a web journal...

My first week of entries...

  • sunday, february 14, 1999
  • friday, february 12, 1999
  • thursday, february 11, 1999
  • wednesday, february 10, 1999
  • tuesday, february 9, 1999

  • sunday, february 14, 1999

    yeah, yeah. so it's valentines day. i actually kept forgetting; i thought it was yesterday. that's when i did all my valentinesy stuff. ben and i went out to dinner in philly; at kabul, an afghan place in old city. i went there last semester with aryani. and i went there with my parents fall of my senior year of high school when my dad had a conference in philadelphia and i spec'd at swat. so it has all these positive associations for me. and i love old city; the horses, the cobblestones, the old buildings. i live on a brick street at home in dekalb and so i always love the way that looks.

    we came back on the 7:17 train with a bunch of other swatties. there was a glamour party at the barn, and i'd been thinking about going but then sort of decided not to, but then there were all these boys in the quint glamming themselves up, looking for advice on hairstyles, clothes. i put eye makeup on about twelve different guys. i love that sort of thing. all through high school, allison and i would try to convince our male friends to let us put makeup on them, and they'd never, ever allow it. even ben often won't let me play around with his face like that. but i became like this glam den mother, loaning out my clothes, putting blue eyeliner and glitter on people. and of course i couldn't just sit by and watch all this happening without participating.

    so i got myself glammed up too. i wore my silver glitter tights, black miniskirt and black tank top, my glitter docs, and some pieces of beaded curtain. i'll try to get pictures of the event up soon; gotta finish a roll of film first and that takes me forever.

    i also wore my black rhinestoned dog collar; the one i bought after mat died.

    i felt so goth doing it i remember, and kind of cheesy, but i needed to do it, in a way. the same way i needed to put my black velvet underwear away in my box of letters and not wear them anymore. it feels odd sometimes, like i don't even have the right to claim this as an event in my life, as a loss.

    after all, some people lose their parents, their best friends. he was a boy who i made out with at a church lock-in sophomore year of high school,
    talked to on the phone every night for a month,
    saw again,
    felt betrayed by,
    made up with,
    told him i loved him,
    stopped talking to,
    saw again december of junior year,
    talked to,
    felt more mature with,
    kissed like friends,
    talked on the phone to,
    saw at another church lock-in spring of junior year,
    stayed up all night with,
    stroking each other's faces,
    sucking fingers,
    kissing in the morning,
    calling when i got home that day,
    calling one more time, months later,
    his mother telling him he had to get off the phone,

    and then all of a sudden he was dead,

    and that somehow made him vastly more important than all the other boys i'd dated/made out with/spent hours on the phone with. except in a way he already was different, more important. he made me feel special in a way that no one else did. at times, i felt like i was just one of hundreds of girls he had flings with, but i always think back to the first night, and even though he held other people's hands besides mine, and even though in sleeping bags on the floor of my church it was he who reached out a hand to touch my hair, it was me who had rolled close to his legs, moved my head to let him know i was awake, and i think about that and think, he didn't seduce me. i wanted him and he wanted me too. it was just as much my doing as his. that night he told me i would regret what we did. but i never regretted it at all. he made me feel special because he was the only person i was physical with in high school who i actually enjoyed being with. on a very basic level, it was the first time i was really attracted to someone, really turned on, while making out with someone. which is sad. but true. all the others, until after high school at least, were just sort of distractions.

    i have to run off to a meeting now. what was i talking about? i don't remember. i'll come back in an hour or so and write more.

    friday, february 12, 1999

    we made dinner tonight. pasta with sauce from sorta scratch. i mean, we didn't like, can the tomatoes ourselves or anything. garlic bread. good salad with rice wine viniagrette that i made, that reminds me of home. i've been having all these proustian encounters over the past few days, with things like smells and tastes. like the other day i was walking to campus and it was ridiculously warm out and all of a sudden i smelled this smell that was like my grandparents' house, in california, smelling like when i was six years old and roses and running around in sprinklers, and it sort of made me sad, in a way, because i realized i could never really go back; never smell it like that except in memories, never be in my grandparents' house the same way i was when i was a child. because that world doesn't really exist anymore; it doesn't smell the same when i go back now.

    i guess that's why memories are so important.

    does part of my interest in history stem from this interest in the importance of memory? probably. it's so telling that when we say to someone, "you're living in the past," it's an insult, and when we say, "you're history," it means not that your memory will live on, but rather that you're dead. i have this urge to combine creative writing with historical research. not historical fiction novels, just because i've never really liked those. at least not the ones i've read. but some sort of creative retelling of the past, of memory.

    history is so meaningful when you can make it personal. the trick then, i guess, is to learn how to make it personal when it's not directly about you, or your grandparents, or even your country. i'm not sure how to approach that one yet. how to relate to greek history. but in a way, i think the answer lies just in that word, relate. you relate to history, understand it, but making it seem like something else you understand. reading the book achilles in vietnam was like that for me. i understood both the iliad and post-traumatic-stress-disorder in vietnam vets better by relating the two.

    it's interesting; i hadn't been journalling that regularly for some time before i started this web journal. and i had forgotten again, as i always seem to, how much i enjoy it. how, even on nights like tonight, when i feel like i don't have much to write, if i just sit down at the computer and start writing, something comes out. i'm not sure, really, how i feel about publishing this. i mean, right now, no one really knows about the site at all except my roommates and my family, but still, it's odd to know that people could potentially read what i do write essentially just for me. well, not entirely for me -- i do find myself sometimes explaining references that people who aren't me wouldn't understand, or something along those lines, that makes it feel like i'm also writing for other people, but still, i don't let people read my journal, in general. it's so private --

    it's like letting someone wear your pajamas, or something.

    ...which i don't really let people do. why are pajamas different from other clothes? allegra and i were talking about that a little today, as she tried on her new cloud print pajamas from victoria's secret, which i love, and she said i could borrow, and then we were like, but people don't really borrow pajamas, do they? it's just not done, somehow. who knows why.

    then we got into this discussion, while looking at the victoria's secret catalog, all about body image and stuff. and one of the things that's so hard to remember sometime when you're bitching about how god awful skinny the models are and how big their breasts are, and why the hell do they airbrush out their nipples? and they must shave their pubic hair too -- you've got to remember among all that other stuff not to hate the women with the airbrushed skin and the huge breasts and nonexistent hips. it's easy to hate women who fit the beauty myth, but you've got to remember that this false representation hurts everyone, even those who fit into its narrow little perimeters. how do you fight the system without fighting the people? in any situation; not just this one?

    tough questions...

    it's probably time for the journalling to be over for tonight. time to go actually live for a while. not that writing's not living... but that's an issue for another day.

    for now, goodnight...

    thursday, february 11, 1999
    i think it was writing about them yesterday in this that made me want to listen to mtx all of a sudden. i hadn't listened to them in months. but the weather's right now, or something -- "revenge is sweet and so are you" i got last spring semester, and i remember listening to it over spring break in the car when i drove up to visit allison at beloit. it was warm then too, like now, and beautiful and beginning to be spring and i had just made myself a new pair of pants out of two old pairs of corduroys.

    now i remember buying the cd, too. i bought it at home, i think, at record rev, and i have this weird thing for boys working in record stores. even if i'm not actually interested in them at all, i always feel the need to impress them. i've probably bought some of my music just to impress whatever indie/punk/doorknob lookin' boy was working.

    for a long time, i wasn't really aware of it. now that i am, i don't think it's as much of an issue. not that it was ever a real big problem in my life. but it is weird, you know? i wonder if other people suffer from some sort of indie inadequacy feelings too, or if it's just me? there've gotta be others, surely. i mean, right? or maybe it's not just records, though that's how it manifests itself for me. but i can see someone buying an outfit or something because the salesperson thought it was cool, or they thought the salesperson would think it was cool. i wonder if they take this stuff into consideration in econ classes. a pressure to be cool, to be indier/punker/hipper than thou.

    so... now i'm listening to sleater-kinney... call the doctor...

    another album that reminds me of last spring. hm. i'm writing a lot about music. i didn't listen to that much of it for the past few weeks, i guess, except for the same, like, three cds that had been sitting in my stereo since the semester started. (belle & sebastian, "if you're feeling sinister," liz phair, "whitechocolatespaceegg," and dan bern, "dog boy van.") so it's nice to be listening to other stuff... the stuff i listened to obsessively last year. aryani and i have our radio show tonight. that should be fun.

    somehow the same sort of philosophical thoughts as yesterday just are not surfacing today. in an odd way, writing some of the other pages has felt more like real writing that just writing the journal. writing about boothbay harbor, for example, i found myself coming upon all these memories and stories i wanted to write about. i guess it's because this is more aimless. like a real journal.

    wednesday, february 10, 1999

    it's so gorgeous outside. i have this hour and a half between classes on monday, wednesday, fridays, and i love to come home and just sort of turn into a vegetable. i love the walk home, too, especially days like today. wind blowing the clouds around in the sky, and the sun warm on my face, my hair, all the way in through my scalp permeating my body.

    plus, there's great music on wsrn.

    right now it's tyler's show, celtic, and it's just what i need. he's even telling me to crack my window and feel the breeze, and yup. he's right. everything's good right now. sun, music, me. mostly me. it's odd though, i always get these feelings of unease mixed in with being happy. like i just can't fully accept it, knowing that last week i was depressed and freaking out, and that maybe by the weekend i'll be stressed out again.

    i should probably just accept this for what it is -- joy in life -- what's that french phrase? i don't speak french, but it's in a mr. t experience song too. joie de vivre or some such. accept that i can feel this joy, slurp it up for all it's worth, and it's not going to make the other stuff go away, but nor will it make it come on any quicker.

    i went through this big existential thing senior year of high school, this vow to always live life in the moment, and to be happy in those moments, and recognize and acknowledge happiness when i found it. but i've also realized that just that won't always make me feel happy all the time. because it's just not possible. to be happy all the time. (it always reminds me of my so called life when i stop a sentence like that, midway through, with a period.)

    so. these are thoughts. but right now it's time to go eat lunch, go to class. live the rest of the day. and hopefully feel some more joy.

    or at least, you know, drink some good coffee.

    tuesday, february 9, 1999

    so i guess this is the first entry. i don't know what i want out of this really, or why i'm so fascinated by the idea of publishing what is essentially an unedited journal on the web. but i do know that it fascinates me. reading other people's thoughts on their pages is exciting. it's not voyeurism; it's not the thrill of seeing something you're not supposed to - i mean, of course you're supposed to see it, it's published, isn't it? so no, it's not that. but it's a similar thrill. it's like reading a good story. it's hearing someone else's voice in your head. that's what's so great about a journal. even if it is published, it's not for other people - it's for you. and so it's a place where your voice comes through strong and solid.

    i'm not promising myself or anyone else that i will write here every day, though i'd like to try. i like the odd permanence of a webpage - it's there forever - but only until you change it. it's commitment without commitment. it's infinity in small doses.

    i'm writing this instead of sleeping. i could be lying in my bed, the chill in my ears wearing off in flannel sheets, my body sinking into a fifteen minute nap.

    but i'm not.

    i'm sitting here at the computer, tonguing the taste of ice cream cone on my teeth, writing. outside, someone is emptying the dumpster, and the sky is fogged white against dark silhouetted treelimbs. a headache is forming at the back of my skull because i haven't had time to drink coffee yet - i'll go get some before class - and this is still new and still exciting and that makes me happy.