I came across my old journal today. I have written in it off-and-on since December 18, 2000. It was a Monday. I know this because I wrote in it, "Monday."
It was the day of a funeral.
That's not the point, though. The point is, the majority of this book was written when I lived in New York. I'd tuck my little leather-bound book into my backpack each day, and I would write in it while I rode from Queens to 14th Street.
I know it's probably a cop-out, but I'll be posting this stuff for a little while. I'm doing other writing, but it's slow and choppy and horseshit, so trust me when I tell you that posting old journal entries is the smart move. It starts out a little slow, I suppose, but it gets better.
So anyway, here's part one of what I have always dubbed The Subway Journals.
10/5/03 NYC, NY
We're here. There was a war, is a war, I suppose it's still going on. Living in New York City now, since March of this year. Went to Canadian for a visit last week, found this empty little book that's been waiting, unused, for over two years.
I guess New York is as good of a place as any to live, if you want to fill a little leather book up with words.
So much noise. So much everything going on, all of the time. Turned on my headphones tonight, the first time since I left Canadian. Two days, that's how long it's been since I've seen the streets of my hometown. Not too long ago, but it already seems like months have passed. That's how this city works, is fast.
Headphones. Used them in Canadian, at a volume that blocked out the noise of people and vehicles and wildlife. Turned the music on tonight, and I couldn't even hear it.
So much noise.
Everyone with headphones on, nobody cares to hear anything. I say things like "hoss" to annoy people. They don't know what stuff like that means at all.
Hard to get back into The Hurry.
It's strange: the time just changed over from Daylight Savings, and when I stand at the subway stop at two in the afternoon, the sun is already going all lazy down to the horizon. Makes it feel like the day's almost over, and I still have a day's work to do. It's so bright and so gloomy. It should be a beautiful fall afternoon. Probably I just have a bad attitude.
Probably I just had two hot dogs with ketchup as I rushed down a crowded street to get to the subway.
Sometimes I wonder what if all the strangers around me could read my mind, hear my thoughts. Today, they would be bored, I bet. today, I'm getting a little bored with my thoughts. Today, my thoughts make me tired, a little. Today, I don't want to think about my thoughts.
This little book, this little leather-bound book that I've never really been good at getting the hang of writing in, it's perfect to have in the subway, easy to hold. Bumps and turns, stops and starts, jerking everywhere, my pen is all over the place while it puts down the words, maybe the pen is having a great time.
Maybe I'm having a great time, too, and maybe I'm just not paying attention. I quit paying attention to subway stops and I don't know where I am. Plus, my breath tastes like two hot dogs.
Sometimes I feel happy, like to the point that it's a bit frightening. Frightening why, I don't know. today, it doesn't seem like one of those happy days, but I'm really glad to be alive.
Times Square, 42nd Street. I look at my little leather book, at all the blank pages, and it makes me smile. We get to go through a lot together, me and this little book. My backpack is on my lap, it's supposed to be leaning against my chest. It keeps bending over my little leather book, like it wants to read what I'm writing. I don't even know if my backpack can read or not.
Next stop is where I get off. Click the pen, shut the book, go to work.