The main reason I should update this journal more often is so that, in the future, I can enjoy reliving otherwise forgettable memories, like this conversation I had with my sister online 13 years ago and had documented in my journal:
Me: Check out this job listing: PAUL'S DONUTS & ICE CREAM Needs dependable person to fry donuts and learn our donut shop operations. Nights and Weekends, experience preferred but will train right person.
Me: I just want to get that job so when people ask what I do, I can say "I fry donuts..."
J: Ha ha!
Me: "The shop also deals with ice cream, but I don't touch any of that shit. The ice cream part of the shop is none of my business."
J: Are you too good for ice cream?
Me: Yeah, I look down on the ice cream shlubs. Donut wrangler is truly one of the plum jobs at Paul's. The donut fryer puts herself in danger.
J: Can you move up from there? Or is it donut fryer, then Paul?
Me: You become VP.
Me: I wonder if it has good benefits.
J: The fat flying in the air will keep you wrinkle-free.
Me: Yeah, my face of severely burned scar tissue won't wrinkle.
J: Do you get health benefits? Dental?
Me: You get sprinkles.
Me: Mostly, though, it's the prestige I'm after
Me: Also the annual Donut and Donut Related Merchandise Convention is a really wild event.
J: Someday, it could be Jessica's Donuts and Ice Cream!
Me: No. It'll be Jessica's Donuts and No More Ice Cream.
Me: "Paul didn't have enough faith that donuts could carry the shop alone. BUT I DID."
It's also interesting to see all the red herrings, dead ends, false starts, foreshadowing and accidental dramatic irony that my present retroactively imposes on my old journals. It makes me wonder what's going on now that's either not going to matter 10 years from now or, conversely, will be so significant, it'll be strange to later find I've only made allusions or passing comments on it, if at all.
For example, around this time 10 years ago, a friend of mine in St Louis kept trying to convince me to move with her to Columbia. I told her that wasn't something I saw happening. And while I didn't wind up moving here with her, renting a house with her, or starting that underground electroclash band she kept saying we should start someday, I was setting myself up to feel foolish for having declared I'd never move to Columbia when I did so only a few months later. Ten years later, here I am, but I'm further away than ever from starting an electroclash band.
Of course, in early 2008, I also put in writing that I wasn't going to be getting into a serious relationship again for a long while. It's kind of funny that D had been somebody I'd met once a couple years before and kind of filed under People I'll Never Get to Know. I'd even written about going out to breakfast that morning with a friend, and mentioned the restaurant where I'd been introduced to him, before my friend and I went to the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at St Louis University to see Andy Warhol's Silver Clouds installation.
I visited Silver Clouds repeatedly that fall. I'd loved to sit on the gallery floor and watch the mylar balloons float above and around me, occasionally brushing against me. Sometimes my eyes would follow the trajectory of one balloon so closely, I'd often miss a balloon approaching from another direction until it touched me.
It wasn't as if I'd broken up with the previous guy and thought I should try contacting that vegetarian noise musician who said he liked my bunny drawings. He just sort of drifted back into my life in a way that we both initially found amusing if awkward. Oh, hey, I remember meeting you once...
What am I closely following now that's going to drift away? What can I not see flying towards me?
Tune in, writer. It's your story. You may be the only person writing these words, but your plot has many collaborators.
(Seriously, this isn't a set-up for some big news. This is the counterpoint to my recent post where I dwelled on the end of the world. Just as I had to remind myself I can't accurately predict bad things, there have also been good things that appeared when I wasn't expecting them.)