01 may 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

the torn doc marten box had been sitting in my closet since i moved out -- wedged between the photo albums and beneath a stack of boxes, strategically placed with the label facing away from the wall, so i could tell if it had been moved. i was always doing that: when i'd hide something in my bedroom, i would make a visual note of the way i'd arranged the mess around it, whether the magazine that lay across was facing up or down, if the books below were stacked perfectly straight or at an angle, how many inches the pen sat from the left side of its edge (that's how i knew when mary beth had read my journal, because she slipped the pen between the pages although i had purposely left it in the crook of the spiral-bound spine). a girl with two nosey older brothers had to be careful, after all. your best secrets could never be found or you would just die.

the box was dusty and safe, sitting inconspicuously on the shelf. i carefully removed it from the closet and lay it beside my backpack. i tried not to make it obvious, but i was relieved to see it there and anxious to take it back to my place with me. later, i had to move the box from my car's front seat to the back to make room for my friend. everything else i tossed -- my jacket, the loose papers and some cassettes -- but the box, i had to gingerly lay it down on the seat. i tried not to make it obvious.

i smuggled the box into my apartment, with a stack of mail balancing on its lid. it was heavy, and i had to carry it with both arms, like a baby. i sat it on the floor at the foot of my bed, next to the S section of my CDs. i knelt down, gently lifted the lid and began to sift through its contents.

what once housed 8-holes that i'd gotten at natta ricci's on melrose was now home to stacks of paper, an even ratio of dot matrix and laser printouts, line after line of word after word.

do you remember doogie howser, m.d.? it was a horrible tv show, and i don't know why i watched it. he wasn't even cute, and his girlfriend, wanda, got on my nerves, but he'd always end the show sitting at his computer, typing in his journal. that was a strange concept, back then, to type your diary entries, but i had just taken typing class, and my brother had just given me his macintosh SE, and i was always working in microsoft word on some wanna-be sweet valley high short story, anyway, so i opened up a new document and began to write. about my day, my dreams, my life.

a few paragraphs became a few pages became a hundred pages, and i wrote in it everyday, several times a day, and it became a routine, a ritual, an obsession, and sometimes i'd get paranoid and print them out, on whatever paper i had at the time, and i'd read each page as it was spit out and relive the words all over again.

i look through that box, now, reading entries about the boy i had a crush on that week and the sweet one who i wouldn't give the time of day; the fight i had with my brother and the concept my mother just didn't understand; the things my girlfriends and i would do to keep ourselves sane and the things i did that i thought were insane. i had the moments i thought the world was going to end and the realization the next day that it would all be okay. i carried hopes and fears and insecurities and imperfections.

i read it now, and no matter what day, month or year, it's all the same -- it's just phrased differently. it's all the same, and i realize this was bound to happen. i have been doing this since i was 16, and i will be doing it even when i'm 60. i have been writing the same stories my whole life. i'm just worse at keeping them a secret.

he said he never played a song for anybody over the phone, but he did for me.

ironically, my printer is broken.

undone.org is so pure and beautiful and reminds me of the site i want to have.

two separate conversations on liking sixpence none the richer:

boy #1: "i like them, too. they have some good songs on that album."

boy #2: "is there nothing better to listen to than that sixpence none the richer crap?"

i meant to sleep early.