I keep a journal in a pocket notepad, but the journal is different from what I write here. The notepads cover about three months at a time before I get a new one, and then I save them in a shoebox in my closet. The shoebox won’t shut, because I started this around 1993.
When I get to the end of a notepad, I read it front to back. It normally takes about five minutes: it’s like looking at an animated version of your life, fast-forwarding through the film version.
I don’t know why I save the notepads, as if I’m saving them for someone else. And that’s a kind of strange burden, when you think about it.
My friend Brad’s mother told us about something she did, with fruit labels. She’d peel the small stickers off the fruit, and then stick them to the underside of the sink, under the cabinet where no one could see them. She lived by herself in a retirement community, in an apartment, and one day she had to call someone in to check for a leak.
The guy saw the stickers and just looked at her, didn’t know what to say. She wasn’t sure why she saved them and couldn’t explain it, except she wanted someone to know she had lived there, after she was gone.