not me

I really did want to use the word “torus” for this entry. It’s a very cool word and I’m happy to know that there is another word in the English language for “things shaped like doughnuts.” Other than “doughnut-shaped things,” I mean.

torus: n. : a doughnut-shaped surface generated by a circle rotated about an axis in its plane that does not intersect the circle; broadly : TOROID
There’s your lesson for the day. And now, onto me, me, me … or rather, not me, not me, not me.

I don’t like talking about myself very much, which makes it peculiar that I’d want to write a journal on the web. Maybe I like forcing myself to write about myself, or something along those lines; maybe I just like writing with Kite, so she’s writing about herself, and I don’t have to feel so … self-conscious, so responsible … about my words. About myself.

On the phone, I can’t accurately depict “me” and it upsets me. I would rather talk with someone online; there, I have a chance at some sketchy outline of me, as opposed to the hastily-drawn caricature of me that phone conversations must provide. I am less than articulate unless impassioned, and even then, I am utterly diplomatic.

Too diplomatic. I’ve been sitting on the fence so long that I’ve forgotten how to stand up.

There are some things I am more willing to talk about than others. One of the things I am less willing to talk about is other people. I despise talking about other people, although I do it sometimes. And not gossiping; I mean, talking about other people at all.

So, here I am, not really enjoying talking about myself, but liking it a hell of a lot better than talking about anyone else, and I’m writing a journal and sticking it up on the web, and expecting someone (myself? others?) to get something out of it.


I don’t like talking about other people for the same reason I don’t like talking about anything I haven’t researched thoroughly: I don’t know enough yet to make half the statements that constructive conversation insists I make.

The longest I’ve ever kept a secret is ten years and counting.

I don’t remember my mother saying, “If you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all,” but I must have had that imprinted in golden-embossed letters across my brain from C.C.D. or some other brainwashing experience in my young life. Whenever I talk about someone, I feel this need to qualify it with an unreasonable number of statements to bring the character sketch into some sort of balance.

I use “seem” and “may” a lot. I try not to make assumptions. I keep quiet instead of speaking my mind. I generally cower in heated arguments, although I pretend to look like I’m participating.

Everything I say has a disclaimer, spoken or not.

I’m tired of being so … fair.

There are lots of people who just have opinions, and feel comfortable about sharing them, in any context. I don’t. I don’t know if that’s ever going to change, or if I want it to.

The more I tell about myself, the less of myself I have to rethink. If I give an opinion Monday and through intensive thinking and reconsidering I’ve changed my mind by Friday, I’ll look … inconsistent. Hypocritical. Foolish.

The truth is, I like changing my mind. I’ve always gotten negative reactions to it, but it remains, and I’m glad. If I can change my mind, that means it’s still active, right? It means I have the potential to accumulate new information and make new observations and theories.

“Women are always changing their minds.” I hate that stereotype (like most stereotypes of females) but if you think of it in the active-mind light, it’s not that awful after all. Always rethinking, always considering new data. That might just be a positive stereotype after all.

If in our society we were rewarded for considering new data.

Privacy, to me, has become more important within the past year; not just important to keep, but important to know when to break through. I’m still thinking about what it means, but more and more I’m learning that it is essential to figuring out what makes me uncomfortable with certain people, and/or in certain situations.

An example: Karawynn writes her email journal in an extremely candid way; luckily, because she’s a good writer, too, her candor translates to poignant, thought-provoking entries that can be read and reread without losing any of their original interest. I appreciate her entries – not only because I sometimes figure into them – but because they are fairly accurate depictions of her; she has captured some essential Karawynn-ness within them, and so they are interesting.

I have never tried to write extensively about my day-to-day goings-on, because I am afraid they’ll come off a bit like this:

Woke up. Stared at the clock for ten minutes while the alarm peeped at me. Yes, peeped – this alarm does not do anything so hearty as a beep. Got up, shuffled into the study, logged on. Received email from Rebecca that I didn’t respond to right away. Received email from Dad that I haven’t yet responded to. Received a weather bulletin, even though I’m not leaving the house today to do anything more than stand just outside the front door and have a cigarette. Good to know it will be raining later, though.

Stared at webdesign stuff I’m supposed to be working on. Worked on it for about two hours, and gave up due to growing restlessness. Self-esteem check: about 2 on ye olde scale of 10.

Checked email on and off all day for a response to the strange letter I sent Jeremy. I don’t really expect him to reply, but it’d be nice if he did, since he seems interesting and I’m going to lose Shae’s companionship in a few short months when he moves to Seattle. Of course, no one could replace Shae and how much a part of my life he’s become, but maybe having another friend could prevent some of the inevitable depression and regret that’s going to arrive in the emptiness of March.

I should not have underestimated how much it’s going to hurt.

I should call Steph sometime and make another concerted effort to be social with her again.

I should not be so scared all the time.

Ate a bowl of Cinnamon Grahams – tiny octagons of sugared cardboard, yum – and praised Zen a lot for scratching in her basket instead of on the sofa or chairs or table legs. Read more of Riven Rock by T.C. Boyle, who is fast becoming my second-favourite novelist. Played MineHunt on my PalmPilot (which is odd only because I’ve never played Minesweeper on my PC) and then went back to bed at 9:30 a.m.

Slept till 3:30 p.m.

More reading, checking to see if Jeremy has responded – still no – and Chad comes home. And promptly naps. I sort through some email and set an obnoxious .wav on the Jeremy-filter in Eudora Pro. Chat just a little with Karawynn and Shae over ICQ, until my head feels too heavy to hold up anymore, even though I’m wide awake. I get up from the ‘puter and I’m dizzy again. Great. Let’s add “blacking out at odd times” to the list of physical defects, shall we?

I do respond to Rebecca’s email, so she doesn’t think I’m “miffed” at her (her word). I don’t respond to Dad’s email, although I don’t want him to think I’m miffed at him, either, but I can’t seem to summon the energy to do so. I think about calling him instead. I end up showering and then forgetting all about calling Dad until it’s too late. No Boardgamers meeting for me tonight; I can barely walk without falling over.

The rest of the evening is consumed by upgrading to Windows98 and figuring out how to partition my new hard drive. (Note to Microsoft-bashers: please spare me. I’ve heard it all.) And chatting lazily at DruidMUCK, and writing this entry. Kite has encouraged me to toss out the outlines and just write and here I am. I feel very skewed and random and not at all interesting. I come all undone when I don’t have a goal in mind for writing these. Looking back and seeing all the sentences that begin with “I” is so annoying, but I don’t know how to edit this so that doesn’t happen. It is about “I” after all.

And that just bothers me to no end.

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I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.