Monday, October 09, 2006


May 2005 feels like a very long time ago.

That was the month I started Real '80s Diary as a reaction to an increasing feeling of depression I'd been experiencing for a couple years. (Read my first entry to this blog for further explanation.)

Bottom came on May 1 of that year, when my then-latest minor relationship came to an abrupt end, leaving me, again, wondering about the way I'd been living my life, and what my future might hold.

Things are a lot different for me now.

The second week of May 2005 marked the beginning of my efforts to turn things around with my first visit to a mental health counselor. Anti-depressant medication came soon after (it continues as of this writing), as my weekly counseling visits turned into semi-monthly meetings. In the fall of 2005, I felt the benefits of meeting with my counselor had dwindled, and I decided to stop regular appointments, knowing she'd be there if I felt a need to return.

So far, I haven't felt the need.

Later that fall, I met Naomi (not her real name), a wonderful woman who I continue to see now. I'm nearly 40 years old now. She's the first woman I've considered the possibility of living with and entering into a life-long relationship.

Real '80s Diary has served two purposes for me: On a purely practical level, it allowed me to put into digital form an important collection of my writings that previously existed only as hardcopy. It also gave me a introspective and thought-provoking activity to occupy my time as I was going through one of the tougher spots in my life.

I don't mean to imply there's been any "happy ending" here. I'm mature enough to know that life's circumstances can turn on a dime — usually when you least expect it. I know my life will continue to have its ups and downs. But, in a way, this project represents for me one of the early steps I took in changing my life for the better. And for that reason — not to mention the fact that, on its surface, this diary represents a year and a half of my life as a teenager, a time in most people's lives that always seems significant — I'll continue to have sentimental feelings for it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

This is where it ends

cameron w/pizza box
The final entry to my 1984/85 diary ends with this, the only entry I wrote after arriving as a freshman at Middletown College in the fall of 1985.

My feelings toward college were pretty complex, I think, looking back at it now. And the things I found novel or noteworthy (pizza delivered to your door ... free!) are mostly comical viewed 20 years later. (The photo of me supposedly on the phone with Dominos was taken by Peter freshmen year in our dorm room.)

And, as this entry ends my actual 1984/85 diary, it also ends this blog project. I started "Real '80s Diary" on May 30, 2005. It was an attempt to digitize a hardcopy document I wanted to be able to back up in the event of fire or other disaster, as well as a way for me to reflect a little on my past to help me determine what my future might hold.

I'll be back with a coda containing some more thoughts on this whole blog process in a final, final entry.

Saturday, Sept. 14, 1985
3:15-4:17 Pm

Well, this is really going to be hard. I really shouldn't have waited so long before writing, because now I could write an entire book, but I haven't got the time to.

The ride up ... wait. I guess I should back up a bit, huh? I did go to the movies with Paul that evening, of the 23rd. We saw "Real Genius." After that I went to say good-bye to Marie.

From what I can remember, which is just about everything, I got there, and I talked with her Mom for a while, while she was still geting ready. Then she was ready, and her Dad let us take the Vette, and we drove down to "Sky Gate." After that we went to the creemee stand, and had a creemee. Then I drove her home.

When we got back I can't remember everything, but I think we went downstairs, and we ... well ... did the same thing that we've been doing for a while now. Soonafter it was time for me to leave.

Finally we got out to the car, and we stopped at the door and just held each other for a long time, and I think I was the first one to start to cry. Like I said, we held each other for a long time, and then I got, into the car, and we finally said good-bye. Before that I told her to watch who she hung around with, and where she hung-around, and I think she knew what I meant, and she told me the same thing. Then I drove off and I think she flashed the lights of the house, and I tooted my horn. On the way home I cried hard.

The next morning we left, and the drive up wasn't as bad as I had remembered. It took about seven hours, and I did about an hour's worth of it.

We got here, and stayed the night in a motel. Marie had given me a letter for me to read my first night away from home, so I did. I guess I'll start a knew appendix for the diary and call them the B's. So B-1 is that letter. She also gave me her love-knot that she had gotten while we were shopping one day. I keep it in my wallet, along with a Bill's Gulf business card.

Well, I was really nervous the day I moved in, so nervous I found it hard to eat. Once I got here it got a little better. I had orientation meetings the first day, and the next. The first day I was the only one on my floor except for Jack, who's the RA. So that evening I walked into his room, since it was open, and we talekd a bit, and then went upstairs to talk to some other people and their RA. It was all really hard to do. The next day I had more orientation stuff, and Peter arived. I'll tell you, I think I lucked out with my roomate. Our room is a triple, but there are only me and him in it. Everybody has said that we're going to get another person, but it hasn't happened. So the room is plenty large for the two of us. Peter is really a lot like me. He's very clean-cut, very neat, polite, he has a girlfriend back home he's going to try and stay with, and above all he doesn't party or even drink. Judging from the rest of the people I've met here, that's pretty rare, and I reaaly feel good that I got him. From the point in time that I saw him, when I came into the room, and found him and his father unpacking, I knew we were going to get along. And we do. And now I hear that they're detripling rooms, which must mean that we're home free with the two of us in this triple room.

The day the upper classmen arrived, they'd just walk in our room, if the door was open, and introduce themselves, and it made me feel kind of welcome. In actuality though, I'm not all that close with the rest of the people on the floor. A large majority of them are freshman and sophomores, and it seems like all of them are here to party and have wild sex.

I choose my classes I think the second day. I have five; two of them are communications courses: Intro to Broadcast Production and Intro to Mass Media. The first is really fun, because it's a hards-on class, with like, no outside the class work. Naturally it's pretty fun. For the first five weeks we're doing audio, and then for the remeinder we're doing video. By the end of the class I should be able to run anything in a radio or TV studio. Already I can do pretty much everything required to DJ, or "jox" as they say here, a radio show.

The other is a lecture class, dealing with theory.

The other two classes, or three rather, are a math course, a computer course, and an accounting course, none of which excite me too much.

The work here isn't all that hard, yet. A lot of reading, and weekly quizes in a lot of classes, but none of it seems too hard. It's kind of freaking me out, because you always here how hard college work is than high school.

I did well in my placement test for English so that I don't have to take an English course, until second semester. That relieved me a bit.

This isn't to say that I haven't got a lot to do. The radio and TV stuff takes a lot of time. A letter that I wrote to Sam tells just about everything so I'll let that do the explaining, with a few updates. I didn't make it onto the comedy show, "What the Heck?" That kind of put me down; it's been a while since I tried-out for something and didn't make it.

I did the try-out for "The Twilight Zone," but I felt really lousy afterwards. I didn't really think about the audition until I got in the room, and I think it showed on the tape. I did really lousy, and I don't think I've really got a chance. I'll know Tuesday. I'd really love to do it, AND it's frustrating to think that I can't get-in on it.

Also, I did me second intern on Thursday the 12th, from 10 pm to 1 am. It was a lot of fun. I didn't do all of the engineering, but some of it. The guy I interned with was really cool, and said that I was here with him over the air. In fact, he did it several times.

During one of his weathercasts, some idiot screamed a very loud grotesque scream out in the hall. I was also on the headphones, and I heard it over the headphones! I started to laugh, and so did Mike (the jock), but he kept his head. Then he kind of ad-libbed around that a little. Later, when things were getting dull, I went out into the hall and screamed again, during his weathercast, and he played off it again. Then at the end of the broadcast we sang the national athem over the air. All in all, it was a blast.

Peter was listening back at the room, and he said he heard the part when the person screamed, and then he heard me laughing in the back ground.

Tuesday I have an appointment to make my audition tape. I'm going in after the station is off the air from 1 Am to 2Am, and making my tape. We just have to DJ for an hour, and tape all of our talk sessions, and eryt, rather "every", segue, or when one song goes into another. I think I can do it without problem. I hope I can get my own shift. It would be for a three-hour period, on one day of the week, Tuesdays at 10 pm to 1 am, for example. They say that everybody will be on by Christmas, at the latest.

I guess I chouls or rather "should" (excuse this terrible typing) explain how Peter was listening back at the room, if I told you that we couldn't even get the station in our room. I had our TV hitched-up to cable, because without it we can't get anything! Well, we had the choice of also hitching it up to our stereo, and paying another $2.50 a month. We didn't think we needed it; that was before we found we couldn't get CIV. You see, CIV is also on the cable at 107.1 FM. So what Peter and me have done, is to get a cable for speaker extensions, and we fooled around with the cable from our TV so that we have a lead coming off, and around the room, to the stereo. We get CIV perfect! I mean there is no fuzz at all! It's really great, not to mention illegal. But when the time comes for them to deinstall the TV, we can put it back so they can't tell we ever did it. We also get MTV on the TV, and now we can get it in stereo on the stereo. We can also get the police band, so we can hear what's up when we hear a siren outside.

We also had our phone installed. I brought our old white phone, but the ends didn't match the jack we had in the room. So we found a very cheap model in the bookstore, which works fine, for only $9.95. We got that, and it's really nice to have a phone in the room. Like I said, we also have TV cable, and now, stereo cable. Peter also brought a fridge, so we keep soda, milk, juice and stuff in there.

I can't believe this!! In the distance I can hear somebody's stereo. In the past few minutes, they've played Depeche Mode, the Talking Heads, and now Devo!! I've got to meet this person!

Anyway, I think that's about it. By the way, the letter to Sam is B-2. Alas, I got screwed out of my news shift on VIC. I guess someone can back for another year, which meant that I got bumped out of my shift. I was really mad when I first learned of it, but now I don't care much, with jock training and all.

I don't have any early classes, my first is 11 Am on some days and noon on others. That's good, because I usually don't get to sleep until about 12 midnight. It all balances out, I stil get about eight hours of sleep, it's just that I'm up later in the morning, and later at night.

Peter has class in the morning, but I think his earliest is 10 Am, so that's not too bad. I usually get up about an hour or two earlier than I have to anyway to study.

I've been writing to Marie about once a week, and we talk for at least a half of an hour on Saturday. We alternate, by me calling her one week, and then he calling me. I also write to my parents, and we talk on the weekend, also I got a letter from Aaron befoe he left for college, and I wrote him back. I also got Benji's address from Marie, so I dropped him a line. I also dropped Libby a line to send her the theater season and I also wrote to Sam. I got back from Libby, and she was really excited about hearing from me. Marie said she spazed when she got the letter. Marie's trying to come-up and see me sometime. Now Libby wants to take a few drama club kids to come up and see a show at Middletown! I really hope they do. If they do, naturally, Marie will be one of the people that comes. If not, Marie's trying to get her mom to drive her up, maybe on parents' weekend, or someother weekend. Or maybe she'll just fly Marie down. I think that probably one way or another, she'll get up here.

There's a football game today, the first of the season, and everybody's there, except me and few others. Our team is rated fourth in our division, and sports is a big thing around here. Peter has gone to see it with some people from the floor.

About four days ago it was so hot you couldn't stand it. Then it turned cold so cold you couldn't go outside without a coat. Today it's really sunny, and about 60 degrees, I'd guess. I haven't gone outside yet. I got up and showered, and then did my laundry for the week.

Food here is okay; it's the lines and crowds I hate.

We order pizza to be delivered free to our door a lot of the time. Usuually in the evening.

Peter's musical taste is pretty MOR, which I can deal with. I think some of my Talking Heads and Devo is probably too much for him, but he never complains.

We've gone downtown twice, me and him, since we've been here. Buses come to the campus every hour and half hour, so it's really no problem. It only costs 33 and a third cents, too. Last weekend we went to a movie which the Student Activities Board put-on. They're not really current movies, but pretty good for a dollar. We saw "Desparately Seeking Susan" last week, and I think we're going to catch the "Summer of '42" on Sunday.

Peter's kind of into sports, baseball the most. His side of the room has a couple of Tom Seaver posters up on it and a New England Patriots poster up. My side has a Devo poster in front of my desk and a SAB poster telling all the movies this semester. It also has the drawing Marie gave me for grduation and a "Mattress" poster up. I also have my calender and another little poster up and a sign that my dad got for a job is also up. I also put up a Dirt Bag banner Benji made me, Aaron and himself, and we've been colecting funny photos from mags and what have you to put on our montage wall.

I guess I could go on forever, but I should do some work. So I'll try and write sometime soon, but I don't know how often. So, until then ...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Don't talk about me when I'm gone

I give some details about my final night at home and saying good-bye to Marie in the next, and final, entry to this, my actual 1985 diary.

For now, I'll just mention how strange it is for me to remember that I spent part of my last evening at home before leaving for college for the first time with Paul, better known to the guys as "Pringles."

It's just that he and I didn't stay very close after school finished, so reading about our movie plans for my final night home comes off a little odd to me now.

Friday, Aug. 23, 1985
1:02-1:38 Pm

Well, time's running out, if I want to write one more entry before I leave for Middletown, so here it is.

I can't remember, like usual, everything that's happened in the past two weeks, or so. Last Saturday, I believe, Benji, Larry, Aaron and myself got together, and saw "The Return of the Living Dead" at Bridgton. First we met at ABEP, then Larry went to pick up Judy. Benji, Aaron and myself went to P&C in Aaron's car, to see if we could catch Sammy Manners, before he went in to work at P&C. It seems a few nights bfore, Manners and Aaron and Benji had an egg fight, and Aaron was hot for revenge. We drove in and we driving back out when he happened to be driving in. Aaron and him drove head-on to each other and stopped inches from their bumpers. Then, by chance I think, Larry drove in and touched bumpers with Manner's back bumper. He was trapped! It was pretty funny. Aaron and Manners had a few words, and then Larry backed-up when Sammy threatened him with a can of shaving-cream.

After that we went to Sky Gate for a while, and then to the movie. At the movie we met Mike Miller and Jack Kramer, two other people that were with Sammy when the egg fight occurred. We met them again at McDonald's, and by chance Sammy drove in. Aaron and him had another exchange of words, even less friendly than before. Then we drove off and went to Juan's and had a snack.

Then Aaron drove Benji and I back to our cars, which we parked at ABEP. When we got there Kramer, Miller and Manners were inside ABEP. Benji and I went and got into our cars, and we all took off. They got into their car and followed Benji and I up Hospital Hill. They pulled parallel to me and asked me where Aaron was. I said he'd gone home.

Later, Benji and I stopped at his house (Benji's) and had a laugh over the evening.

Next thing I can remember is going to Pinard, NY, with Marie and her mom on Wednesday. We left around 9:45 Am and spent the day clothes shopping for Marie. It wasn't as boring as you might think.

Once we got home, we went here and got freshened up a bit, and then went to watch the rest of Maynard City Band. After the concert we went up to say good-bye to Benji, since he left the next day. Paul and Ted Rodriguez were there, too. We talked for probably a good hour, and then Marie and I went in Benji's car to Bridgton, so he could say good-bye to Liza Polanski and get a present from Julie, which she left in her mailbox for him.

We got at Liza's and Marie and myself stayed in the car. After about an hour, we were getting fed-up. I mean, he had said that he had to say good-bye to her, not live with her. So Marie and I went insde to see what was taking so long. Marie was less than friendly, and she really embarrassed me by the pushy way she acted. On our way back out to the car, I told her she had embarrassed me. I got into the front seat of the car, and set my elbow up on the open window "sill" and held onto the section between the front and back windows, which were both open. Only, I must has put my hand up there after Marie had opened the back door to get in, so that my hand could get into the crack of the door. Marie got inside and must have locked the door, before slamming, because when I screamed for her to open the door, several times in rapid succession, she replied, "I can't!" I reached around with my other hand and unlocked the door for her, and finally she got it open. I pulled out my hand and was relieved to find all of my fingers, only three of them had very deep dents in them, and needless to say, they hurt like three mother-fuckers. I ran inside and got some ice for them.

Then Benji drove us back ... but wait. When I came back from going inside to get the ice, Marie had left the car, and was nowhere in sight. All of us looked around for her and finally she was coming back. Benji drove us home, or rather, to my car, in Maynard. We said good-bye to Benji, until December, and then we got ito our car. Marie had taken my sweatshirt I had loaned her off and I asked her why she did it, when I knew that she had been real cold earlier that night. She started to cry and said that she felt so terrible for acting the way she did, and then hurting me that she had taken it off.

Well, I brought her home and we showed her mom my thumb, which by now was the only finger which looked very bad. I went home and went to bed.

Now it's still a little swollen and hurts a little, but it looks like it's going to be okay. Right now I can't feel part of it, but I think that's because of a pinched nerve, and I hope the feeling will come back.

It was kind of sad to say good-bye to Benji. He should have gotten to Nebraska somewhere late yesterday afternoon, and my mother had talked to his mother and I guess he had had it okay, except for his baggage.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and registered for the draft and then picked-up my last paycheck at P&C. Then I came back home and mowed the lawn. Later that evening I brought Marie out for pizza, around 9:00 Pm, after her field hockey practice. Then we went back to her house, and I stayed a little while and then left.

Well, this is it I guess. This afternoon I'm going to finish packing, and then Paul mentioned going to see a movie with me with evening. After that I'm going to go over to Marie's and we're maybe going to go have a creemee, and then we're going to say good-bye, for a while at least.

We finally had a little talk about what we expect of each other while we're away from each other. I told her I didn't expect her not to see other guys for the rest of high school, and she said that if I found someone I liked better than her, that she'd understadnd. So I guess the understanding is that we can see other people, but if both of us are happy seeing each other, we'll keep it going.

All I've got to pack now are my clothes and a few other small things, like this diary. I don't know how much time I'm going to have to write in it at Middletown, but I figure it can't be any less than I've done this summer! It's really hard to believe that tommorrow I'll be on my way, and that Sunday, after I've got my stuff moved in, my parents will be going back home, and I'm going to be left 225 miles from home, not knowing one person at all. It really scares me.

I found out where I'm living and my roomate. I'm living in the Evans Hall. Evans was my first choice. As far as I can figure, I'm on the 10th floor. The evening I found out my roommate, Peter Milton, he gave me a call. I guess he had called info and gotten my number. Anyway, we talked about 20 minutes, first about stuff we needed to figure out, like who's going to bring the stereo. We decided to have our personal phone insalled in our room. It's going to cost each of us about $122 for the school year, and then extra for each long-D call and each local call. We're going to use our old white phone. It makes me feel a little better, to think that I'm going to always have a line back home, even if I'm going to have to pay a lot for it.

Then we talked about where we come from and what we're going to be doing at Middletown. He went to summer orientation, so he'll get there a day later then me. All and all, he sounded like a pretty okay guy, and I hope we'll be able to get together.

Well, I think that's it. I better start to finish my packing, and what have you. I'll write sometime at Middletown, so until then (gulp) ...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Corvette summer

Marie's father's 1978 Corvette, mentioned in this, the 26th entry to my actual 1985 diary, was one of many lasting memories I have of our times together.

Her father, I'll call him "Dave" here, was a somewhat stoic man. Grumpy might be a better word for it. While the woman he chose to marry was an outgoing, amicable person — Marie's mother was the first older woman I ever found myself attracted to, albeit, probably because she reminded me of her daughter — Dave rarely had a word to say. And when he said it, it rarely sounded happy about it.

But he did have impeccible taste in cars.

Marie was too young to drive when we were together, so the occasions when we were granted permission to take the Vette, I always occupied the driver's seat.

While the car was a treat to look at — and I'll always remember it fondly — I gotta admit a lawn tractor gave a smoother ride.

Sunday, Aug. 11, 1985

2:25-3:01 Pm

Well, it's been practically another whole month, so I guess it's time I did some more wriitng. It's just that I've been so busy, I haven't had the time. When I'm not at work, I've been over to Marie's camp or doing something else.

Well, I'm not even going to try and account for what's happened since the last time I wrote. First really big thing I can remember in the past was when me and Marie went to Lawrence in the Vette. I beleive that was July 30, a Tuesday. We went up in the afternoon and went to Hotkins and walked around a bit there. We had stopped at a P&C store to ask for directions at a restaurant Marie's dad recommended, and we couldn't find. Since we were stopped in Hotkins, we decided to walk around a bit. We did, and stopped in the lobby of their auditorium and looked at the art work, and what have you.

Then we walked back to the car, to find that we had locked it and couldn't figure out how to get back in. We tried both of the keys, but neither of them seemed to work. Marie went inside to try and call her dad to find out, what we were doing wrong, while I went outside to try some more. Finally I got the thing to open, only after I got a lot of suspicious looks from people probably thinking that I was trying to break into the car. Anyway, Marie couldn't get the phone to work anyway, so that was okay. Finally, we found the restaurant, and had a nice meal. Afterwards, we called Aaron from a phone booth in the restarant, to ask if it was okay if we dropped by for a visit. He had something to do that night, so we didn't go over. Instead we drove home and went to see a movie in Bridgton: "Back to the Future." We kind of had to hurry home to make it, going about 70 mph on the cruise control. Then we stopped by my house to freshen up a bit, and then we went to the movie.

The next day, wait a minute. That night Marie spent the night here, because nobody was home at her house, and her mom wouldn't let her stay home in the house alone. After the movie we switched cars at her house, and then came here, after we stopped in a parking place a little before my house and did some serious fooling around.

Anyway, we got home and went to bed, she slept in my sister's room. In the morning, Nana came over, because my mother had the week off, and was going to go to Dawson that day. Me and Marie were going to go, too, but didn't when we found out that my grandmother was going.

Instead we did some errands and what have you, downtown in the Vette, and then cam back here to cook a cheesecake. We ended up not having enough stuff so we put it off, and watched TV instead.

Then I had to bring her home so she could go back out to camp with her dad that evening, and then I came home.

Next thing I can remember is Saturday the 3rd which was my birthday. It was also the day that Marie had planed on having Aaron, Benji and Chris out to camp. Chris couldn't make it, but Aaron and Benji did. They arrived about an hour after I did.

We tubed and then tried to ski, and got up after about five tries. Then her parents left to go out to eat, and we made ourselves burgers. Then she gave me a cake, and they sang happy birthday, and we ate it. After we went out in the boat and drove around a bit. Then Aaron and Benji left and I think me and Marie watched a movie.

That time I stayed out until Monday, I think. I worked Tuesday morning, so I left Monday evening.

I worked all this past week in frozen, which isn't as bad as bagging. Friday after noon I got out at 2:00 Pm, and then I drove out to Gravely. Marie pulled me and Mike tubing in the early evening, and then we went back in. I left around 9:20 Pm, because I had to work at 7:00 Am in the morning.

I got out at noon on Saturday, so I drove out again and stayed over until noon on Sunday. I don't have to work until 7:00 Pm tonight, but today is there last day out at camp, and they had to pack and what have you. Yesterday Marie pulled me and Greg Petri tubing and I hit a large wave and we up and hit my knee against my jaw, slamming me teeth together and biting my lip, causing it to split.

I thought it might need stitches, but didn't want them, so I just put ice on it and it was okay. It has split it open, but not too bad. That kind of put a damper on the afternoon, so eventually the rest of the people left back to their own camps.

Later that evening we pulled some othe kids tubing, and then me and Marie went back to her camp to have supper. Then we played a game of cards, or two, and then went to bed.

This morning we tried to go tubing again, but one of the tubes needed air, and try as me and Marie tried to get a pump to fill it up, we couldn't. And by the time we got back to the Petri's camp, it was raining, so we drove home. By that time it was noon, and her mom said that I had to leave by noon so they could pack, so I did.

I think that's about all of the important things that I've done in the past. The talent show at Daley was cancelled, so we couldn't even do our Dirt Bag routine.

Right now the only thing I can think about is going away to Middletown. It's just one of those things that I've known all along was at the end of this summer waiting for me, and there's just nothing I can do about it. Just simply, it scares me. I don't know if I'll be able to be happy without Marie, and without knowing if she still cares about me. When I think to the time that I'm going to have to say good-bye to her, it seems too unreal, and yet I know that in two weeks it will be done.

They've got me working every day from now until Friday, which is my last day. They've hade a few people quit on them, so they're hard up for help. It seems that nearly every day that I work, they ask me to stay late, but I've said no. They've also called me up a few times, but I've never gone in. Tonight and Monday night I bag, but the rest of the days is frozen. On the one hand I can't wait for work to get out, but on the other, after it gets out, I've only got one more week.

On Sunday the 18th me and Marie are going to see "Once Upon a Mattress" put-on in Collinsville by a professional group. I'm really excited to go and see it. We had also planned on going horseback riding and to a water-slide before the summer was over, but I think we'll be lucky just to do one of those things.

I had my hair cut a few days ago. I wanted something I little more in style, so I had it cut over my ears and really short on the sides and back. I kind of wanted it to stand-up a little on the top, but it doesn't too much. It is shorter, though, on the top.

Well, guess that's abou it for now. I'll try and write before I leave, and then I'm planning on taking this diary with me to Middletown, so I can continue it. I just wish I had a crystal ball to look into the future and see if I'll be happy, and if me and Marie stay together. I guess this diary will make for some good reading when this situation unfolds. Until later.

Appendix update: A-65 is my graduation card from Marie that I hid away and forgot to put in my diary; A-66 is a letter from Julie; A-67 is a letter from Bill back in the St E Center and apparently doing pretty well; A-68 is my birthday card from Marie. She also gave me a Lake Gravely sweatshirt. My parents are giving me a new watch, but I have to get around to picking it out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The home stretch

I've rarely been able to identify how good things have truly been during my life, until the moment has passed.

The summer of 1985 — the summer I spent mostly with my first girlfriend, Marie, between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college — was one of those rare times when I did know.

I still remember the notion coming to me one afternoon while I stood near the doorway to Marie's camp on Lake Gaines.

I remember the layout of the room only vaguely now, like you might remember a foggy dream. I recall where I was standing, but not who was with me, what I had been doing immediately before, or where I was headed next and what I'd do there.

But it dawned on me at that moment, naturally, it seemed: This is a really good time. Maybe the best time I've ever had. And it might be some time before things get this good again.

More than 20 years later, I can say that I was right. On all counts.

With the posting of this, the 25th entry to my actual 1985 diary, there are now only three entries left, before my urge to document my life in writing petered out several weeks into my arrival at college in September '85.

This is the home stretch.

Monday, July 22, 1985
5:53-6:38 Pm

But first, an appendix update: A-61 rejection slip from a theater, for "Skies Above"; A-62 card from a contest I entered it in; A-63, a letter from Aaron; A-64 a letter from Joy.

Well, it's been over a week now, and instead of trying to put it off any longer, and possibly forgetting it, I thought I'd write now.

The most recent and relevant thing I can remember is going over to Gaines early Tuesday morning, since I had it off. I got up around 6:00 Am and got ready and then left; no foolin' around. I got there about 8:00 Am. I stayed the night, and had to leave the next day around 5:00 Pm, since I had to work that day at 7:00 Pm. That night was a Moonlight Madnesss sale at P&C, and it was HELL!! The place was packed and just so incredibly busy, I couldn't believe it. About a million big-wig managers from other P&C stores were there, and I hated it. But I lived until midnight, when the sale ended and I left.

We did the usual stuff at camp. This time when it came time to go to bed, around 11:30 Pm or so, Marie crawled into my bed for a while before she left to go up to her bed. Well, we've done what we've been doing for a long time now, but for some reason or another, this time seemed even closer. I mean, we never have gone all of the way, but we've gotten pretty close. This time seemed even closer, because we had about 1 1/2 pairs of underwear separating us.

When it was over I told Marie that I didn't think we could go on just inching closer and closer to what we both wanted to do, and that I thought it would be safer just to go ahead and do it, taking the necessary precautions, than it would be doing what we're doing now. Then I asked for her comments on the matter, and she said that she'd give them to me before I left the next day.

So when it came time for me to leave I asked her what she thought, and she said that she would like to, but couldn't. She said that she couldn't because she didn't think it was fair to me, because that she didn't want me to feel hitched it her for the rest of my life, and that she knew that I would be meeting a lot of other girls at Middletown.

I can't really describe how I felt. I guess I felt a bit rejected, a little relieved, and a little disappointed. I could understand if she just didn't want to do it, but I wish she would have just told me the truth why; it seems like the reason she gave me is phony.

Although I'm a little ashamed to admit it, I guess one of the things that made me finally confront Marie with the sitaution was Aaron, of all people. I mean, I've been thinking about getting the necessary apparatus (I love using official jargon to side-step difficult words!) to make going all the way possible, but I've always put it off.

I guess two weekends ago I got together this Aaron, Paul and Benji and we all went to see a movie: "Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome." Aaron took a girl from school and Benji took Liza Polanski. Afterwards we went to ABEP, for once in a long, long time. I had forgotten how fun it was just to go out with the guys and Bozo around. I had a ball.

Well, anyways, to get to the point. After a while, only Paul, Aaron and me were left at ABEP. Somehow we got into a conversation about live at Camp Daley, Aaron is being a counselor at the camp for the summer. He casually mentioned that he "didn't know about that yet," when the subject of some girl came up. Eventually I figured out the story. It seems that after hours one night at camp, Aaron and some others got a bit hammered. Aaron went off into the woods with a girl, and when they left the woods, neither of them were virgins. Get the picture? The way him and Paul talked about it so casually I thought for sure they were putting me on. I mean, Aaron's only been dating girls this school year, and to think that that would have happened seemed very unbelievable.

Eventually they convinced me that they weren't putting me on, and I guess that now I believe it. I also found out that Paul had done it, too, but for some reason, after hearing about Aaron, that didn't shock me so much. But to think that Aaron went ahead and did it without taking any precautions, I couldn't believe it.

Well, after that I kind of drove home in a daze. But I think that learning about that, kind of boosted my courage. It kind of made me think, "Gee, if Aaron can do it out of the heat of passion, while he's bombed, to a girl he hardly knew, while not taking any precautions, and risking a pregnancy, what would be wrong with two people who are in love doing it while taking all of the precautions and totally sober?" I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but that's the kind of view I sort of took.

Well, enough of that for now. I'm glad that tonight I have the time to write a little bit about my feelings, instead of just catching you up on what has happened.

This Friday I went down to pick up a roll of film, and Benji went along with me. Then we went to P&C to get a look at my schedule, and then we went to Sky Gate and played some video games. I broke my high score in Galaga by an amazing amount: it is now 238,290. I got to two new challenging stages that I had never seen before. Benji was there, and by chance Aaron walked in. A Bozo reunion!! We all went over to Zayres and Bozoed around, and then we drove over to the cremmee stand in Maynard, all of us in Aaron's car playing the tape deck real loud and screaming out of the windows. It was a lot of fun. Like I mentioned earlier, I had forgotten how much fun Bozoing is.

Anyway, Aaron told us about rookie night at Camp Daley. All of the new counselors have to put on a cabaret-night sort of act. So Aaron is going to have me and Benji drive over and we're going to do our Dirt Bag routine. Dirt Bag got a gig!! It's going to be a blast!! We're going to do the same thing that we did for the Jefferson talent show auditions, but we're going to add a bit more talk in the beginning. I'm really looking forward to it. That's Thursday night.

Saturday I worked until 3:00 Pm, and then drove over to Marie's camp. We did the usual hack, and it was fun. Did some more tubing, which was a blast.

I left Sunday night around 9:00 Pm, because I had to work early the next day. This whole week I'm working in the frozen food section. Compared to bagging, it's really nice. I have to get all of the frozen food out of the back room and into the aisle, and spread it around to the spot where the individual boxes go. Then I count them to make sure I've got it all, and check it with the invoice. Then I stock the shelfs and price all of the items I put up. Then I clean up all of the boxes, and usually work on the ice cream until it's time for me to leave. It's a little more responsibility than bagging, but it's so nice to be out of the hustle and bustle of the front end.

Some time last week Danny Silver showed me how to do it. I really hate him. He was a senior at school when I was a freshman, and I liked him okay back then. Now he's been at P&C for five years now, and he's managament. He's a real dick when it comes to working with him.

But today I did the frozen food by myself, and the rest of the week that's the way it is. The only thing I don't like is the early morning. I love to leave the store around 11:00 Am or noon and know that I've got the rest of the day to myself. But when I start work at about 7:00 Am, that means I have to get up at 5:30 Am. Once this week I work at 6:00 Am, which means I have to get up at 4:30 Am. What a drag!

Well, Dirt Bag on Thursday night; I can't wait! I think Friday after work I'm driving out to Gravely again. I get out on Friday at noon, and I have Saturday off, and I'm hoping I'll have Sunday off too, but I won't know until I see next week's schedule. If I do, I'll stay out for that time, which would be real nice. If not, I'll at least have nearly all of Friday and all of Saturday, which is as good as I got this week.

Well, guess that's about it. Will, right (duh, write, that is) next time it comes convenient. Tonight I was hoping on flying, but it's windier than all hell. Guess it'll have to wait until some other time. Later.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Hey, Abigail: I saved your lips!

I saved the card (right) the cast gave me in the summer of 1985 for helping direct that year's Summer Drama Workshop at Jefferson High School.

More interesting than the card, was the envelope, which, for reasons I didn't understand then nor now, was sealed with a kiss by cast member Abigail Abbey.

Abigail was a year behind me in school, and was kind of a hotty. Much to the surprise of me and my friends — and to Aaron — she asked Aaron out to the prom that year. They went as a couple along with me and Marie, Benji, Pringles, Larry and the rest.

Thursday, July 11, 1985
11:30 Am-12:21 Pm

Well, I guess when it starts to come around to being a whole month since I've last written, I guess it's time to write. It's just that I've had so much to do, that I've kind of forgotten about this diary.

Well, it's been so long, that I can't really remember anything that's too far back. Sometime a couple of weeks ago I got a call from Bill, who said that they had settled his case out of court. He's got two to 10 years back at St. Evans Correctional Center, where he was when he first went in. He seemed to think that he'd get the mimimum of the sentence, and might still go to college after he got out, but I doubt it. After just one month in there, he was going crazy; after two years min, he's going to be really gone. A couple of days ago I got a collect call from Bill, while I wasn't home, so I guess everything got settled, and he's in for his sentence.

I guess I can make a general note about the time that I can't remember any specific from. During that time I've been working somewhere from 15-22 hours a week, which translates into about four or five hours a day, with about two or three days off a week. When I haven't been working I've been probably with Marie.

I did finally get my R/C plane in order and got to go down to the field once and flew about three flights. No problem at all; it's like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget.

The latest, or I should say, farthest thing back that I can remember is the 4th of July. Me and Marie drove up to Collinsville to go to the alpine slide there. It was really expensive, and I only had $12, but Marie's mom gave her $40, so we were safe. We took three rides down that, and then drove further up the mountain, and took a look at the caves they have up there. Then we drove to where we could take a gondola ride up to the top of Mt. Tucson, and we did. Once we got up there we had lunch, spent some time up there and then came back down.

Then we drove home, and when we got home we lounged around a bit, until her father came home with her brother. We had eaten, but they hadn't. Mrs. R suggested some ribs from Barber's Chicken Shack, but Mr. R didn't seem to want to drive down. So then Marie suggesed that he let me and Marie take the Vette and drive down for him and brong back the ribs. Mrs. R was positive, so he gave the keys to Marie and we got ready and then left. I was quite nervous but after we got down there I was a bit better, and on the way back I felt a lot better. It was really fun, and probably the funnest part was turning people's heads when two young people like us stepped out of the car. Mrs. R said that when it gets buffed (it's just been painted) we can take it downn to Randall to visit Caroline Kramer and Aaron at Camp Daley, where they're both working. I'm really looking forwad to that.

After we did the rib run we stayed there a bit longer then left for the Elks Club to watch the fireworks. After that I brought her home, and stayed there a little longer, until about 1:40 Am, I think.

On Friday the 5th we drove up to Lake Gravely in her father's truck to bring up her sailboat. They were moving out there on Saturday, but had to get the boat out there earlier. So we drove out, and checked-out their new camp, and sailed a bit, too, if I remember correctly. We headed back around 9:00 Pm. The camp is really nice. When we got to her house I stayed there for a while and then left.

On Sunday I thought I had to work from 7:00 Am to noon, so I got up at 5:30 Am so I could get in to work on time, only to find out that the schedule meant 7:00 Pm to midnight. I was really pissed-off. I came back home and washed and waxed the car thoroughly. I spent the rest of the day mowing Gram's lawn, and packing for Marie's camp. Then I went to bed in the afternoon for about three hours. Finally it was time to go into work, which I did.

That day I also called Sam Beavins, which he had told me to do. He wants to have me and Marie over to his new house for supper sometime this summer. He told me to call back when I know next week's schedule of work, so we can set a date.

Anyway, the next day I got up around 8:30 Am and got ready to leave for Marie's camp. I had Monday and Tuesday off, and worked 5-9 Pm on Wednesday. So I was going to stay over from Monday 'til Wednesday.

I got all ready and left, and went to the bank to make a deposit. Then I picked up some soda to bring and then I went to Sky Gate and broke my high score on Galaga: new high score ... 182,050.

Then I left for the camp. I had driven out only a few days before, so I knew how to get there. I got there around 11:00 Am or so. I can't remember the exact order of events, but I think the first day we went out in their new boat for a while. Actually it isn't theirs yet. They're borrowing it to try it out and might buy it. It's really nice.

Anyway, that evening I think we watched a video on the Randall's VCR along with a few other kids from ajoining camps. I slept in a room downstairs, which isn't quite finished, but is very livable, and has a nice bed.

It's funny I can't quite remember the order, but sometime during my stay we went over to the falls, which is off from the lake, and has a neat little place to swim in. Mike brought us over and then left after a while and left us the boat. So only me and Maria where there. We swam and then got out and sat there a while before we left. I think that was Monday night.

On Tuesday afternoon, I think, me and Marie went out in her sailboat and brought our lunch. We stayed out about and hour and 30 minutes, because once we got down to the other end of the lake, the wind died. We had a good time though. A couple of times while I was there Marie went waterskiing and I either stayed on the dock and watched or went in the boat. They all tried to get me to go, but couldn't. I probably will, sometime.

On Wednesday we did some waterskiing, or they did that is, and I watched. Then Greg Petri, a past next door neighbor of the R's, when they used to rent a different camp, pulled me and Marie on a couple of inner tubes, behind the boat. It's called "tubing," and it's the funnest time I've had in along time. We borrowed a couple of inner tubes with a special canvas fitting over then, so that we could sit right in the middle and not fall through. There was a handle to hold onto also. After that I had to leave around 2:50 Pm, asnd get back home so that I get to work.

I absolutely forgot to mention the Summer Drama Workshop! I wrote an taped the PSA the week before. It's a little 30 seconder, and is kind of cute, but not my best. I've got a copy of it. During the workshop I picked Marie up every day and brought her home, when I didn't have to leave early for work, which was only once. I typed up the program, and also got it printed up, which I was sort of proud of, because it turned out really nice. I was supposed to direct Mindy Santerre's monologe and a scene from "The Importance of Being Earnest." I some how got out of doing Marcy's monologe. She isn't very good, and is kind of a flake, so that didn't disappoint me at all. The other scene went really well though. And, of course, I put on my own play with Marie. That week was really busy. But I survived and everything went really well. The scene I directed went really well, and so did my play. I also worked the curtain for the show. I was pretty nervous about putting on my play, worrying about how people would take it. We decided to change the order, so that mine was last. It went well, and we got good reception from a fairly small audience. It made me fell real good when I got people saying how good they thought the writing was and how well the whole thing came off. Taking with other people, I've heard that the talk in the audience was that of disbelief, that that was written by a high school student.

Also during that week Josh Gillman showed up, unexpected, one morning at 6:00 Am. He had been on vacation and was driving around, and had been driving all night. He stopped here to see us and rest. Of course I was gone all day, but I saw him in the morning and evening. The evening of the day after he came with me and Marie went to see "Barefoot in the Park" by the Bridgton Players, with some other kids from the workshop. That is, we saw it with some kids from the workshop.

Anyway, I'm getting sick of writing, obviously. Got to work tonight, but if I have a few days off next week, I'm going to go back and stay at Marie's camp some more. This afternoon I have to do some errends first. Think I'll call Benji to see if he wants to go on the errands with me. I haven't sen him for a while. Until next time ...

PS: Appendix update: A-56 a poem I wrote about last fall or so. I never really worked on it after the first draft, and just let it sit. Finally I decided I type it up and save it just as it was, instead of work on in now that the feeling has changed. A-57 program to "Barefoot in the Park," A-58 A-59 cards Marie made me on her computer; A-60 a card the guys at the workshop gave me for being a director. They also gave me a bubble pipe and soap, as kind of a joke director's gift.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Sam Beavins original

The ink and watercolor by my homeroom teacher and drama coach Sam Beavins that Marie gave me as one of my graduation gifts in June 1985 is the only piece of original artwork I own.

It followed me to college and back every school year, has hung on the wall of every apartment I've lived in, and currently graces the living room of my condo.

The colors have faded quite a bit in 20-plus years — or so I believe — but it's still probably the most-cherished possession I own.

Ironic that Marie thought I didn't appreciate it, as explained in this, the 23rd entry to my actual 1985 diary.

Sunday, June 16, 1985
12:45-1:36 Pm

Well, let's see. For the rest of this past week I worked Thursday and Saturday. They fixed it so I didn't have to work on Friday, since it was graduation. I think I've seen Marie everyday this week. She came over a couple of times this week, and one of the times we had a chocolate fondue. That day was Wednesday. She had to leave around 5:00 Pm, though, because she was going to Caroline Kramer's graduation at Lincoln, reluctantly, I might add.

Tuesday we did go shopping in Bridgton. I got my battery for my plane and a new battery cord. She didn't find anything she wanted, if I remember correctly. We stopped and got a dounot at Dunkin' Dognouts. (God damn it, I give up!)

Anyway, Friday was graduation. It was rainy pretty much all of the day, so they had it inside at the Bridgton Auditorium.

I got up at about 9:50 Am and showered. Then I went outside to see if I could start up my plane. It started fine, and I taxied it around the lawn a bit. I was going to go over to where the senior party was going to be and help Aaron and Paul and Benji set-up for the band. But Benji didn't know exactly when they were going to do it, and he was going to be a bit late probably anyway because he was taking Julie out to lunch, so I decided it wasn't worth my effort.

So I went to P&C and got my check I had forgotten to pick-up and then went to Radio Shack and returned a record needle duster thing that I had gotten a while before, which didn't fit my stereo. Then I dropped over to Sky Gate and played my usual game of Galaga. (To date my highest score is 179,940. It all sort of started during our Dew runs in school. We stated to go to Sky Gate as the daily routine. Each day I played at least one game of Galaga. Now, most of the time, I can get the high score.)

Anyway, after that I came home ... Wait! I met Benji and Joy at Sky Gate, just for the record. Anyway, after I got home I started to retype my play on my new typewriter, so it'll look more professional, but I kept messing up and had to keep starting over and I didn't get shit done. Soon Nana came and gave me my gift of $50. Then her and Mom left for Dawson to pick-up Anne. Soonafter Dad came home around 2:50 Pm. He showered and then I showered, I got ready and then left around 4:30 Pm for Marie's.

When I got there she gave me her presents. They are fantastic! She gave me a Gund puppy, which is real cute. And she also gave me, probably an 11" by 14" drawing that she paid Sam to do. It's in what I think is pen and colored with watercolors. What it is is all of the characters that I ever played on the stage, all standing next to each other. There's King Sextimus, Crestwell, Paul (from "The Diary of Anne Frank"), Stewpot ("South Pacific"), Manny ("Hocus Pocus"), Wilson ("Arsenic and Old Lace"), Hank ("You Can't Take It With You"), and in the background you can see a person up on the ledge of a building who is supposed to be my character in "The Ledge, Ledger and The Legend," the play I learned in about three days during the Summer Drama Workshop last year; his name escapes me.

Anyway, I thought that was just great and I didn't know what to say. I just stared at it.

Anyway, then we left for Bridgton and when we got there we went downstairs and she gave the other guys, and occasional girl, their gifts. Then she went upstairs and it was time to begin. We went through the entire ceremony. I got a scholarship for $100, that I didn't know about until I got it. We had some good speakers and got our diplomas. Afterward we hung around talking a bit. Bill, Benji and myself found Mr. P2 and got him to do his famous "speed walk" for us one more time and his bird calls. Then we broke up and I went home to change before leaving for Aaron's. He was having a little pre-senior party party with all of his relatives and some friends and some fireworks. When I got home I opened the card Mrs. R had giving me and found a 50 dollar bill in it!! I called her up to thank her and asked if Marie was home, and she said she had gone with Aaron to Aaron's house, and said that she thought that I thought I was mad at her. We got into a fairly long conversation about Marie and myself, and she told me that Marie was kind of hurt because she thought that I thoght that the picture she gave me was Sam's idea, and not hers and that she thought that I didn't appreciate her gifts. She also told me that she thought that I didn't want to see her after graduation, because I had said that if I go to senior party that she wouldn't be able to go, because she's not old enough. This year there was a rule about nobody under 16 being able to go.

Anyway, while I was talking with her, Marie called her mom on the other line and told her to get off the phone with me, so she could talk to me. Which she did. Then I talked with Marie and tried a clear up the whole apparent mess that we had, and told her that I did appreciate her gifts and that if she wanted to try and get into senior party, I'd be willing to take her. I guess that cleared it up pretty good.

Well, I finally got over to Aaron's and we went out to watch the fireworks and what have you. Soon we left for the party and Marie had decided to go. So I had to bring her home first to change and then we left. On the way we stopped at Grand Union and got a six of Dew and stopped to get gas. By-the-way, today Dad found out, and I did too, for that matter, that I had forgotten to put the gas cap back on the car after putting gas in it, so now it's missing.

Then we tried to go to the party but couldn't really find it. We passed what I now know was it, and found Maynard's. Then we backtracked and found what I thought at the time was probably ours. But it was just a little road leading up into a field, and didn't really look that inviting, so we just kept on going and I brought her home.

We watched "Romantic Comedy" on the VCR and had a couple of Dews. I left around 3:10 Am.

The next day I worked from 2:00 Pm to 7:00 Pm. After work I went to Sky Gate for a game of Galaga, and then to Marie's. Anywhere we went we had to bring her brother, because her parents we gone, and for some strange reason, they wanted him looked after that day. I wanted to be home by 10:50 Pm or so, so that I could tape the beginning off from "The Twilight Zone." I've been thinking of ideas for some PSAs for the workshop and I thought a takeoff of "The Twilight Zone" would work, but I want to parody it exactly. I mean do a version taken from exactly what the show says, not from what I can remember, which is very little.

Anyway, when I got home the Liptons and and the Priestlys were still here. My mother had then over for supper and they were watching TV, and I didn't feel like interupting them, so I didn't get to tape it.

And that brings us to today. I got up around 11:00 Am and have been doing this ever since finishing eating and showering.

Think that's it. Will write again next weekend. Until then ...