Monday, January 5, 2009

Myopic & Self-Indulgent History #2

Ah, it's 2009 and I'm writing a "blog" that deals with things twenty to almost thirty years ago. Hmmm. But by looking back I see a few things. I see that I was a little more naive--if not innocent--than I thought I had been. I saw myself as being a hedonist, a aloof traveler, stranger-in-town, someone separated from society. An observer. And I was those things. But I also carried my morality--a certain righteousness--when presented with people who I felt had not lived up to their responsibilities or duties. Take Jeff in L.A. for example. I liked him. We were friends. But he had a common-law wife and he had a very young son--maybe two or so--and when I came back to L.A. after being gone a month or so, he'd left his wife and son. This bothered me greatly and gave me a negative view of him, which I tried to ignore but I could feel it and my anger at him kept slipping out without me telling him exactly why. He also then went out and got another girl pregnant, which also set me against him, though it was none of my business. Also, all the single-parent households I saw, the people I met whose parents--fathers in particular--had left their kids, more or less, to pursue their own desires, that bothered me. Some of it was my midwestern "values" (if you will) but some was also I'd never really seen that happen in such abundance. I knew that I wouldn't do it, I guess, which was why I was very careful not to get myself into such situations where I'd have to commit to a life beyond myself (until I was ready). But overall I was no moralizer. I could treat women quite badly and I could be cheap and miserly--as well as obnoxious and terribly unforgiving with my wit. (Yes, I used to have a wit.) I tried (and try) not to judge and have been good at it, though certainly not perfect. I know I pissed good ol' Brock and Matt off often enough, usually in sly or uncomplimentary ways.
But I see in these little vignettes a possibility to do more with them. Right now they are kind of a quick-shot, write as I go record of little memories. There's not enough action--it's all so internalized--and not enough contemplation to give them much weight. Not enough connective tissue to things that truly matter. But, perhaps someday, I could go over them, rewrite and re-connect to give them some oomph. Will see. For now, I'll throw them out when I can, see what sticks. I'm trying to be honest, not over-dramatizing, not making myself into a hero or a bum, not over sentimentalizing or being full of self-pity. Yet, that's all in there just the same. The narrative is hopelessly affected, is all squeezed through the prism of my own memory and sense of self, that it can't help but to be an altered truth.
Yet, when it comes down to it, who the hell cares but me?

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