Monstrous Journal


It seems to me that life is like this. A man awakens one day from amnesiac sleep. On a table nearby he finds a journal. Inside the journal, in his own handwriting, he finds that the journal has been inscribed as belonging to him. There are several pages in it reporting things about him that he does not remember, even though they sound vaguely familiar or produce strange resonances within him. After those initial pages, the journal appears filled with blank pages. So, daily he begins to enter his experiences in the journal. To his surprise, though, on some days he awakens to find that a journal entry for that day has already been written. And everything that day happens exactly as the journal entry states. He tries to ignore these journal entries or tries to write around them, with varying degrees of success. But always, these pre-written journal entries have their due. More and more, these entries, written in his hand but of which he is certain he is not the source, begin to dominate the remaining pages of the journal, the pages that he had thought were completely blank. Still, he makes plans and notes them in his journal, definitive plans of all the things he intends to do. But more often than not a pre-written journal entry appears on the day or days for which he had made such plans, completely changing the course of things as he intended them to be arranged. He finds he really has little influence over the development of that singular text. What he writes, what he plans is subject to change in the blink of an eye. Finally, as he flips through the back of the journal, trying to reassure himself that all of the remaining dates are empty spaces, open for him to write the life he wishes, he notices the final page of the journal. It is filled in with three simple words. “Today I die.” In terror, he throws the journal into the shadows, vowing never to look at it or write in it again. But after a while, a natural and morbid curiosity overtakes him. He opens the journal. The days that have passed since last he wrote in it are all filled in. What is written reflects exactly what he has experienced. He is not the writer. He never was. And the ending is certain.