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Monday, September 2, 2002
By Paul Ford
An essay where a section is added in 12 consequent months.
If time was as a skyscraper, each floor the next year, I expect many of the people within would try to subvert the rules, sneak up the stairs, crawl out the windows. Or maybe they'd move in the opposite direction, hiding from the elevator and trying to stay at 25, 35, 40 years old while everyone else went ahead. I would be one of the anxious ones trying to get there too quickly, putting my ear to the ceiling, trying to learn how it all turns out, what-comes-next.
I'm writing this with the idea that I will finish it on a schedule, adding a short piece to it every month. Next month, when I update this piece, I'll also inaugurate a piece which is updated every year, and past that, a piece to be updated every decade, to be finished when I am 97.
Which means that I will have to turn around a month from now, a year from now, 50 years from now, and try to draw a line through time back to the individual I am, was, would be; my own judgement - but older, more mature, nostalgic - is (will be) upon me as editor. I'm not sure how you write something like this, a linear dialogue between chronological selves, or what my next step should be. The system that drives Ftrain will let me know, via the automatic To-do List when it's time to write something new; the update will be noted, I'll figure it out then, a wiser man (+30 days, +1 year, +40 years) than I am now.
See also: A wire back through time.
The first section of this essay was partially funded by a nice knitter who wishes to stay anonymous.