When I was about 14 and my sister Nicole was about 11, we started writing and drawing in a spiral notebook that we kept under her bed. We wrote in it off and on for several years. It was an ideal fusion of the “Amy plus Bobby 2gether 4ever” type notes you see scribbled on an eighth grade girls’ notebook, and skill-lessly draw pictures of penises.
It included charts and graphs of people we hated or people we wanted to love. The charts were fill-in-the-blanks charts that requested basic information: age, date of birth, virginity status, hair color, eye color, height, phone number, school, grades, use of profanity, voice, and “molestee” for girls and “molester” for boys.
Our class schedules are in there, as are some hysterically funny drawings.
I don’t know if this is an insight into the minds of young adolescents, or a scathing indictment of how weird we were.
[stextbox id=”download” caption=”A Few Tidbits”]Jenny’s bludges. -Richard
And my personality has never recovered. -Nicole
I’m so happy-sad! -Nicole
Sure, I hated him this morning. That’s when I didn’t know him. -Nicole, quoting Peggy
(In different handwritings)… Hot stuff. Stuff. Stuff. Hot stuff. Cold shit. Blotchey. Blotchey pen. Blotchie? No no no. Blotchey. -Richard and Nicole
Let’s be friends, okay? -Nicole
Let’s hear it for the real people. -Nicole
Freshenup gum! -Nicole
(Name of Nicole’s date)… Stupid! Dumb! Ugly! But at least he’s nice. -Richard
I wish he would get into me. -Nicole
(In large script handwriting)… The Crystal Chandelier -Nicole
What? What? What! That’s what I said. I said what! -Nicole
NO MORE PARTY LINE! -Nicole
Hatehatehatehatehatehatehate. Lovelovelovelovelovelovelovelove. -Richard
Clean pen. Clean clean pen. -Richard
Ursula. Stacey and Ronald. Bloo. -Nicole[/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”End of Nicole’s Letter to Angela”]P.S. Remember our secret about why we were late getting back to the bus at the Spanish Club trip? Keep it a secret.[/stextbox]
I have always wondered about that secret.
[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Nicole’s List of First-Day-of-School Fears”]
No one will talk to me in the morning.
On the first day, I’m going to wear corduroy and I scared everyone will think I’m dressed wrong for the season.
My hair is straight on one side and curly on the other and I can’t get them to match.
My face is all broken out and my makeup fades too fast.
I’m three inches taller than my boyfriend.
There is at least one “make a face” game in it, which Nicole and I developed during long drives to see our grandparents in Missouri. In it, we each took a turn adding a feature to a face, with emphasis on making it as funny or grotesque as possible.
There is a certain chaos about “The Book” that I find compelling, yet am unable to reproduce in latter-day efforts.
The cover to the spiral-bound book was lost many years ago, so I don’t know where it actually begins and ends. There is an A thru Z comparison of my handwriting and my sisters, so I treat that as the cover.
Apparently I was into a girl named Peggy at the time, but I only recall ever seeing her once. (Updated May 2018 to add that I recall it was Peggy Crockett, the girl I hugged under the streetlight in the summer of 1978.)
The biggest surprise about the book is that it made our parent’s move from Lawton, Oklahoma to Palm Coast, Florida in 1987. I would have thought they would have thrown it out.
Tracey gasped with surprised delight at the accuracy of our portraiture. “I’ve seen that expression”, he remarked, which, of course, prompted…that expression.
All of this is solid genius.
You have tapped a pure root.