From the Diaries of HQ: Cardhouse and the Cage (i)

September, the distant future, the year 2000*

2000+. I want to take up journaling again, but I fear I’ve lost the knack.

It’s funny. Time was when I could not write about anything so easily as myself.

*Flight of the Concords, ‘The Humans are Dead.’

September more, 2000+

I would like to revise my assessment of ‘easily’.

It’s true that what I wrote was a lot, but I wrote it so forcedly, so compulsively, and with so little regard for how wrong it felt coming out, that I may as well not have written it at all. (Did it feel wrong? I hope so—It’s certainly painful enough to read.) The very avidity of my efforts proved their own sabotage.

Looking over these entries now, I note with astonishment that they are all dated. Honestly dated. Sometimes, I even went so far as to attempt a real chronicle of events. These, of course, are by far the most awkward entries: it is one thing to record impressions, but I wrote as one fleeing death.

Did you note my pun, Diary? I’m not sorry.

still September, 2000+

I think the trick of journaling, for me, is not to write about myself. I mean, I’m going to write about myself no matter what, but there’s no need to hedge me in. Especially not into ‘events’ in my ‘life’. Not that it’s a bad life, as they go, but I fear that the direct chronicling events is a slippery slope that leads towards Exactly What I Hate and Detest Most In The World.*

That, or more bad writing. Or both.

God save us from bad writing. God save us from dreary autobiography—from writing what we know, from writing what we don’t, and from writing what we don’t yet know we don’t.**

(God save us from writing. God save us from our stupid, stupid words and our miserable souls. Amen.)

*Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1902. `You know I hate, detest, and can’t bear a lie, not because I am straighter than the rest of us, but simply because it appalls me. There is a taint of death, a flavor of mortality in lies, which is exactly what I hate and detest most in the world—what I want to forget.’ Clearly, a narrator we can trust.
**Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, ‘One Year Later,’ Welcome to Night Vale, Audio podcast (Commonplace Books: 15 Jun 2013)

October, 2000+

October is important, Diary, and we should remember it.

Months in general are important. That’s why I note them: they’re wonderfully suggestive, without being precise enough to risk a bold-faced truth. I am neither lying about my location, nor reducing myself to it. I’m just . . . hinting. At what it might be like, when I am.

And before you get on at me about the year, I think it also very important to remember that it’s not the 90s anymore. Heaven forbid I should be mistake for someone writing in the twentieth century. ew.