I found a trunk of old stuff in my father's house, dating back to high school for me. Filled or almost-filled notebooks, stolen office supplies, crayons and oil pastels, blank tapes and cds, back issues of the NY Review of Books.
The notebooks describe a desperate and searching teenage dork, who thought rather much of himself but was too self-conscious to say as much, and rarely completed a full sentence. Said dork actually had a point sometimes, but usually failed to convey that meaningfully. Also had a lot of energy.
I took a lot of notes on random shit. I've got the entire Plantagenet lineage written down; important federal regulatory agencies formed since 1900; excerpts from the Tao Te Ching; an explanation of Griswold v. Connecticut; a breakdown of DNA construction theory... I was obsessed with as broad, as wide an angle lens as I could possibly hold. I think I still am, but in a less scattershot way, simply because I couldn't keep it all together. (I'm still fighting that battle.)
Regarding myself ten years ago is a strange experience. I think I had a sense that I'd take some hits through these years, but it clearly shows that I hadn't gotten knocked down yet. Now I feel more worn around the edges, a few scars to show for my troubles and all that. Not dejected, but certainly spent in some ways. I've narrowed some things down, but equally opened some things up... apparently, I still can't finish a sentence or clearly say what I mean.
I'm going to grab the trunk and haul it over to my apartment shortly. Context is important. Also, it's important to remember, and to see the evidence, that fountain pens were far too much trouble, and the resulting penmanship on my part is silly. Yes, I was one of those guys. Shut up.