11 months ago



GIRL ON FARMER By Celia Beresford I bought a diary. Seriously, a real diary. Cooler kids might call it a journal, but I think that would be a lie. I mean, it has a lock and a key, so that’s a diary. You may wonder why a grown woman has a locking diary like a 12-year-old. I think it just comes down to a mild, yet deep-seated paranoia from my adolescence. You know, when you’re always worried that someone in your family is looking through your stuff. My fi rst diary, which had a front cover with Snoopy skipping under a rainbow, was pretty innocuous. It had a key that I lost, so I cut the security band and hid the diary between my mattress and box spring. It didn’t say much, aside from my dilemma over who to love: Steven Bewley or Andrew Vota. This was first grade, so neither really had much to offer. I didn’t have much either, aside from some candy and a badass sticker collection. Steven was a tiny little guy who wore plaid button-downs and small rectangleshaped glasses and shamelessly still sucked his thumb. He claimed it tasted like strawberries. Andrew was a preppy kid who played soccer, with thick hair that swooped gently over one of his eyes. Steven’s adorableness and corduroy pants won me over. Sadly, I never found out about his claim of a strawberry-flavored thumb. Steven was a solo operator and didn’t care much for the ladies. He moved away in third grade. I have, in moments of extreme procrastination, tried to inter-stalk him to see what he looks like now. As if I’d even recognize him. But he was one of those kids that are like a little shrunken adult, so I kind of just look for him, but maybe with less hair. Anyway, that was it for the Snoopy diary. Maybe it was the cheerful and carefree skipping Snoopy on the cover that kept that diary so innocent and sweet. Any diary or journal after that was filled with pages of scribbled warnings like, “You better not be reading this!!!!!!” I sounded like a maniac. The front page made a heartfelt plea to “respect my personal things” and offered a reminder that “I wouldn’t do this to you” (but I would. Reading my sister’s diary was a favorite pastime). Once you got into the thick of things, there were death threats, curses and boldly written testaments of my hatred for you if you defied my earlier, and much lighter, 38 JAVA MAGAZINE

Steven was a solo operator and didn’t care much for the ladies. He moved away in third grade. I have, in moments of extreme procrastination, tried to inter-stalk him to see what he looks like now. pleas for respect. You would think that I had something in there with some real excitement, but it was mostly dribble about “my dad sucks, my mom is mean, no one understands me.” The usual. There were a few embarrassing moments I was trying to protect. Like the time when caller ID was becoming a thing. Before caller ID you could just prank call your heart away. Get some friends to pick up all the extensions in the house, pick some random numbers from the phone book, and call people and say stupid things. There was no fear of being caught. When caller ID started, it was a little box, and it was kind of expensive, so you didn’t know who had it. And you kind of assumed people didn’t have it. You definitely assumed that super-hottie Pete Chalfers did NOT have it. When Pete gave me his number in sixth grade, I almost died. And then I called him. And called him. And called him—you get the point. It was an honest mistake, really. When I called the first time I just thought no one was home, so better try later. Then I called a few thousand times to make sure I didn’t miss him. When he finally did answer, I denied it was me that was calling incessantly. He began reading out the times of each call. I blamed a diabolical younger cousin that I made up and said I didn’t know he had caller ID. He said he didn’t know that the caller ID box could start smoking from call overload. It didn’t work out with me and Pete. I wrote about the shame of this extensively in my diary. After that I added some more “if you’re reading this, I hope you die” notes on the front and back cover. I also implemented an intricate rubber band security system, just in case. So now I have my adult diary. I will not decorate it with curses and threats. It will just have a key, which I am pretty much guaranteed to lose so I will end up cutting the thing open anyway. You might think I must have some sort of epic secrets, or I’m having an affair or have a secret newborn that I gave away in that baby drawer at the hospital. At the very least, I might even have someone else’s secrets I want to hide. Nope. Maybe I am afraid of my deep inner thoughts and the lock is a symbolic of way of locking myself out? Doubt it. I think I just have a lingering paranoia from my old diary days. Here’s another thing. If my husband had a diary with a lock, you know I would bust that thing open. He’s got his sketchbooks and whatnot that I would never look through, but if there was a lock? No. I am getting in there. I realize the hypocrisy of this. I guess it’s something I need to work through. Maybe I’ll write about it in my diary.

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