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It was ten years ago that I found myself at home in the living room wondering desperately about what the future held for me. I was seventeen years old, just graduated from high school, and anxious to get through the summer ahead of me. I felt terribly alone, disassociated from the friends that I’d known, and unsure about how on earth I’d get through the high temperatures that dominated so many of the days from the early hours of the morning into the evening.

Then one day through the heat, I sat myself before the desktop we’d had in the living room at the time, opened a blank document, and began to write, etching the heat I felt on my back onto the screen for the record to see. I wrote like hell that summer, and the results were strange, not in an ominous way, but in an altogether new and mysterious way. What I saw reflected on the screen was somehow alive, even if ‘frozen’ in time. It was myself, like some other half from an alternate universe, staring right back at me through the page.

I remember that I was reading a lot of Philip K. Dick at the time, which made it so that my mind was especially warped, and this came off in my entries to the page. But I also remember that since I still had a bit of HTML programming fresh in my mind, after a few sessions of writing on the desktop I decided that I couldn’t keep my texts on just any ole blank document; I had to design a proper little website for them all.

So I put together the fonts and their sizes, downloaded some cool images for background off the web, activated the links, and launched away. I would name the private little website that I’d come away with through this process Revolt Radio (RR).

There were three main components of RR, that is, in terms of the writing that would make its way through it.

First, there was the Current page, which functioned like a stream for all of the miscellaneous thoughts or ‘summaries’ of the days I had, and which thereby filled up the fastest.

Second, there was the Poems page, where I hid all of my hymns, letters, and other ‘confessions’ I could never muster up the courage to publish for any eyes other than my own.

Finally, there was the Stories page, where I stored all of my ‘science-fiction’ writing, based loosely on none other than yours truly, but also on the accounts I’d heard from my peers back at Marshall.

Even at seventeen, a part of me wanted to write something of an autobiography, but because at the same time I also aspired to be a sci-fi writer like the great PKD himself, Stories featured tales both on a personal level as well as on more abstract terms, though even the latter was just a ‘stranger’ version of the former.

Revolt Radio in turn got me through that first summer out of high school, its pages receiving worlds that I couldn’t even begin to describe to anyone else. What’s more, the pages didn’t judge me for what those worlds contained or what they lacked, nor did they disappoint me, or demand anything of me at all.

It was acceptance in its purest form, but also a matter of survival; in writing my heart out I made it clear that I wouldn’t allow the world just to pass me by. Then, in seeing my words put together like those of the novels in my hands, I had proof that my beliefs were also more than just feelings, but articles with their own lives which could stare right back at me. Unafraid.

I treasured the little alternate universe this made for so much that for the next six years, I would continue writing through Revolt Radio, making and remaking the site until the time came for us to culminate onto other platforms.

Today I’ve got another little set of pages, which are public, but even now I look back at that frightening little summer from ten years ago with tremendous gratitude for spawning RR, the site; in staring at me now as vividly as they did ten years ago, the pages make me all the more fearless for what’s now in front of me.

If we’re fortunate enough, to another ten years Los Angeles,

J.T.

2 Comments

    1. Thank you Mare! It’s a privilege to be able to share. I hope you’ve been well, and we will reconnect again soon; it’s great to see you’ve got your Gravatar now!

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