And, so, it is April.
For the first time since my LiveJournal debuted in July 2001, I've let an entire month pass without any sign of life from my world. The cache of standard non-writing excuses is there for me -- I've got two jobs, you know... And I'm still married, which cuts into the solitary writing time I used to treasure... And I'm still uncertain about how much I want to reveal online in a post-Google era. I've used all of those excuses before when I didn't write enough. This time, though, I didn't write at all.
Of course, the lack of entries didn't happen on purpose. I didn't put myself on some sort of hiatus to find inner peace or channel my thoughts. I actually sat down several times to write during the month of March but always failed to finish what I started. Entirely too often, I felt what I wanted to say roll around in my brain without ever finding a way to actually say it. I remember this feeling. It was how I felt, to a degree, in 2000 when I first started to journal online. But journaling online was the key. It was the door that let the thoughts find order and escape to the outside world. If I can't do that with writing now, how do I purge my brain of the millions of things that burden it? I need to find a way as soon as possible. I can honestly say that my mental health has taken a hit from my inability to find a way to express myself. For the first time in a long time, I've honestly felt burdened as of late -- often to the extent of very real depression.
In all honesty, the month didn't pass without any LiveJournal entries. On St. Patty's day, I wrote a private entry to myself of sorts. By using the World Wide Web as it was designed, I followed a link from a link to a link and found Alex's MySpace page. Actually, this happened quite a while ago. Although I know that my presence in her life is not healthy for her... And although I know that it turned out she wasn't The OneTM... I do miss her and I do think of her. It's been nice to see new pictures of her through MySpace. Earlier this month, I noticed where she'd added a quote from the movie The Notebook to her page...
Young Noah: Would you just stay with me?
Young Allie: Stay with you? What for? Look at us, we're already fightin'
Young Noah: Well that's what we do, we fight... You tell me when I am being an arrogant son of a bitch and I tell you when you are a pain in the ass. Which you are, 99% of the time. I'm not afraid to hurt your feelings. You have like a 2 second rebound rate, then you're back doing the next pain-in-the-ass thing.
Young Allie: So what?
Young Noah: So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day. Will you do something for me, please? Just picture your life for me? 30 years from now, 40 years from now? What's it look like? If it's with him, go. Go! I lost you once, I think I can do it again. If I thought that's what you really wanted. But don't you take the easy way out.
Noah... Allie... Alex... Fletch...
The quote's appearance on her page probably has nothing to do with me. It
probably means that she just likes the movie a lot. And what's not to like
about any movie with James Garner, right? Did you know he was 79?
Seventy-nine! But I digress. The quote struck me hard... And I was
going to write about it... But then I thought about how you guys were beyond
tired of hearing about anything to do with Alex and I was, to a degree, tired
of digging up the past only to cloud my
and accomplish nothing in the process. So, the quote sat as a private entry
to myself. I should probably write more private entries.
I went back a couple of weeks ago and read early entries from Deadline Pressure. Thinking back on those old entries has allowed me to see how the success of my writing then points to the failure of it now. I was dealing with a lot of shit back in the day -- I felt like big chunks of life were breaking loose and I spent a lot of time writing about them. But amongst those big chunks was the minutiae of life. Sure, that stuff was often boring as hell, but it helped shape a picture of the person doing the writing. If you've only been reading me for the last couple of years, you've missed out on that.
You don't know about the guy who lets half-empty water bottles accumulate in the backseat of his truck. You don't know about the guy who climbed his first mountain last week (a small mountain, perhaps, at only a thousand or so feet but a chunk of rock nevertheless). You don't know about the guy who always gets chicken fingers, straight fries and barbecue sauce at one particular pub just so he can order "the usual." There's the guy that likes freshly cut grass but hates to drag out the mower... The guy that leaves the new roll of toilet paper on the window sill instead of on the holder... And the guy that likes to watch TV chefs cook foods that he'd never eat... You don't know him. That's my fault. And after writing all of this, I wonder if that's not part of my bigger problem.
It's easy to write about Alex and Jessie and the big ticket items in life. But by doing that exclusively for so long, I've come to leave out the details of life completely. I began a cycle of only telling part of the story while wondering why I wasn't receiving total absolution from my writing. When faced with writing the same topics over and over, I opted to stop laying bricks instead of filling in the gaps with mortar. Yeah, I know... I have terrible analogies... But you get the picture. And in an entry where I complain that I can't get writing to work for me, it does. I guess that's what keeps the persona of Thomas Fletcher alive after nearly seven years.