Being confronted with your past self is quite an eerie experience.
Many of my close friends know that my email inbox is a nightmare, completely bloated with old messages, because I never erase or even read anything that isn’t directly sent to me or looks somewhat interesting to me at any given time. As I write this, I have 34,648 emails in my inbox, 19,566 of them unread.
I’m not sure whether Skyspook is more disgusted or amused by this quirk of mine, only that he laughs and points it out from time to time.
This morning, through a curious sorting error (yes, I do sort a few of my messages, even so), I happened upon an email I wrote in March 2005 (a few months before I married Ex-Husband) to my best friend at the time. I was in love with my best friend for quite a time despite living with and being engaged to Ex-Husband (“Seth”). There were many such emails, of course, but this one struck me the most as being representative of the narrative voice of my past self. It helps for context to know that I was editing a poetry magazine at the time and working at a bookstore to pay my bills:
I’m sure there’s a lot more I needed to say.
I had a breakdown because I was worried about the mathematics of reincarnation but Seth set me straight. Faith back to the way it was: firm.
Do you want to read any poems I have in my possession? I wonder if you would like them.
Sometimes I wish Seth would like the fact that I’m weird… and I mean, ALL of it… you know, enjoy the fact that I enjoy shapeless evenings with random outbursts of silliness–and that I talk faster when I am feeling ok than I do when I’m upset (I talk really fast when I’m not feeling anything, and I talk very slowly when I’m angry or sad)… Seth says when other people are talking fast it means they’re nervous–i’ll be talking away at work and someone will tell me to calm down and relax—but I’ll tell them I’m fine (and I am) and they will keep saying relax until I start feeling weird and my speech slows down and cry… and then I can’t explain that I was feeling ok before they accused me of freaking out.
Issue #4………. you’re in….. I think it’s going to be a “concrete thing” issue… lots of things in it. So far, it’s just you and another poet in it (who wrote poems with umbrellas and stuff, and the carnival, in them), and you have truffles and pigs and bears… I feel like these are going to be imagist-like poems, at least some of them.
I’m so glad you like the Hoagland.
Please be my friend. Ok?