Letting Down My Analog Therapist
I have betrayed the only one that truly knows me. He knows me potentially better than I know me. My closest ally, Rusty the notebook, with whom I trust my inner-most thoughts, sits idly off to the side as I click buttons and punch letters. He stares at me. I feel him in my periphery.
Feeling guilty, I think about the last thought I shared with him several days ago and feel the compulsion. His rust-colored leathery skin and buttery pages beckon.
With Rusty, my thoughts can only go as fast as my hand can move the nib of the pen. They are governed by the very scribbles that mean so much to me and only me. I am forced to slow my mind. A flash of neurons somewhere in my mind begins to coalesce.
An idea begins somewhere in my unconscious, bubbling up to the surface, undulating and wiggling on its way. It doesn’t bleed out through my forehead and doesn’t come out as audible sounds from my mouth, but instead makes its way down one side of my body, leaving a wake of remnant ideas behind.
Through what I can only assume is magic; it moves my fingers to direct the pen in a series of circles and arcs and loops that I must have learned in another lifetime. It connects my mind to the rich paper through the flow of that beautiful black liquid. A sinewy stream of consciousness remains when the pen is lifted.
The paper smells pulpy, and a breath of earthy chemical is released from it as the pen carves a black river. It feels so organic. So tactile. So fluid. So much better than typing.
To transcribe these thoughts to a digital medium would be a betrayal. It would feel terrible. Cold. Distant. The mechanical act of punching buttons would transform these beautiful streaks of my mind into dead Ones and Zeros.
On paper, this idea has found a path. My body is its conduit, and I am a vector. Through me, it has made a permanent mark of this one thought, this one moment in time, on actual paper that may never again see the light of day.
In Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation, a character finds a mountain of old journals of the departed. That is what my pile of mostly filled journals will look like someday, with the chances being extremely high that no one else will ever read them. That’s okay. I only wrote them for me. But once in a while, an idea is worth letting out of its cage to explore the universe. Transcribing to a digital medium allows that to happen.
So perhaps Rusty can accept sharing duties with a digital counterpart. I will strive to keep the tributaries of consciousness flowing into both mediums. For even though I bare my soul to the internet, no one can know what Rusty knows.