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I have been thinking too much about binary code: states of being; 0s, 1s, ons, offs; openings, endings, gambits; the fact that you can't just go around apologizing; the time surrounding creation, rapture and regret; what we owe each other; the way some people use the word love as a signature; the sound a voice makes when it says good-bye forever; mistakes, turns, obligations, changes, lies, respect, friendship, doubts, absolution, recovery, getting over, leaving behind and doubt again; the horror of a perfect memory; the burden of a splendid imagination; the weight of talent; the bunk search for greatness; and, of course, forgiveness.

I have been thinking about Forget: the future, the past and my place in it; evolutions; 0s and 1s; ons and offs; acts of desperation; lowering your expectations; falling love; the way so many people settle for a fate; the way words spoken sometimes can hang in the air for an eternity; the amount of trust that can fit in a room; the way the driven ones never want to sleep; the way skin feels against the truth; communicating with someone by words and not websites: actually trying to be close.

All of which leads me to say, I am often embarrassed by the things I read, write and publish here, or at least by all the mistakes I make during the process. This for example: NOTES ON GETTING OLD. I like the title, and about seven sentences, but, who wrote that? Someone happy with the anniversary of his magazine, or someone lost in something without a name? Who needs to be backed into a corner by a notion, a pose, a stance, a preemptive fuck-you to those who might get near? I won't take it down, break the link or alter it at all, but for the nine of you still paying attention, I hereby disown it.

Actually, I just read it again, maybe for the first time since I wrote it, and shit, I thought, I'd better get out of here. So I went out walking around. Breathing in the air. Breathing in the air. It's a suddenly optimistic suburban dawn. And it occurred to me, I could just do it again. Who could stop me or, if you will, hold me down?—KJB.


What A Drag It Isn't Getting Old
by Kent Bruyneel

The 100 best things about being the editor of Forget

1. You can show it to girls.
2. The so many strange and beautiful things you get to read.
3. That Lecky makes the pictures.
4. The mistakes.
5. That you get to publish things like this: GOODGUY DANCE.
6. That it's way better than being an accountant.
7. That it has a history now, a feel.
8. That it got you into graduate school almost for free.
9. That it makes you want to defend the colour orange.
10. That it has given you, for the first time in your life, a favourite colour: orange.
11. That you get email from semi-famous, and very fucking famous people saying attaboy.
12. That you get to publish things like this: LOVE.
13. Sparky, M-Do, Miki, Shy-Dog.
14. That because of it someone compared your piss and vinegar to the piss and vinegar of Jack McClelland.
15. That it began in PEI, moved to Vancouver, and is soon headed for Toronto, Iceland, Ireland, and maybe even Saskatoon.
16. That it has a soul.
17. That you get to publish things like this: FIRST BORN.
18. That you can ask any writer you meet to consider writing for it. Confidently.
19. That it occasionally impresses your hero.
20. That the book from the first two years will soon arrive.
21. That people write to say thank you.
22. That it is free.
23. That someone is reading this right now.
24. The medium itself: you love you some Internet.
25. That occasionally you get weird messages on the Forget phone line, songs mostly.
26. That you occasionally get weird mail to the Forget address.
27. That you wouldn't trade places with any other editor of any other magazine. Anywhere.
28. That you published this entire series, which is definitive and bulletproof: THE DRUG WAR.
29. That you have no idea what the "traffic" is.
30. That the traffic is loud near the windows here.
31. That there is a very real possibility you will be sued by the Smurfs.
32. That because of something you said once in a note, a woman in Joggins, Nova Scotia, your mother's hometown, wrote to tell you the history of your great grandfather. For who(m) you were named.
33. That she sent you a picture of your great grandfather.
34. That you get to publish things like this: SANTA.
35. That you once got an email from a reader with the subject line "awful, awful, just awful" that ended with the salutation "a disgusted and disappointed Internet user".
36. That you get to publish things like this: SAN FRANCISCO.
37. That it eases your fear of electricity.
38. That it is Canadian.
39. That it fits on a laptop.
40. That it is made by hand.
41. That it is better than you ever thought it could be.
42. That the windows in here are filling up with frost.
43. That it makes you smoke less.
44. That it helped you understand you don't necessarily need to get over things, or put them in the past: you can, and should, use those things.
45. And fuck the risks, the exposure, the embarrassment, the vulnerability, the desire to erase all vestiges of times and people and relationships gone by.
46. That this is all your life, so fuck it.
47. That you got to judge a two day novella contest.
48. That you never once considered taking advertising.
49. That advertising has been offered.
50. That you get to publish things like this: BECAUSE OF PETER.
51. That there is a very real possibility you will be sued by Kelly Gruber.
52. That it gives you something to do.
53. That you have failed so spectacularly at it and come back.
54. That you are still here.
55. That two guys you knew as a kid wrote to say they read it.
56. That it takes your mind of other things.
57. That it is a forum for all types of writing.
58. That it raises your expectations.
59. That when the story and the image are perfect and you know it can't be done any better in this medium, you feel ten feet tall.
60. That you get to publish things like this: THE 2002 GREY CUP.
61. That it gives you something to believe in.
62. That you get to publish things like this: XSPIDERMANX.
63. That it gives you a non-human place for all that intensity.
64. That making it calms you down.
65. That from it you can chronicle your (love) life.
66. That you can remember almost every update: where you were, who you were with, how you felt.
67. That it has been made from a minimum of forty different computers.
68. That it is big in Japan.
69. That you did not publish things.
70. That it has made you a better editor.
71. That all you have ever wanted, since you were a child, was to make things for people to read, and now you can whenever you want.
72. That people read it.
73. That you get to publish things like this:
74. That the guy you started this with is now less your partner, alter ego or co-designer, and more your kid brother.
75. That your father reads it.
76. That it is not called Traffic Magazine, which, I swear, it almost was. Thank God for Michael Douglas.
77. That you are the link between Lee Henderson and Craig Battle.
78. That you are in charge.
79. That you are surrounded by people you trust.
80. That this is your MASTHEAD.
81. That some day someone else will be the editor.
82. That you get to publish things like this: BRIEFLY, THE HEART.
83. That you no longer have to write the tag lines.
84. That it will always be more famous than you.
85. That it has not been mentioned on TV.
86. That it is not about you.
87. That it is about you.
88. That someone called it the Canadian McSweeney's.
89. That it is all finally coming back. Proper.
90. That the submissions get consistently better and more diverse.
91. That this variety of submissions is exactly what you wanted when you wrote the submission guidelines.
92. That you have published writers and artists who vary in age from 5 to 65.
93. That people still check to see if it has been updated.
94. That you get to read the poetry of Matthew Dorrell before everyone else.
95. That occasionally people are put off by the idea of Forget being popular.
96. That it has made you a better writer.
97. That the bridges you have burnt seem to be lighting the way.
98. That she is lying beside you, and it is so late, and she says, "can you sleep?" then wakes up and maybe sees your hands racing madly across the keyboard, maybe sees a picture flipped upside down, then maybe just slowly rubs your back and leaves you to it.
99. That, maybe now, she understands what it all means to you: that it is the only thing you are certain you love.
100. That you can't possibly sleep right now.

Shhhh...Kent Bruyneel is probably asleep right now.



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