November 21, 1973
is a continuation of my last ledger ... (which is why it's titled "A
Continuation." Such logic!) Second period Spanish ... some rotten film
about Mexico, I think.
will probably be the most unorthodox ledger I have ever had ... I'm
sick of all the old "rules" - leaving it at home under my pillow,
writing all the events of every single day, going into complete detail
all the time. Forget it! I don't want to cramp myself any more. I'll
write when I want, what I want.
took my felt pen and blackened out all the faces of the
people on my peechee. It's a statement. People aren't real ... there's
really nothing there but a mask. No mind, no soul. It's all a big
cosmic farce. They pretend to live, so I'll think there really is such
a thing as love.
time is it in Italy right now? Or is there really an Italy? Is it all a
walked into Algebra. Every thought that flows into my mind (or what's
left of my mind), I write down. I have so many really WEIRD hang-ups, I
really do. I was just thinking about that. The weirdest is this thing I
have about library books. I can never return them on time! I just
can't. I wonder why. I owe books at three libraries and the fines are
just piling up. But for some reason, something inside of me, I can
never bring myself to return them. Maybe a subconscious fear of
librarians??! (just a joke)
sicker every minute. As usual my heart is pounding a thousand
beats a minute, my ears are ringing, I'm shaking. So stuffed full of
(Vivarin) I can hardly feel myself thinking anymore. I feel so scared.
I don't know of what ... just this cold, immense wave of pain slicing
into me, spreading all through me.
is probably going to be the dumbest ledger I ever wrote in my life. You
probably won't even want to read it, it's so screwed-up. But it's a
release, and no matter what I do with it when it's finished - burn it,
keep it, have it published (ha!) - I need it right now.
wonder who will ever read this journal, if anybody. My husband, my
children, my parents, my friends? Who? And what will they think?
Probably mixed reactions. They'll be amazed by the skillful way I hid
my inner self from them. ARE you
amazed by the skillful way I hid my inner self from you? I know
here in Algebra, with about 5 minutes of class left. Mr. Sahli is
sitting in back at his desk, patiently explaining the assignment to a
confused Kim Sondreson. The class is quietly buzzing with talk and the
of papers. Windows are frosted, and the sunlight bounces off of them,
cold and grey. Feeling isolated and safe.
managed to wangle permission out of some guy working here in the empty
History classroom to let me sit in here and think for the next half
hour or so, until 4th period starts. I feel so feverish, you wouldn't
believe it. And this stupid ledger ... I don't know, man. This is one
journal that I am going to have to keep firmly and constantly under
lock and key. No one reads this!! Not even Karen!! About the only
person I trust is (my new best friend) Shelly, so she might read it
I should go now and find out what classroom we'll be in today. OK?
this feeling it will probably take me less than a week to finish this
ledger. Every time I sit down, I get this terrible impulse to pick up a
pen and start writing a bunch of garbage. Garbage. That's all
it is. I can't do anything right, besides filling up notebooks with
senseless, mindless trash that nobody will ever read.
hell with it.
talked to Terry -- we walked to class together -- and all he could
offer in the way of advice was "You'd better tell him!" The
Shit. Real helpful, like that idea hadn't crossed my mind. I wish Terry
was my boyfriend ... he's so terrific. But because I really love
Shelly, I wouldn't want to break them up. But.
hate this. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!
these kinds of thoughts about a guy that belongs to someone else, my
best friend, in fact. Really great. Makes me feel like some kind of
unfeeling monster, bent on destroying happy relationships ... like a
Laurie Q. or a Roberta B. But I know that there is no way that I could
ever do it: he'd never break up with her to go with me. I guess the
only reason I want a new boyfriend so badly is to take HIS place ... so
I can show Clarence, "See, I can do it, too!"
shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT!! Why on earth did I have to open my big
mouth and tell so many people I might be pregnant? Robin knows, Shelly
knows, Erin knows, Terry knows, probably Peggy B., too. God knows how
many more. Why did I tell anyone in the first place? Now I feel I'm in
way over my head. No room to breathe or think or exist. What do I do
and Terry have been talking to each other a lot lately, but
Terry (damn him!) won't tell me what they're talking about. Terrific.
As for Clarence, I can't believe how shallow and unreal he's become. A
real sweetheart. Terry keeps pressuring me by saying, "You've gotta
tell him!" Gee thanks, Terry, what pearls of wisdom. I can't
tell him. The way he's acting now, he would probably run out and
announce it to the whole world, and make me out to be some kind of slut
or something. I always knew it would happen like this.
wish Karen would go away - she's getting on my nerves. Onion breath,
gigantic wad of gum hanging out of her mouth ... she keeps asking me,
"Are you in a bad mood?" Just what I need. Maybe I'll walk home with
Shelly tonight, just to avoid going home with Karen. That's how mean I
feel cross and bitchy. Sure wish I knew what Clarence has been telling
Terry. Karen, mind your own business - I don't CARE about your stupid
pictures. Glad I have Shelly for a friend now - she fills the gap that
Karen has fallen thru. Karen thinks that just because she used to smoke
cigarettes in seventh grade (oh my, what a sin!) that she's lived this
really raunchy, evil life. For some weird reason she holds that over my
head, like it's something really dangerously exciting about her,
something I could never surpass. Hell of a lot she knows!
aren't I doing the same thing? You know, holding my new "life of sin"
above her head, proud of it all? Proud? Of what?
home before bed:
that I have both feet planted firmly on the ground again, I feel like
writing and writing, about all the things on my mind. So I think I
know, I've just been laying here on my bed, listening to my radio and
thinking. So many things on my mind lately ...
guys. I still care for Clarence, some, but I'm finding myself slowly
losing interest. I've been finding my new freedom an adventure (all
seven days of it) ... a way to reach out to
others. If Clarence ever
changed his mind and started loving me again, I'd probably go back with
him. But not right away - not now that I'm starting to have fun.
think that Clarence's wild stories about what laughingly refer to as
our "love affair" are starting to circulate. So I guess that by now
most of the guys at school know I went to bed with him. Terrific. (Nathan
Jones.) The weird thing is, I don't think I really care. My
reputation was starting to slide anyway. It was never much in the first
place. So what'll it hurt? (Stairway to Heaven.)
never do my assignments anymore. Just sit there in class and stare
straight ahead. Every day I wear the same faded blue swabbies and dark
jacket. I'm not trying for a reputation, it's just that I'm sick of
being considered so straight and perfect and dull. Being straight never
got me anywhere ... just classified with a bunch of other creeps,
A rare surviving entry about sex.
Most of them were heavily edited and/or destroyed, down the
first time (Clarence and I had sex) was terrible, of course - first
times usually are. It was painful, and we didn't really know what to
do, and we were too nervous and rushed. It got better tho. Three times,
we really went to bed - that is, took off everything and literally went
to bed. Once at his house on a Sunday afternoon when no one was there
but us, and twice at my house, once during the afternoon and once at
night. Those were the best times. At first I let him make love to me
because I knew we were really in love, and I was curious. We were both
virgins, so it was kinda funny. Then, it became a habit that we
couldn't quit, until I realized that that was the only reason he was
coming over anymore. At night he'd make love to me and leave, and
during the day he'd be off kissing her.
dirty talk! What an x-rated journal. Once you get me talking about it,
though, it's hard to shut me up.
Thursday Nov. 22, 1973
woke up around noon, groggy and irritable from terrible, feverish
dreams. I dream about Clarence every night.
called at noon to find out what I was planning on wearing to the
restaurant. "Pants," I said firmly. After she hung up, audibly hurt by
my abruptness, I turned on my radio and thought out my plans.
finally decided it was time to get up. With two hours to get ready, I
leisurely put on my makeup and got dressed. Thanksgiving dinner was OK
... Dad and me went to a restaurant at the Sea Tac Airport with Grandpa
and Grandma. I was feeling pretty out of it, had a piece of steak on 2
buns with salad, french fries, Coke and a piece of apple pie.
thoroughly wasted day.
gotta write to (my friend) Mark and tell him about all of
this. It's really going to "bummer" him (as he always puts it), but
honesty is something our friendship has always been based on. That's
neat. I love Mark. He's always been someone I can count on. I haven't
seen him for over two years, but that doesn't matter. We communicate
through our letters to each other, we really do. Not just words but feelings
up and sorta scared. I definitely feel the flu coming on ... pounding
headache, sinus troubles. Great.
losing my love for Clarence. The more I think about it, the more I
realize how trapped I was in that relationship. I just wish someone
would hurry and come along - not necessarily "Mr. Right," just someone
affectionate, someone who won't take fourteen years to hold my hand.
Someone who'll walk me to classes and take me places. Someone that I
can use to rub salt in Clarence's wounds - that is, if the unfeeling
monster has any wounds.
is all going to make one heck of a book some day ... some day.
After the thoughts and words are cleared, and details are
added, a few names changed here and there ... some day. I
was already writing for an
glad the Lord made me pretty. Not
super-fantastically-gorgeously-beautiful, but pretty. It makes life a
lot easier. I'm not trying to sound conceited: I'm just stating facts.
Shelly is pretty, too ... a soft kind of pretty, with long curly blonde
hair and interesting eyes. I think she's sweet.
feel sharp tonight. My mind is clearing out a little. Always feel like
November 24, 1973
a very boring day at Grandma's. This will be a terrible Saturday night.
restless and trapped ... no plans for tonight, nowhere to go. I wish I
... I wish I wish. I just wish. Feel so empty. Maybe I could call up
someone on Hotline. No. There's a lot of real creeps on Hotline. It's
only 4:15 in the afternoon but it feels later. I'm so bored.
radio is playing ("Let me serenade you") , I'm just
sitting in my room. I'm ugly tonight - hair all flattened out, crummy
eye makeup job. Fits my mood, I guess. What can I do?? Sit around and
listen to music all night, watch all the dopey little TV shows, stuff
myself with junk? Real exciting. (Now it's Todd Rundgren, "Hello
it's me ..."). Even the radio is starting to get on my
nerves. Too repetitious!
was a real bitch today at Grandma's, don't know why. I can see myself
changing; this time, I can really see it.
Divided as to whether I consider it good or bad. Wish there was a
Coffeehouse tonight so I could see Terry & Shelly. So dull
around here, it's hard to believe. I guess I've just gotten spoiled by
Clarence, making every Saturday night an exciting time. ("Painted
Ladies") I don't really want to go out hawking* tonight, but
ten to one that's what I end up doing. Well, if I do, maybe this time
I'll get lucky and someone'll pick me up.
This journal is
beginning to seriously embarrass me. First I'm running around telling
I'm pregnant when I'm not ... then I decide I'm a drug addict because
I'm taking over-the-counter caffeine pills ... and now there's this
"hawking" thing. This was something I invented. Basically it was just
me walking around the neighborhood alone late at night, trying to look
depressed and intense. I thought "hawking" made it sound glamorous. I
was such an idiot when I was fifteen.
whole stupid world. Moves too slow, moves too fast. People are so
unreal. Karen has joined the throng - the crowd of plastic people who
only care about status. ("Time In A Bottle") If I
could have my way, I'd have Marty or Terry call me up and invite me out
somewhere. No chance. Maybe Shelly will call later, but that'll be it.
Miss Teenage America Pageant
Paula Ann Zahn, 17 Illinois (blonde cello player, looks like Laurie Q.)
Yep ... it's
*that* Paula Zahn.
2. Lauren Axelrod, 17 Texas
3. Janet Louise Daines, 17 Utah
4. *Lori Lee Matsukawa 17 Hawaii (winner) She goes on to
become a beloved TV news anchor in Seattle
5. Sheilah Ann Pierce, 17 Tennessee
6. Patrician Elaine Larkin, California
7. Susan Kathleen Bigler, 17 New Jersey
8. Janie Kay Bowles 17 Oklahoma
Nov. 25, 1973
burst of joy, sense of well-being.
Nov. 27, 1973
free minute (or twenty) to write during lunch ... snuck into the
deserted History classroom. Someone will be in here any minute now,
probably, once they discover the door is unlocked. Only my remarkably
good mood is keeping me up at all today. Just said "Hi Marty" (to former boyfriend Marty,
obviously). My voice came out all squeaky, sounded like Minnie Mouse
with a sore throat. He grunted something in reply, with an obvious lack
of enthusiasm. Oh well ... sigh. Clarence and John Sharick just walked
me ... I heard Clarence mutter something about "bitch." Big deal. He
has simply lost his power to get me upset, I'm afraid. His new haircut
is repulsive. Makes him look like a pointy-nosed country hick.
COULDN'T CARE LESS!! (ABOUT HIM!!)
yelling out in the hallways. Some guy out there sounds just
like John Riley. SLAM of lockers, shuffle of feet. Mr. Lien
will have a cow when he discovers me sitting in here. Oh well, it's not
like I'm vandalizing the room.
wonder why Clarence isn't with his darling Roberta today? She probably
took one look at him, with his crooked new rice-bowl haircut and his
funny "flood pants" and his too-big shoes, and ran to the nearest can
to puke. I shouldn't be like that - catty & spiteful. I should
be gentle and forgiving. OK. Poor Clarence, sweet angelic
little baby. Life certainly has treated you cruelly,
hasn't it ...??
passes so slowly. Going out of my mind. Someday this will all pass away
- things will change for me. You'll see. I'll get out of this mess and
make something beautiful out of my life. Someday.
terrific, now I'm alone in the room with one of the Grosskruegers (Bill
I can never tell them apart). Oh good - Denise Day just walked in.
time to write.
The house is still and dark, all is quiet except for the gentle roar of
the rainy wind outside. Perched on the end of my bed, writing by the
light of a tangerine-scented candle ... can hear the soft strains of
"Let Me Be There" on the radio, an occasional rustle from Dad's room.
doesn't like Clarence anymore. Ordinarily, you'd expect me to be
jumping up and down with joy over the news ... but I honestly
don't know how I feel about it. Glad, of course.
But still ... my mind feels too calm tonight to have to hassle with
weighty problems or feelings, so I'll just let it lay. Maybe tomorrow I
can express my feelings with more clarity.
November 28, 1973
mood - bad bad bad bad bad bad piss-bad mood.
won't last, I know it won't. Once again Mr. Lien has left the History
classroom unlocked, so here I am again, writing and waiting and HERE WE
GO/SOMEBODY'S COMING -- nope, false alarm. Just some girl.
(Heart attack subsides.) and doing nothing in particular. Absolute 100%
bitch today. Hard rain, cold and chill, and the beginnings of a
splitting headache. Have been very silent and withdrawn today. What a
bummer. "I don't know how to be if it's winter." Confusion reigns.
just came in - it's 16 after - so the coast must be clear. Wonder
wonder wonder. Think I'll go take something to liven up my brain.
never made it. Went out to the drinking fountain to take a couple of
Vivarin, but Kevan Natario (secret man of my dreams) was standing right
there so I couldn't. Now I feel rotten. Half an hour of absolutely
NOTHING to do, what fun. Feeling frustrated. Karen is inconsiderate and
unfeeling, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter. Terry told me
today during History that he's starting to not like Shelly. He said
she's (quote) "Driving me crazy" (unquote). Whatever that's supposed to
my way to class -- hmmm, 25 minutes ago -- Jerry Pitts "tapped" me on
rear. I'll say it again: HMMMM. That'd be mighty OK with me, if him
& me got together ...
oh shit, here
I go again. Every single time a guy so much as looks at
me, BAM, I start getting all these ideas that he's in love with me.
It's stupid, it's really stupid, and I wish I could knock it off. I
still love Clarence - ugly haircut or no - and I'm determined that one
of these days I'll get him back. One of these days. I'll try talking to
him next period, in Biology, but you just watch -- he'll act like he
hates me, like he always does now. WHY? That stupid jerk.
I'll go to church tonight, ho hum. Nothing better to do. Have this
iccccky feeling Terry's going to break up with Shel sometime soon, by
the crummy way he's been treating her.
November 29, 1973
Being part of mankind
There's not a lot to do no more
This race is a waste of time
People rushing everywhere
Swarmin round like flies
Think I'll buy a .44
And give 'em all a surprise ...
Elton John, "Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself" --
score one point for him, I guess - this morning he crossed my
name of all his peechees with black ink and vicious stabs, trying to
make good & sure I was watching. I wasn't watching,
actually: I was talking to Shelly at the time. But I saw what
he'd done, a short while later, when I happened to glance his way. When
I saw his "work," tears rushed to my eyes, and I had to pinch myself to
keep from crying and making a scene. He had a smirk on his face,
watching me out of the corner of his eye ... so
proud of his victory. The hurt is still very real, I've discovered. I'm
not "losing my feelings for him" as quickly as I'd tried to make myself
believe. God, why? This is
all so asinine.
here AGAIN in the EHC (Empty History Classroom), only this time Mr.
Lien knows about it and doesn't care. Far out. And, that guy that's
always standing out in the hallway alone during lunch when I am, the
one with the blond hair, brown jacket and weird hat (Keith Stowman)
spoke to me today. No big thrills, it was just sort of unexpected. I
was walking by (nonchalantly) and he goes, "Where were you yesterday?
You weren't standing by your locker like you always do." I looked at
him and smiled and said "I know, isn't that a shock?" Then I came in
here and shut the door. I
felt so absolutely friendless in those days that I couldn't bring
myself to go into the cafeteria at lunchtime ... I would
literally stand in the empty hallway next to my locker for the entire
hour, rather than face anyone. No wonder the "EHC" felt like such
is the only chance during my school day I ever get to be alone
& think. I'm growing more into myself I think -- I can feel it.
It's kinda weird (some girl just walked in, that one who works at
Arctic Circle, Kari Something). I keep losing myself in thought. (I
wish she'd leave. She's in the back of the room somewhere, where I
can't see her, and she makes me nervous.) SHIT. Kevan just walked
in. He looked at me and said, "How do you get in here every day?"
panicked. "Stay cool," I thought. "Act
sexy and calm." I put down my pen, looked at him and smiled.
"I open the door," I said, "and walk in - because
it's always unlocked. Real tough."
He walked out.
Click, click, click,
heels in the hallway, pencil sharpener grinding. Click click click.
That girl is still moving around in the back of the classroom. Out in
the hall Penny T. and Naomi A., et al, are screaming and laughing about
apple cores. Just heard John Sharick's repulsive laugh, and Kevan
When I said "This is futile," I don't think I
meaning clear. I didn't just mean trying to get Kevan for a boyfriend,
I meant the whole thing. Love. Dating. Sex. It's all so pointless. Why
do I have to have a boyfriend? Why? Why can't I be happy without any
guys in my life? Why can't I get this terrible craving for affection
out of my system? My whole life right now is centered around trying to
find "Mr. Perfect." I'm so busy running around trying to find someone
to take Clarence's place ... someone I can cram into his mold.
I've reached a decision about Kevan, anyway: he is loud, overbearing
and oversexed. The only reason I was even thinking about him, I guess,
is because he's cute. How could I trust a guy like that out of my sight
for more than 30 seconds? Anyway, who the hell do I think I am,
"considering" guys? Like I'm Miss America and have my pick of anybody.
I'm warped, I really am.
want to die. I suppose I've already said that, but I just want to make
things clear. But, if I have to, I have to. Like, it's a pretty drastic
way to put a point across, but if that's what it takes ... seeing your
name crossed out on someone's peechee isn't exactly the most joyous
occasion in the world. It hurts, it hurts. Deep inside of me, this
throbbing pain. Through all of this I've learned how real my love for
Clarence is (was?) Despite everything, my love is still strong. How
real can a love get?
did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants swimming in the river?
at those elephants swimming in the river."
November 30, 1973
period History was kinda strange. We were asked to take a list of ten
successful people (ranging from Adolf Hitler to Jackie Kennedy Onassis)
and put them in the order we thought they should be in, from most
successful to least successful. Somehow or another we got around to
talking about suicide, and Mr. Lien made this comment: "Everyone who
lives is successful ... the only unsuccessful people are the ones who
commit suicide. They kill themselves because they can't stand
isn't at school today - he went to a wedding. Terry isn't here either
because he's sick.
are not angry shits ... they're shits of frustration, happiness,
wonder, anxiety and joy. Geez, I can't even write straight. I've found HIM! Mr.
Right, Mr. Perfect, Mr. Terrific. Happy, sad, dying of curiosity!!!!!!
went roller skating with the church tonight, and I had so much fun!!!
It was at Auburn, and I really enjoyed myself. And, I'm "in love,"
sorta - his name is Gary H., and I've absolutely flipped. Where on
earth is my head? I think I've lost it somewhere ... oh, I'm so filled
with this, I'm incoherent!
write more later, after I've eaten my TV dinner. I'll be more sensible
my TV dinner:
almost 1:30 in the morning but I'm so keyed up and excited, I feel wide
awake. Besides, I have a chocolate almond "snackin' cake" baking in the
oven, so I have to stay up and wait for it to get done. I'm just
sitting here in my room, listening to music ("Pictures of
Matchstick Men") and thinking. I still don't feel quite calm
enough to write about it, so I'll wait until tomorrow. OK?
H. -n- Terri Vert
Gary -n- Terri
December 2, 1973
God, please don't let me lose my foot ... please ...
so scared. It's about 10:30 at night and I'll be leaving for the
hospital in a short while. This afternoon I stepped on a rusty nail (it
went right through my shoe and into my foot), and now my left foot is
paralyzed with pain. I'm so scared! My whole body is shaking. What's
gonna happen to me? A
tetanus shot and an attention-getting
limp for a few days.
December 6, 1973
day I become more confused and more afraid. God, I don't even know
where my head is anymore! I just walk through the day swimming in mass
confusion. I'm torn. Part of me wants to go on Adventure this weekend,
part of me doesn't. I don't know what to DO. Ah
yes. "Adventure." THAT was my big plan to run away
off the streets for a few days ... just to shake
a little. Obviously I never went through with it.
day Clarence grows more hostile and unfeeling. While I was absent,
Shelly talked to him, and she told him I was in the hospital. "I don't
care," he retorted. Shelly got mad and said, "Well, I think it's about
time you started
caring about other people." I still love him, no matter how hard I've
tried to shake the feeling. I don't WANT to love him!
do not see why I should e'er turn back
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.
They would not find me changed from he they knew -
Only more sure of what I thought was true.
Robert Frost --
thinks Paul likes me. He sits by us in English, and his locker is
next to mine, and lately he's been so nice to me all the time. So she
asked him, and all he said was "I never really gave it much thought."
Then he looked at me (sitting there nonchalantly trying to pretend I
didn't know what was going on), raised his eyebrows, smiled and said,
December 9, 1973
not going to church this morning. Instead, I feel like sitting here in
my nice, clean bedroom, listening to my tapes and writing. Dad's at the
store buying a newspaper and some Special K for me.
Wherever you may wander in your life
Surely you know
I always want to be there.
Holding your hand
And standing by to catch you when you fall ...
-- Olivia Newton John, "Let Me Be There" --
decided to do something: I'm going to write a book, I think.
the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused,
I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused.
I don't know a soul that's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
Or driven to it's knees
Oh but it's all right
It's all right
-- Paul Simon, "American Tune" --
book is going to be about me, a 16 year old girl who loses her
boyfriend, and then nearly goes crazy. It'll be super-terrific if I can
ever get the incentive to WRITE it. It'll be a first person narrative,
maybe - like she's writing in her journal. That way you can explore her
thoughts and feelings. Too bad the Internet was still
20+ years in the future for me: I could have written an angsty teen
just love The Who. They must be my favorite group in the world right
now, along with Grand Funk. (How about The Monkees? Ha ha) I hope
someone gets me the latest Who record for Christmas, "Quadrophenia."
And I HOPE Dad's getting me a stereo record player for Christmas!!
days: $4.98 or $5.98 for 33 rpm records
is Karen's 16th birthday. Guess I'll have to go shopping tonight and
pick up some little thing for her. This is the first day I haven't worn
jeans to school in four weeks - I'm wearing the new
blue outfit that Grandma and Grandpa bought me -
and I feel so dressy! Not like a slob, for a change.
This diet isn't going
to work out.
Dec. 11, 1973
And just like THAT, my
is over ...
cute, he's sweet, he's funny, he's nice, he's popular, and I really, really
like him a lot! His name is Scott A., and I've absolutely
found out yesterday that he likes me. It was one of the biggest shocks
of my life, and at first I couldn't believe it. I'm still not
completely convinced that this is really happening ... I feel like any
minute I'm going to wake up from this dream. Life - you're so
beautiful! God - You're so wonderful! I feel like I've turned over a
new leaf. I've thrown away my caffeine pills, quit wearing jeans to
school every day and walking around the hallways like a zombie, wrapped
up in my suffocating little world of death & gloom. No more
thoughts of suicide! No more lies about being "pregnant"! No more
lingering love for Clarence! I feel free, happy, filled with joy, joy,
shy around me - after all, it's only our second day together. At
first today he ignored me, out of shyness. But towards the end of the
day he walked me to some classes, and then out to the parking lot where
Grandma, Grandpa & Gim were waiting to take me shopping. He
asked for my phone number, but he didn't have anything to write with so
he had to memorize it. I LOVE HIM! (sorta)
aren't perfect, of course ... they never are. But for the first time in
months I feel truly free. I'm so glad I broke up with Clarence now.
December 13, 1973
were we saying about the depression being over?
God, I'm so crushed and defeated.
tired of always falling down, always being hurt.
told Shelly today during second period that he wants to "cool it" with
me - he just wants to be "friends." When she told me, after school, I
broke down and cried. My whole mind and soul just crumbled like a
brittle autumn leaf, and again I felt like dying. It was so sudden, so
out of the blue. Just yesterday he wrote me a note:
is dumb writing but I have to write. It will take a while to get
used to each other, but it will work out I know! I'd rather talk to you
in private like last night because more can be said. I like you a lot!
I want to do stuff with you together so we get to know each other. I
want to walk you home so I can talk (at church). I'm not worrying about
what's-his-name anymore because it's none of his business. Right?
Right, I hope so. We have to work it out together or not at all, OK?
OK. Well that's all so I'll talk to you later. Please read this alone
so it won't be broadcasted all over school. Thanx.
a hypocrite ... a lousy, lying hypocrite.
think the issue here was that I talked about Clarence too much.
The new boyfriend immediately realized I was 'damaged goods'
didn't want to deal with it.
Dec. 15, 1973
here I am again, back with Gary. Damn it. Why I'm going with him, I
don't know. Probably because my shattered pride needs the reassurance.
Gary really likes me, but ... he's kinda weird, like into drugs and all
that. We have a "semi-date" set for tomorrow after church: we're going
to go roller skating at Southgate from 1 to 5, maybe with some friends
of his. Little junior high punks, that's all they are to me!! I even
had to lie to Dad about it - said I'm going with Shelly somewhere.
birthday, Terri. Sweet Sixteen and never been happy.
birthday celebration at Grandma's house.
(I'm all depressed about a stoopid BOY.)
L to R: me, Mom, my sister Debby, my brother Dick
December 16, 1973
church. It's almost 1:15, and I'm just sitting around in my room (wet
towels on the floor), listening to records. Gary hasn't called yet, so
I kinda think maybe he isn't going to go skating. Still I wish he'd
call so I'd know for sure. I should've talked to him in church this
feel terrible. TERRIBLE! Where's the happiness, the joy, the smiles?
p.m. and still no word from Gary. I feel so sad and alone.
care about me anymore?? I was so happy, those 3 days when I thought
Scott & me were going to get together. What happened?
Dec. 17, 1973
don't even think Gary likes me anymore ... he never calls. I called my
brother up and asked him, and he said Gary does still like me. But he
said Gary said I like some guy named Tom. TOM WHO???
It was sorta one boy
another at this point, trying to heal my broken heart.
December 20, 1973
straighten out the whirl in my mind.
in an ickky position. The guy that I like doesn't like me. In fact, I
don't think he even knows I'm alive. His name is Tommy G, and he's an
absolute doll. I just don't know where to begin describing him so I
won't even try. He's incredibly good looking. "Good looking"??? Surely
there must be better words. How about gorgeous, fantastic, perfect,
beautiful ... I could go on and on.
in my Study Hall class.
December 27, 1973
reason I haven't written in you these past few days, Ledger, is because
I thought you were lost, and only found you tonight. I was pretty upset
about it. I could just imagine you in the hands of my enemies
... my thoughts & feelings laying there
exposed on every page. Shudder.
was quiet and relatively uneventful. We spent Christmas Eve at Grandma
St. John's, of course, as I have for every year of my life. We ate a
serve-it-yourself ham dinner in front of the TV, then opened our
presents and talked. The people there this year were Mom, her husband
Ken, my brother Dick and sister Debby, Grandma St. John, Uncle Dick and
his fiancee Ann, his son Les, Uncle Jerry and his wife, Jody. Oh, and
Grandma's adorable little puppy, Boots. "Boots?"
Who the heck was "Boots??" I got some cream sachet,
cologne and hand & body lotion, all in "Patchwork" - a new pair
a slippers and a knitted hat - a pair of silver hoop earrings - some
"Snoopy" stationery -
1973 at Grandma & Grandpa's house
L-to-R: My groovy Aunt Bonnie, my beloved Grandpa Vert, and me, age 16
(I'm all depressed over some stoopid BOY).
31, 1973-January 1, 1974
start of a brand new year. Let's hope it turns out better than 1973
the most shocking news of the century: Tommy & me are
suppose I should write down all the details for posterity. It all
started at the New Years Eve party at the church, which went from 10
p.m. till 6 a.m. this morning. I came to the party all keyed-up and
excited, sure that something neat was gonna happen. When everyone was
registering, just milling around and yakking it up, I noticed several
"important" people arriving ... Gary with a bunch of his hoodlum
friends, Scott A. and Joe H, and (best of all) Tommy G.
Karen got all excited when she saw Tommy because she has a
super big crush on him. I went along, playing my two-faced game - I
kept reassuring her, "Oh I bet he likes you," etc. etc. - when all the
time I was thinking of ways I could get his attention myself. Never mind
that this was the very behavior I'd so deplored in other girls recently.
first thing we did was play a bunch of relay games. I didn't feel like
"participating" so I went and stood in the back with Gary &
Tommy and all of them. At first I was a little peeved when Thea and
Laurie appeared on the scene and started flirting with all the guys -
it looked like Laurie was chasing Tom. Later on, to my relief, she
seemed to give up and try some other guy. When I was standing in back,
I had my back to Tommy and he was standing right behind me. He goes,
"Hi Terri," and I turned around and talked to him for a couple
wish that Tommy would call me, so I won't sit here all night and die of
suspense. I'm so scared that this one is gonna fall thru, just like
Scott and Clarence did. I really like Tommy a LOT.
so hard to believe that it really happened. Here I've been, with my eye
on him for so long, wishing & dreaming & fantasizing
(check out my Ledger Entry of Nov. 21) and I never for one second
believed he'd ever notice me. And now, BAM, here we are!
roller skating (at the New Years Eve party), when him and me were
sitting alone together in the cold, dark bus ... it gives me chills to
think about it. At first only our fingers were touching, brushed
against each other for a split second. And then he reached up and
touched my face, tenderly, with this LOOK in his eyes. I was so
overcome I couldn't speak, couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything but
close my eyes and feel his fingers caressing my cheek. I couldn't bear
to even look at him. My whole body was on fire. I was aware of
everything, the slightest movement of his fingers, the pressure of his
leg next to mine. Then he touched my chin and lifted my face to his,
bending to kiss me. I died. I put my arms around his neck and he held
me close. It was like a dream. I buried my face in my shoulder ...
when the bus door opened suddenly, and Karen stumbled in. Her face was
stained with tears, and when she saw us sitting there she said "Oh good,"
and walked back out. She was so miserable, and my heart ached for her.
I didn't feel I'd won any sort of victory - I only felt that what I'd
done to Karen was awful.
horrible thought just occurred to me. What if he was just using me last
night? Like, maybe he was bored, and decided to liven things up by
hustling some girl, any girl. Oh, he couldn't have! But still, it's
6:30 and he hasn't called yet - and I'm a little worried. He may have
forgotten my phone number, or may be asleep or not home or anything.
Well, I'll give him another 2-1/2 hours. If he doesn't call ...
night when the party was over, Tommy was standing in the hallway
upstairs, waiting for his ride. I decided to take my chances, and I
went up to him and said "Is anything wrong?" He said, "No, why?" We
were both leaning up against the wall, facing each other. I looked at
him and said, "Well, because you're not talking to me or anything." He
just stood there for a couple of minutes, looking at me while I gazed
intently at the buttons on his jacket. Finally, after what seemed like
years, he reached out and put his hands around my waist and smiled. We
talked briefly, and then Gary, down the hall, shouted "My mom's here!"
looked at me and said, "I have to go now. Hey, give me your phone
number." I told him, and he hurriedly kissed me goodbye.
can't wait to tell Shelly tomorrow in English! She probably doesn't
know him, so she'll ask Paul if he knows him.
off your old coat
And roll up your sleeves
Life is a hard road to travel
here it is going on 8:30 and he still hasn't called. I've pretty well
resigned myself to the fact that he isn't going to. And I'm not afraid
to say that I'm worried! Really worried. I care about him a lot, and if
it turns out he was just using me, I'll be crushed. I hope I see him
tomorrow at school. Of course, we have Study Hall
NERVOUS about tomorrow. I don't know why. No, yes I DO know why. I'm
scared to find out whether or not this is for real.
January 2, 1973
morning when I came to school with Karen, I was super-nervous. I kept
looking around for Tommy, everywhere, but I didn't see him. Then, when
we were walking to our locker, I saw him standing against some lockers.
I was too shy to talk to him then. Then a few minutes later Karen and
me walked past him again and somehow, SOMEHOW, I got the nerve to go up
to him and start talking to him. He was busy talking to Leonard Morgan,
when Leonard saw me standing there he gave Tom this LOOK, and walked
off with a smile. Tommy walked me to English.
only other time I saw him was in Study Hall, 5th period. He wouldn't
come to church tonight, gave 1,001 excuses, but he said he'd call me at
9. He didn't. It figures.
January 7, 1974
writing this a few days later. I don't want to talk about Tommy at all,
except to say that it's all over. I told you it wouldn't last.
think I'll have Robin tell Kevan that I like him. Not because I do,
especially, but because it would be something to "occupy" me for a few
days. I don't care. I know I could probably get him easily, by the way
he looks at me all the time. It would be an interesting little
diversion. Probably won't work out anyway.
AM I GONNA WEAR TOMORROW????
January 8, 1974
I don't BELIEVE the weird twists my life is taking. Scott A. and me are
back together!!! I'm so excited, I'm trembling and can hardly
write. Besides that, it's past 10 and I really should go to bed and get
some sleep - I have to get up at 6 tomorrow morning. But I've got to
write down the details!!! While they're still fresh in my mind.
was a crummy day, to begin with. First, for no apparent reason,
Karen was acting pissed-off at me and was ignoring me. That bothered me
enough, but then when she announced that she and her Dad
wouldn't be picking me up in the mornings any more ... well, that
really did it. I sank real low and stayed depressed all day.
there was the thing with my jeans. I started wearing these really awful
looking swabbies, with my brown wedgies (shoes), which I hate. And when
I got to school I realized how terrible I looked. So I walked home and
changed! It meant coming to school 45 minutes late, but it was worth
an all-around crummy day.
school Shelly asked me if I wanted to go home with her. I was reluctant
entry ends abruptly)
* * OUR CONVERSATION (a literary classic) * * *
was standing a few feet away from us with his back to me. Summoning all
my courage I pushed my way through the crowd and timidly tapped him on
the back. He
Why don't you want to talk to me?
Oh, because Shelly said you didn't.
Yah. (Embarrassed laugh)
Is that all you wanted to say to me?
I like you.
(Pause) Oh, well ... I don't think I ever stopped, but it's just
that a lot of things got in the way. I shouldn't have let them bother
me. This time I won't let them.
January 13, 1974
whole weekend long I've felt so lost and alone. I feel like I'm
drifting without purpose. Writing by candlelight, while
listening to my new Moody Blues album.
has come to pass
The time of day doesn't last
Evening has earned its place today
I'm tired of working away
seems so strange to think that somewhere out in this big, impersonal,
depressing world, my future husband is waiting for me. The man to make
me happy, the one I can finally count on to be faithful and loving. I
love him already.
Meanwhile, in a
far-off land called "California" ...
January 15, 1974
want to put down everything about how I feel, because it's all swirling
around in my mind in a confusing jumble. Things are going all weird on
me. I like Scott. That much, I'm sure of. I really, really like him a
lot. The screwed-up part is, he likes me too, but he's "scared" to go
back with me. He told Shelly "I can never seem to go with her."
they made you a star
Now your head's in a cloud
And you're walking down the street
With your feet off the ground
After all you've been through, tell me what will you do
When you find yourself back on the shelf?
-- Stealer's Wheel, "Star" --
time I see him at school I go crazy with longing. He still has the
power to move me.
January 19, 1974
suppose I should fill you in on all the details of what's happened
these past four days. Scott and me are together now, for real and (I
hope) for a long time. He even kissed me last night, and said "yes"
when I asked him to Tolo.
after school Shelly asked me if I wanted to come home with her. I said
OK, since I didn't have anything better to do. It was pouring down
rain, and after I managed to ditch Karen the two of us started to walk
through the parking lot. My Dad was there, so we got in the car and on
the spur of the moment we decided to go to Scott's basketball game at
we had to stop at Shelly's and ask her mom. She was on restrictions,
but her mom wasn't there so she just wrote her a note and took off.
entry ends abruptly)
January 25, 1974
almost a week later, late on Friday night. I can't believe how patchy
this ledger is becoming. Seems that these days I've been finding it
harder and harder to put my thoughts into words. It used to be so easy
and natural for me. Oh well, I'll struggle on in my pathetic little way
was a shitty day. Oh, by the way, excuse any occasional profanity. I've
also been finding myself swearing more and more lately. It's nothing
I'm proud of, but a habit that's tough to shake.
No school today, because it was a Teachers Workshop. I spent most of
the day trying to clean the house, listening to records, attempting to
fix my hair, and not much else. Around 3:30, I walked over to Glacier
and got there in time for the last half of the sophomore basketball
game. Quite a sizable crowd. I sat by Shelly and made a point of
keeping my eyes OFF of Scott. It was hard! He still has all the power
to move me, and I want to try and forget him. I could feel him watching
me, tho, but I'm glad I feigned indifference. I don't want him to think
I'm chasing him.
the game, Shel walked home with me. We hung around my house for an hour
or so, ate hamburgers for dinner, and then took off for the evening. To
make it short:
(journal entry ends
January 31, 1974
knew she'd lose it! Dammit! (Olivia Walton, her baby)
month hasn't been all THAT bad. Now I just wonder what February has in
store for me ...?
told me today that Dave D. (from her church) likes me. I don't
February 3, 1974
around 2:05 in the afternoon. Last night, even tho I was about ready to
DROP from exhaustion, I cleaned my room -- took over an hour of hard
work, it was so dirty. So now I'm just laying around, reveling in all
the cleanliness. Laying on my bed, wearing an old T shirt and scuddy
jeans, hair a mess, no makeup - a real living doll -
listening to KTAC, writing letters to Dee Dee, Mark, Cindy, anyone.
Shelly just called and invited me over, but I had to say "no" - I'm in
condition to be seen in public, looking like this! I'm going to her
church again tonight, for the third week in a row. Partly to see Dave,
even though I think she was lying when she told me he likes me. I don't
mean to mistrust her, or call her a liar or anything, but I think she
was just trying to cheer me up. I don't even know him, for one thing,
and for another I don't have any interest in him. I still like Scott,
against my better judgement, and there's no one else on my mind right
now. (I wonder if they ever called him Scotty when he was a little
February 7, 1974
is one of the dumbest things I've done in a long time. This was a
shitty day, to begin with, and I came home from school in a real blue
funk. In an effort to RELIEVE SOME OF THOSE ANXIETIES, I grabbed a
sweater, whipped out the front door with this ledger and a pen, and am
now sitting on an abandoned milk crate in the backyard, among the
remnants of my brother's old fort, writing my little heart out. This
place offers little privacy, but it's the feeling of freedom that I
need right now. (Rats! I've been discovered! Dad just came out and got
into the car, so I guess he saw me.)
well. To continue.
was the awful day that:
1. I realized that even
though I have a date with Dave this Friday night,
I don't really like
him. That is, I haven't gone crazy over him, and doubt that I ever
Shelly, during lunch, opened her BIG MOUTH and TOLD Randy Weaver that I
like him. According to her, he just laughed super-hard when he heard
about it. But that doesn't hurt nearly as badly as the fact that she
betrayed a confidence. I thought I could trust her! By now everyone in
the world probably knows about it (via Randy & Joe), including
Scott, and they're all having a good laugh at what an idiot I am. I
HATE Shelly for this.
(The Grand Finale)
Shelly told me that she and Angie Mouton walked home with Scott last
and of course they had to open their goddamned mouths and ask him if he
still liked me. His answer? "No, not at all." When they asked him if
we'd ever get back together, he said "Never."
want to die.
February 17, 1974
is still going up and down. Some days I feel terrific, like singing and
smiling and loving everyone, and other days I feel so depressed and
lonely I want to crawl into some dark corner and hide from the world.
Today I'm caught somewhere in the middle. Tonight there's a slumber
party at Carolyn Chase's house, for all the girls at Shelly's church,
I'm sorta looking forward to it. I love my new church. Now that I know
the people and they know me, I feel accepted, like I belong. Carla,
Loralie - two girls I used to hate - now they're like sisters. And of
course there's David.
wow, this song I'm listening to right now - it expresses just how I
feel. "Tamara" by Apollo 100.
February 18, 1974
slumber party was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I went. Me, Shelly, Cindy,
Janet and Cathy all stayed up until 4:30, talking.
February 19, 1974
feel cruddy. Everything seems so dull, dull, dull. Maybe it's just
because I started my period this afternoon -- that usually leaves me
feeling a little under the weather. No cramps (yet) thank goodness. I
think I must be abnormal in that respect. I always have terrible
cramps, but I have them before and after my period, not during. Real
fun! Ha ha ha There was no adult
female presence in my life, to tell me that this was perfectly normal.
just sitting here in my newly-arranged, clean room, sitting at my desk
listening to the radio. Shoes off, old smock with a pair of jeans I
borrowed from Shelly, feeling comfortable. A gray, heavy day, 4:00 in
the afternoon. There's a sophomore basketball game at the school right
now, and I want to go SO BAD. I've practically had to tie myself to
this chair to keep from grabbing my sweater and running the 1/2 mile to
school. But I MUSTN'T. It's hard enough trying to get Scott out of my
system without having to sit for an hour watching him play basketball.
I still like him, which is the dumbest thing I could do, but I can't
help it. Something about him. Every time I see him in the halls at
school I want to crawl into my locker and die. I know that it's all
over, forever - I'm no fool - but it's so hard for me to believe he's
quit caring. He's such a strange person, I can never quite figure out
why he does the things he does. It's conceited, I know, but I think
that maybe he still likes me. When our eyes meet in the hallway between
classes, the look he gives me ...
feel so disloyal to David. He's supposed to be my new boyfriend now
& all that, but a girl can't help her feelings. David's a real
nice guy, sweet and considerate, and any girl would be lucky to have
him. I like him a lot, but not in the way everyone thinks I do! I don't
know why, I just can't get myself to feel for him feelings of ... well,
you know, being boyfriend and girlfriend. There are simply some boys
that you could only feel friendship for, and David's one of them. I
haven't told anyone how I feel, not even Shelly. I don't want David to
know, either. So there's only one thing to do, and that's stay with
him. At least I don't have to worry about getting involved
physically/sexually ... he's the original Mr. Shyness. Cathy (his
sister) told me that he's only had two girlfriends in his life, and
"the most he's ever done is hold hands." So. No need to worry about
that, at least. I just hope he doesn't really get emotionally involved
- because I'm not going to.
Hanging out with Benji
February 24, 1974
chalk up another one.
and me are all through. I can't say I'm sorry ... I've thought all
along that this wasn't going to work out ... none of this "love
forever" crap ...
Mike Davidson is in love with me. Seriously - I'm not kidding. (He
called Shelly and to told her that he loves me, and he sounded really
sad and desperate about it.) I've only met him twice in my life, at the
Coffeehouse, but I feel as though I've known him all my life. There's
just something about him: we can be so open with each other. He's so
sincere about his faith, that it's uplifting just being with him. And
he seems to understand what I'm feeling. He's terrific. My feelings for
him? I don't know, I really don't. I'm afraid of getting involved. I've
been used and abused so much this year, I don't want to risk it again.
I know that there's no way Mike would hurt me, but still the memories
of Clarence, Scott, Tommy, Gary and David prevent me from jumping into
ANYTHING, even a sure thing like this.
Forget: Take Dee Dee & Mark's letters - plus new pee chee - to
February 25, 1974
before bed: I'm super SUPER tired, so this'll be short, but I thought
I'd let you know ... Wally Hall smiled at me today!! Dumb of me
on insipid details like that, but wow! I've never out & out
wanted a guy as much as I want him.
Wally! Thanks for the e-mail! :)
February 26, 1974
feel so normal today ...
don't know if I'll ever get Wally to like me, but I certainly am
enjoying this crush. When I catch him staring at me during 1st period
and during Study Hall - it sends me! (Grandma just called.) There's
something about him that really turns me on. Maybe something about his
can't stop this feeling
Deep inside of me
Boy you just don't realize
What you do to me
know I'm wasting precious time, just sitting here on my butt, listening
to the radio, but ... I can't get my mind off Wally (sigh)!! I
be using this time to clean my room, now an official disaster area.
& TERRI 4/MAYBE!
February 28, 1974
days have gone by, and here I am, still madly in love with him.
not doing me any good, mooning over him in the privacy of my own heart
... but I can't help it! I'm wasting time. Why don't I let him know?
Because I'm afraid he'll laugh, or he just won't even care, and that
would crush me.
Rob (Shelly's older brother) told me that John M., this junior guy at
my school that I have never even SPOKEN to in my whole life, has a
crush on me. Unbelievable. Plus - Mike Davidson called Shelly tonight
and told him that he's still in love with me. HOW DO I DO IT? Guys that
I couldn't care less about, or that I only consider friends, all fall
madly in love with me. And then here I am DYING of a crush on
unattainable guys like Wally.
spending the night at Shelly's tonight, by the way. It's 9:00 and no
one's home but her, me and her 2 little brothers. They're out in the
living room watching TV and eating cereal; Shel and me are in her room
listening to the radio. I'm sitting cross-legged on her bed, while she
is busily cleaning the shoes out of her closet.
Wally Wally Wally.
March 1, 1974
much to write, so much to tell ... how do I begin?
was a pretty neat day. I'm still "madly in love" with
Wally - we were really looking at each other a LOT in Study
Hall - BUT
during History today, Bill Loken, this super super SUPER cute guy, told
Colleen G. to tell me he likes me. Him and his friends (Ed Hruby and
B.) were watching me all period, and talking about me, so I already had
the impression that maybe Bill liked me. Then when they called Colleen
over and talked to her, and she came back and told me what they'd said,
I wasn't too surprised. BUT I DID THE DUMBEST THING! When she told me,
all I said was "So?" like I didn't even care. Probably because Mike W.
and Rick C. were sitting right there, and they're both good friends
with Wally. But I do care! I think it would be really neat to have Bill
for a boyfriend!
one problem ... I'm not sure if they were serious or not. They might
have only been kidding, to see what I would do. I hope not, but still.
is the end of this ledger --
the continuing adventures of Terri Vert,
read Ledger Nine!
My most frequent sayings: "Oh yah?" "Oh good." "GET EXCITED, man."
"Good, good." "How nice."
"A proverb a day keeps Satan away." Tom Horton