I am awake at 9 AM. I was awake at 7 AM. Not pulling an all nighter, no; I had to wake up early. (No, no job interviews or anything like that. Don't I wish!) Ugh. And of course, the night before, despite going to bed early AND shutting off the computer early, I got maybe 5 hours of sleep at best, because like a fool I decided to start planning my day the night before. One thing led to another, and before long I had wasted several hours planning my memoirs or something. Stopped doing that, tried being mentally quiet but that didn't work. Thought about trying to focus on faux dream images until I drifted into real dreams, but my mind was going so fast I doubted that would work. So I masturbated. For some reason, masturbation always calms me down and makes me sleepy once I climax. And it worked! I drifted off to sleep not long after that.
Now I'm at Panera. I had breakfast at Subway. I *was* going to eat breakfast at this cafe near Brooke's, but it was cash-only, so I said "Fuck that." I mean, seriously, cash only? In THIS day and age? Who the hell carries cash with them anymore unless they're going to an event like Pride where cash is preferred due to the temporary nature of the setup? They didn't even have an ATM there! I wonder how much business they lose every year because of that ridiculous "cash only" rule?
And Jesus motherfrakking Horatio shiteating Christ on a cracker, why the fuck is it that every time I write far enough on the LJ update page on this laptop, part of the text gets cut off and the scroll bar won't scroll down to it? Goddamn idjit thing making me have to finish typing it in TextEdit! >:-(
I doubt I'm getting any writing done today. Too frakking tired. In fact, I think once my fleets come in on the SFC game, I'll send them off again until tomorrow at 2 PM so I can just drop off to sleep when I get back to Brooke's without having to worry about when to wake up.
I feel like talking a lot today. I pass by these wordy posts when other people write them, or skim them for important content. I don't think the Internet makes people ADD, but if one likes to distract oneself from other things, the Internet is useful for that.
I am going to continue on to discuss what I was keeping myself up with last night. I won't give you the whole frakking "Introduction to a memoir" crap, though. The foreshortened version, then:
So I realized a useful metaphor for the process of reconstructing my childhood memories. That metaphor is archaeology. Lately Brooke and I have been watching episodes of a British TV show about archaeology called Time Team. The premise is that, every episode, the Time Team has just three days to either determine if an area is worth further archaeological work, or three days to do some project for an existing archaeological site (like at this one Roman fort, their project was looking for a nearby Roman cemetery. During the course of that, they stumbled on a second Roman civilian area; previously only one such civilian area was known). Anyway, I have learned a lot about archaeology from it.
Going on... it occurred to me last night that the process of reconstructing my childhood memories is a lot like archaeology. You see, I don't actually remember my childhood. All my life, I have had this natural tendency towards living in the moment. I rarely think about the past (except to try to piece together memories) and don't often think about the future. It was even more pronounced when I was a child; back then the past was totally dead to me, the future was some wobbly abstract that I never paid much attention to, except for anticipating fun things. Furthermore, I was lost in my own fantasy world 24/7. Everything that ever happened to or around me was filtered through whatever game I was playing at the time. I was the star of my own epic movie series, I even had a narrator and a soundtrack. But more often than not, I was not really me; I was playing some other role. Sometimes they were based on me. The one thing they all had in common was they all had something I envied. Tristan Terrific was a superhero emperor ruling over a planet of supers. I had a lot of robotic roles. And Captain Al was a sailor (I had a sailor hat. I was a hat fanatic back then, and that was my favorite.) Those are the only ones I really remember.
So combine escapism for at least 10 years with a very selective memory with the fact I didn't want to be experiencing most of my life and so didn't want to remember it, with a blurry sense of any time other than "right now." The result: a fragmented, jumbled, sparse memory. What I *do* remember gets frequently mixed together with other things, is out of order, and can't be pinned down to any time more specific than "I think I was maybe X years old then." Even my frequent assertion of being 9 when I lost my virginity is guesswork. It might have been as early as 8. I clearly remember several of the times Justin and I had sex, but beyond that it's a mess. Some memories aren't even real at all. I have a clear "memory" of an event I don't actually remember happening, that I had reconstructed from things Mom and Dad told me. The really annoying thing is that I *should* remember it for real, as it *was* something that happened to me that I told Mom and Dad about right after it happened - it was one of my first experiences with a real bully. I know the "memory" is a fake because the memory insists this happened outside the orange house in Shenandoah, IA, but it happened in Kindergarten, and we were living in a white house in Beaver City, Nebraska at that time. I also have what I call a Placeholder filling in for the bully. I don't actually remember what HD looked like, so the Placeholder is a construct of a likely appearance for him. There is nothing genuine about that memory at all, as far as I can tell.
Thus, the process of trying to figure out my past (and, thus, figuring out where I am now by figuring out where I've been and how I got here) is a painstaking process of sifting through the memory fragments and putting things together. Just like an archaeologist can find pottery shards and use them to reconstruct the whole pot even without all the pieces, I dig through the layers and piece things together. Of course, where the metaphor breaks down is that the layers in archaeology are infinitely clearer than my memories. It'd be like if someone with a bulldozer dug up an enormous chunk of what would've been a great archaeological site, all the way down to the stone age layers, dumped it in an empty cement mixer, jumbled it up thoroughly, added a fuckton of pointless garbage to it, then dumped it all back and planted grass over it. I've spent over a decade trying to figure out my past, and it's still largely guesswork, hypothesis after hypothesis based on what little I'm able to actually remember. I can extrapolate a lot by comining these memory fragments with the written and spoken history of me, though.
Oh, and there's yet another level of complexity. I have only one genuine memory of Beaver City; that lone memory fragment is a shot-up sign nearby what we called the clunked-up bridge. That. Is. It. The only other thing from that era is that fake memory I mentioned earlier. And even the memory of that sign might be from a photograph. There are literally no memories other than that, of Beaver City.
What makes this more perplexing is that the one reliable part of my memory is my visual memory of places - I can remember every place I've lived, including the immediate neighborhood, from Rockwell City on forward with such clarity that one could make 3D replicas of those places from the memories if they could be copied onto a computer. I even remember Grandma's house and neighborhood in Rockwell City, and we only lived there for one summer. And I can "walk through" every house we lived in from Shenandoah on with ease.1 But of Beaver City, which we'd lived in just the week prior to moving in with Grandma, there is absolutely nothing. The only reason I know the house we lived in was white was because I saw a picture of it once. Nothing else from then exists. It is such a vast curiosity that I remain convinced I must be repressing the memories from then for some reason. I tried getting in contact with people in Beaver City to try to get some pictures of the place, to try to jog my memory, but I never received any response.
When I told Mom about this total inability to remember Beaver City, and my theory that I've been repressing the memories of that era, she said she remembered once I was invited to a neighbor boy's birthday party (or somesuch), at his house, and that something happened there, but she never got me to talk about it. I can't tell from her if she knew the degree of what happened. So I don't even know if it's relevant. But it is a bit of a curiosity; I had no friends in Beaver City. I don't even remember how this boy knew me. I also don't even know if Mom knew how he knew me. Though I did go to day care for a while when my parents became concerned about my lack of social experience. I vaguely recall, from later conversations with Mom and Dad, that it didn't do any good; I had little to no interest in the other children or their activities. By that point I was already so socially retarded that I had more interest and regard for my stuffed animals than I did for other kids my age. However, my interest in adults goes way back to Beaver City. Growing up, I always preferred adults. Even in high school! And now, at 28, I just want to start over and spend time with kids my own age. It's like I aged backwards or something, born mentally an old senile person, growing mentally younger and gaining clarity the older I get. Except I still subconsciously discard the memories of a large portion of my daily life. Not nearly as much as I used to, and most of my time is spent in the real world (more or less). But my sense of time, while improved, is still fuzzy. Every time I have to tell someone my age, I have to think about it before I answer. Half the time I can't remember what day of the week it is. I frequently start doing something, get distracted, and forget about it.
Well, I'm tired of this. That's all for now. If you actually read this entire entry, have a cookie; you deserve it.
PS = The location function of LJ's update page thinks I'm in Michigan. Why, I can only guess.
1 = Two of the houses get a little mixed up in my mind, but that's because they were practically identical, inside, despite being about 50 miles away from each other.