Five Years Ago It feels weird to be writing for the birthday of a website, especially when it feels like the website is both older and has a better memory than myself. I feel younger than five myself--though not in a needs-to-be-toilet-trained sort of way. Nearly everything in my life that still has living breathing significance to me has happened in the last five years; the twenty years before that--outside of my being born in the Midwest as a white maile--seem somehow inoperative, like a historical footnote for some distant ancestor. I surely know that if I were to meet the Myself from February 1999, I doubt we'd recognize each other, and we surely wouldn't have much to talk about beyond a vague interest in the same type of literature.
Five years ago, I had not yet smoked a cigarette, much less anything stronger.
Five years ago, I didn't like the taste of beer, much less even tasted whiskey.
Five years ago, I'd never traveled alone out of the country, much less all over Southeast Asia or Europe.
Five years ago, I still lived in a town with a population under 100,000 people.
Five years ago, I was still a couple months short of falling deeply in love with a girl, and I was still friends with all the people who now no longer speak to me because I broke her heart.
Five years ago, I still was entertaining some belief in a god.
Lenny Bruce ends his autobiography, HOW TO TALK DIRTY AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, by stating, "I am influenced by every second of my waking hours." That line has stuck with me since I read it, primarily because I feel that the influence of all those seconds has served only to take me farther and farther away from who I was.
Maybe someday, one of those seconds will let me know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.