1 Year Monologue

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.

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The first section of this essay was partially funded by a nice knitter who wishes to stay anonymous.




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 time.


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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 ford@ftrain.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.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

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Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

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