There is a notebook on my OneNote that I have packed full of emotions.
I have stuffed and stuffed it with my most superlative desires and despairs until I feel like I can’t stuff any more. You see, these are not everyday emotions that can be dispensed using too-long-to-read Facebook posts or angry Tweet chains. No, the emotions that end up in this OneNote notebook are only the ones that have passed the “social media” test of triviality.
Not only that, but anything that ends up in that notebook gets filtered through the “best friend algorithm.” This carefully crafted algorithm has been perfected over years of high school angst and has been peer reviewed by scholars with Masters degrees in anti-bullshittery so take this seriously. Oh, and how could I forget — in the immortal words of Steve Jobs, “boy have we patented it.”
The algorithm goes as such: If more than three best friends are fed up with the crap you’re complaining about, you need to stick that crap in the notebook. (Where “best friend” is defined as anyone who has suffered through the early days of your poetry and still remains your friend.)
Over the years this slice of my otherwise boring and academic OneNote notebook has accumulated pages and pages of loss, drama, misunderstanding, and healing. Most times, the pages about revisiting the pain are longer than the pages about the pain itself.
Some pages contain wet stains from tears, or they would, if this notebook wasn’t electronic. (As a parenthetical note, Microsoft, you should put “weeping like your first family dog just died” as a font color option) Some pages make me smile no matter how many times I click through them.
Sometimes, the pages turn me into a personal investigator of my own past, cross-checking the “created at” timestamps with the height of my “finished reading” pile to conclude, “Ah yes, the tediously regular rhyming schemes were indeed written during my Robert Frost phase.”
Or even worse, sometimes my metaphorically angry rants at my ex-girlfriends will be followed immediately by pages that contain nothing but a handful of lines taken verbatim from Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye’s “When Love Arrives.” How’s the plagiarism detector coming along, Microsoft?
Oh, and did I mention the pages that contain multiple drafts of emails that should never see the light of day, all of them addressed to myself? These pages offer great repose for self-addressed criticism in its most raw and honest form. The only reason I did not actually send them to myself is because “at gmail dot how-could-you-be-so-fucking-stupid dot com” is not an actual domain name.
I’ll bet you never knew just how much of your worst nightmares could be squeezed into a single brightly colored software notebook. I’ll bet you never wrote tests for what happens when you scroll through your pages and see nothing but the worst of yourself. I’ll bet you didn’t account for your piece of software being a sponge for emotions too dripping with depression to put anywhere else. At the click of a button you can make my heavy fonts lighter, do you have a button that can do that to my thoughts?
When I die, I’m going to leave the passwords to everything I own on a yellow sticky note on my desk. I want to see the faces of my loved ones who finally get to glimpse into the deepest pages of my mind, uninhibited. I hope they click through this notebook and try to understand what was swirling in my head throughout all the years of passion and passionate mistakes. If they figure it out, they should hit that “share” button and choose “talking to the dead” as their method of delivery, because I sure haven’t figured it out and I would love to know what it was all for.
So Microsoft, when your user satisfaction survey for OneNote asks, “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us,”
be careful what you ask for.