I used to be kinda fascinated with fictional worlds — how [The Simpsons’] Springfield had one of everything: one cop (well, 3 cops), one politician (Diamond Joe Quimby), one school, one Groundskeeper Willy, one Lindsay Nagle, etc. But now-uh-days, I’m far more interested in the nonfiction worlds we each live in, which is to say, the particular shape and flavor of the concept of the world each real person has. I don’t want to know about “Rochelle” or “Chicago” or wherever, but about each person’s Rochelle or wherever. I suppose I could go find, and pluck out, each of the worlds in my journals — or, I mean, the details may add up to a world, one that likely doesn’t reflect the real world, the real Rochelle or Byron or Ogle County. How could you ever even contain that in particulars? You’d have to fall back on b.s. generalizations — “Ogle County is X and Y” and so on, blah. Instead, there are pockets I describe — I go to here or to there, I met this person or that one — and the people I know but don’t see every day.
[From my school journal of 30 Sept. 2021]