actually ate me alive.
Also, I was sorting through a shit ton of old photos from old gatherings and weddings and what-have-you from 6 and seven years ago and I got the warmest feeling from it. I posted them on facebook and it sparked this huge outpouring of friending and conversations. It was so worth doing. The people I've met here have been wonderful and I'm pretty honored to have them in my life.
I miss you guys, I still do. It's been a while.