Transcription (with grammar/spelling errors):
Nov. 8th 1982 Monday
[First Paragraph — Leaving this one untranscribed because of Internets and Google searches and stuff.]
I’ve lived here 4 years and I like it. I live with my mother and two cats, their names are Midnight and Sunshine. My dad lives in Dallas with my step mother and step brother. I visit them every (a/u?)ther weekend.
I have a sister who is married and she is 22. I like to play all kinds of sports like basketball, baseball, soccer and swiming. My hobby is fishing.
“Please illustrate in color. Do you fly to Dallas by yourself?”
My response: Yes!
Monday, June 25th, 2018
Here’s Day 1 of my third-grade journal which I kept for Mrs. Waters’ Reading/Writing class, November 8th, 1982. A Monday. Some of these entries (today, I would call them “posts”) are pretty much only about the existence of my penciled handwriting on that yellowing page, indicating my presence on the earth on the date referred to at the top, which is a date I was taught to assign to that day, and which we believe is in the past, but might still exist somewhere now if we could only find it or see it. It’s an artifact that makes it known that I did this thing (writing) and look! here is faded proof of it and so far it is not gone yet, so much as anything goes from being “here” to “not here.”
And on that date, as with this date today, which is a date referred to as June 25th, 2018, I also described my name as the series of consonants and vowels that, in American English of this particular period in time, make a sound like “Day-vid Oh-limp-eee-oh.”
And on that date I also understood that I had once been born in (and then lived in) Maryland but had moved to Texas with my family some time thereafter. These are bits of information which have persisted along with my existence, and which I remember today. I’ve recalled and used these data in passing conversation to describe myself and my past ever since the time I wrote this, without specifically recalling the presence of this page or the time in which I wrote it.
This is all to say that who I understand myself to be today is, in some sense, the same person referenced on this page. That is, if we judge by the criteria of birthdates, familial relationships, even the presence of two pets — one light and one dark. Match this up with the fact that I am in possession of this journal and not somebody else. All of these facts would seem to indicate that I am the same person who is being described on this page because this is information that has continued to bubble up from somewhere inside my consciousness, most likely my brain (though, look what’s probably telling me that.)
On the other hand, the things we call “proof” or even “uncanny coincidence” could be nothing more than the stochastic bits of information we choose to glean and compare. Today, I do not count “fishing” as a hobby of mine. I can’t even remember ever thinking of it as such. I do not like to play “all kinds of sports.” There is an absence of at least one sibling on this page who I know now to exist and who lives in Colorado with his wife and two kids.
Add to this the fact that I do not remember writing this, nor do I remember acquiring the journal. I only remember it being in my possession. I do not recall how it got there.
Is it possible, then, the person who wrote this was not me at all?
TAGS: Childhood | Journaling | ThirdGradeJournal