On a crusty old Toshiba still chugging along on Windows ‘98, lies my first known attempts at writing a novel. Three attempts actually, because I only got through 200 hundred words each before I gave up.
The laptop, already ancient when I bought it on eBay in middle school, cost $200 of birthday money. For some reason I’ve since forgotten, I was obsessed with the idea of having my own laptop. If I had to guess, I’d say it had something to do with wistful visions of sitting in coffee shops writing novels (never mind my town didn’t even have a Dunkin Donuts). I faked sick the day it was delivered so I could be there to open the package as soon as it arrived.
The laptop was home to a few fiction attempts, and many more Oregon Trail games. Reading back through those first few attempts-- the laptop miraculously still runs-- I can’t help but wish I had kept going. A couple of them were good enough to leave adult-me genuinely wondering what happens next.
Even though that first laptop has long since been replaced with newer and wifi-enabled devices, my unfortunate habit of beginning to write something, only to become immediately distracted by the next project, lives on. In the interest of new beginnings, and finding a home for my disjointed and unreliable writing habits, here are some gems I’ve found lying around various notebooks, journals and Google Docs. Welcome to my brain. And cheers to beginnings, new and old.
August 2014 (Iceland)
Currently, we're on a tour bus just beginning what will be 6 hours of sightseeing. There are some beautiful mountains in the distance that Steph and I gave a perfect view of, but the downside of the front seat of a tour bus is that you have a perfect view of the driver. You do not want a perfect view of the driver.
So far he's made a couple calls, checked his iPhone and messed around with the controls of the microphone, which is broken. He's currently clutching the microphone against the steering wheel and clicking the on button nonstop, as if it will work again only if clicked a couple hundred times.
We're en route to get a new bus, because the microphone is apparently a Very Big Deal.
I model all my ID pictures after Paris Hilton’s mug shot.
People always say I look artsy and I’m not really sure what that means.
July 2016 (Jersey Shore)
Pretty little girls, perched like birds on the front of quad bikes. Flipping their hair, putting on Chapstick, commanding mom and dad to pedal faster.
Today I burned my wallet. I wish that was a metaphor.
Sometimes I wonder if writing isn’t really my passion, but a form of guilt-ridden torture I subject myself to.
January 2017 (Miami)
Sitting on the beach trying to shake the feeling I should be doing something else.
I had an Uber driver this morning who is a medical assistant for a plastic surgeon and doesn't understand there's an Upstate NY (“Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that before. It’s like New York but it’s not in the city. Like Queens, right?”). She tells me how everyone's getting their big boobs undone and getting a big butt instead. She's from Cuba and has never been north of Miami and tells me about how she wants to cut her hair short again but her boyfriend says no way. It makes me mad when girls don't do what they want because a boy doesn’t like it.
Self control is more of an abstract ideal for me than an actual character trait. In the same way that an Amtrak train getting into Penn on time is more of an aspiration than a schedule.