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.
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.