Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

Collected Time

A gripping night of looking through old day-planners. Really.

I don't need these anymore. I've saved them from 1997 to 2008, but the day planners are taking up space -- physical and probably to an extent mental -- that I can clear. But I'm anal-retentive enough to want to save anything interesting.

I've found some stuff: a quick sketch imagining Lloyd Center, a mall here in Portland, after something had ruined it; with holes in the glass ceiling. (Lloyd Center was an open mall until a major remodel in 1990, when a glass roof was added over the walkways. A neat-looking mall before and after, but me liking post-apocalyptic stuff, I imagined it damaged.) I've also found notes where I was playing around with language and the sound of words. I wrote "Vicious, viscous biscuits."

I also saw my schedule for Saturday March 15th, 1997, which because of relationship drama was maybe the most stressful day of my life up until that time. I won't go into details here, but that day I was so stressed I had trouble breathing, let alone working. I bailed early from a temp job (a product survey at a Tigard, OR Safeway) I was supposed to do that day and Sunday.

Work drama happened on Wednesday, April 16th: I went to a fire and rescue training center in Sherwood, OR as a temp for its cafeteria. My temp agency contact warned me in advance that the training center was not happy with the agency for reasons having nothing to do with me; I got to the training center to find they'd canceled work for a temp for the day, so instead I headed into Portland and spent the day with my mom's parents at physical therapy. I'd remembered the work getting canceled, but not what I'd done instead.

I was also looking for more permanent work: I see my notes about newspapers all over Western Oregon, from Portland to Klamath Falls. I started looking in April 1997, interviewed at my eventual employer the Hermiston Herald in July -- best as I can tell from my notes, I didn't even hear about the paper until June, and it was the only paper east of the Cascades that I inquired at -- and started at the paper in early September. More drama and loss happened in that stretch: my then-relationship ended and would not get repaired, as a friendship, until 1999; then...worse drama. Sad drama that I didn't really properly deal with in the summer of 1997; I don't think I fully dealt with it until maybe the next summer. (Tarah, who's reading this, knows what I'm talking about.)

Other moments of note from 1997: a car accident I had in Portland, Tuesday June 10th, because I was dumb. (I can admit that now.) Earlier that day, at Future Dreams back when it was on the south side of East Burnside, I bought my first Sandman graphic novel, the collection Fables and Reflections. I still have that. I'm also pretty sure I didn't really "get" Sandman based on first reading that. I "got" it years later, about 10 years ago in fact when I borrowed each collection from the Multnomah County Library during my first year living in Portland. And in summer 1997, Alicia, my then-girlfriend/eventually no longer my girlfriend/later my friend -- keeping up? -- was keeping tabs on a pregnant llama. I'd completely forgotten about that.

There's more, of course. There are also the errands, the shopping, the library books returned (my reading that year included Michael Crichton novels, books on Jung and dream interpretation, at least three Jules Verne novels, and books about where Atlantis might be), the notes about bills, keeping tracks of photos to reprint (from negatives; I wasn't digital yet), the visits, the back-and-forth, the plans, the half-formed plans that never materialized, and...the blank pages, where I did stuff but didn't note it. And me taking notes about many things, including myself. Like this:

"I live my life in the crevices between the details."

I wrote that Saturday, March 29th, 1997. (I spelled it "crevasses.") I guess I still am, because 14 years later I'm going through this planner and finding things still worth keeping. Some things. But I'm moving forward in getting rid of what I don't need. And hoping my memory keeps remembering what's worth keeping.
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