1. The Vicious Cycle of Regret and Respect
Looking back at the first book, of how it came to be, of how the stars were aligned at the time of writing, I am always torn between two conflicting feelings: regret and respect. Good times mean it’s split, as in 50/50 between the two. The two must never outpace each other. Otherwise, I get to that bad place.
On the matter of regret, I often regret the fact that I wrote the novel in the first place. That I wrote it in a very amateur voice weighs even heavier on me. Granted, I was in that period of my post-teen rebel years where my life was so totally fucked-up that the only way to find some “breathing room” was to write about all the fucked up things.
But it's not a fucking excuse.
A mature person would find logical and methodical solutions to his problems, rather than write about it. Hence, regret. Add to that the fact that I never bothered to correct the glaring typos. To this day, I can still hear myself saying, “It’s part of the writing — the typos,” whenever the errors are pointed out.
I was young and misinformed.
I'm older now. I think, react, and behave very differently from my younger self. Which brings me to the second feeling.
On the matter of respect, I also often feel nothing but respect toward that person, that younger version of me who started it all without thinking that someday, his older self would feel regret. Give him a fucking break, I say to myself. That kid was so confused he didn't know what the fuck to do, and he had no one to turn to. Even music could not save him. And yet, in spite of all the adversities and the bullshit, he managed to retain his sanity. By writing a book that told the tale of all the adversities and all the bullshit.
In doing what seemed like a counter-productive approach to the mess he called life, that young man managed to keep his sanity intact.
How can you not fucking respect that shit?
Now I feel guilty for even feeling regret, and this feeling ricochets into anger and disappointment for not giving my younger version the respect he deserves. This makes me want to show some respect, and the fact that I’m even thinking this way consumes me all the more with further regret. And in my twisted mind, I feel an enormous sense of anger that I’m allowing myself be so affected with what has come before.
In my usual parlance, what the fuck.