A Life Before LiveJournal: Book One

When I started digging through the hall closet, I was looking for my gold jewelry. Something stored away that could match the necklace my sister gave me for Christmas, or at least the novelty class ring from high school. I found the jewelry box in a Rubbermaid container with old pictures and five other notebooks. The pictures include images of someone licking my shoe, a friend who died in 2009, and pictures of me wearing some very ill-advised hair extensions. The notebooks, written almost entirely in Pilot V5 ink, contain my life before LiveJournal.

I’m looking down at a small, black vinyl book. Screenprinted on the cover is a music staff with a heart-shaped note, and the script words “my thoughts.” This book was given to me for my 13th birthday and the lock was lost long ago, probably pilfered to be worn as jewelry. My parents probably gave me this as some kind of welcome into teenage life, hoping to help me cope with the insanity of middle school. The questionnaire in the front lists my favorite subject as “math” and favorite song as “Groove Is In The Heart.” The line for what I want to be when I grow up is blank.

What I found was a brain oscillating between schoolgirl crushes and music obsession. A world where L.A. Riots and Operation Desert Storm were footnotes to the bigger question of whether or not to attend a Valentine Dance.

Later, the world became one of escape through letters and Anne Rice books, coffee shop conversation and a raging crush on the local shit-stirrer. I remembered high school being a long, slow march through Hell. It was that, but it was also good friends, midnight movies, lost weekends and hair dye accidents. It was 1,001 horrible first dates. It was morphine-laced, post-surgery phone calls. It was getting up at 4:30 to go to Music Theory class. It was a piano and a typewriter. It was ten of the loudest little fingers you’ve ever met.

11-13-1990
“FUCK EM ALL!”

11-20-1990
“Well, I’m just sitting here listening to my Wham! tape.”

7-1-1991
“PS: Boyz II Men rule!”

8-22-1991
“I wanted to say: I don’t know – maybe because I didn’t have control – and it scared me.”

10-2-1992
“PS: Boyz II Men Rule”

6-8-1992
“I’m watching Arsenio. It’s about the L.A. riots.”

8-12-1992
“He gave me his beeper number.”

8-17-1992
“I got a CD player – it’s awesome. Now I just need to get a CD.”

6-21-1993
“When I moved, the first night I was here, I was overtaken by grief.”

7-5-1993
“I’m not used to crying everyday.”

12-30-1993
“we went out a couple weeks ago with Rob and Meagan to Chi-Chi’s.”

8-14-1994
“I feel like I’m living in a big What The Fuck moment.”

1-16-1995
“Right now I have to settle for traveling in my mind. Mostly with Louis and Lestat.”

4-28-1995
“That was back during my 3rd soul. I’m in my 4th now.”

5-23-1995
“We only speak in conversations on the desk in Pre-Cal.”
(My crush and I would comment back and forth to each other by writing on a desk where we both sat in two different periods. He never found out I liked him. He’s now living in NYC and playing in a punk band.)

5-29-1995
“Sometimes, he sounds like a Wilson Phillips song.”

6-8-1995
“I should just become a Republican and learn to play golf.”

7-21-1995
“There’s a reason why no one puts ‘prom queen’ on a resume.”

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