For the entire month of June I’m planning on writing a series of blog-a-day posts based on a set series of open-ended questions to myself. This is one of those posts.
June 2nd // Something You Have Lost
Something tells me that part of writing these daily posts is definitely going to be one whole part ‘interpretation and clarification’ of the question. For example, when I ask myself what’s something I’ve lost, I do not think that the spirit of the question will be fulfilled by an answer that reaches into the intangible or philosophical by saying something such as “I’ve lost my trust in the innocence of society” or “I’ve lost my freedom to get up and do things on a whim causing to me to miss things (like last night’s U2 concert) due to lack of planning and other adult obligations.” No. Those things don’t really answer the question at hand.
But what have I lost? And what have I lost that would be worth blogging about? Which is as much to say, what is something that I had in the past that I no longer have now and don’t expect to have again in the near future — again, following the rules of also being tangible and not-wholly-conceptual? What have I lost? I’m not exactly sure that is a particularly easy of a question to answer as it first appears. This is due largely to the fact that knowing about losing something implies missing it (or at least being aware that it is gone) and there is nothing right at this moment that I seem to be missing enough to consider it lost… or at least nothing tangible, physical, or existing in some form in the real world and outside my mind or personality.
When I originally wrote these questions late last month, I had been a lot more wordy in my approach. You may notice that if you click through the list of questions that they are all in a themed, step-by-step, fill-in-the-blank kind-of list. This was not the case in the first draft. In the first draft of these questions I had (quite verbosely) filled out a month’s worth of long-winded and philosophical questions, questions asking me to consider broader ideas about love, politics, relationships, society, and self in the context of the here-and-now. It seemed like a good idea in the abstract, but then I wrote them down, read them, and I got to thinking about how I would answer some of those questions, the people I’d need to (possibly) offend, and that the end result would probably be just a bunch of incoherent rambling about really-very-vague and philosophical topics — and so I went with plan B.
The reason I bring this up is not (as you might be speculating) to imply that I’ve lost those questions as a (weird and vain) way of answering today’s question, but rather to note that one particular question in that first draft had asked me to consider “something I’ve recently acquired” and how it had “changed my life for better or worse.” It was actually a not-so-sneakily probing at something called affluenza (a topic I was mildly obsessed with a half a decade ago or more) and my own round-about attempt at forcing myself to write a self-deprecating, poking-kinda jab at “oh, look, you’ve bought something great, but — ha ha ha — now you have something else to keep charged or filled with electronic content that costs even more money — ha ha ha — look at you you silly git.” Oh, what a jerk I can be. It’s just that this particular question (about affluenza) which is now lost is the ancestor to THIS particular question (about losing something) now sitting in front of me begging to be answered in a way that (knowing my original intent in trying to trick myself) itself begs to be self-deprecating. And that’s a lot of begging from one seemingly innocent answer that could just have been answered by saying “my keys” — were that actually the case.
And though I’ve made a lot of commentary on the role and importance of “stuff” in relationship to the world at hand, here we are now deep into this post and I still haven’t said anything about actually losing anything, or anything that’s been lost, or anything I’m planning on being lost. There can only be one of a very limited numbers of reasons for this. First, I might not have lost anything lately. Two (as before) I might not have noticed I’ve lost anything lately. Or, three, I might have lost something lately, but have become either so indifferent to losing things (due to reasons ranging from relative quantity to higher philosophy) that I just haven’t put that much value on the loss to keep in close in memory.
And even as I type these words, little memories of things lost — more missed opportunities or squandered, to be honest — flick through my mind and tell me that the real truth is something resembling reason three — and not the ‘good’ reason three of higher philosophical ideals, but the ‘bad’ reason three of a mass accumulation of things that lets me toss aside movie tickets I’ve won, ignore audio books downloaded, comics purchased, games acquired in bargain-basement-whimsically-cheap sales that have never been played, or let expire gift certificates that I’ve bought because I’ve literally overloaded my life with things and stuff that these things have lost their true value on their own, as sad as that might be, and I can’t be bothered to do anything but leave them lost, nothing much more than clutter in the past never to be seen again, neither abstract nor philosophical.
So, I suppose, that’s what I’ve lost.