Dear Diary

Sunday, December 6, 2009 | 0 Comment(s)

As I'm heading towards this blogs 2 month anniversary (I'm apparently in a middle school romance with my blog), I am unbelievably surprised at how much I have managed to write in this span of time.  Perhaps what makes it most incredible is how it compares to my previous sojourns into journaling.   I have, to this point in time, had two "hard-copy" journals in my life.  The first, I got from my mother as a gift on May 25th, 1989 (i was 10).  I believe the impetus for the gift was that mom found me writing down some ideas on pieces of scrap paper, and she felt i should have a more formal depository for my inner monologue (this is, gasp, pre-internet [typing that makes me actively feel like a dinosaur]).  Here's where it gets good.  I completed this first diary on September 11, 2001 (does that ring any bells?).  I have since begun a second diary which, fittingly, is still in its early stages.  For this entry, I'd like to focus on diary #1 (pictured sitting on my computer--it's both explanatory and a metaphor. Deep.)

Here is the breakdown of entries by year.

1989 - 6 entries
1990 - 1 entry
1991 - 2 entries
1992 - 3 entries
1995 - 2 entries
1996 - 3 entries
1998 - 2 entries
1999 - a bunch of entries (25+)
2000 - 6 entries
2001 - 2 entries

And now, the breakdown by content.

The first few years' entries, chronicling the battle which is elementary school are my favorite.  The diary begins on the eve of my brother's Bar Mitzvah and I am pretty obviously trying to come to grips with what seems like much ado about nothing.  I am reprinting (for the first time), the first entry from this first journal.  I will not be adding "sic" around spelling and grammar mistakes for two reasons.  One, I respect the author too much (how i miss 10-yr-old me).  And two, you should assume the whole thing is [sic] or perhaps, looked at from a different point of view, entirely healthy.  All parentheticals, (barring the one dealing with bird poop) are added by 31-yr-old me.  The fact that there is a parenthetical added by 10-yr-old me cements the idea of my early genius, long standing writing style, and general inability to not interrupt even myself.


THUR.  5-25  1989
Dear Diary,
     Today I got this Dairy (yes after spelling diary correctly one line earlier, i went with a more lactose friendly spelling in the very next line), I also got a timex watch.  I am a little nervise about the Bar.  I can't wait for my bar-mitzvah so I can get some more presents (you can't say i didn't understand what 'becoming a man' was about).  Brain (I am not sure if this is a misspelling of my brother, Brian's, name, or if I was using my derogatory nickname about what a dork he was.  Lost to the mystery of time) was fairly nice to me today. My Mom and Dad clean the house and the cars (Even though a bird pooped on dad car at Subway.)  The picture taker had a good sence of homur.  School was O.K.  Miss Belata (a student teacher who was helping out in my elementary class) was as normal, stupid.  tomorow we are haveing a goodby party for Miss Belata.  Thank God.  I have 45 weaples all over my bedbar and clock (weaples were those fuzzy balls of fur with googly eyes and sticky feet--if you recall).  All is well for now.  Love, Matt    
Is God real?!?!?!
(i liked to end my entries with an open question to think about.  neurotic much?)

This is the structure of most of the early entries.  Current events.  Family/friend update.  A list of the girls i may or may not like.  Usually a string of swear words used to show that this is MY diary (and, gulp, often used in connection to how i felt my brother was treating me.  e.g. "Brian is a fucken shit face and his ass is too big to fuck.  Just a joke.")(love you bro),  then a concluding summary statement, e.g. "I finished a report on orangutans today by making a bibl. (short for bibliography? [which i knew i had no hope of spelling correctly.]) I hope I get an A-A+ (already aiming low)."  And then, again, ending with open questions: "When will the sun blow up? (10-yr-old parenthetical-I really don't want to know.)" "Who started cartoons?" "What is beyond the universe."

As we move into the middle of the diary, we see most entries beginning with long synopsis of all that was missed previously.  Usually just enough to give context for the entry to come, as it is hard to fully cover a year or two of experience in a page or two.  Then they continued with about 5 pages of whatever particular problem was rattling around in my mind.

Then.  The later pages (and some of the earlier pages) all seem to deal with tragedies.  At this point I retreated to my diary when things in the world were too difficult for me to grasp in my head alone.   The first of these, sadly, was in 1989, when one of my brother's classmates and friend of mine (from hebrew school) died in a car crash at age 13.  This trend of venting over deaths, failed tests (ok, one failed test), and general badness makes the fact that Sept. 11th was the final entry seem more fitting.  Additionally, the outburst of entries in 1999 coincided with an extremely unhealthy relationship i got myself into while studying abroad.  I will say that those entries are the most painful to reread.  But man, lessons learned and mistakes that will not be made again.  Glad I wrote it down so i wouldn't forget it.

An excerpt from the last entry on Sept 11th.  "We (my roommates and I, now living in Brooklyn at the time of the attack) walked to the Brooklyn Heights promenade (which looks across the river to Manhattan) to look at the city view.  Hundreds and what must have been many more, just standing, starring, taking pictures--not of something--but of the nothing.  The missing-ness of the statues which they all thought were an immovable part of their city's skyline."

This journal concludes "the growing that has taken place within (this journal) is immense.  This is much of the sad chapters of a happy life story which I hope and im sure, will have many more story-lines to come."  This blog is one of those story-lines, and this time, it's including the happy chapters as well.

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