Despite having imported my Livejournal to this blog, every now and again I’m compelled to check out the halcyon days of yore; days where I used twelve words when seven would do and generally kept it real about what was going on in the life of a collegian recently returned from sabbatical. I didn’t know dick about making a blog visually compelling; in fact, it was months before I figured out how to embed pictures or hyperlinks into text. HTML? Forget about it. I learned how to do the most basic of the basic just last year. All I knew how to do was type. There was a purity in my ignorance that I’m almost covetous of now. I just wrote and pressed ‘post’ and some friends would read it and some friends would like it. It didn’t get anymore complicated than that. Self-serving as it was, I talked about myself and things that interested me. I did it because I like to talk. I put it out there because I hoped people would vibe with it. (Sidebar: Anyone who writes outside of a private journal and says that the sense of an audience doesn’t affect their writing is a prick. It’s certainly foolish to claim that every writer caters to an audience, but I defy the writer who “just writes” and “just happens to leave it around for people to consume”).
Long paragraphs, zero pictures, song lyric titles. If that wasn’t enough, I’d leave to random thoughts at the end of an entry, lest someone be starved for my thoughts on ‘Space Age Pimpin’ (still the greatest rap slow jam in history if you as me). These were the days when I told a version of the truth that was either the real McCoy or close to it; watering down out of concern for public image mattered little then. Sure, I had my fair share of “wow, he went there” material, but I was no one’s Hunter S. If you had to ask me, I’d say it was all in the delivery.
Then, one day, I blinked.
I became aware of the audience; the stakes for who could get hurt or how I could hurt myself became palpable. I got safer and safer. Was I a better writer? I think so, but there was certainly some piss and vinegar missing. I started thinking about what I was going to write; thinking about how to make it really cook. I was thinking about the reading experience rather than just saying “fuck it” and letting it rip. I forgot how to write freely.
Not too long ago, a friend asked if I’d kept a repository of my old AIM away messages, which were replete with salt being thrown on skinny girls. (Why the skinny girl hate? Because, despite the fact I have little against the skinny in actuality, I felt it necessary that someone tell them they’re not thaaat tight). Anyway, I said I didn’t, nor did I remember many of messages. My friend lamented the fact that I had and quipped that they’d make for a great book. I agreed, but as I saw the pages of my skinny girl hate book flutter away, I was struck that the thought had even crossed my mind at all. Yes; a bit more maturity certainly (hopefully) gives you a better sense of perspective. Cherishing memories is something that seems to grow in importance with each passing day. Still, the whole thought process seemed rather sad to the writer I used to be. Hating on skinny girls amused me at that moment. Nothing more or less. Perhaps I should have seeing as I fell into the trap of dispassionate perspective anyway.
There’s so much more texture to my life now, yet as I scroll through the pages of my old blog, I find myself saddened by what I lost and troubled that I might never find it again.
Penultimate Thought: While I enjoy ‘The Best Man’, I can’t help but get hung up on this point: Wasn’t shit gonna go down either way between Taye Diggs and Morris Chestnutt? I mean, dude was gonna read the book eventually, right?
Final Thought: Skinny girls are like drinking out of a colander: Useless.