[Originally drafted December 20, 2010]
COT starts in 21 days. Three weeks. Christmas is this Saturday. New Year’s day a week later. And a week after that I’ll be packing my bags for a 6:50 a.m. flight to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Might as well be catching a space shuttle to Mars.
Before I go any further, a word about journaling. I’ve never really done it. That’s not true. I’ve done it a few times in my life, but never successfully or consistently. When I was in second grade I kept a journal because my teacher wanted us to work on our writing. My Mom found that journal a few years ago. Here’s an excerpt: “Today is Tuesday, and I’m tired. I wonder what we are having for lunch?” Every single day was more or less like that, except for one day when I wrote, “Today is Thursday, and I’m not tired!!” Riveting stuff.
The other time I kept a journal was when I was a sophomore in high school. It was 1993. I received a Far Side calendar for Christmas that was more of a notebook; it had lines to write on for each day of the year. I decided to write down my thoughts each day. That evolved—or devolved—into me writing down things that I liked at the time, especially things like movies, music, and TV shows. I wrote them under a heading called “REMEMBER THIS” – as if using all caps would force whatever I wrote afterward to lodge itself in my brain forever. Well, that was the goal, anyway. The experiment lasted maybe two weeks, after which I lost interest and lost the journal. But every time I think about it now, I remember writing “REMEMBER THIS: Jeremy Jordan – My Love is Good Enough.” I guess I really liked that song. I even remember the video, albeit vaguely: Jordan with a great head of blond hair in this early 90s Vanilla Ice pompadour, breaking into banal dance choreography with legions of other gyrating, baggy-pants-wearing, white middle-class hip-hop wannabees. Pure early-90s cheese. And it pains me to no end to think that my 15-year-old self devoted time and prime journal space to forcing a formulaic (read: crappy) pop song by a one-hit wonder into my memory reservoir as if it was the national anthem or the bass line to Billie Jean.