Isn't nonfiction all about secrets? Isn't that why you came? Isn't that why we all come here, eventually, for voyeuristic purposes, to see things wild and beautiful that we can trust, more or less, to be true? I am as guilty of this as anyone. There's this great section in The Sun magazine where readers write in, usually anonymously, and tell secrets addressing a preannounced theme. And then there's postsecret. And Found, another voyeuristic treat.
We are riveted by truth, by expected veracity, by the interiors of lives.
Unfortunately I do not have a blog for you. I can't bring myself to do it, and I'm not sure why. I don't dismiss them out of hand. I read a bunch of them, especially those that are about the world beyond the self. Probably I don't have the discipline to update it enough, so it's not worth the effort. I'd rather make these fixed pages, these extensions of the book, that artifact, into the darker space of the web.
What I want is to give you something more than the book itself. Or more than the typical idea of the book. Why can't a book have an electronic component, a ghostly spine, a phantom appendage emanating outwards from it? I'm not sure that this website is a spine, exactly, but it is an appendage, that is, it is attached, part of the beast itself, and maybe you'll see it move. Slowly. Slowly. You have to watch it carefully. See also Solipsism.
Will I tell you secrets here? What repercussions, reverberations will that have? Nonfiction is nakedness: maybe. It is a kind of stripping: maybe, at least when it is about oneself. That's why I don't like the idea of memoir, at least not for me, for my own writing purposes: my life can't yet bear that sort of weight, the weight of expectation, of tragedy or trauma, of a life lived more excitingly, more invitingly than yours. That's why we'd want to read it, and yeah, I do read memoirs, but I'm not willing to write one. See also Sincerity.
The essay, however, especially the sort of essays I like to write, now that's a different thing entirely. They are true and luckily they are not about me. So, what secrets can I tell you?
I'm not sure I care for the truth.
I have some doubts about its use or what it even means, if it means anything at all.
I have some doubts about this book and its usefulness to readers, to the world.
Probably I'm not supposed to say that.
But this space is not overseen by editors, not exactly.
I am predisposed to sinus troubles.
I'm not much of one for hunting, though I like the woods and I am a man from a certain part of Michigan.
I distrust the really thin, unless there is drugs involved.
At one point I really cared for dogs.
Years ago in school my friends and I played this game called Mini-Monson which involved the geodesic dome of the jungle gym, and you had to go in and out of it, and maybe had to tag someone. Sometimes I wonder if it should have been called Monson in the Middle, after the Monie Love song "Monie in the Middle."
Can one become addicted to confession? There is a rush in it, some endorphin motion. An unburdening, maybe. Have you ever confessed true things to strangers in airport bars or other public places?
I cheated on a test in college. Only one, and I'm not sure why.
I do like seeing things burn. I enjoy setting fires.
I have loved this world.