Listening To Yourself

Almost exactly a year ago, on April 21, 2005, a friend interviewed me for her oral history course. Yesterday I read the (nearly) complete transcript.
Oh, the agaony of reading and hearing your actual words transcribed. No, no, I meant….
Plus: Wow – who knew I could be so self-absorbed? Well, some people know, but they’re kind enough to clue me in. But also, who knew how much of an under-current was present in my life. Almost like a river that flows under the foundation of your house, and you never know it’s there until you excavate for some other reason and discover a whole new world, that’s been there all along. Here’s an excerpt:

Q: Do you remember visiting the Dimetrodon?

A: [For the listening audience, he’s smiling and dreaming in reverie!] Well, that was really interesting because it wasn’t architectural, really, it was just an amalgamation of buildings that had been built up because a bunch of hippies moved in and it started expanding as more people showed up, and had kids and stuff. There were ladders up to the bedrooms, and it was just a labyrinth of – it was unbelievable. On the other hand, the sort of, workmanship and its unity was really high on the inside. If you looked at pictures of that building, you’d say, “That’s totally fucked up.” But if you thought about it, or experienced walking through there, and probably even more-so living there, and you thought about the Pattern Language, and thought about, what it takes for architecture to support human interactions, human life, that building scored damn high. Far higher than any office building that’s ever been built, for instance. You know, far higher than the bulk of the houses that have ever been built. It was more like a hand-crafted interior that fit human life perfectly, because it sprang from human life, and it was built by people who were thinking about the impact of architecture on human life. You could tell they would have a lot of interesting conversations in those rooms, because there were a lot of places to have interesting conversations. And you could tell that – you know, you could just tell a lot. You could tell that it would be a fun place to have a kid’s birthday party. You could tell that wild sex had happened in that building in many different corners of that building. You know, you could just feel it. And it felt great. It felt like this building supports people. As opposed to the typical “buy a house” [scenario] where the people support the house. Another thousand bucks every time you turn around. Right? That’s the sort of homeownership drain where you’re now working to own the house in the guise of a retirement plan. Which is a very American idea, retirement, and even a modern idea. Why isn’t it somebody’s retirement plan to jump off the Quechee Gorge Bridge, frankly? Why is that viewed as non-rational? It sounds perfectly rational from my perspective.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a suicide note. Just an example of what I sound like in full riff mode. If I had any real guts I’d paste the whole 8,600 words into a blog post, but I don’t think that’s the right idea.