Oh, what a clever little git I was at the tender age of nineteen.
Here’s the deal: Circa 2004, I was attending community college and taking lots of Honors English courses. I was devouring volumes of literature and poetry, both for and outside of class curriculums. I had just begun composing poetry seriously, which in this instance means that I would dedicate a few hours each night to scribble drunkenly in those ridiculous little Moleskine journals.* Ninety-nine percent of the time, I couldn’t decipher what I had written the next morning and I certainly couldn’t remember what I had been trying to get across. I thought I was smarter than all of the other students (a debatable claim) and, furthermore, totally set apart from them, both by choice and by default.
I wanted to be just like all of those writers and artists and musicians I dug so much, and I thought this required a certain level of exile (self-imposed and otherwise). My peers didn’t understand me, but all these dead cats that I studied did: Dante, Poe, Shakespeare, et al were my pals, and I spent more time with them than my real-life friends. In fact, I developed a juvenile sense of jealousy about all those guys. Whenever somebody else would talk about one of them (as is likely to happen in, say, an English class), I would often grow indignant and offended: “How could you say that about Will Shakes?! You’re wrong! YOU’RE FUCKING OUT OF LINE, PROF!”