Part of the human experience is to imagine one’s self as continuous — the same person yesterday as today. But as I go back through my memories, I find myself dwelling on something so recent, yet so shocking that it begs the question: Am I a person at all or just a collection of random choices? Though I wish it weren’t true, I have to own my behavior and learn to live with the fact that, not but two years ago, I had a faux-marble laptop case.
I don’t know, I guess I wanted people to think my laptop was a kitchen island? What was I thinking?
Again I have no idea who this person was. If I had to guess, maybe I thought it made me seem worldly and intellectual because my laptop had some vague association with the art of Ancient Rome? But if that were the case, why did the marble have streaks of fake rose gold running through it? What the hell was I thinking?
It might take years of work to accept that there are no answers to these questions.
Often I lie awake at night and consider my past, wrestling with my memories. I really used to just set up shop at a cafe for hours with my laptop looking like some rich lady’s bathroom. “Oh yeah,” I’d think, “everyone thinks I’m reading Sappho or something old like that”.
The humiliation is unbearable.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and examine my reflection. This is a person who decorated her laptop like the sink in the bathroom of a restaurant called “Silk and Oak” where they hang loose Edison bulbs from the ceiling. Can I love this person? Only time will tell.
All I can do now is find the strength within myself to accept my past, to incorporate it into my self-image. One day, I want to be able to say, “My laptop used to look like the lobby of a Trump Casino, and that’s okay.”
I have to hold out hope that that day will come soon. I have to hope that one day, I won’t look back to my current self and wonder why the fuck I gave myself line art tattoos and decorated my bedroom walls with all those botanical diagram posters. Hope is all I have.