Last night I had a massive headache. So, after I'd finished drawing and inking at 3am, I decided to take the rest of the night off. I read War and Peace for about an hour and then I installed Warcraft II. I hadn't played it years, but it's something I used to play constantly. I installed it on school Apple computers because Blizzard used to have the peculiar practice of making their games work on both PCs and Macs. Video games are always an especially potent agent of nostalgia, if you're someone who played them a lot when you were a kid. Never before in the history of humankind have people been able to essentially experience precisely the same environments with precisely the same, unaged, avatars as when they were kids.
I was grocery shopping yesterday where there used to be a movie theatre when I was a kid. It was the last movie theatre in Santee--no one's seen fit to build another one since it was torn down--it must've been ten years ago or so. There are two grocery stores there now, a Henry's and a Vons (Safeway to everyone not living in Southern California) and it's easier to walk behind the bunch of smaller shops to get from one to the other than to go in front of them. Behind the Vons, there's a small square of parking that's oddly nice looking with neatly kept planters and trees--a tiny remnant of the old theatre parking lot. Seeing it always gives me this sharp feeling of wrongness that the lot ends in an empty white wall where it ought to continue for several yards before being a movie theatre. Yesterday I tried as clearly as possible to picture the concession stand and little video game arcade. I guess it seems especially inappropriate for it to be a familiar movie theatre that's missing, as a familiar movie theatre is sort of like an extra set of eyes and ears. It's where you're used to going to access a certain set of perceptions. Its absence is like glaucoma or partial deafness.
To-day I've reacquired a bunch of artwork of mine from high school I'd thought was long lost. I still need to look through it. These nostalgia trips are getting to be a sort of mixed bag. On the one hand, it's nice to see evidence of my own existence, that there's an identity that's not lost forever under the sort of machine I am these days. I mean, the past couple years have been so riddled with disappointments mostly because of my usual disastrous attempts to reach out to other people, it's nice to be reminded of the mechanisms I've carefully built in myself to satisfy the needs for communication and informed affection other people do not seem equipped to provide. But at the same time, it's a reminder that older versions of me invariably die so that, at the end of my life, it's inevitable I'll be a sort of long list of smaller deaths.
Then, of course, I'm reminded of the persons other people, especially family, have perceived me to be and my failure to comply with their hopes, which comes with the reminder of their inaccurate perceptions of me and the futility of our relationships.
You know, I've been laying off the hard liquor lately, maybe I oughta lay off the nostalgia, too . . .