I face a ridiculous dilemma. I was only able to burn about 25 of the 135 diaries I intended to burn tonight. I have already digitized what I want to save from them, but I can’t just put them to the curb. As a collection, they are quite tempting to read. No, if I am to do this properly, I have to burn each. I have been dragging them along. They have become a burden.
Hence, the problem I face with storing all my scribblings is what has motivated me to type these very words into a document which I will save as a file. My plan is to organized such notes into folders. Sure I continue to keep hand-written notes, but I have to start utilizing the current technology at hand when I have access to it, when I am not homeless, incarcerated, or lost in alcoholic oblivion.
I guess this is an introduction of sorts. Trust me, I prefer writing with a pen in a journal, but I am trying a different strategy here. I don’t even know where I’m going with this. Hundreds of pages from the diaries have been digitized into PDF files, but I still face the ridiculous dilemma of having to destroy the original notebooks. This is proving to be quite a challenge.
Tossing and turning on my cot, the feeling of panic and anxiety returns as I can’t prevent my mind from coming to certain conclusions about the nature of the world in general, and the nature of the society I was born into in particular. I can’t be the only one to see it for what it is: nightmare. As far as literature is concerned, is there a vast conspiracy suppressing the truth? Oh, it’s vast alright. The conspiracy is the tyranny of public opinion.
Who would be interested in reading the ideas of a deadbeat? I don’t care. I am not writing to the gorts who uphold the status quo and defer to mainstream values such as the work ethic, marriage, or “go forth and multiply.” As a man at odds with his society, and indeed, at odds with Being-in-the-world itself, what drives me to type these words has nothing to do with wanting to please an audience. Occasionally I choose this medium rather than jotting down handwritten notes in a journal because it gives me an added sense of addressing an audience. As Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man stated, I am better able to critique my own thoughts in this format. I gain actual relief from writing, especially if I can face my human suffering with humor while gaining psychological insight.
Since I defy pressure to conform to social norms, I don’t have any delusions about reaching the masses. I will direct my rhetoric to the few, the outcasts and outsiders.
I am going to call this work The Great Literary Experiment. I will try to destroy the fear of public opinion. What this comes down to is preparing to be mocked, ridiculed, and ultimately condemned as some kind of weirdo creep. Rather than continue to toss and turn for hours, I rise at 4AM and eat some scrambled eggs. I clean the dishes in my mother’s sink. Yes, I live with my aging mother in a 55+ community. Myself, I am only 48, about the age of Harry Hallar in Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf.
I am a bit like Harry Hallar, the Steppenwolf, except that I am not a fictional character created by a writer to represent himself. I intend to remain strictly committed to autobiographical philosophy. I could call it fiction, maybe even science fiction. This may allow me to further speculate upon the vast conspiracy which compels writers to burn their diaries and format their hard drives. Subversive thoughts, subversive thoughts … can somebody please deliver the reading public something to guide the suicidal insomniacs of the world to the morning light?
Forgive me, I’m looking for my style and how exactly to go about describing my anxieties about Being in the World. Once and for all I have to forget about reaching some kind of readership or audience. It does not effect my theories one iota if the entire reading public makes a total mockery of me. I will be a pioneer and face down the specter of public opinion.
Like Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man, I will want to unload my resentments against those who keep up the farce of the status quo … the hangmen, the enforcers, and, yes, even the breeders who keep the absurd comedy going. Ah, but now the reader will protest, “Come now, sir, you seem to be enjoying life out of harms way in your aging mother’s domicile devouring her eggs and typing into some kind of digital contraption. At least you’re not scribbling with one of those security pens on scrap paper in the county jail.”
Yes, yes, dear blessed reader, but I am ready for that too, I suppose. I know about image devices (scanners), so I intend to scan through my jail house scribblings to see which pages will be concatenized into PDF files. Why this compulsion to preserve my rantings? I sense that my perspective is worth noting and passing on to the future. Since what I scribble in diaries takes up entirely too much space, and the collection of such a tome becomes absurdly problematic as the years pass, whenever I have access to a device, I might as well bite the bullet and type these words into a document as if anyone really cares.
At least you’re not being held hostage by crack cocaine and its side-kick, Traveler’s Vodka. Yes, but that is because of environment. Fortunately my mother and I are close enough that we were able to figure out the dirty details of the vast conspiracy. Part of that vast conspiracy includes being corralled into residences where I would be preyed upon to the point where my day to day reality would drive me to seek relief in alcoholic oblivion. For the moment, I am side-stepping that trap.