Cyrus’ Journal: August 1879 – The Gaze

Historian’s note: The entry was written early in Cyrus’ life and originally contained numerous errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. In short, it was one long run-on sentence with only the articles spelled correctly. Some of these errors have been corrected with special attention given to maintaining the spirit and content of the original document. We do hope to post a scan of this document, but that will occur as time and resources allow.

The Gaze

I’m not sure what I’m doing. Writing my thoughts down like this. Mom said this was mostly for women so they could keep a record for their family. Show their children and their children what life was and how things went. Write the story so the story is as true as possible because talking the story from person to person tends to muddle what really happened.

I’ve thought about this for some time now. If mom wanted to write down her life and her life was the same everyday and my life since I left hasn’t been, then I should probably write it down because my own story is already getting muddled, and though I probably won’t have any kids, there might be someone somewhere who might care about where I was and what I did.

And I hate myself for thinking that. That anyone might care. I know my life ain’t nothing and will probably keep on being nothing. Just a runaway that keeps on running. But I guess I’m not really saying anyone should care. Just saying that if it happens, then there will be something for them. So, if you happen to be reading this, and you happen to care, I guess I chose right. I’ll keep putting down my thoughts and my life and whatever else and if it happens to be useful then good for the both of us, I guess.

To understand me and what i’ve done, you should know me a bit, and the first thing you should know about me is the gaze. It pushes and pulls me and is the reason for most of my thoughts and all of my misfortune. It’s why I ran away. No matter where I am I get this feeling like I’m not home yet. I see other people sleep like they’ve worked all day and they don’t have a care in the world, but even when I work myself till I can’t, I still don’t sleep like them. I sleep like I’m an intruder and someone’s gonna find me and kick me out. And when I’m awake and walking around I can’t stop moving. If I sit or lean or rest at all the gaze pulls me up, slaps me on the bottom and tells me to get to it. Only thing is, the gaze never tells me what it might be.

I call it the gaze cause that’s how this feeling first came to me. Working on my daddy’s homestead. Back then, the feeling felt like there was something exciting over the hill, and all I had to do was walk up and over and all that exciting would be mine. So I’d stare at the hill. Stare right through it. I’d stop, and I’d gaze.

Don’t think I have to tell you that the exciting was one big lie. But finding that out didn’t mean a thing to the gaze. It still told me there was more and better and all I had to do was keep walking out of what i knew and into what I didn’t and i could finally sleep like I belonged.

Hasn’t happened yet. Don’t think it ever will. But if it does, I guess this here paper will tell me and you what it cost to get there.

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