I keep thinking about the fact that a friend of mine’s journals all burned up in a fire. She had kept them from the time she was 13 or so and then boom, fire and no journals. All that history. All those thoughts, epiphanies, the pain and the joy, the excitement, the loneliness, the everything that was her life, recorded over the years and then gone in a day.
I think about it every time I write in my journal. I write for two reasons. One, to get all this shit out of my head. I mean, can you imagine if I kept the fact that eating microwave popcorn causes obesity in other universes to myself? Holding in a groundbreaking theory like this could cause serious mental constipation. No way. Sorry you guys have to be my vent, but there you are. The second reason is for my grandchildren or their progeny. Haven’t you ever wondered what it was like for your grandfather or great grandfather growing up? Sure, you get a clipped story every now and then, maybe on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and that story is of course repeated again and again until that small section of their life is carved in mental marble. But wouldn’t it be nice to know it all? You know what made you who you are. And since your caregivers helped carve out the better part of you (or maybe worse part), wouldn’t you like to know what parental carving tool was used on them? And so on and so on?
So my fear is that I am going to spill my life onto the pages of all my journals over a ten or twenty year period and then have it vanish in a night. I wonder how many people have lost things this way. Maybe somewhere there is a Library of Lost Works. It’s probably just down the street from the Library of Works Never Produced.
For instance, I’m certain no one has ever painted a picture of a prairie dog shooting Einstein with a shotgun, in watercolor. This would be in that library. Maybe a book called 1,999,999 Ways to Snort Gluons Through a Garden Hose. That would definitely be in there. What about an ice sculpture of a campfire? A concerto in K minor? A car that runs on irritating bullshit. You could feed it a constant stream of car commercials on the radio, or maybe hook it up to a politician’s mouth around election time.
Of course, the minute they popped into existence in the Library of Works Never Produced, they would, by definition, be forced to pop out of existence there and pop into existence in the Library of Lost Works. This would make it very difficult to check out a book in the Library of Works Never Produced. You would have to be very quick.
And if you actually wrote a book detailing 1,999,999 Ways to Snort Gluons Through a Garden Hose, for a brief moment, the book would exist in both the Library of Works Never Produced and on your rather filthy computer desk. One should be very careful at this exact moment to not suddenly destroy the book or it would be in 3 places at once, causing a literary paradox. It would exist, be lost, and never have existed, all at the same moment.
What were we talking about?