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Sunday, February 25, 2007


Never Dog-ear a Diary

I remember groggily my mother telling me stories of when I'd speak to her in my sleep.
She'd ask me unfair questions while I lay half catatonic on my dinosaur sheets.
She'd get all the right answers and kiss me on my forehead and retire to her bedroom.
After I realized that I wasn't dreaming I started sleeping on my stomach and hiding my diary.

Sometime later I remember finding it's pages dog-eared. I carried it with me the whole summer while I mowed lawns and saved up for a purse. My purse over my shoulder and my prized secrets batting at my hip. I came across a garage sale that promised freedom and solitude. We lived in a 9o year old house back then and so the locks were old. For 50 cents I purchased privacy.

My mother screamed about it being a fire hazard- but I knew that old skeleton key scared the shit out of her. Not only could I lock my bedroom door and closet- but I could lock any door in the house, from the inside or the out side.
She called the police when I locked her in her bedroom- I told them she needed a nap.
I surrendered my key and was grounded from cartoons.

I got my first kiss and my first job all in the same year, I was hot shit. I asked my mother if I could barrow her pearls for my date, she chortled and fussed over me telling me I looked like a lady. I was a lady with a secret. I discovered my key in her jewelry box, forgotten at the bottom amidst the gaudy costume jewelry. I slipped it in my pocket gingerly and whispered "I missed you."

Later that year I discovered sex and the basement window, the key made a glorious comeback and my diary was a pure unadulterated dime store trash novel. Mother began to worry as most mothers do. I embellished chapters about lesbian occult dabbling and peddled paragraphs of advances with married men in the congregation, I'd write several different versions of evenings in the volumes of diaries I'd amassed just to throw her off.

I live alone now in a studio, where the skeleton key is useless- I gave it to my boyfriend and told him it was full of secrets. My new dairy lays out in the open and in 3 rooms at once.

Mother found my old diaries and asks me if I've found god. I tell her I haven't really been searching- I ask her if she's found a husband and she breaks down and cries.

She 's afraid to die alone. I figured the two were equally relevant, but I hate to see her cry. I tell her that it's more important that she finds herself first. She says she barely recognizes me anymore. I tell her that I'm her daughter and she should never dog-ear pages.

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i am constantly in awe of writers. i am really liking your work. stories, memoirs; all of that really pleases me. i like the secrets and the keys the diaries and the narratives.

thank you for contributing, hannah! i hope this is the start of a long long line of contributions.
yes i agree with tom. . . both of these pieces are completely enrapturing! encore encore!

you seem well-versed in the subject of retalliation.
this is a great story, the kind where you wonder which parts are real and which are fabricated or exaggerated. your language is simple, but emotive and perfect.
you have no idea how much i missed you. thanks for hanging around with us loonies again.
aw shucky duckies -_-
i'm glad i took the time to read this.
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