I have this yellow, spiral-bound notebook. We began our relationship about 15 years ago. The notebook serving as a school supply. My favorite kind in fact. A crisp, new, college ruled, blank slate for a creative writing class. There are still some homework assignments on the first few pages, and the name of my teacher is in blue marker across the top . Mister Bate – shouldn’t it be a requirement that you not teach high school if your name is Mister Bate? Poor guy. But we loved him. I especially loved him because he thought I was a smart kid and he was very complimentary of my writing. I didn’t heart him however, as many other girls did. And apparently that’s a good thing, because the rumors about just how much he hearted a few of them back were pretty rampant.
But I digress. So this notebook evolved from a creative writing class journal, into just a journal. And I have kept it hidden at the bottom of my lingerie drawer since my senior year of high school. Because, quite frankly, I’m terrified of the damn thing.
I mean, no one really wants their deepest darkest secrets revealed. Especially when they wrote the deepest darkest secrets when they were 17. And everyone knows that 17 year olds are silly, shallow, and full of angst over all kinds of silly and shallow things. So for all these years I’ve figured it was best to keep the damn thing close, rather than risk someone stumbling across it, reading it, and knowing what a fruitloop I am. (Which explains why I decided to start journaling on the interweb, now doesn’t it?)
I hadn’t cracked it open in years either. Because, quite franky, I wasn’t all that interested in being reminded about my fruitloopishness either. But I’m far too sentimental (and paranoid) to throw it away. And far too grounded to burn the damn thing. How exactly do you explain THAT little activity without sounding like you are totally bat shit crazy?
“Howdy neighbor, I see you’ve got a little bonfire going there on your back patio. Whatcha burnin?”
“Oh, just my high school journal. Because I’m just egotistical enough to think that someone might go to the trouble of digging through my trash so they could read it. And all the pining and whining over boys identified only by their initials could really derail my run for the presidency.”
SO. The point of ALL THAT was to say that I dug it out and read it the other day. And I was delighted. DE-lighted I tell you. It’s totally silly. And shallow. And full of teenaged angst over boys only identified by their initials – see, I’ve been paranoid for a looong time peeps. But it’s also funny, and insightful. 32 year old me could probably take a lesson from 17 year old me.
And so, for all the world to see, here are some passages from my high school journal that make me laugh. And squirm a little too.
“A.F. is conceited, materialistic, rude, crass, immature, too smart for his own good, self centered, insecure, and cute. I hate him. I wish he didn’t hate me too.”
“Silly notes that make me blush are tucked in the pockets of my too tight jeans. The ones I put on not knowing you would see, and it made me nervous when you did. And even though I said it wasn’t true, I still change my clothes at least five times before I can see you. And you tell me that you can not be in love and I agree, but I’m wondering why you can’t be in love with me. Even though I swear it doesn’t matter.”
And then in someone else’s handwriting, “Sometimes you are a strange girl, but beautiful all the same.”
Back to me: “There comes a time when everyone realizes they won’t be prom queen. Well, not everyone. But everyone except the Prom Queen.”
I started dating them around this entry - 9/10/91
“I’m 17, a senior, happy…fairly sure of my ever changing identity. So why do I care what they will think? And who is they? And will “they” care anyway? Your life would have to be fairly lame to put a lot of time into worrying about me. What the hell am I going to wear tomorrow?”
“There are still 8 pages left in this journal. That constitutes about another month of writing at my pace. And at least 5 or 6 more boy crisis’s.”
“I should just carry this thing around and write in it whenever a guy talks to me. They seem to be so inspirational.”
“I haven’t been writing. I’ve been happy. Four months and 8 days. That has to be some kind of record for me. I’m afraid to write about him because this thing seems to be a jinx. It is 2:39 AM, which makes today tomorrow. Which means I’m graduating tomorrow (Sunday). Here I am. The end and the beginning. I don’t think it has hit me yet. I only know that more than anything, I am dreading graduation. At this moment anyway. I think it is because I have to get a life.”
And then this little short which is kinda fun:
Harold Baker yawned, and the highway before him faded into an asphalt ribbon. He took off his hat, wiped his shining face, then pulled the hat back down tight over the wispy strands of hair that clung to his sweaty head. Reaching out to adjust the squelch knob on his CB radio, he noticed a liver spot on his hand that he had never seen before. He frowned, noting that it resembled a poodle, and moved his thumb sideways to make the new spot wag it’s tail.