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.
"Well, really, our memories are all we have, and even those we think of as "real" are made up. Art can condense experience into something greater than reality, and it can also give us permission to do or think certain things that otherwise we’ve avoided or felt ashamed of. The imagination is where reality lives; it’s the instant lie of backwash from the prow of that boat that we think of as cutting the present moment, everything following it becoming less and less "factual" but no less real than what we think of as having actually occurred."