My how things change

On the last two trips I took to New York I got to hang out with Sarah Brown whose website I have been reading since 2001. One night she took me and Jon to a Russian bar off 52nd Street, and we drank homemade vodka for six hours while we exchanged stories about how many tablets of Ibuprofen we have taken in one sitting (she wins). Getting to meet Sarah is one of the highlights of the years I have spent working online, far above getting a defensive email from Soledad O’Brien or that one time I stumbled across a photo of a llama that had my head photoshopped onto its ass.

And here I am serenading her with an operatic imitation of Christopher Cross:

Sarah has taken New York by the balls and is putting together a book of embarrassing diary writing, and she’s looking for submissions:

We’re looking for brave souls willing to share their old diaries, journals, letters, notes, songs, poems… anything you wrote during the crushing misery of adolescence and then saved in a hidden box at your parents’ house all these years.

This morning I flipped through the unorganized collection I have of old high school and college keepsakes — journals, wrinkled composition notebooks, Milli Vanilli cassette tapes — and found several pages of a diary I kept during my freshman year in college that fit the above criteria perfectly, so I’ll be making a few submissions of my own. That was the year I wrote way too many paragraphs about the “meaning of my existence” using words I looked up in a thesaurus. My favorite sentence so far goes like this: “I am an accidental enigma, although I do not appear to visualize as such, but have contemplated that the essence of all of my fears originate from purposefully isolating myself for the comfort of misery.” Because that totally makes sense.

Here is a scan of one of the best pages so far:

It’s the second half of the page that holds all the rich, tortured content:

Dawn is no longer a virgin. She had the big “ess ee ex.” I am still in shock and pain and surprise. I didn’t handle the news well and she sensed my hesitantcy. She assures me that it’s right, that they’re in love, that he fully respects her, that she has no regrets. It would be cool if I could be genuinely happy for her, but I know what I know. She lost her virtue and she has no idea. I’m so sad. I’m torn between what I know is right and what she will only hear. I’m not a part of her world anymore. We shared our common virtue for so long, as a link, and it is now severed. I don’t think things can ever be the same. I’m not passing judgment, but our worlds are now different. My how things change.

Oh no, I’m not passing judgment. I’m just being a giant ass. There is a huge difference.