Secret Pop

Oct 13, 2002

Late Night Dog-Walking

Now, I have a sore, bruising fingernail that got squished when I was collapsing a mic stand. It seems the fates are conspiring to end my violin-playing. Or some other manually dextrous occupation yet to befall me.

It was a grey, grey day.

It is as if my life is what happens between naps.

I do a pocket-sized version of sleeping. Inspired by Travel Scrabble. And I am never fully awake. And I have so many dreams that it has become a source of great tedium to try and recount them or catalogue them in any way. Even if there may be shining jewels of insight and importance lurking in my thoughts about lunch and hovercrafts and burial mounds and things to carry books in. This is dismaying. As I am the sort of person who likes to keep track. I imagine the statistics will be important to me one day far in the future. I keep track of things no other person -- no sane person -- would bother to record. I keep everything. Everything. If you sent me an email once to tell me to turn on the TV because something interesting was on channel 6, I still have it. I'm not kidding.

So when computer problems or foolish decisions cause me to lose some piece of my recorded history, I fret and frown and imagine how valuable those data would one day be. Maybe I fear that I need the statistics to validate all this time. To prove that I was here. And that things happened to me. And because of me. And in spite of me. I always long to know more. About myself. About the people I care about. About the things they care about. About everything. And I'm never sure if it's rote hunger for it or if it's a useless compulsion -- a silly game of catch-up in a race that no one else is running.

In the beginning, I saved it all because I wanted to relive the memories that brought me delight. I wanted to be able to bask in mutual brilliance time and time again. Revisiting the discourse the way a child rereads a favorite story. It's comfortingly the same but tellingly different each time. It is history and present all at once. When the world around me is silent and unmoving, I revert to the memories of the velocity days. And in reliving, I make certain that no moment of mine will ever ever ever be silent or still. I have never known what to do with down time.

But even when the history began to show an unexpected ugliness, I didn't turn the recorder off. I have never been one to spare myself the anguish of reliving misery. It's how I keep balance.

Tonight, I was driving down a stretch of highway I seldom traverse. And it was dark and night and I could see a glittering white snake of bright lights seemingly coming from right out of the sky. Headlights coming down a hill. Just as they did years and years ago on a night when I was driving home on that highway -- racing to catch up with someone who was far behind me. Sometimes, there are things you find in memory that are worth finding. And finding them again and again only gives you more and more opportunities to discover the important truths that you missed. I get lots of chances to figure things out. Which is good, because obviously I need them.

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