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March 24, 2010 1:18 PM   Subscribe

We often feel alone—all six billion of us. We’ve learned, now more than ever, that being surrounded by people doesn’t keep us from feeling lonely.
Brandon Doman asks Ann Arbor strangers to write journal entries in his notebook.

the first thing I did when I came to the us

I tend to get yelled at by random people on the street.
posted by rebent (23 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Help, I'm trapped in your book deal."
posted by griphus at 1:20 PM on March 24, 2010 [18 favorites]


"Help, I'm trapped in your book deal." Ha, very good.

I wonder if anyone ever sends 100,000 word manuscripts to publishers/ agents anymore. Perhaps they should try it, if only for the shock value.
posted by rhymer at 1:32 PM on March 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is great.
posted by caddis at 1:33 PM on March 24, 2010


MetaFilter: Please stop by and share or just to say Hi and ask "What for?"
posted by Joe Beese at 1:41 PM on March 24, 2010


I wonder if anyone ever sends 100,000 word manuscripts to publishers/ agents anymore.

Let me know if you find out any are accepting them. I have at least two friends with written-and-edited novels (well, one a piece) hanging around.

Me? I'm going to write an Oprah-bating quasifictional memoir about extraordinary third world children recovering from the depths addiction.
posted by griphus at 1:42 PM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


what is the depths addiction
posted by rebent at 1:47 PM on March 24, 2010


anything with a cool name like that, I would read
posted by rebent at 1:48 PM on March 24, 2010


I have the urge to find this guy, take one of his notebooks and just draw a big smiley face in it.
posted by charred husk at 1:51 PM on March 24, 2010


what is the depths addiction

A serious scuba-diving problem.
posted by griphus at 1:55 PM on March 24, 2010


This is a bullshit “personal story,” but it’s the most true thing I can write.

How fucking sad is that?


Some of these are very intriguing entries. The thing is that nobody who's lived in Ann Arbor would be surprised by any of them.
posted by blucevalo at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


This guy was parked outside of Espresso Royale on State street for like ...weeks it felt like.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:44 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Go blue :(.
posted by basicchannel at 2:45 PM on March 24, 2010


There are some good entries. My favorite so far.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:59 PM on March 24, 2010


The thing is that nobody who's lived in Ann Arbor would be surprised by any of them.

Hell yes.

There is something very Michigan about all of them. The first few entries are addiction, blindness, suicide, depression, and then this: "I'm 19 years old, tall, blonde, blue eyes and way too outgoing for my own good!" That last entry ends with her plans to move to Florida.
posted by selfmedicating at 4:40 PM on March 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this post, rebent. I don't know why MeFi has to be so snarky in response to this raw emotion. I guess we're covering for something?
posted by Sfving at 6:03 PM on March 24, 2010


I knew that some people would have the exact same reaction as the first poster, but that's ok. They can just read that thing about the Canadian thief instead, if they like :)
posted by rebent at 6:45 PM on March 24, 2010


This seems similar to PostSecret only with full stories instead of one- or two-liners on postcards. I like it. Salman Rushdie said, "Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts." I think projects like this are important because they encourage people to tell their story.
posted by headnsouth at 3:18 AM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had a class with the founder of the Squirrel Club.
posted by bettafish at 6:17 AM on March 25, 2010


I wish more people would tell their stories. (And people would hear them). It's a lot harder to snark and smarm your way through a conversation with someone when you stop seeing them as a caricature or stereotype.

A lot of the ones on this site seem to be by teenagers. They might not listen to older people's stories, But it sure makes me feel better to remind people of that age that it DOES get better.
posted by DigDoug at 6:25 AM on March 25, 2010


I could flip through more than five pages of that, because of all the sad stuff in there. That kind of stuff is why I stopped reading PostSecret and switched to Postcards from Yo Momma. Can't more than one person write a peppy story?
posted by anniecat at 7:10 AM on March 25, 2010


Wait, I really like this one:

One day, I was walking back to my dorm in a bad mood. I looked up and saw a man heading in the opposite direction. In his hands was what appeared to be a live lobster. He held it the way you’d hold a cat, sort of under the armpits, and when he saw me looking, he raised one of its claws in a little wave (I waved back).

Haha!
posted by anniecat at 7:14 AM on March 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


What anniecat said. Is everyone walking around with that much negativity and sorrow inside of them? I know the Wolverines sucked this year, but isn't there any joy in Ann Arbor?
posted by rocket88 at 7:24 AM on March 25, 2010


This guy was parked outside of Espresso Royale on State street for like ...weeks it felt like.

I'm pretty sure I just saw him out there again a couple of days ago.
posted by puffin at 10:27 AM on March 25, 2010


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