Sunday, February 06, 2005

Little Miss Strange Rides Again

  1. Instead of all the things I was supposed to do on Saturday, I spent a long time looking through the shoebox of stuff that I've saved from high school. Most of it notes and letters from my friends. Almost all of it from my two closest friends.

  2. Their writing did not seem shallow and teenagery, even looking back now. Much of it was mature and insightful. I'm hoping that if anyone saved my side of these correspondences that my writing holds up just as well as theirs did. They were dealing with some pretty serious things: mental illness, an alcoholic parent, making sense of what it means to be gay in our society. What happened to them? One spent almost a decade in grad school and now works in the Bay Area. The other one is dead.

    There are some great ironies in life. One of these is that I'm in a psychiatric hospital and Mr. Legg is teaching high school.

  3. The non-serious topics were fairly familiar. One friend wrote a lot about my writing (drama and poetry). The other wrote about math, physics, computer science -- and how to nicely typeset the formulas when writing about such. (And self-referentially mocking our affection for semicolons in our writing.)

  4. My personal life still has the exact same problems. Just change a few names, and everything they wrote is up to date. How depressing.

    I asked Marc about this. He said, 'Well, [] seems kind of... I don't know... uh...' I suggested a word. 'Strange?' 'Yeah...' I don't know what the hell that means. It means these people don't know you.

    All these years later: I still have trouble meeting people; I still suffer academic doubt; I still seek out bad situations in reaction to my relationship with my mother; I still use more than my fair share of semicolons. And I'm "stranger" now than I was then -- living with my mother inhibited the strangeness; now I say and do things that I never would have back then. It reminds me of when I was struggling with the end of grad school and was visiting my mom and she showed me some of my old report cards from elementary school: "Becky does not do well with long term independent research assignments."

  5. Everyone mocked our 11th grade math class.