Some days, I didn’t have a lot of time to write. I had homework to do, new hairstyles to attempt and anime to watch. But other times, I had a shitload of nothing on my schedule. Maybe it was a weekend and Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” wasn’t on the air (you know you remember that afternoon lineup featuring Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo, Gundam Wing, etc., from the time when anime was vaguely popular and socially acceptable.) Maybe my dad had kicked me off the computer. Maybe I had just seen a great movie and it made me want to wax poetic (this still happens.)
BFF Sara and I have been reading a lot of memoirs lately, mostly in the genre of “pretty white girls with problems.” This is accurate to our lives, since we are also pretty white girls with problems. (Say what you will about your life, but I know one of my biggest problems is that I used to feel superior and East Coasty knowing about guidos, and now every Midwestern fraternity is having Jersey Shore themed parties. Where were you six years ago when “True Life: I have a Summer Share” aired? I mocked guidos before it was cool!)
If you don’t know the reference, check out the Mad TV sketch here:
Anyway, one of my most recent reads is Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin. In a similar style to this blog, she follows her diary from age twelve to twentysomething. One of her themes was that you don’t write in your diary when you’re happy. You’re too busy having fun. What your diary is actually for is all the times when your life sucked. Or when you’re bored and you don’t realize that very important and life-changing things are happening all around you. That’s definitely something this diary shows, since most of my entries are OMG DAVID B. DOESN’T LOVE ME. It’s further evidenced by the fact that I stopped keeping a regular diary when I was 19, right before I went to work at summer camp. Working at camp was basically the freshman year of college I didn’t have the first time around, and after all the underage drinking and girl manipulation and boy drama, I reached a level of maturity that I’m not likely to ever leave.
Those times when I felt bored/depressed/flaily made for the best diary entries. This is definitely one of them.
My Dearest Diary – (hehe – i’ve been reading too many fanfics)
Everywhere I go and whatever I do, I’m always thinking about him. I read 11×13 fanfics and I wish we were 11×13, instead of D+D. + = friendship or a small crush, x = a relationship that is physical.
I didn’t get to see him at all today, because of the stupid field trip! rats! It’s like I feel really empty when he’s not around.
I see his face in my mind, and his laughter in my ears. He’s such a strong presence, that I feel it when he’s not around. Even if I’m not talking to him, just knowing he’s there is a comfort to me. I wonder if I’m falling in love with him…
my symptoms are
* feel empty if he’s gone
* can’t sleep
* poor appetite
* blush at his name
* feel electricity at his touch
* I can’t go ten minutes without thinking of him
* major mood swings
* I spaz if he looks at me or gives me that smile of his
* I’m becoming a fanfic addict – reading at least four a day
* the world ceases to exist if I’m talking to him
* I am slowly going crazy … (^_^ hehe)
Something about his smile makes me go crazy? I want to just go up and embrace him right there in front of everyone. We’re so alike, yet so different. I can’t begin to describe how I felt the day of the post-it note thing.
It’s like this, kinda:
Diane: I don’t know if you know this, but you have post-it notes on your back
David: (laughs softly) Oh really? Take them off, please.
I slowly reach out my hand and touch his shirt, then get a hold of myself and remove the post-it notes. We were by a window, but all I saw was the brightest light. It was just him and me in the world. For a minute, I forgot who I was and where I was.
He looks at me, and I hand him the notes.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!!! The evil side is yielding to the peaceful one, good grief!
I think this entry requires some explanation for those of you who grew up without the world of fanfiction. For those of you who also engaged in now shameful fangirl pursuits in fiction, art or message boards, you may skip ahead to the next paragraph. In the early days of the internet, in a time before Facebook and Youtube would forever immortalize our adolescent actions, nerdy teenagers everywhere formed fan communities to discuss their favorite shows. Usually, fan communities formed around anime or science fiction shows, because like myself and many of my friends – these attract the crazies. The various web sites, message boards and mailing lists were a way for fans to connect, either to form alliances or start internet arguments about their favorite character’s destiny, love life and true sexual orientation. Hardcore nerds decided to take it one step further, and write their own versions of the story. While fanfiction’s existed in print form since the Star Trek days, the internet meant the stories could spread quickly to a much larger audience. OK, lecture over. Let’s continue the throwback!
In this particular entry, I discuss my obsession with Gundam Wing fanfiction involving my favorite couple, Evil World Dictator Treize Khushrenada and his aide Lady Une. In the Gundam Wing fandom (fan community) pairings (couples) are listed by a numerical system. Each character had a corresponding number, and the relationship postulated in the story was indicated by a multiplication sign (they’re boyfriend/girlfriend) or an addition sign (they’re friends or it’s a one-sided crush). So I wanted my life to just be a 13×11, meaning I wanted to be a chick with a split personality (more on that later) who had a boyfriend who was an evil world dictator. Don’t blame my parents for this. I’ve always had a really bad case of villain empathy.
Again, I manage to incorporate a list. What can I say, my OCD tendencies manifested fairly early on. Though I wouldn’t make my transition from wannabe-goth to Annie Adderall (minus the pills, plus a healthy Lord of the Rings obsession) until 10th grade, you can tell I had total overachiever issues from a young age.
I love my little recreated conversation from the Post-it Note Incident. Did we really need a reenactment of that dialogue? Take that, Carrie Bradshaw. My ridiculous butterfly clip-wearing ass had a post-it situation long before you did!
The last line of this entry refers to Lady Une and her wonderful split personality. I made a papier-mâché sculpture dedicated to her insanity in art class that year, so obviously her character resonated with me on some weird level. (But last night I drunkenly defended Scar’s killing of Mufasa, so like I said, villain sympathies…) Lady Une had a peaceful side and an evil side, and I thought that I had the same thing. This is total bullshit, obviously.
(My ninth grade picture is an homage to Lady Une. I so don’t wanna talk about it.)
The list of symptoms is also hilarious. I think half of these are imagined from things I’d read in bad fanfiction set to songs like “Crush” by Mandy Moore. The other half were the result of self-induced hysteria. At home, I spent a good portion of my time scrolling through anime-related prose, at school, I fantasized about applying the fanfiction relationships to my David B. situation.
I also wrote my own fanfiction for a variety of shows and movies. But that, my BFFs, is a tale for another time.
To make up for my prolonged absence, (I just started a full-time internship and consequently have even less of a life than I did before) I give you a very special and the first of (unfortunately) many editions of: Diane’s Poetry Corner.
In case you didn’t already think I was a complete tool, I will now reinforce it by giving you the half-written poem from mid-February, 2001.
Back when I wore bedazzled jeans and karma beads on a daily basis, I used to think of myself as Quite The Poet. I had a lot of Feelings, and I thought I should express them in stanza form. I rarely rhymed, because rhyming was for conformists who cared more about getting syllables right than expressing their inner angst. A few brushes with perceived classroom success (my poor teachers!) made me think I was The Shit, and so I took every opportunity to stare out the window and brood, scribbling bits of ridiculous metaphor on notebook paper instead of paying attention.
I remember I was picked to be part of a county-wide writer’s workshop. After taking my ego up about ten more notches, I proceeded to pick my best poems and adhere a fake nose stud to my face. Earlier that week, I’d conveniently picked up some fake crystals to put on my nails (don’t even judge me) and proceeded to use some of the nail glue to place one of the larger crystals where a nose ring would be.
I walked around like that alllll day. You know I was awesome.
I remember being particularly impressed when some blue-haired guy (oh god, bad choice mini Diane!) complimented my poems. I remember we discussed poetry afterward and it was quite possibly the greatest thing ever. He probably just wanted to hit it. I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering I attracted the fake chain necklace and fake Japanese dragon shirt-wearing dudes even then.
Those writer’s workshops went on throughout the year. I remember loving them, because it proved there were other artsy/fake-goth/ridiculous kids in my area. I desperately wanted to go to one of the alternative high schools in the city, so I could be with others who ~understood me. When I took acting classes in ninth grade, I so badly wanted to be part of the tiny, artsy school located in a renovated warehouse behind one of the city’s teen centers. However, it’s a really, really good thing I didn’t end up there because I completely turned my shit around by mid-10th grade and I would’ve gotten my goody-two-shoes ass beat by some girl in eight-inch platform shoes and a Jack Skellington hoodie. Sigh.
Anyway, enough about my almost-life as a mini hipster.
Here’s “My Poem” (yes, that’s the only title – and it’s scrawled in cursive while the rest is in print):
I’m always in the shadow,
Looking to the light.
Watching you across the room
Until the time is right.
I never know what to say,
or think or feel or do.
All I know is my world fades
When I’m standing next to you.
Here we have a rare rhyming example! We can obviously assume this poem is about David B., given the stalker-sounding phrases. Other than that, there’s not much to say except that it’s humiliating and I suck at poetry.
Don’t worry, we’ll have many, many more intricate and awful examples to come! Just wait til the summer between eighth and ninth grade. I had way too many feelings and way too much free time. There’s a little black notebook just filled with these gems. Get excited!
Also: before you judge my poetry too harshly, let’s take a look at Billboard’s top 10 songs of February 2001.
TWO TOP 10 SONGS BY SHAGGY. TWO.
I bet my eighth grade self knows more about rhyming than Shaggy.
And Dream, oh Dream. I did enjoy them. I remember listening to that song in BFF Emily’s van on the way to Border’s. (Where we were likely picking up the next Simon R. Green novel.) The fact that they were dancing around in iridescent pink pleather pants did not seem unusual to me.
Oh, 2001. You were kind to no one.
Just in case you thought I was making everything up, here’s (scanned) proof of the now-infamous “love graph.” (As indicated by the little heart I’ve drawn in the title.)
As you can see, it’s tacked on to the last entry, but I thought it warranted its own post because … yeah.
You can view the page in all its glory here.
As you can see, I’ve drawn a very scientific and incredibly accurate graph depicting how often David B. and I talked/interacted during the week. My scale goes from “kinda” to “a little” to “a lot.” And I’ve noted where the Holocaust Memorial Center field trip has gotten in the way of our love. (We were sadly split in separate groups, attending on different days.)
The bonus entry on the next page has a wonderful little frowny-face. I am apparently upset that Stefanie and Andrea (I have no idea where this girl is now, but I do remember she and her friend Whitney had upper-ear piercings in which they wore earrings in the shape of dollar signs. I thought this was awesome.) knew about my crush. I don’t know why this was a big deal, because I probably either told them or made it so obvious that they didn’t need to do a lot of detective work.
But I guess this made me super upset, because I did write “today is BAD!” under the smiley-face.
Stay awesome, self.