so I am writing this. I am writing something of a genre piece insofar as autobiography is a genre but I have no illusions as to whether or not this particular, um, work will quite fit the description or remind anyone of what they usually think they have encountered when they read an autobiography but there is it seems a fair amount to be asked about the idea of the genre itself although I cannot imagine that many grad school seminar papers have already addressed the idea of graphing oneself or that is to create a grapheme a grid a scheme a drawing that begins with a line and ends with a line and proposes to write or draw or sketch itself out around the intimate details of a particular instance of the species a biome or biological exercise in bringing logos to the living to graph out a course that tells itself about itself and then as a genre presents its self stylized rendering to a reading audience of one kind or another but what is there to be said about any of that that has not already somewhere been said I cannot imagine that much is left to discuss.
given the culture that I grew up in and which grew up in me and we have fought it out ever since coparasitic creatures that we are but given that growing and fighting and sucking the life out of one another I would wager that the expectations of the genre would include something like a linear progression from a past into a future and of course I would be much more insane than I actually am if I claimed to have ever even considered trying to tell anything in chronological order and there again you have logical order being given to chronos who is not by any means as orderly as we dream him to be and so it does not escape me that the form which this pictograph takes indicates nothing about a past or a future although I think that anything presented here is immediately taken up by a past time of reading or of things occurring to me when they occur to me but not in the order that they occurred to me if you get my meaning.
they say it is a common feature among those of us who have picked up the post traumatic emphasizing disorder as one of our many diagnoses that we live as though we had no future and in a mundane or that is daily day-to-day way of doing things I absolutely fit the stereotype and at this age even rather than thinking of a future that I will voluntarily toss away at whatever point it becomes apparent that my future was not what I thought back then would suit me right now but at the moment today that is tonight with this writing come along right here and I will try to tell you what I mean but I cannot guarantee that what I mean will be able to take the breach that is to make the leap or to translate from my tongue into yours but so to speak or as I would put it having lost a decade of my life to something enough like psychosis to get it labeled as such but not enough like it for me not to notice that something was terribly amiss that is when I was young I thought psychosis brought relief from the pressures of the day but little did I know that what it actually does is transmogrify them into the most harrowing and belligerant voices from some other day somewhere in that past that does not seem like a past because what I have of a past consists of those voices and figures who continue to harangue me half in and half out of the plane that is my body face to face with the universe whereas actual physical evidence of a past is fairly nil and even memories of places and things and people when something floats up out of the bottom of a box packed up twenty years ago for instance it is jarring in the extreme because I I do not have a past I have managed somehow to shed the material traces of having had a past but with the disappearance of the past and the future I never expected to have it has seemed to me only recently that it is possible that I have survived my own death and not because of the exceedingly slim probability that someone might read this after I am dead.
no that is not the point at all.
I am on facebook and I am browsing pictures of my high school class and suddenly I am overtaken by the panic that these faces could somehow portend the grasp of a history that I cannot live down or outlive or outrun or drown out as though simply looking into the eyes of someone whose last face I recall as open as any other at the zenith of youth waiting for life to begin to happen and then somehow finding oneself engulfed in life happening but not at all as planned and not at all as not planned and not at all as imagined although it was and has been and still is unimaginable and that is what it is like to live indefinitely without a future: I cannot imagine much less plan for next year or even next month they will come and go and I will either live through them or not but I cannot imagine them in any particular shape other than the desire of a wounded animal for water unforthcoming. but as I almost said but did not the past which slides away from me constantly water off a well-oiled pelt waits for me in a future that I did not design nor choose and because of that I run a zig-zag path unpredictable and dicey lest history become matter with muscle and fists and burlap and ropes and spirit me away in the trunk of an old church bus without any chance of my getting away this time. if time is an arrow that draws you back to itself then my flight across the range must be eccentric enough to throw me out of orbit and it is there that night and day no longer march in orderly procession and thus I wriggle out of its grasp and on.