Dispatches From My 20 Year Old Self

12 Jan

Sometimes when I am too lazy to write a proper entry, I start going through my old diaries and plagiarize myself.

Ever wonder what my world-weary 20 year old self thought about parties, theatre types and love? Well wonder no more! Now you can get the full scoop on what an adorable fledgling misanthrope I was. Oh, and I was pretentious. SO pretentious.

The following was all written during second half of 2002, with the exception of the last entry, which dates from early 2003. I was in my second year at Dalhousie and sharing an apartment with two friends.

On parties, pretentiousness and my dislike of people:

“There seem to be a million people in my apartment. Parties. The last refuge of our socially deprived population [don’t ask me what that means, because I don’t know either – probably I wanted people to have ice cream socials or something instead]. Mixing, flirting, drinking, smoking – a million inane comments, a thousand little gestures to draw attention to the breasts, the crotch.

I enjoy it for a while, the thrill of contact, the first glance of an unknown man. But it doesn’t take me long to become tired of the whole ordeal. I’m holed up in my room now. I think that I could stay right here for a while quite happily. I have my thoughts for company. I don’t need all those pressing bodies, the sweating palms, the desperate faces. Maybe I should be a man.

I told M that I wouldn’t date him. Why? Because I don’t feel that way about him. Because I can’t forget that time last year when he pointed out every ugly aspect of my flawed body. Because I know that I wouldn’t be happy. Not just with him. With anyone. Humanity gets on my nerves.

I can hear everyone outside my door laughing, mingling. They don’t notice my absence, which is just as well. Sometimes invisibility is a gift.”

On my Medieval Philosophy professor:

“Dr. Hankey apparently told Ron that I am ‘very intelligent and sincere’. Meanwhile, I thought that he had a very low opinion of me and possibly did not know my name.”

Randomly, in the middle of a page:

“Idealism is dead”

On being backstage at a one-act play festival:

“God, the entire room is full of bitchy, pretentious theatre types. One girl is holding forth about how she absolutely has to dance to get the ‘demons’ out of herself. Another is talking about a wonderful ‘dark comedy’ that she’s written, and how no one really understands it. A third is talking about African dance, using terms like ‘earthy’ and ‘sensual’. I can’t stand it.

Maybe this is why I can’t be in this profession; the lack of ego. But that isn’t true, I do have an ego. Somehow, underneath it all, I seem to think that I’ve above all of them, above all of this. I hold them all in contempt. Does that actually make me worse than them? It’s like I’m proud for being humble. 

I’m just stupid, that’s what I am.”

On falling in love:

“There we sat in my dimly-lit room, talking by the light of my little pink paper lantern, and I wanted to know everything, everything about him. He told me that he was afraid that he wasn’t even alive anymore because of the way he just ignored stress, it was like he didn’t even feel it. He said that he’d been through so much in the past few years that he barely even registered feeling anything anymore. 

‘What have you been through?’ I wanted to ask. I wanted him to confess it all to me. But it wasn’t right for me to ask. Not yet.

Then we talked about a million other things: post-apocalyptic visions of the world, the Tunguska event, volcanoes, mass extinctions, a room with walls made entirely of drawers, Atlantis, colonizing the moon, the perfect mattress. I can’t recall all of it now. 

What the world will be like when religion completely dies out and man worships himself, if you were a Greek god which one would you be (me=Artemis, him=Apollo), how America can justify bombing everyone, how we’re coming to the end of an era. D was telling me his theory that we’re due for something big soon: the fall of an empire, nuclear winter, a great natural disaster that would put everything into perspective. Because we’ve grown so complacent over the past 50 years that it feels like we’re not even living, like we’re automatons just going through the motions of living, but not really doing it. 

We’d never really talked properly before, and we had so much to say to each other. It was incredible. I finally let him fall asleep around 4:30, even though I could have talked all night. I knew he was tired, though, and had to get up early to drive home. But even though he slept, I still couldn’t seem to fall asleep. I filched the flashlight from the pantry and read Graham Greene under the covers, listening to D breathing softly and shifting in his sleep every once in a while. So here I was, with this boy that I might possibly be falling in love with asleep on my floor, unable to sleep myself but instead listening to him breathe. 

It was a nice night.”

diary

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3 Responses to “Dispatches From My 20 Year Old Self”

  1. trophos January 12, 2013 at 6:09 am #

    You are bolder than I! I’m not sure there’s enough money in the world to get me to re-visit the inside of my head at 20.

  2. edenkaill January 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    The “on falling in love” entry is GORGEOUS! Also why were you in Halifax for the EXACT four years that I was not? Unfair.

  3. Kylie January 13, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    You weren’t so bad.

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