Thursday, January 29, 2004

Revisionist History

So you came in here because this blog was listed as Freshly Updated. Yet, as far as you can see there is no new post, no new entry.

As a writer--have I earned enough stripes to call myself a writer?--nevermind, as a writer, I obsess about how words are strung together, its configuration on a page, the cadence of sentences. I jot down ideas, emotions, impressions in my spiral notebook. Sometimes they come furiously, like hungry birds. Other times, it’s painful, like The Anna Nicole Show.

I rewrite constantly. It is second nature. Every single post has had some change: punctuation corrected, paragraphs reconstructed, jokes reworked. Go on, read the last post, you may find something that wasn’t there before.

On the page, I am powerful: I can change my history, or at least the memory of it, into something bearable, less wretched. The true fiction of my life. I wish that real life can be just as easily be rewritten; I didn’t particularly enjoy high school, college or crabs. If I could change the past, I would give myself less naivety, less mediocrity, less Z. Cavaricci.

Moving to Chicago was a chance to escape my tedious past, the boredom, the outstanding warrant. I was twenty-two, but in a way much younger. I was a novice. I have never lived on my own. I didn’t know how to iron, vacuum or give a blowjob without gagging.

Not knowing anyone was lonely but exhilarating. I could be a punk or jock, Judd Nelson or Emilio Estevez. I could be anybody in The Breakfast Club buffet. I had considered giving myself a new nickname. I tried “Spike,” “Biff,” “Velveeta Jones.” But nothing really stuck. Maybe I should have gotten rid of the "Fresh Off The Boat" sign around my neck first.

One reader, Kalista, threatened to shoot herself in the head if she read “No Milk Please” listed one more time as Freshly Updated. She had an issue with me updating the site nine times in an hour. But it is in first hours after I publish a post, when it is fresh out of the mental oven, still soft, malleable, that I make the most changes. Just like in real life, when you make a mistake, it is best to make amends right away, before it becomes fact, set in stone. Before you spend the rest of your life wondering what if, what if, what if...

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