I am reading David Sedaris’s book, Theft by Finding right now. It’s comprised of little snippets of his diary between 1977-2002 and per usual, it’s hilarious. And it’s also filling me with envy. I wish I journaled more when I was younger or even kept more of what I did write. So many things got lost or tossed in one of the moves, or lingered too long at my Dad’s house only to be jettisoned with my Huffy bike and Legos.
I can remember a poem that I wrote about unrequited love as a teen. I must have been especially proud of it since I rewrote it in calligraphy and taped it to my bedroom wall. I cried a dozen times reciting that poem, re-opening old wounds and conjuring the heartache and rejection again and again.
As I recall, the boy looked like a more muscular Andrew McCarthy and wore pink Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, argyle sweater vests, and chinos. He also drove a red MG convertible (aka the poor man’s Alfa Romeo Spyder) which further fueled my fascination. His whole persona was a stark contrast from the flannel shirts, 501s and Toyota lowriders that were de rigueur in Coos Bay, Oregon. He, like me, didn’t quite fit in, and I was drawn to people who stood out too. After meeting him at an all-ages club, my fourteen-year-old self quickly proclaimed that it was meant to be – two fish out of water in a small hick town.
It was a fleeting romance – just a few short weeks – that ended in tears (mine, obviously) . I get giddy just thinking about it. The infatuation spawned about half a dozen mediocre poems and one gloriously awful one that I felt necessary to tape to my wall. Oh, there’s so much beauty in the intensity of young women, however misguided.
What I wouldn’t do to read that poem right now. I do love to revel in my own embarrassment. There’s no better reminder that you’ve lived and taken chances, than when you mine your own failures and heartbreaks. It’s life-affirming when you realize that everything will, eventually, work itself out.
Thinking of you all this Saturday morning and hope that you have a lovely weekend.
What was on repeat in 1986: