Tag Archives: Dear Diary

Dear Diary Episode Three: Touch Me I’m Sick

25 Jul

And now, for your voyeuristic pleasure, I present to you, dear reader, another fascinating and sensational episode of Dear Diary, featuring the writings of two young women, one circa 1970s, the other circa 2000s, straight from their respective diaries, treasures which I have found through years of thrifting and garbage digging.

Our first entry, courtesy of a young girl named Valerie is extremely unusual when compared to the rest of the entries.  Most days, recorded in a five year diary spanning the years 1969 through 1974, reveal a very perfectionist and repetitious existence, often with very little change from day to day.  For example, take these two entries, written on consecutive days:

Day one, February 4th, 1969

“Went to school, to choir, watched TV, did homework, did dishes, got clothes ready, bed.”

Day Two, February 5th, 1969

“Went to school, watched TV, did homework, got clothes ready, went to bed.”

Not much is revealed about her inner life.

Valerie’s time is passed by cycling through the same mundane chores and tasks, much like the rest of us.

But in the later years of the diary, as she transforms from pre-adolescent to adolescent, she starts to spend more time with friends, and boys, and she attends parties and drive-ins and such.  But the following entry is a marked departure from her usual, innocent and responsible behavior, and she dutifully records the inevitable consequence.  This entry also marks the last time she would write in her diary, as her experience that night seems to delineate the place where she completely crosses over into the fraught world of the teenage girl, a place where a five year diary offering only four ruled lines per day is no longer enough to explain what has occurred.

July 8th, 1971

“Went dancing, got drunk, went swimming, kissed Bob, Barry, Jack, Rich, Mike, was sick.”

The rest of the seventies is left to our imagination.

Valerie’s five year Diary

Old diary entries always have a dreamy quality, I guess because memories seem pale and somewhat indistinct the way dreams do.  This entry, from the second diary, recorded by an unnamed author, details a dream that in its melancholy beauty evokes the kind of longing and loss that typifies reminiscence.

April 1st, 2003

“Last night my dream hurt me.  It started out at the Big Bop downtown. (The big Bop was an infamous, but now defunct punk venue that was in downtown Toronto.–Miss Lady Heart)  I was with a bunch of girls from my school and all these girl bands were playing L7 and 7 Year Bitch songs and stuff.  We left and went to a bar at one point.  And I think Devin was there.  (This seems to be the author’s boyfriend.  See Dear Diary Episodes One and Two for more on him.–Miss Lady Heart)  Something happened with Devin, but I cant remember.  I can see us standing in a snowy back ally, that’s all.  The part I mostly remember was walking around with these kids that were real hurt inside.  We didn’t say much, but I could tell they were sad.  I remember us going to this house and the guys just sat down in this room, but us girls 3 altogether, climbed out the window, and there was a beach outside.  These dolphins swam up to us, and they were bleeding, and they seemed like they wanted us to kill them, and that’s why they came.  I didn’t want to, but the other girls started throwing things at them and hurting them, and the water got bloodier and bloodier.  I was so sad, but they liked it.  The dolphins were beautiful before.  After they died, the girls sang this gorgeous song.  I almost knew it, but not quite, it was like dying and heaven.  I wish I could remember it.  After that all I can remember is me and these girls visiting a sick boy in a house down the street from mine.  He wanted me to hold him so badly and when I did he almost melted in my arms.  He was sleeping in my Strawberry Shortcake bed sheets.”

Each girl writes of  a totally different subject, yet they both evoke the same sad, romantic, dizzy feeling, a feeling of being emotionally overwhelmed,a sense of the power and mystery of water, the sometimes fleeting nature of love, and the music that’s in the background.

the second diary

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Dear Diary: Episode Two, Boys in the Park

30 Apr

As I revealed in the last “Dear Diary” Post I have acquired two diaries, one, a five year diary written in the years 1969 and 1970, and one written around 2001.  They are both written by girls around the same age, but of course they have vastly different content and writing styles.  The first contains entries that are rather brief and succinct, while the second goes into many juicy details about boys and getting in to trouble and stuff.  In this episode, I have selected two entries wherein each girl talks about a boy she has a crush on.  As I said before, the 1960s diary, written by a girl named Valerie, contains entries that are very short and to the point, and mention very little about who her friends are, but as I read along, a boy named Vince starts to enter the picture, and a very sweet and timid affection seems to develop between them.  Let’s join Valerie, her life already in progress, on May 31st, 1970:

“Was all day with Vince at the park, kissed me, watched TV, went to Vince’s bed.”

At first when I read this, the lack of punctuation at the end there made me think that she had gone to Vince’s bed, you know, with Vince.  But I think she forgot the comma, and just meant to say that she went to bed at the end of the day, an obvious assumption one make’s about anyone’s day, but an event she nevertheless felt important to end most of her diary entries with.  After this entry she starts to write about Vince a lot, even though just two weeks ago, on May 16 she wrote that she had kissed Rich at Cindy’s party!  You go girlfriend!

Valerie's five year diary

The second diary has much longer, rambling entries and is therefore much juicier.  I’ve gathered from my reading that at the time the unnamed writer had a boyfriend named Devin, but that didn’t stop her from meeting a boy she had a crush on named Christian at a local park in this undated entry:

“Christian paged me and I phoned him and we met in the park.  He was wearing this pinkish tank top that said “Black Hills”, blue trousers rolled up at the cuff and 20 holed doc’s  He has this really cute haircut that’s longer on one side and swept over his forehead.  He dresses, like, better than me.  While I was with Tara (seems to be the writer’s best girlfriend- ladyheart) I was asking her if I was evil for meeting this boy but she said not if I had good intentions.  He was a really nice guy, and I was really comfortable talking to him, but by the end of the night I was thinking he was gay.  Maybe I’m being stereotypical, but he sold weed in these pale pink bags, he was a really good dresser, he works at this gallery “ArtSystem”, and when we were talking about graffiti he said his tag name was “Sugar”  Oh, and he said that these thug guys in his neigbourhood called him a fag.  Later Tara said that he was just an art fag, not gay.  I don’t know.  It would be a shame for all women if he was gay.  He is so beautiful.  I find him very fascinating.  I hope me and him can be friends.  He says Artsystem has the craziest parties.  Maybe he’ll invite me to one.  I know where he lives.  It’s right, like two doors away from the “El Mocambo” (a now defunct legendary  Toronto nightclub- ladyheart)  He said he grew up up in the suburbs and he coudln’t take it so he used to just stay with friends and stuff, like wherever he ended up.  He was telling me about this one time when he was waiting for someone in Kensington Market really early in the morning, and all the meat stores were getting their deliveries and he was telling me about when he saw these huge stacks of beef carcasses that the delivery guy was unloading, and he was picking them up, one by one and slinging them over his shoulder, and sometimes he would hit his head with them, and carry them into the store, and come out and do it again, and he was completely covered in blood on his uniform.  He said it was the most hilariously morbid scene he ever witnessed.”

Wow, leave it to a guy to tell a gross story like that on a date.  Or could it be called a date?  The writer does have a boyfriend.  What do you think, dear reader?  Were her intentions good?  Should she have gone and met this boy in the park?  I think we’ve all seen what the romantic atmosphere of a park can lead to based on Valerie’s diary entry above.  Her innocent kiss led her right into Vince’s bed.

The Juicier Diary