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almost too embarrassing to proceed, and yet...

This continues a series in which I read and offer commentary on all my high school diaries. You can follow this link and scroll down to the bottom to start from the beginning.

Diary #3: toddlers kissing on the cover

This journal begins with me mourning the loss of my relationship with JR, the boy who conjured up all the harlequin sentiments in the previous book. According to my memory we were madly in love with each other, and then I left for an ill-timed 6-week summer trip to Israel. When I returned the boy was not so much in love with me anymore. Instead he was dating this older brunette who I think was on his lifeguard squad. She was much thinner than me, with hair that looked perfect just out of the water and a tiny pointed nose. Plus she could drive. She owned a RAV-4 that looked new and shiny — the perfect thing to drive off road over some poor ugly girl's emotions.

As in future times of crisis, I turned to insomniac crafting.

Aug 20, 1997
I'm still awake and it's 1:30. I haven't been able to sleep. It's raining like anything outside. I just love it when the weather reflects your mood. It's so poetic. I didn't know what to do with myself, so I knitted a little bag. Boy, am I insane.

I also journaled into the wee hours of the night, making my junior year of high school VERY well documented. So much the worse.

I'll give an overview of what happened next to put into context any overly dramatic passages I uncover over the next few days.

As I remember it, the breakup with JR was the catalyst that got me to start starving myself in earnest, and for the next several years my mental space was 90% calorie counts (with the remaining 10% reserved for planning sexual encounters and describing them in ridiculously flowery detail.) Yet even this gives too much credit to causality. What I'm learning from this project is that nothing I remember from my life is actually chronologically accurate. To say my eating disorder rolled in with the shiny RAV-4 would be to deny the days in Israel where I nearly passed out from refusing schnitzel. Even in the midst of budding young love the previous spring, my journal recounts a visit to the doctor for stomach problems which were restriction induced. So maybe I can't say why I do anything ever. I imagine I have motives, but in reality my actions occur in an opaque void of reason and morality.

In this moral voidness Dan and I started dating again. He was 20 and I was 16, so the fact that he was in college provided some logistical difficulties. Also the fact that I was a slut didn't help much. In the journal he comes across as an honorable young man: kind, loving, patient, and forgiving. I loved him madly and cheated on him compulsively. There was a jerky upperclassman who disgusted me in every way and I kept on making out with him in his car for... I don't know... reasons.

Aug 22 1997
I kissed two people today, in completely different ways. I fooled around with L in the hard sweaty way. But I just felt like I was killing time. I didn't even like to kiss him. I don't actually like him that much. I resented him for thinking I do. He's using my body but he's not getting at anything real. I thought I needed just a little bit of closeness, someone holding me tight, to get my mind off needing closeness. What I got was a lot of hard, tiring fooling around to repulse me enough that I could convince myself I didn't want it.

Clearly I was ether over-thinking things, or not thinking at all.

Then in the same entry there is a overwrought description of some kissing that I apparently enjoyed more. It seems that in High School I both hated and enjoyed things by charging them with massive amounts of emotion. (Aside to Dan: this one's about you, babe. Please say I can post it — it's sooooo embarrassingly terrible!)

Then it happened. We acted like children fumbling in the dark. We are fumbling towards each-other. We act like children and amuse ourselves with balls and minute-long games. Then when the lights turn off we grab for each-other and hold on tight. But is is just anouther minute-long game? Will we get bored of it when the moment has passed, and go play something else? Or will this be our last game, and will we lose ourselves forever?

I have to admit, this book is testing my limits for experiencing embarrassment. And there are so so many pages yet to go.

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