Monday, January 13, 2014

Not for Forever

Something I often think about is the permanency of our actions and lives.  For example, as a society, we've grown significantly more capable of chronicling every action we take.  In 200 years, we've went from paints and canvas to handheld devices capable of recording full motion video and can then be stored in our pockets.  It's marvelous on some level, but frightening on most others.

Being part of that last generation that grew up without fear of our every action being recorded in public and private, it makes me wonder whether I was missing something from my past, whether my life was properly chronicled, so I could always look back and see who I was and not just who I am. 

This is my third serious attempt at chronicling my life in a public or even private fashion.  In my youth, my real youth and teenage years, I often thought about trying to keep a journal, not a diary, which is a device best saved for fashionable ladies, rather than rugged gentlemen and unrugged scoundrels.  However, I would usually write something for a day or two, feel a cramp in my hand and feel content to let my life bleed away, which should be my emblem or motto, depending on your iconographic preferences. 

However, with the advent of the internet, it became much easier to keep your thoughts organized in a semi-public/semi-private kind of way.  Early computers were unreliable and tended to self-destruct with amusing regularity and I've never been one for actually saving something on a disc like a responsible person.  And my early internet days were spent reading and playing simulated baseball.  At one point, during college, I dabbled with a blog.  Well, really I dabbled with a blog and webpage coated in lime green at the behest of a girl I met on the internet.  We had one date, which I alone thought went well and was left with a terrible webpage, black tips on blonde hair and more knowledge about childhood sexual abuse then was really pre-first date worthy sharing, but that is how life goes. 

And to be honest, I kind of regret not chronicling my college years, since I had some interesting stories to tell and lived life more than most times of my existence, but I suspect it would be more boring than I believe it to be.  High school would have been a horrifying and maudlin tale that no one who was there or wasn't there would want to read about.  I suspect 800 pages of self-pitying prose about something resembling wrong-minded love mixed with the occasional spark of violence is not a story anyone needs to read. 

However, in law school, we found Easyjournal.  I hated law school and in fact, still hate law school.  I finished at the top of my class, but never enjoyed a moment of it and spent most of my time as a pariah of the first order, which I was well-equipped to handle.  But I commuted to New York most days for three years and had stories, mostly due to my amazing capacity for seeing things and have the necessary sense of deprecation to get something to the page. 

As I started writing again after what was largely a six year, self-imposed ban, mostly to quote The Slackers "I pushed aside the things that meant so much with the hope that you'd be happy someday."  Not you dear reader, since I plainly care not about your feelings, but others.  Well, with that on life's fail list, I have returned to write and to chronicle and to express myself.  And I wanted to read what I previously wrote.  I knew my Livejournal still existed, but I wanted to see what I wrote back in law school, when I was full of vim and vigor and engaged in a relationship that I couldn't explain to anyone if I tried without eliciting looks of incredulousness. 

But I discovered it was gone.  The internet, designed to store all thoughts ever made by every useless human being who lives or lived in the last decade, had erased the vast majority of these thoughts.  I will never know exactly what I thought of people who never became part of my life or what observations I made that day, except for those few saved in the Internet Archive.  Fortunately, one of the best pieces I wrote survived, a callous observation about justice and the law, two concepts wholly unrelated.  Go on, click the link.  It is better than what I wrote here, wryer and full of youth and contempt.  Sadly, the entry before is missing, which is Injury Timeout, which involves me going on a date covered in blood and nearly breaking my wrist.  I still remember that story well and perhaps someday will regale you in it glory. 

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