I found myself with a free hour yesterday afternoon. I’m in the midst of another task on my RESET mission and felt I deserved a break. I did not go to the computer even though it was well past twelve. Now that I have set the intention to get back to writing, and have started doing it, it was a natural draw.
Nope, I didn't go to the computer. Instead I went to my big Journal Box and decided to update one of those. I am a confirmed Journal Junkie. There’s that Collector in me. I stand before them in places like Chapters and fondle them. I tell myself that I don’t need yet another one. But invariably my self does not listen and it rides home with me, where I diligently figure out what I could dedicate it to.
I got my first diary in 1965 – the 5 year kind – black with gold trim and a little lock and key. I started every entry with Dear Diary because I somehow thought that was the proper thing to do, even if it did take up valuable space in the 5 allotted lines. I didn’t lock it. Obviously I didn’t hide it either. Apparently I should have done both. I was 12; my brother who was 10 called me at my friend’s house, screaming into the telephone: “How could you?!! You’re SICK!!!” My reply to him of course was “YOU READ MY DIARY!!! How could you???!!! YOU’RE sick!!!” He had read my entry about how I had cut my cat’s tail off. It didn’t hurt her, she was dead. I loved that cat – she was a big Persian with a gorgeous fat tail. Her name was Tammy and she wasn’t a family cat – she was all mine. I had every right to her tail. Even back then I recognized that I was a 'memento collector’… I was the Keeper of Memories and I wanted to remember her. Rabbit’s feet were big in those days – pretty well everyone had one on a keychain. I used to feel his little toenails and wonder if it truly WAS a Real rabbit – and if it REALLY was, that it was kind of gross, and sad. If I had some dead rabbit’s foot that I didn’t know, surely it would be more meaningful to have my beloved Tammy’s tail. It was also back in the 'Tony the Tiger' days where people attached tiger tails to their antenna or even had them coming out of their gas tank.
I was very brave about it considering I was quite attached to that cat. I apologized to her before I cut it off with the tin snips. I laid the tail up on the barn window sill to ‘cure’, and had a funeral for my sweet friend. The tail disappeared. It could have been raccoons or rodents, it could have been my Dad thinking that some animal had done it and tossed it out, or it could have been my nosey little brother had marched right down to the barn and threw it away himself. I could hardly ask. With both of us carrying the guilt of our inappropriate behaviour, we never spoke it.
I never did lock that diary up or hide it, or any other diary/journal for that matter. I figure if someone is so inclined to get into my thoughts, then it serves them right if they find out something that wasn’t meant for their eyes. I also never did cut off anyone else’s appendages. And I disposed of the rabbit foot too. It really was kind of gross and sick.