Well, it’s a different kind of animal. The kind that digests in the very instance of ingestion. Webjournalism, I mean. It matters little whether or not you write for a living, as long as you write what you are living while you are living it, while you experience or witness what is being stored and storied. My digestive system operates far less efficiently, I’m afraid, which is why I frequently end up with a digest of my day-to-day.
It is not that I regurgitate the past. I very much live in the moment, a skill (or nearsightedness) I developed living the United States, the empire of “now.” And yet, by the time I manage to keep up with them, those moments have lost their momentum. They are memories the writing down of which is the reheating of yesterday’s repasts. Instead of journalizing my journey as it happens, I delay the act of relaying it by sharing recollections edited, according to a Wordsworthian scheme of spontaneity, in motionless and remote tranquility.
This is what I feel compelled to do now—catching up with myself. After all, taking bites out of the Big Apple for a month left me with plenty to digest, even if some of pieces of my intake turned out to be as unpalatable as the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening or as bland as the Terrence McNally’s Deuce, a sentimental exchange starring the ill-served if indefatigable Angela Lansbury.
Only a few days ago I spent an afternoon at Coney Island, walking past Nathan’s (not eating the hot dogs that once got me terribly sick) and riding the old Cyclone—whose twists and curves once caused me to break the bones of my best friend sitting beside me. Today, I am cleaning up after a sick dog that swallowed a bone far too large to be digested, hoping he will be spared an operation, hoping I am going to be spared something akin to “The Odyssey of Runyon Jones” (Norman Corwin’s radio play about a boy determined to retrieve his dead dog from “Curgatory”).
It is retrospection that saves me from exposing myself at my most vulnerable—in the in-between of everyday living. It is life tidied up and tied up neatly. It is loose ends woven into a security blanket. Digest, please!