This tray lives on a shelf where lots of other things go to die, too, it seems. I found some old letters, a canceled check, a couple of ticket stubs from the 2008 football season, some expired medication and an old paper journal of mine. Okay, so I didn't find the journal. I knew it was in there, but digging for the marker sort of required me to pull it out. Deciding to blow the dust off of it... well, that was all me.
In an effort to tie up my loose ends, let me say now that I found the marker. I'm not sure there's another one in that tray, but there is certainly one of every other type of writing device. Well, there's no quill. I don't think the feather would fit. Okay, loose end tied -- moving on...
So, this morning, I decided to take a peek at the journal. I sort of opened it up with one eye squinted. You might describe my face as expressing a sort of wince. I really thought I was going to open it up and read some excruciatingly cheesy shit. As it turns out, that wasn't the case at all.
This particular journal spans August 2003 through September of the next year. The happy glaze that time coats onto the past allowed me to forget how much stuff I was dealing with at the time. The writing was very raw... And pure... And after intending to only read one or two entries, I read almost all of them. It was a happening time. That year is when so much went down with Alex and Jessie and Robin and Christy... Maybe even Melody, although I didn't write about her. I'd just finished my first year at the FD before starting the journal. During that span, I bought a truck I didn't think I could afford (I'm still driving it) and I moved into a swanky new apartment to keep from getting murdered in my old one -- both were big events for this 25- or 26-year-old.
Part of me wants to go back and slap some sense into that kid. Many of the entries talk about things I didn't like about my life then -- but only recently got around to doing anything about. Why couldn't I have been more motivated, dammit. Why couldn't I have taken care of business in 2003 or 2004 and not have to worry about it today? Of course, the flip side is that some of the entries show insecurities that I still have even now... And I'm sure my desire to give my past self a pop in the head will still be around five years from now.
I am deeply relieved that there are some good solid entries in there about Jessie. I've done a lot of writing online and elsewhere about Alex and Lindsay and others. I sometimes worry about what Jessie would think if something happened to me and she were to read all that I've written. It might seem as though I wasn't thinking about her all of the times I was writing about some other girl... But the truth is, I was doing all of that writing because of her. If there hadn't been a Jessie, I wouldn't have had to do the soul-searching when each of the other girls came my way.
With that said, my reading tonight proved to me that I never gave Alex a chance. She was right. She never got her shot at turning our crazy relationship into something serious & proper. In no way does that mean I would change anything. No regrets, right? As much as I loved Alex -- and always will in one way or another -- I don't think we were meant to be married. I don't think we would have worked out as man & wife. Maybe those feelings were strong then and led me to my decision... But, looking back, I don't see why I didn't give her the fair shot she wanted. Shame on me for treating her that way. I'm supposed to be the good guy -- I ride the fire truck and save the day. I wish I could have seen that I was doing anything but that at the time...
Of course, all of this makes me wonder what I'll be thinking of 2009 when I sit down years from now and read about today. Oh, wait... With the way I've been handling things, I won't have anything to read from 2009. I'm sorry about that, too. I can't promise that I'll fix it. Just know that I'm here on the other side of your computer screen knowing that I should.