Spent all of yesterday and today packing. This involves throwing out enormous numbers of old papers, notebooks, magazines. It’s sort of like the burning of the Library at Alexandria, only worse. What a momentous loss for the future David Barr Kirtley National Library. It kills me to lose all this stuff, but what’re you going to do? I can’t fit it all in my car. Or, for that matter, in my new apartment.
Many of these notebooks are from college. Lots of stuff I barely remember about how a bill becomes a law, etc., etc. The notes themselves are no great loss, but some of the doodles are spectacular. I’ve been trying to salvage some of the best ones, but I’m sure I missed a few treasures. I never noticed before how much I like armor. Some 90% of my doodles involve either armored knights or armored futuristic soldiers, each protective plate lovingly shaded. It’s funny how there’s an inverse correlation between the quality of a class and the quality of the doodles. In a good class, doodles are small and careless, and don’t start appearing until the end of the semester. On the other hand, the notebook for a particularly lousy class I took in Ireland (Postmodern Theory) contains a virtual cornucopia of maniacally detailed grandly full-page blue-lined masterpieces.
Also into the box old love letters (can’t bear to discard them, can’t bear to reread them). Maps of places I’ve haunted — Austin, Manhattan, Villefranche Sur Mer, Konstanz, Cork, Grenoble. Books without which life is meaningless: The Chronicles of Amber, A Song of Ice and Fire, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Scar, Anubis Gates, Ender’s Game, Use of Weapons, Long Arm of Gil Hamilton, Forever War, Book of the New Sun. A few movies (I don’t buy many): Fellowship of the Ring, Donnie Darko, Last Unicorn, Bourne Supremacy, Solaris. Maybe two dozen photos (I don’t take many). Into the box, into the box all.
I’ll be leaving Wednesday or Thursday, driving west and staying with friends along the way. In the meantime, I’ve been madly lining up lunches and dinners to see various friends one last time before I go.
Also, the dude who handles acquisitions for Fictionwise is taking this week off, so it’ll be at least another week until my stories start appearing there.