a key of my own
I've made zines about past relationships and zines about long time affairs. I've made zines about bands I love and zines about music I can't stand to listen to. I've made zines that are mostly interviews and zines that are nothing but three paragraphs detailing a momentary mindset of my own. When I was wee, I drew out little newspapers, complete with weather, date, and bannered headlines (probably about our pets or maybe mom washing dishes).
I don't remember learning to read. I don't remember learning to print. I don't remember first deciding to create something written with intent to distribute, any more than I remember learning to use the toilet or eat with a spoon. But I do remember the first time I learned about zine culture (punk personal zines, in this case), laid out my first one (god damn, it was ugly), and got my first post office box.
Up until then, I'd never had a key to anything that was my very own. I didn't really have my own room growing up, I moved straight out of my folks' houses and in with a girlfriend - I don't recall even having a locked trunk or cabinet. But all of a sudden, I had a small place that was mine. I could get mail and never show it to anyone, if I wanted - in fact, no one even had to know I ever received anything. I could slap that address on a zine that I sent out and carry on conversations with people that no one else in my life had any connection to without having to worry about any of them showing up at my front door.
Walking into the outer, always open area of a post office at night to check my mail calms me. It's quiet and cool, and it smells like paper and ink. And if that p.o. box is full of zines and stickers and letters, by god, that's as good as Xmas.
After I folded my last zine - it covered a certain music scene, and I just got tired of doing interviews and herding all the cats needed to make it come out right - I let my box rent lapse. I'd had that address through several different incarnations of zinedom, and it seemed time for a change. So now I'm working on something that might be more than a one shot issue, and I need a way for people to contact me. It's easy to throw an email address on there and call it good, but what fun is that?
So next payday, I'll pick my branch and rent a box. I've overjoyed at the thought. Hey - you have your incomprehensible thrills and I'll have mine.