El Rumbo Perdido

by Desaparecido

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Me dicen el desaparecido
Que cuando llega ya sea ido
Volando vengo Volando voy
deprisa deprisa a rumbo perdido

-Manu Chao


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I write letters to close friends but I never send them.

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I write letters to close friends. They collect in an A4 size priority mail envelope on the desk in my room. I am reading them now to remind myself why I don’t send them.

I found this in one: “Surround yourself with strangers and you can be exactly who you are with total impunity.”

One night P came over with his girlfriend and the guitarist from her band while my roommates were at work. We sat out on the roof drinking and taking turns on the guitar. G broke the bottom string and said he’d replace it. He never did. Turns out you can play a guitar with five rusty strings for months. It gets to where you don’t even notice the sound is incomplete.

P’s the one who encouraged me to start freelancing, helped me recognize my talents. He knows about the typewriter because he was there the day I bought it. He’s never asked what I do with it, I’ve never told him.

I’ve never told anyone. It’s my thing, my catharsis. The entire process has become so thoroughly mine that I can’t bring myself to share it. Sure the letters are addressed to people, but are they really for them? I found this in one: “Thing is, when you can’t backspace or edit, well it changes a few things. For one it makes you way too honest. Not in the way you’re thinking. Honest like this is me, right now, no plan about what I’m gonna say. Just bangin’ away at this fucking machine.
And that’s dangerous, you know?”

Last September I visited the States after two and a half years. In my home town I went to the house I grew up in. My parents no longer lived there. They had moved into a new house a town over, but they hadn’t really moved out of this one. A couch, two bookshelves, one dresser and my old bed were still there, along with closets packed with old clothes and shoes.

The dresser was in the center of my old room. A Halloween costume I’d worn a month before leaving was on the floor. The walls were still papered with magazine cut-outs of surfing and the ocean, floor to ceiling, wall to wall, peeling here and there. Hangars and papers were everywhere. Maybe forty or fifty of the books in my collection were still on the shelf around my bed. The notebooks were still there too.

I found some in top of the closet, hidden behind a magic set and a box of Lincoln Logs. Some were tucked between books. A few were in the hidden compartment of the book shelf that ran around two sides of my old bed.

I sweated against the heat while I read them. The later ones were full of narcissism and anger. Voltaire’s influence was everywhere, along with Huxley, Rand and a surprising amount of Bill Watterson. In them were seeds of ideas and opinions, some I still have. From fourteen back they became less pompous and more curious, explorative. At seven, he noticed that not everyone takes three hours to fall asleep.

There has been only one period I can remember not having insomnia. That was in 2008 while living in a tent.

This was in a letter too: “I keep finding them. Then I find the first one. It’s just pages, loose because I tore them out to use the book for something else. I remember doing that. I remember feeling a little ashamed of them, embarrassed, but I remember thinking I shouldn’t just throw them away. So there they were, hidden under a newspaper with “Mission Accomplished” as the headline, sitting next to the band-aid box full of foreign coins. And it was in them that I found the one thought about how I wanted my life to be, the only one that was truly mine, from the age of six. And I’d completely forgotten it.”
15th Apr 2012, 11:06  

Viv says:

Rediscovering - so you rediscovered moblog too :)

there's a lot to be said for the honesty of the young before we have created our own 'virtual world' full of poses and pretentions

funnily being older is quite freeing - although I have always tried to be true to myself and speak honestly

seems really strange for a home to be just left behind unused, uncleared

15th Apr 2012, 11:56

Desaparecido says:

Kind of... This blog was for when I was on the road, I haven't been for some time. Still, it seemed like it needed an update. And while those words are a bit old, they fit the bill. :)

Very true.

It is in some ways, limiting in others. The "human condition" and all that...

Strange is the right word. It was strange being in a museum of my old self, and stranger yet that it existed at all.

15th Apr 2012, 12:10

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