Every so often, I check this site to see if I’ve written anything. It’s mostly while working on some presentation where the client strategy is stuck in my craw and no project manager has stopped at my desk to perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre. I’ll huff and sigh, get coffee, check my mail–both Outlook and pigeon hole–tweak a header style, kneel before the kitchen altar and eat five two-bite brownies. Lapse into severe inert reverie. Move a sentence, delete it, stare and retype it. Eventually–all right, in minutes–I’ll alt-tab over to Firefox, and click the vain little Dervala.net bookmark, just to see if I’ve posted.
For months now, the same entry has greeted and disappointed me. Why hasn’t she written, this other me who shares my life but lives upstairs? I deserve some distraction, and she affords me none. Only the Propecia spammers add to a conversation that trailed off in November, a Caltrain rant on the way to…where, anyway? She doesn’t even say.
I look for those stories more to pass the time than out of real interest or concern. I was there, after all. At first I can remember the difference between the telling and what really happened, but as time goes on her version–tweaked, spun, ellided, and public–takes over. As my sister’s best friend tells her when she goes home to Ireland, “We talk about you all year long, but when you get here I realize you’re better in my head.”
So I’d like to hear about Christmas in Ireland, with three bad sisters back together. Even though I was there, I’d prefer to read the news shared by twenty-year friends in a flagstoned Liscannor pub than finish this presentation. I want not to write, but to have written, retellings of a few of Bernie’s caffeinated stories, and a few of John’s scéals, spilled over pints in Nancy Blake’s. I’m looking for the cautionary tales from a month studying Youth with a clipboard and a video camera. I’d settle for some bittersweet book report on the growing stack of Irish women’s memoirs–Nell and Nuala; Rosemary Mahoney–and the gratitude and hackles they raised.
Memories bob for a while, but then they sink beneath the surf. For want of writing them down, I might sink with them. I’ll keep checking, just in case.