Strong essences may linger

Handwritten page of a diary dated April 28, 1987

they coulda just as well said no. I was a complete stranger wanting to go in their apartment and up to the cupola. Not the first time I’ve gotten what I wanted after someone hears I’m already a widow at my age. I told them my husband grew up in this house and used to sleep up there, and I wanted to see if I could get any sensation of him that might still be in that room.

I thought it was possible because once I got a tour of a Coast Guard ship that used to belong to Hitler. I stood in the state room where Hitler stayed when he was onboard. I tell you what, there are still creepy vibes floating around in there.

Same with the cupola, only in a good way. It was shabby. Just a torn-up overstuffed chair and a telescope. Gabe didn’t appear to me fully fleshed out like he would’ve if it was a TV show, but I could still kinda feel him up there so I stayed a good coupla hours. Almost forgot someone lived there till I smelled their dinner cooking. When I went down, they invited me to eat with them. I said no, they’d already been too kind, but they insisted on sending me away with a hot meat loaf sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie.


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Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Let’s go Gramma

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 4, 1970

Gramma let’s go. Gramma let’s go. If I said it once I said it 42 thousand times.

Gramma kept saying I’ll be right with ya.

I said Gramma I’m taking you for dinner at Howard Johnson’s. You luv their ice cream.

10 minutes later I told her the train was pulling out of the depot, which she used to say to me all the time. But she knew I wouldn’t leave without her on her birthday.

FINALLY she gets in the car, but we get there as they’re locking the door.

So she wants to go home and she ends up cooking her own birthday dinner for the 2 of us and she’s happy as can be. Old people are so


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Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

Radar Love

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 1, 1994

don’t get me wrong, I love R.E.M. — and their song “Sweetness Follows” is awesome. But dudes! Why did you do a cover of RADAR LOVE? How could you??????? You have a ton of primo songs. But “Radar Love” BELONGS TO Golden Earring, which I think is a Dutch group. And what other American hits are done by Dutch guys? OK, there was “Venus” by Shocking Blue, but the lead singer on that was a chick, very hot if I recall. I thought all Dutch chicks were good-looking blondes — but the Venus singer had dark, dark hair when I saw her. “Black as a dark night she was. Got what no one else had. She’s got it. Yeah baby she’s got it. Well, I’m your Venus I’m your …” I don’t know the rest of that line. I asked a bunch of different people what they think it is, and they all disagree. That’s one good thing about “Radar Love.” When they say “I been drivin’ all night my hand wet on the wheel” or “Radio’s playin’ some forgotten song, Brenda Lee’s comin’ on strong” you know what that Dutch guy is saying for SURE.


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Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

Monkey boy

Handwritten page of a diary dated July 7, 1987

at the park. Love seeing the kids with sparklers. There was one boy who was really good at spinning them, and I thought I had an excellent picture of the donut he was making.

BUT yesterday I went to pick up the pictures, and got all … freaked …  out — right beside that kid is a creepy image that wasn’t there at the park that night. A scary monkey boy. Now I know ghosts are real and I didn’t sleep a wink last night.


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Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

The road to Hatch

Handwritten page of a diary dated March 24, 2009

had to go to the bathroom and we hadn’t seen a rest stop for a long time, so she finally agreed to go behind a bush. She got back and saw the sign about the burros. She asked me if I’d seen the sign. She said ‘you let me wander around here when I might get BITTEN?’ Once she was safely in the car, she decided she wanted to see a burro, so she insisted we sit there. I said, ‘Uh, it’s getting a little hot in here’ but she said ‘don’t even think about opening a window.’ Then she didn’t say anything for a long time till she asked me why I didn’t get air conditioning in my car and then she said she didn’t think they should’ve capitalized the word highway on the sign. Then I asked her if we could get going and she said she didn’t think harass was the right spelling and that she was almost positive it should have two Rs AND two Ss. She said when we reached Hatch, we should find a library so we could look it up. Luckily she forgot about it after we saw the giant people on the roof at Sparky’s, which she’d been thinking about because someone told her it has the best hamburgers in the


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Published in: on September 7, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Little shorts

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 1, 1976

even when I was 8, I thought it was creepy that my shorts were so tight — but now when I see pictures of it I want to crawl under the table.

UNFORTUNATELY my mom decided to show one of those pics to Pauline since they were talking about my childhood and how lucky I was to have a horse. Now Pauline can’t stop laughing about the shorts. We’ll be somewhere, at the drive-in or watching Baretta or playing cards, and she’ll all of a sudden crack up and I know she’s thinking of that photo.

She even made up a song one night, something like “Back in school he did not play sports, but he did ride a horse wearing tight little shorts.”


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Published in: on September 4, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

Happy now?

Handwritten page of a diary dated May 24, 1977

got a letter from a customer in the mail today, and I’m just trying to decide whether to mail the reply I wrote back. I think it sounds good:

Dear Sir, We don’t give refunds. There’s a rather large sign on our cash register that says so.
Our art pieces are one-of-a-kind. Customers can see what they’re getting before they hand us their money. And I remember how excited you were with your sailor suited doll.
I am not exactly a big business here, rolling in money. And you spent an obscene amount of money mailing the doll back to me. However, your letter makes you sound particularly cranky, and I’m not exactly walking on sunshine this week. In order not to argue with you, I’m sending back your money. Happy now?

I just wrote him a check and put it in the envelope.

I just put a stamp on


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Published in: on September 3, 2010 at 4:30 am  Comments (1)  

Come as you are

Handwritten page of a diary dated September 16, 1989

and his parents were in town. Unexpectedly. Wanted to take us out to eat. Meet me for the first time.

What should we wear? He shrugged. He didn’t know, just wanted to leave right then. I was wearing jeans and flip-flops, but he was already in the car. Honking. Grabbed a beaded cardigan and some dressy flat shoes in case we went somewhere nice.

Somewhere nice? Understatement. I was mortified. Stood in the lobby freaking out. Took aside his mom. Offered to drive home and change. She said ‘not necessary.’ Said they’re not those kind of uptight people who care what others think. Said if she’s going to pay that much money for dinner, we can wear flannel pajamas and bunny slippers if we want to.

How much do I love her? Wow.


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Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Can’t stop diarying

Handwritten page of a diary dated October 11, 1994

I stood outside watching my apartment go up in flames. Everything except what I was wearing and the stuff I grabbed on my way out — my billfold and the old photo album and my favorite pillow — and for some reason, my giant fluffy alpaca rug, which was idiotic because it slowed me down on the emergency stairway. Half an hour later I remembered my journal. Almost 10 years. 3,650 days. Ashes.

Then and there I decided I’d never journal again.

But, as anyone knows who’s ever tried to stop smoking, or drinking Dr Pepper, or watching TV — habits are hard to break.


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Published in: on September 1, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment