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BY Dana

08/01 Direct Link
I went to the fair and bought one of those headbands with ribbons flowing down from it, red&blue&silver stars behind my head and I pretended it made me beautiful but in reality I probably looked like I was trying to distract everyone from meeting my eyes. And I think I was. I laughed while catapulting through the air and I took pictures of the world upside-down but it felt so pretentious. I acted like I was a spawn of the neon mystery but really I am just a girl who knows how to paint a pretty mask. Please, expose me.
08/02 Direct Link
I never remember numbers and facts but I remember days. Days of flying and crying and guys and lies. Days of raining while it's sunny and smiling while I scream. We are all marked by paydays and holidays, perfect days and days we'd love to forget. Maybe everyone is different but when I look back I can remember every important day of my life. Gazing outside at an unremarkable sky, it is hard to believe that today was once important, that two years ago today I began inhaling poison. But those days are over now. Today is just another day.
08/03 Direct Link
I think tan lines are beautiful. As a lifeguard, I spend my days seeing contrasted colors, mismatched shades of bronze, and every patchwork section of skin gives its owner [his/her] own beauty. It's interesting to see how much people expose themselves-or how little. From my stand, I wonder if the blonde with the perfect body loves herself as much as her uniform glittering tan implies; I wonder what the dad in soaking street clothes is trying to hide. My tan stops where my work suit begins, suggesting perhaps that I am merely a people-watcher. The art of becoming beautiful fascinates me.
08/04 Direct Link
Eyes, glittering. Fingers, trembling, inches away from a forbidden prize. Pulse, racing with anticipation. I have never understood why I love temptation as much as the actual act, but this fact becomes evident yet again as I remove the pile of clothes hiding my indulgence. Run upstairs, lower the music. Close your eyes and open them to smoky reflections, images from my past. I am finally a part of the moment I've been craving for so long-but it seems that the hype outshined the reality. I am coughing and extinguishing the cigarette, remembering again why I quit. Mind, now educated.
08/05 Direct Link
I felt a memory being made tonight, under the indecisive sky. It was bright to the north, stormy to the south, and she was proving that it was possible to revert to any age at any time. I think that's why she's so beautiful. We all laughed when she threw her peach to the squirrel and we laughed harder as she crawled army-style towards it to capture its ridiculous image on film. It was nothing special but it was -A MEMORY- and I love knowing that someday I'll be able to reminisce about this aloud. It makes me feel important.
08/06 Direct Link
It's our little secret. I'll never tell.

His words simultaneously scared and soothed her. Every time she fell, people stood over her crumpled image and whispered [slut, whore, dirty cunt] but she never realized a fall was coming until she saw lipstick gossip on bathroom mirrors. It is only natural to be sexual, she convinced herself. And he really loves me.

Later she'll realize that he merely said she was attractive. And she'll cry because she gave her heart up so easily once again. But she's inevitably going to let herself be used again.

She hurts. But she'll never tell.
08/07 Direct Link
Today I couldn't decide whether I felt like laughing or screaming. The sun was shining but raindrops kept falling around me. I started crying because I was so damn happy and it made me feel good when I realized how used I let myself be. Because yesterday I did a lot of sexual things with someone I barely knew [and proceeded to write about them in the third person] and today I realized that I never kissed him once. Fuck 'em and leave 'em [although we did not fuck]. I'm glowing with attention but my new scars are burning too.
08/08 Direct Link
I sleep surrounded with pillows-eleven at last count, arranged randomly on my twin bed. And when even one of these pillows is misplaced, I cannot sleep well. I wonder why I've always left my door locked even though I'm scared of dying in fires or masses of carbon monoxide and yet I depend on the security of fluffy padding. In fact, I cannot sleep unless my scantily-clad figure is completely encased in piles of pillows, comforters and stuffed puppy dogs. I wonder what nightmares I am repressing from my childhood, what demons I fight with pillows in my dreams.
08/09 Direct Link
I believe I'm more restless than anyone gives me credit for. It's not a good thing but it produces interesting stories. And I am usable in so many ways that I like this attention because it's not solely negative.

Yet right now my life seems negative. I keep consuming liquid poison and inhaling pure impurities and trying to get the hell away from it all. Last night ended with me tripping over barbed wire fences and getting stranded under starlight. I never fucking make it to my destination. But it doesn't matter; eventually we all need to go home again.
08/10 Direct Link
My maturity level sometimes seems equivalent to that of a five-year-old's. I still wear my hair in braids and giggle spontaneously. I still believe in the existence of a perfect love. And I'm always seen with glittery nail polish on.

Tonight my nails were pink and I colored pictures at Pizza Hut with my boyfriend. He's nine months older but the difference sometimes seems like years. He drove tonight, though-a relief to see him crazy, taking turns at thirty miles-per-hour. But I bit my nails as we took every curve. I am too young at heart to believe I'm invincible.
08/11 Direct Link
I don't know what to say right now. I don't even think my words matter because it fucking hurts that I can still speak and all your notes will be left unwritten, all our crazy harmonies will be solos from now on. God I told you I'd die for you so many times so why did you get taken first?

I wish that I believed in heaven because I desperately want to see you again and tell you I love you and I need that reassurance that my love hasn't become just smithereens of nothing. I need some fucking reassurance.
08/12 Direct Link
In this world, there now exists a sheet of paper claiming that I'm a danger to society. Okay, so it doesn't come straight out and say it. But my copy of this paper screams FUCK-UP at me in all its technicalities.

I cannot believe I failed my driving test. I did a perfectly good [California] stop. And throughout driver's ed I've been the best driver in my group. However, the paper can't be changed and my mom can't be persuaded. So I'll be retaking the test in a stick shift.

My only defense is I would have passed in California.
08/13 Direct Link
I kept thinking about him today, my ex-fling, although nothing happened to remind me of him. But I was not surprised when I got home and saw his name on the caller ID. The phone's ring was tantalizing, and I knew I was helpless to do anything but answer it. After twenty minutes of shameless flirting, I have plans with him tomorrow. [Now I feel guilty because Ashley always bought me gum so he wouldn't know I smoked when I saw him after lunch and she can't do that anymore. And I feel like I'm about to be used. Again.]
08/14 Direct Link
We try to make it permanent. Everything. And I hate to sound angsty but it's not. I promise you, you can go over it in ink a trillion times but eventually it will blur and simply vanish. Signatures will mean nothing, ivory tombstones will someday crumble.

I believe inside our hearts, every one of us will be eternally singing the song "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." But I'm not encouraging defeat, I'm not trying to promote the acceptance of failure. All I'm asking is that you remember even the deepest scars disappear, even brilliant stars burn out.
08/15 Direct Link
I know you more than you'll ever imagine. I have the same scars on my arms & ankles & hips. I have the same bitten fingernails, the same imperfect hairdos, characterized by split ends. I have your fucking eyes and eyes are everything.

You speak to me of addictions you are still incapable of conquering, of angst you haven't learned to manage. I see in you the same emotions that dwell in my own heart. But what can I say?

I am simply a backdrop to your radiance, I dare not speak. But I fucking KNOW you. [look at me]
08/16 Direct Link
[written in a spiral on my Drowning Pool CD, memorializing everything lost]

Ashley - it's funny but I distinctly remember the day I got this CD. We were at lunch with Frankie and you and I were singing "Bodies" and he thought we were crazy. Everyone thought we were crazy, skipping class and skipping down to the rocks to smoke. But you know I loved you so much cause you were crazy. I'm sorry I never called sophomore year, sorry we lost touch, but you'll always have this perfect place in my heart. I love you so much - Dana
08/17 Direct Link
There was a spider in the shower tonight. I felt sad because I realized this after I had already turned on the water and stepped in. I wondered if I had interrupted his schedule [lunch at noon, nap at two, lie on the cool tile at six] and I felt incredibly guilty for doing so. I tried my hardest to avoid splashing him with water, fighting the human instinct of arachnophobia, but I turned my back on him to rinse my hair, and when I looked back, the spider was gone. Down the drain, victim of fate. [Aren't we all?]
08/18 Direct Link
I think there are little invisible people suspended in my throat, scraping away with little invisible razorblades. If my throat started bleeding like it feels it should, I would be completely convinced. My body is aching and I'm oh so shaky. However, my mom loves me enough to make me biscuits with grape jelly for dinner and to buy me white grape peach juice. So I can't complain all that much. I just hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate being sick on my day off!

[sorry but I cannot even manage 100 words]
08/19 Direct Link
On days like these I feel like there's nothing to say. I could complain about how my friends only come visit me when I'm sick, or how my fever is going up instead of down. I could try to sing my favorite song or write meaningless words because I want to be artistic. I could finally get around to cleaning my room or doing wash [which all my friends call laundry; they find this hilarious] or reading the second half of my Stephen King book. But I believe none of this is important. Instead, I will savor my own silence.
08/20 Direct Link
I got paid today, $252.32, and spent a little over half of that on shirts, cds, and thongs. As I walked through the various stores at our mall, I found myself wishing that all the places spoken of on Abercrombie graphic tees really existed. Wouldn't it be so interesting to have a town with all these interesting places to eat and bowl and sing karaoke at? Wouldn't it be wonderful to see these lakes and camping sites and exotic cafes? I think I want to work as a shirt designer; maybe then I'll get paid more than $5.50 an hour.
08/21 Direct Link
Too often, I find myself getting sucked into VH1 specials. Right now I'm watching "I Love The 70's" and wishing I was a part of the era my mom grew up in. Life through my 19" screen seems glamorous and revolutionary, yet not so different from the world we live in today. Maybe I'm falling victim to the television set, but it sounds like a good idea to stop time now and begin travelling backwards. The future, especially in the hands of Bush, seems to be no good. And I do not want to watch our generation captured on TV.
08/22 Direct Link
[added later, refer to tomorrow's entry for an explanation]

My life is like a bowl of plain rice. There is nothing important to be found between the grains. But it's important to add spice to my meal. Tabasco sauce, lemon pepper, honey mustard, garlic salt - a menagerie of flavor in everything that touches my tongue.

Although I hate to admit it, I'm sure I do the same thing with my life. I create drama where there isn't any, I find love where there is nothing but a void in someone's heart. Someday I'll have to realize I'm still just rice.
08/23 Direct Link
My mom bought me an ivy plant two months ago, and I vowed to take perfect care of it. For the first few weeks, I watered it with Miracle-Gro, misted it every day, and made sure that it got adequate sunlight. I was so proud that I was going to be able to show something for my hard work and persistence.

But life got in the way and my beautiful plant got disregarded. By the time I got back from vacation, it had already begun to decay, and yesterday, the last leaf crumbled. [This is why I did not write.]
08/24 Direct Link
The first gold leaf of the season, and with it, a captivating innocence. The boy was gorgeous in that way only four-year-olds can be, and his mom was stunning as well; her hippie soul just shone through in everything she said and did.

They were the only ones in the baby pool, and the boy took advantage of that freedom. He searched the entire pool for treasure, and when he found the fallen leaf, he brought it to his mom, who actually kept it, pressing it between the pages of her checkbook. I want to be a mother like that.
08/25 Direct Link
He's always saying we're two completely different people. And I hate the way he condenses us like that. Because regardless of whether we are polar opposites or not, it's the relationship itself that matters.

However, the dying summer air tonight was revitalizing to both of us. For once we agreed, and what we both wanted most was to drive as quickly as possible down a rural road, racing the sunset. And we stopped in someone's driveway and shared a simple kiss that did wonders for my heart, not because I saw sparks but because he knew exactly what I wanted.
08/26 Direct Link
Even ten years later, I feel guilty, because my friends used to sit on the sidewalk and crush ants beneath rocks, and I just sat by and watched them die. They're mostly mindless creatures, but they're working for a greater purpose, which is more than I can say for a lot of my friends these days. I always wondered if they even had any idea that someday, they would die; I liked to think they didn't because it made me feel a little bit better for not preventing their deaths. But I still wish I could take my acquiescence back.
08/27 Direct Link
There is a rot aching in me, bleeding as the sunset turns to fire. I need to meditate, need to medicate my mind and preserve these moments before the whole world goes dark, before my entire mind reverts to destructive habits.

I already know I'll feel hungover tomorrow when the pale morning rays hit my face, so why aren't I drinking? It would be completely justified, although I wouldn't be celebrating my last ounce of freedom. I would merely be erasing the pain of knowing that tomorrow, it will seem like nothing's changed for three months. Things need to change.
08/28 Direct Link
My purse is filled with various items to cover up the smell of cigarette smoke. I'm not sure why I began smoking again, but I'm currently smoking two a day. Today I borrowed my mom's car for lunch and drove to an alley, because for obvious reasons, I can't smoke in her car. I finished my Turkish Jade in under three minutes [a new record?] and proceeded to douse myself in Febreze and load my mouth up with mints. It's funny, I love that buzz but feel so guilty afterwards. I feel like I have a permanent mask of smoke.
08/29 Direct Link
My mind attaches music to fragmented memories, and sometimes the pieces slip and completely pierce my heart. I don't know what the importance of the video coming on at that particular moment was, but I was taken back to a better time, three years ago this winter. I remember the nights getting longer and my hair freezing after swim team practice got over; I remember how my friends cared so much about me and how we sang along to every song on the radio. Now all I have left is the melody running through my head. Everything else is lost.
08/30 Direct Link
Today was such a long day at work that I didn't even have time to think of words that needed to be said or things that needed to be philosophized about. Within seven hours, I managed to develop a sore throat, a horrible migraine [and I never get migranes] and a few new enemies. This girl was in the water, crying but swimming fine, and her mom freaked out, assumed she was drowning, "saved her," and cussed me out for not doing my job right. Seriously, fuck her. Being a lifeguard can be pretty damn stressful and she didn't help.
08/31 Direct Link
Someday I'll look back through my yearbooks and remember him as the King of Heartbreakers. He's stolen my heart once or twice before, and kept it with the hearts of my friends and enemies and probably a few people I don't even know. There are probably poems written about him by multiple members of five different graduating classes. And this makes him sound so evil, which is why I apologize for being happy that he finally captured a little piece of Micah's heart, or at least made her go back on her promise that she'd never make out with him.