Old Files: A Treasure Trove of Secret Shame

Today is the day I had set aside to get some work done on my thesis. Naturally, I haven’t done a single thing since I sat down two hours ago. Instead, I decided to upload everything I’ve ever written in my entire life to Dropbox while eating a bag of Doritos.

In my travels, I came across a stash of files/novels that I’d written between the ages of 19-21. My past self had apparently believed that her writing was so precious that she had to password protect it. She had the presence of mind to use a password that she would never forget. Present day True could only remember that the password was numerical and was the same password that I used to logon to the laboratory computers back when I was a labrat. Unfortunately for Present Day True, I haven’t been a labrat since 2008. I was certain that I knew roughly what it was and it only took me about 20 tries before I cracked the bastard. With the arduous task of removing passwords, saving, cataloguing and uploading ahead of me, I decided it was only fair if I took a trip down memory lane.


There was a reason that Past True had decided to password protect those files. An incredible reason, in fact. They were… abominable. Horrific. Tragically awful. 19-21 year old True was a self righteous, deeply emotional moron full of hate, anger and lust (not the best combination, past self) who passive-aggresively decided that, instead of facing her problems, that the best solution would be to fantasise about outcomes acceptable to her and write pathetic stories of revenge and wish fulfilment. Complete with poor pacing, bad grammar and petulant, fiesty heroines (ok, I’m not entirely convinved the last part has changed!). 19-21 year old True was a brat who thought she was a tortured genius. The only torture about her was the fact that 32 year old me had to read her drivel. To be fair, Past Self actually did have some stellar ideas, but their execution was markedly less so.

WTF is this crap? I can't decide if I want to laugh or cry

WTF is this crap? I can’t decide if I want to laugh or cry

Here are some of the gems I found.

They are all from the “Success is the Best Revenge/Oppositional Romance” story I wrote during my hating my ex-boyfriend for cheating on me/crushing on another douchebag days. It’s terribly written in a diary-format like Bridget Jones. I wrote 149 pages of this and the point of view keeps changing, as does the sentence structure, as I flip from short diary-like snippets to full sentences.

As a side note I think Dorothy had a ridiculously optimistic outlook considering she’s just been transported to some weird ass place where her first act is to kill someone and she’s all alone amidst these freaky half size munchkin things (called munchkins perhaps since they are snack size?), following some yellow brick road like she’s smoked an entire marijuana plant and has deformed monkeys with wings chasing her. Oh my god, I think I have just solved a puzzle bugging me for years… the little bimbo was STONED! That’s how she maintained a horribly annoying positive attitude. I must file that away for future reference.

Ooh, this part is definitely autobiographical. Thank god for illegal pirating and Netflix!

I’ve noticed that nobody takes their jobs more seriously than video store clerks. I’m a member of pretty much every video store in Brisbane. A: because I’ve moved suburbs a fair bit, and B: because I’ve been programmed to never return videos on time.

I’ve probably spent as much as I’ve earned in the last year just on video rentals and late fees. It’s like a psychosis or something. I just cant bring myself to return them on time, and once I know its late, its like, well another day won’t matter, and then before you know it, its been a month and I owe as much as it costs to buy the video so, stuff it, I might as well just keep it.

Now there is a sound that is almost as heinous as an alarm clock. The persistent urgent ringing, a sound so forceful it commands you to instantaneously drop everything you are doing, fall over all the furniture, stub your toes and kick things lying discarded on the floor (like CDs, videos, magazines, books, last nights dinner perhaps) in a valiant effort to answer the phone before the person on the other end loses interest in you. It’s a sound that whilst irritating and rather painful if your way to it is generally barred by assortments of furniture and other household shit, is a sound that reminds you that there are people out there that want you, that hold you in such high regard they will pay money to speak to you, a sound that reminds you that no matter what you think you are not alone in the universe…unless of course the call is from telemarketers or debt collection agencies in which case they are simply calling to tell you that you are alone in the universe and not only that but they are going to make your misery more complete.

The last two passages certainly show my age. It’s full of references of CDs, nobody owns a mobile phone, and season 7 of Buffy still hadn’t aired. It’s pretty bad, despite the few people who read it telling me it was great. NOBODY SHOULD HAVE ENCOURAGED THIS!

Other styles of stories I found were:

“Ex-Boyfriend Revenge” (lots of these, some surprisingly good, others almost as embarrassingly defective as my decision to date the dudes in question)
“Mary-Sue Pirate Fantasies”
“Fan-Fiction that Isn’t Fan-Fic but totally is with the names changed”
“BooHoo Nobody Understands Me”

I also have a file of angsty poetry I wrote in high school but I can’t find that. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not. I have oodles of notebooks full of it though. I can’t quite bring myself to toss it even though I know it’s total shite.

If only I had Past-Self’s dedication!

Back to the thesis….



3 thoughts on “Old Files: A Treasure Trove of Secret Shame

  1. Haha. Any you’d care to share in greater lengths :D?
    I’d love to see what you think of some of my old story ideas then!
    I’m still waiting for your space-pirate epic adventure book to come out. Written by my awesome sister, with cover illustration by her not-so-bad sister *wink*

    • The space pirate has to wait until I’ve finished my thesis novel, although I have had a few more ideas about it.
      I will send you some of them if you like. You’re a stylised version of yourself in the one I quoted above as the main character’s sister. It’s very clearly a revenge/wish fulfilment fantasy and there is absolutely no hiding who the characters were based on. I thought I was a freaking genius when I wrote it. It has some good moments, but for the most part reads like a feverish diary entry from a mentally deranged (or drunk) teenager.

      • Thesis first I suppose 😛
        Yes, send away! Stylised version of myself, that could be interesting.
        You wrote about revenge/wish fulfilment, I wrote fantasy escapism intermixed occasionally with fan-fiction. Or totally weird shit that I dreamt about. Teenage years, how we look back and face palm, haha.

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