Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Blast from Crazy's Past

Long before Crazy was a blogger, Crazy was a diarist (and still is). But what this means is that I have a "record" stretching back lo many years, and I can consult with it when the mood strikes me. Here's what I wrote upon having completed my first ever academic conference:

[Warning: the tone of this makes me want to DIE. I was in a very lame place voice-wise at this point in my intellectual development.]

"I can't express to you effectively what yesterday [the day I gave my first ever conference paper] or what this weekend has been -

I know I'm on the right path intellectually but I don't know how to reconcile it w/sex. I wonder if I'll ever actually get to have sex (again). I hate First Love. I never want to talk to him but I know I will. The knowledge of that lack of control is debilitating.

I think my greatest flaw is my ego. I'm so greatly flattered [sic] - even by a greeting - that I can't see what's true. I don't care what's true. I care only about the praise of me. God, that sounds pompous. [At least I knew I was pompous and ridiculous at the time.] Maybe all I'm looking for is mutual appreciation - to praise and be praised. Not that that is bad necessarily but shallow unless juxtaposed with something more meaningful. I am so tired and I do not look forward to driving for 11 hours. Tragedy. I'll sleep the first three while Mentor drives, wake up, drop her off at the Cracker Barrel, buy cigarettes & food, and go home. More upon my grand return to Home State."

The sad thing is that I think what I said about me and flattery remains true, and I still think that I'm just looking for somebody who flatters me and whom I will flatter. Pathetic. Also, don't you love the comment about First Love? Clearly, I was not dumb, as I knew I was stuck with him for all eternity. And also, the use of the words "grand return"! It is as if the me-then and the me-now are in total sympathy (even if the me-then was a total douchebag).

I also had this habit, at this point in my journal keeping, of copying insightful quotations into the front and back covers (I still do this a bit, but it's fallen off). Anyway, I shall leave you all with some things that I thought were really evocative when I was 21-22.

"Ultimately our differences were: I believed in true love, he believed in wives and mistresses; I believed in happy endings, he in cataclysmic ones; I thought I was in love with him, he was old and cynical enough to know I wasn't. I had merely been deluded into this belief by my other belief, the one in true love." - Margaret Atwood, Lady Oracle.

"A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail." - Marge Piercy, from "For Strong Women"

"I am still dreaming of your face.
Hungry and hollow from all the things you took away.
I don't wanna be your good time.
I don't wanna be your fall-back crutch anymore."
- Everclear, "Santa Monica"

(I've got to say, I love the last one, as it is SO what a 21-22 year old would think is "deep" or "meaningful." It also gives one a sense of the relative time period of my musings in a way that the other quotes just don't.)


Anonymous said...

oh god, to think of the crap i was writing when I had diaries. as for the tone...I can see why you want to die. I also think one can hear hints of your current voice coming through. if nowhere else than in the "God, that sounds pompous."

I used to do the copying in the quotes thing, too. except I think mine are probably, you know, like totally deep sentiments from everclear n shit.

Anonymous said...

ps I really really like everclear.

Dr. Crazy said...

I KNEW I'd find some readers who found the Everclear profound! Yeah, the interjection that I sounded pompous does sound like me, now, but lemme tell ya - the other entries - HORRIFYING! But again, the journals are not for an audience.... But I'll say this: even the me now hates the voice in my journals from that period. And so if I was writing for myself, I should have been a bit more prudent. Because I hate what I wrote then. :)

Sisyphus said...

Heh, the layers of authorship here!

"With your big black boots and an old suitcase..."

Yeah, that sooooo brings me back, in so many ways. Where's my black eyeliner? I gotta get all grungy and head out to the Palladium.

And I bet my notebook poems and quotes were _way_ dorkier than yours.

Kisha said...

I don't think its bad to want praise from loved ones. I was once in a relationship with a man because he was *so* good at praise. Eventually I realized that it is rare when an intelligent, successful man actually respects the intelligence of a woman. And the fact that he realized I was smart, and truly respected me for it, was important to me. It was like being seen. (Of course once I realized this it was much easier to let go of the relationship.) I am much older now, and I suppose I don't need to be "seen" in the same ways. But we all need recognition, no?

helenesch said...

Do we academics want praise more than others do? Not just from relationships, but from our colleagues (peers, professors, students, whatever?) I sometimes wonder about this... I mean giving a good paper, or getting positive reviews of your book, etc., doesn't translate into a promotion or a higher salary--at least not directly. Whereas accomplishments in other fields seem to be rewarded in more concrete ways.

And maybe this is conneced to our (my?) need for lots of praise and attention from friends and lovers...?

Tenured Radical said...

Dr. Crazy,

I think you have every right to want to be flattered. I, for example, think you are fabulous.