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a chronicle of obsessions | by romanlily
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a chronicle of obsessions

After 12 years of serious journal-keeping, I have accumulated a huge stack of paper, and quite a chronicle of obsessions. Below, a few excerpts.


Every once in a while a fantastic tiny little victory will come along for which I must be grateful. A tiny victory so small it requires magnification under a lens in order to be understood. This is it: he called tonight, and I didn't talk to him. — 1992


We went this weekend to Little River Canyon and hiked... I looked over the cliff into the white water splashing down below. Owen held both my hands behind my back (this was to brace me as I gazed down into the abyss). Later that night I dreamt of slipping over the edge, falling a merciless distance to the rocks below. — 1993


Every night I come in late and light the candles and play opera music loud in my second-story bedroom. Is that wrong? Now after he kept me up all night I will see him a week from tomorrow. I count down the days like an idiot. — 1994


A million things to remember a million things to whisper in your ear. The cowbell wind chimes next door. Ugh it's so very Jack Kerouac. Empty Old Milwaukee cans as ashtrays. I wanted to go back before the ugly statistic of AM radio wrecked the tranquility, back before the no-color sky brightened the room dismally. I wanted to go back to my wrists on the mattress looking straight up and not knowing what to do, not knowing how my face should behave, back to the sweet tender time when I kissed his face gently again and again telling him I'd take care of him. — 1995


My pain multiplied by his. It's like letting all your weight go as you walk into the sea. You don't realize how much you've invested until you get out of it and your clothes waterlogged weigh eight thousand pounds and you're trudging through sand. — 1996


The dresses in the department stores have already wilted. For two blissed-out weeks in March they danced across the racks in clouds of organza, tulle, silk. Shades from mother-of-pearl, all soft oyster and pink and butter yellow. A tickle of green. And now it's not even June and the tones have all deepened, slipped into stains. Heather has decayed to violet and pink has bled to red. All sober and practical. Whimsy won't get you far. — 1997


Am I being too idealistic? in a word, yes. So I have found the one to take all my crooked treasures. Yes, he cherishes them. So do you ever really know? Well, okay, but doesn't it seem like you should? After all, this is once in a lifetime. At the same time — I have a fear of intimacy. I have a terrible fear of waking up one day and having nothing to say to the person beside me. — 1998


It is hard finding time to write. It's not like before when I had little pockets of time all over in which I could pick up the pen, jot a thought, write a brilliant statement. Life is a shabby flurry of missed phone calls, grocery receipts, thank you notes, dust bunnies, dirty socks, wedding magazines, smiles, sighs, anticipation. — 1999


I was walking through the Farmer's Market alone again tonight (picking up onions, carrots, red peppers, cheese, apples...). I realized that I miss B. I miss being able to go out on our weird semi-romantic dates together or our weird tragic picnics. I miss the sheer physical presence of him. And the fact that while he was sullen, he was never quiet about it. I miss the easy senseless chatter that led nowhere, the meandering dialogue. — 2000


This is very much is very much the same thing that I have been thinking about in regards to leaving East Lake — that it is sucking away the bright seed in the middle of me that made room for whimsy and 'magic' and idiosynchrasies and wildness. And this is all pretty hard to talk about because I feel like it's all very much underwater, a submerged thing, a slippery fish with reflective scales that dazzle. — 2001


I drove up late after work by myself. Friday night is a good one for driving; the radio plays all manner of silly songs and the highways are uncluttered. The tin ashtrays in this Waffle House remind me of the ones they used to have in McDonalds, before smoking in McDonalds was outlawed. I'm glad there's no one here to see me smoking (this fresh pack of Marlboros is entirely ridiculous for a girl like me to be carrying. Girls with my haircut do not smoke, especially not Marlboro Reds). — 2002


Redemption at midnight with L. I arrived to the club alone late last night — came through the chill with my hands shoved in my pockets, looking like one of the boys with cargo pants and a white shirt with sleeves rolled up halfway. And R. was outside the club with T. and P. and some other boys — and there was L. too, wearing a dark brown suede jacket, smoking a Hemingway Short Story. — 2003


Oh the dreams I've been having lately! Last night's was deeply disturbing but also somehow encouraging. In the dream I died. I really died. I died and then I watched myself exit the body. I changed forms in an instant from this dying, struggling person to a fully living person who was now responsible for the custody of this body (I covered my own former body respectfully with a coverlet, but I could still see the graceful curve of my neck, my hair gently spread behind my head.) I had to make arrangements with the airlines to get the body back home so that I could give it a decent burial. — 2004


Tim left the room where we were talking to go join the crowds at the goingaway party, and he sent his dog Don in to take care of me. And Don and I hung out in the little bedroom and I sat next to him on the floor and petted him and cried and told him that he was a very good dog and that he was going to be okay. He just let me pet him and he beat his tail against the floor. — 2005

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Taken on February 3, 2005