Everything is now a matter of life and death. Math homework: NOT A PRIORITY WHEN THE END COULD BE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. Cleaning my room: IS THIS REALLY HOW I WANT TO SPEND MY LAST HOURS ON EARTH WHEN I COULD GET HIT BY A CAR TOMORROW? Etc. The habit that blog-keeping instilled in me of compulsively archiving every single thing only worsens. If I get behind in my journal, I spend hours wondering where to even start. I can't pay attention in class, only make scattered notes where there should be a timeline of the Industrial Revolution, listing all the details I need to get down properly as soon as I have time: The music we listened to in Claire's room, the old man I saw on my way to school, the view from my boyfriend's car when we sat in a 7-Eleven parking lot watching people walk in and trying to predict their purchases, along with a record of what each person looked like and what they bought. My hands tremble, relaxing only once everything has been sufficiently documented, each memory in my grasp, as if by putting them down on paper, I can make them last forever.
I don't actually think these events really happened to me, but they'll still come to mind when I think back on a time when a secondhand event seemed to hold some kind of truth that reality did not. Example: I felt all weird and drifty at the beginning of last summer, and when I try and revisit that place, I don't literally imagine the view from behind a car windshield and how everything must look to the narrator in Yo La Tengo's "Today Is the Day," but I sure remember the exact sadness that it captured.