Because what happens to all the things that never get written down? What happens to all the notebooks and pamphlets that sit empty forever, throughout the span of this world and the next, what happens to the people who never get photographed, their stories untold? What happens to the undocumented percentage of our lives, the moments and memories that go unrecorded? I’ll tell you what happens to it all: It doesn’t exist. If we don’t exist in history, as a name in a notebook, as a face in a photo, as a voice on a digital recording, we don’t exist at all. How could we? There is no evidence of our walks through rainy downtown streets at dusk, no evidence of the love we feel even when we shouldn’t, no lasting record our labyrinthine dreams, no evidence of our battles, our scars, the relationships we’ve built with emotion and skin and courage. The present is only a condition of the future, Jennifer. I need to write everything down because I don’t know who I am. Whoever I am, whoever this person is writing in his notebook, I want to live on, I want my experience to have meaning, I want to be remembered, if only to one person, I want to prove that I exist or once existed. I want my life to have a defined purpose, and I want to fill that purpose with significance. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how many notebooks I fill, whether you’re reading them or not. Nothing matters anymore at all because someone will read this notebook someday or maybe one of the others I’ve habitually filled with words and sent off to a childhood friend that either moved away or died years ago.
Published by TJ McAvoy
I am a thinker by trade and an artist by definition. Primary influences include, in no particular order, Chandler, Voltaire, Saramago, Borges, John Coltrane, Nietzsche, Ricardo Piglia, Emerson, George V. Higgins, Manuel Puig, D.F. Wallace, Cortázar, Denis Johnson, Michelangelo, Italo Calvino, Cormac McCarthy, Juan José Saer, Keith Jarrett, J-Dilla, Roberto Bolaño, and Don DeLillo. View all posts by TJ McAvoy