By Paul Ford
I am exercising and eating right, which brings forth many dark emotions. Normally I would wash down my feelings with chocolate
bars or grilled cheese sandwiches.
Earlier today, a friend told me I was stable and mature for 23. We were walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge. In response,
I digressed on family history, the things I'd stumbled through, both to share the story and to feel though the telling.
I leave my own abuses out of those descriptions. I need to be the hero of the narrative.
Later, looking for punishment, or trying to thwart my young diet, I clicked through past email and found year-old love letters,
angry notes, and emotional confessions. 12 months makes it mundane, makes the amorous paragraphs merely sweet, and the anger
The Subway Diary began a new narrative. The following email, with many like it, helped end the old one:
what a world you are missing, Paul. I'm so glad you don't read these
because I wouldn't ever write to you. You got all caught up in the world
and it is killing you, but you'd rather believe that than have the
courage to even talk with me. I'm so sorry you fell under the psychology
of your time, but you did and you believed the lies. So many young
people who were bright and sensitive bought into the bullshit and now you
are left with lies you probably can never forget and a father without the
ability to help you. what a sorrow for you. Still I hope but not too
much. I have gone on. You certainly missed a wonderful chance to have a
good time trading off for worldly bullshit. But you have lots of
company. Love mom
Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some
There is a Facebook group.
You will regret following me on Twitter here.
About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit
things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.
If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at email@example.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am
glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.
: RSS1.0, RSS2.0
© 1974-2011 Paul Ford
Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose.
As a hobby I write.
Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out.
Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley.
Welcome to the Company.
“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”.
Forgot to tell you about this.
“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”.
An essay for TheMorningNews.org.
People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately.
Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford.
Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford.
Nanolaw with Daughter.
Why privacy mattered.
0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford.
It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so
that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So:
Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand
below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every
Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came
unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...)
That Shaggy Feeling.
Antilunchism, by Paul Ford.
Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford.
I'll have no one to blame but future me.
Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford.
(1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and
the historical fallacy.
The Moral Superiority of the Streetcar.
(1) Long-form journalism fixes everything. (2) The moral superiority of the streetcar. (3) I like big bus and I cannot lie.