I have a pink diary with a gold lock. The lock isn’t very sturdy and it’s easy to open the lock without using the key. The key is very small like a key that Alice in Wonderland would use to open a very small door. The cover of my diary is kind of like a door. It takes me away from this house, this room, this life and into a different one. In my diary, I am writing my life instead of my life writing me. In my diary, I tell the story instead of listening to the story being told. In my diary, I am the author, the writer, the creator. In my diary, I can write whatever I want. I can write good words, bad words, soft words, hard words, they are my words. I don’t need permission to write them. No one is checking my grammar or spelling. No one checks for mistakes. There are no mistakes. I can say whatever I want and its mine. It belongs to no one else. Sometimes when I feel like hurting myself or someone else I write in my diary instead. Sometimes when I am sad, I write that too. Once during a scary storm, I wrote a poem but I don’t write poems much.
The cover of my diary is pink and squooshy like a plastic pillow. I like the texture. It’s shiny. I keep my diary on my nightstand next to my little prayer books. I like to write with my favorite pen – a black skinny stem with a fluffy fuchsia hair ball at the end with eyes and a nose. It kind of looks like a bird. A bird from a far away place maybe. Not a bird from around here. The fluffy ball is so soft – soft like my cat. While I think about what to write I like to rub the fluffy ball on my face. I like the way it feels. The fluffy ball seems so alive to me that I start to write stories about it in my diary. I draw a whole family of fluffies. Fluffy balls with faces and hands and feet. The fluffies live in the clouds. They hold hands and play baseball. They have big smiles and no worries. Sometimes I roll out the left-over wallpaper in the basement closet and use the back of it as a canvas. I draw endless scenes of fluffies in the clouds. Sometimes I draw a rainbow or a unicorn, too. I love unicorns almost as much as I love my fluffy pen. I believe in unicorns. I believe they are real. I think someday I will have my very own unicorn. I think I might meet a magic lady that lives in the forest and she will ask me what I want and I will tell her I want a unicorn and she will give one to me. My unicorn can fly. My unicorn is friendly and gentle and my unicorn is white with a golden horn in his forehead. His horn is 24 carat gold like mom’s jewelry. If I had a unicorn, I wouldn’t want anything else. I wouldn’t even need a place to live. We could just ride from place to place and stop and sleep on the clouds when we were tired.
After I fill up my entire pink diary, I ask mom for another one. The next one is blue. It doesn’t have a lock. I don’t like it as much but I fill it up anyway. Then I ask for another and another. I start writing a whole story about a faraway place like dungeons and dragons. There is a wizard in my story and lots of adventures. At night, sometimes Lee comes to my room and sits on my floor and I read him some of my story. He likes it. Sometimes he draws with me on the wallpaper rolls, too.
Sometimes I think our stories and pictures are more real than our real life. I don’t feel anything in the real world when I am writing or drawing. I would like it very much if I could step right into the diary or the drawings and live there. I would like to be a drawing, a 2-dimenison person on paper. I would like that very much.
My favorite thing to do with Lee is to make forts in my room. We take sheets and blankets and pillows and build rooms within my room. The forts are small and we have to crawl on hands and knees to get inside. We can’t stand up or the whole thing will topple down. The space is so small and so safe like a cave where baby animals sleep in the woods. Mom always makes us take them down but we just build them again.
Mom can’t get us to listen to her much. We’re kind of like those trick birthday candles – you keep blowing them out but they keep lighting up again. In the fort, I can touch all four walls from where I sit. I could never do that in my real house. In the fort, the walls, floor and ceiling are all soft. Not like my real house. In my fort, we can use a flashlight for light and there is no big glass chandelier overhead. I love the fort and I could stay in there forever. When you live in a fort, you don’t need many supplies. There’s no kitchen for cooking and no dirty dishes. There are no long hallways to vacuum or beds to be made. There is just a sitting space for talking and laughing and sleeping. That’s it.
Lee and I, we’re like best friends. We do everything at home together. I listen when he plays music on the piano. He plays Barbies with me when I have no one to play with. We’re happier together than we are apart. We fight a lot, too. I’m not sure why but it seems like brothers and sisters are supposed to fight. Maybe we get sick of each other. Maybe we get sick of the house. Maybe we fight because that’s what mom and dad do. I don’t know. But we always make up. Either because mom makes us or because we want to.
Sometimes we gang up and do things to drive mom crazy. It’s really fun. One time, we were hiding in a department store when mom was looking for us. We would’ve never got caught except that Lee knocked over a bookcase and it smashed on the floor. Mom was real mad when they called her name on the loud speaker and she pulled us out of the store by our ears. She said she could never take us anywhere. When we are bad at home, mom makes us sit on the stairs. Lee sits on the back steps and I sit on the front steps. The top of the steps are connected by a long hallway. If we both sit at the top of the steps, we can see each other and continue to make our naughty plans. Lee’s favorite thing to do when he gets in trouble is to ask to go to the bathroom and then go inside the bathroom cupboards and turn everything upside down. This really drives mom crazy. She yells a lot when he does that. She doesn’t ever hit him though. Sometimes she tries to hit me and I swing right back. One time, mom’s fingernail cut me real bad when she grabbed my arm. She was freaked out by the blood so now she doesn’t grab me anymore.
Besides my diary, my next favorite thing in my room is my closet. In my closet, there are beautiful sparkly costumes from all of my dance recitals and beauty pageants. I love sitting on the floor of my closet and looking up at the satin, sequence and bright colors. I think my favorite costume is the one with the purple pants, black and white top, purple hat and silver sequence wrist bands. I think sequence is prettier than diamonds because it sparkles a lot more and you can wear it all over your clothes. I have one leotard that is bright pink with silver and white beads. It’s so pretty. I wore that in a roller skating competition. The one good thing about mom is that she lets me take all the classes I want – dance, skating, painting, singing. I love to take classes. After I go to school all day, I go to classes all night. It makes me happy.
My friend Christine is in my painting class. Sometimes we act silly in the bathroom when we are cleaning our brushes and the teacher Gloria yells at us. We like to laugh but Gloria likes for us to be real serious. One time, Gloria took us on an art trip to a museum in New York City and I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. Christine was fooling around in one of the museum rooms and she accidently kicked off her shoe and it went flying through the air nearly knocking a painting off the wall. Lucky for us, Gloria didn’t see or we would have been in soooo much trouble.
I write about Christine in my diary. I want to remember the stuff we do together. I wonder if I’ll have the diaries forever or if someday they just won’t matter anymore. Grown-ups don’t seem to write diaries. They always seem to busy. I wonder if I’ll be too busy to write when I grow up too. I hope not.