Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Being Young

Yes, I know this blog is supposed to be about Being Old.  But part of being old is cleaning out bottom drawers, and coming upon things that haven't been touched for -- in this case -- almost three-quarters of a century.  I can't believe I wrote this, can't believe I ever put raw feelings down on paper -- it's just not me.  But here's the evidence.  All I can say is, I must have had it bad. Never wrote anything like this again in my life. I won't change a single comma; it's SO 15 years old.

It's 1941, I'm at summer camp. It's still Girls' Camp in July, Boys' Camp in August.  By next summer they'll have to make it co-ed all summer  and hire us as paid counselors, because so many men -- really just boys, I realize now -- will be off to war.   But I digress.

I must have been hard-up for paper, because I wrote this outburst on the backs of the mimeographed camp newspaper--remember mimeograph? So:
Why have I never kept a diary?  It's nice to write down feelings.  I heard somebody say "I hate Her."  I wish I did.  It would be so much easier to hate Her than to like her so much -- it would feel much better.  I always laughed at "schoolgirl crushes" but I guess they're as natural as falling in love later on [note: did I read, some years later, that Freud thought so too?] -- It's a very [note: as a grown-up writer I'd never use the weakening word "very"] confusing feeling to like somebody like this -- especially a girl.  I must remember that feeling of confusion & strangeness -- and it would be a lot better if only I hated her.
This will make a fine short story -- I hope I can describe this emotion after it wears off -- if I feel like smiling at myself now for writing like an adolescent in a "lock & key diary" about a perfect person -- if I amuse myself now -- will I be able to remember how I feel two weeks from now? -- I love to dramatize myself.  This is something else new -- this writing down for no purpose of something that only concerns me -- I'll probably do it often some day -- or is it bad for me?
This is what falling in love will feel like -- I mean, I'll recognize it immediately -- I often wondered if I would.  Falling in love, then, will not entail any desire to do anything more than be near someone -- or is it different from this?
This is what is called a crush!
Edith is a dope!

I doubt if that counselor even knew my name, but yes, Her name comes back to me now and -- who'd have thought it? -- so does that old feeling.  What do you suppose became of her?  She'd be more than 90 now.  She's probably dead.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Edith. What honesty, then and now. I was just considering using my own adolescent diaries for kindling, but now maybe I'll have to reread them. (All the same, I don't recall writing anything as truly frank as this. I was a hedger and a qualifier and a temporizer.)