I was just about to retire my latest journal. I thought it was the perfect timing. This journal has seen many days, and I’m leaving for Europe in five, which would be the perfect time to start writing in something fresh and new. So I took my journal down to the office, and opened the bag; THE bag that holds an entire lifetime of my thoughts and experiences, and placed the latest edition inside.
And then I had this crazy memory. It was from when I was 17, and leading a somewhat double life because I had a fake ID. Because of course I couldn’t just use my fake ID to get into clubs and bars, I had to take it to a whole other level, as I do with most things in my life.
So by day I was a 17-year-old girl trying to finish high school—early—because by then I’d decided I couldn’t stand anything or anybody affiliated with my peer group, and by night I was a 22-year-old woman teaching piano to save enough money to travel the world. Somewhat true. I was teaching piano when I wasn’t in school, and I did want to travel the world.
And that’s when I met Warner, the Bartender, and went crazy. It was my first love/obsession, and I was seriously considering changing my birth certificate and running away from home to be with him forever.
For a few months, the whole thing actually worked. Because he managed a bar, he kept strange hours; he would work from 6PM ‘til 2AM, and then work out, and sleep from 6AM ‘til noon. So I would either meet up with him for an early dinner before work (and after my classes), or I would sneak out of my house at midnight, take my dad’s car to where he worked, and hang out with him (amongst other things) until he went to sleep. I had a piano student at 9AM I would tell him when he would ask why I couldn’t stay. Oh the lies we weave… And of course I was writing down the details of my illicit double-life in my journal.
One early morning, as I was sneaking back in through my window, my dad was waiting for me. Caught red-handed, and he was holding my journal in his hand. He’d read everything, and I thought I was going to die. As I landed on the concrete of my basement bedroom floor, he smacked me across the face and asked me to explain myself. The only thing I could come up with at the moment was: I just wanted to go out for a walk, and I’m not writing about my life, I’m writing a book!
Did he believe me? I don’t know, but I’m sure he wanted to. I’m sure the last thing he wanted to believe was that his 17-year-old daughter was sneaking out of the house with a fake ID to have a love affair with a 27-year-old man. Regardless, I was never allowed to drive his car again.
Life has a strange way of coming full circle. Who could’ve known that a lie I told in an attempt to save my ass almost twenty years ago would be exactly what I would end up doing with all the writing in all these journals almost twenty years later. I guess I was kind of writing a book after all…
Time for a new journal.