Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Notebook

Disclaimer: This blog entry has nothing to do with The Notebook, the tear-jerking swoonfest starring Ryan Gosling. However, being that I am an attention-starved writer toiling in online obscurity, it would be silly to dissuade folks -- even chick flick fanatics -- from reading my work. So, here ...

I don't care for sappy love stories, but I CAN appreciate a hot motherfucker like "Noah Calhoun." Goddamn.

Once upon a time, in a pre-Internet world devoid of blogs, people poured their hearts out onto actual paper.

Throughout the 1990s, I filled dozens of college-ruled notebooks with cringe-worthy stories, shitty poetry, rants, horror movie reviews, artwork, letters and the occasional homework assignment. Most of those diaries are gone. I used to think I destroyed them all in a moment of teenage paranoia ("What if my mom reads this stuff?! She won't let me play Sega after school!!), but now I know the truth ...

Megan Swackhammer's dresser ATE them!

Technically, it was MY dresser first. I acquired it around 1992 and used it to squirrel away my growing collection of flannels, concert T-shirts and Jacks cigarettes. When Sarah was born, we bought a new dresser and gave the old one to Megan, who was moving into an unfurnished home. 

Since then, it's been regurgitating scribblings from my past like a bulimic time machine.

At first, Megan thought the strange journal was hers -- she's a decade younger than me, but our pubescent experiences were eerily similar. It didn't take her long, however, to figure out that I was the author of this drivel. I mean, I bitched about the O.J. Simpson murder trial. Megan would've been roughly 6 years old then.

Giddy with thoughts of blackmail, Megan showed the notebook to Nate, who started texting me my own manic depressive poetry ...

... and ribbing me about Manuel, a guy mentioned numerous times throughout the notebook. Turns out I was referring to my Driver's Education Instruction MANUAL. I never could fucking spell.

When Megan finally returned the notebook, I was horrified. There, on the cover, was Barney the Dinosaur!

Look at him, all smug 'n shit. It's like he knows I'd eventually have a child who worshiped his purple, polka-dotted ass!

In addition to demonic doodles from the future, the notebook contains a werewolf's head:

Kurt Cobain's head:

My dad's head:

And -- wha? -- Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz's head? Christ. I should've done more drugs in high school.

Sometimes, during these spurts of "creativity," I wouldn't get farther than a nose:

Or maybe that's a scrotum. I dunno.

I penned a lot of half-assed prose, too.  

Whatever, man. I can't be blamed for my apathetic approach to writing, cuz I'm, like, a Gen-Xer. OK? Sigh. (lights cigarette)

Oooooh! I found a full page that I wro ... wait, it's just lyrics to a Nine Inch Nails song. Shit.

Probably the saddest entries in the notebook are letters I wrote to friends back in my old neighborhood. I moved away when I was in junior high and, although my mom assured me "It's fun to be the new girl at school!" I was having a hard time fitting in.

I'm not sure if I ever sent revised copies of these letters, but bitching about my little brother made me feel at home. And, hey, I FORMED COMPLETE SENTENCES!!!!!

Initially, the discovery of this notebook amused me (and made me wonder what else that damn dresser is hiding). Now it just makes me sad. It reminds me of a really dark time in my life when I had few friends and even less motivation. I think I will destroy it ... Sega be damned.

I'll be saving this drawing though ... just for kicks:

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