Friday, June 16, 2006

recorded existence

I have written a diary since I was 6. My mum has painstakingly kept every one of these books in a box, with my old Barbie dolls, school blazer and my twenty-first key. Writing by hand became somewhat of a bother after a while, so eventually I just saved files and files of diarised crap on my PC. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered the world of blogging. A diary, where people can actively tell me whether I’m Crazypants personified or if I’m perfectly reasonable in screaming obscenities about wayward ex-lovers.

Every now and then, I haul out the box, or flitter through the thousands of Word documents. Categorically, I have a record for my entire life thus so far. If, by some miracle of God, I become famous for my differently-gifted vocal prowess, I don’t need to write an autobiography. Some poor sod can tack one together using the reams of sometimes eligible documenti I have stored on my computer, on the Net and in boxes in the closet.

But this isn’t about me being famous at the minute. As tempting as it is to dream about the paparazzi catching me mid hair-curler in a skimpy negligee, nipping out in the dead of night to buy a latte. This is a rough, but evidential timeline of diarised content. Evidential because, although juvenile and deconstructed, one gets the feeling that I could’ve forecasted my life from age 6.

- 1987, March15: Humphrey my hamster died. My friend squeezed it and throwed it on the floor.

- 1989, January 18: Shane showed me his treehouse. I showed him my cookie. He says he’s never seen one before.

- 1992, June 6: I’m in Amsterdam. Dad put his hand over my eyes when we were walking down the street. But I already saw the naked lady in the window. It smells funny here.

- 1993, May 18: We’re on our St Lucia school trip. I got my period for the first time last night. How do I tell Mr Andrews why I can’t snorkel tomorrow? This is so embarrassing I might as well just die this second.

- 1994, January 24: I’m finally at boarding school. The other girls seem nice and I have unpacked my trunk. But I’m missing home like mad. Had to polish the Head Girl’s shoes, and I asked her what a ‘blow job’ means. She said I’d find out in good time. Whatever.

- 1994, August 28: I grabbed someone! I’m not green anymore! Luckily he had braces too, so it wasn’t too blind. I wore my Doc Maartens and a body suit. He phoned last night, but I was too scared to talk to him, so I asked a prefect to take a message.

- 1995, New Year’s Day: Huge party last night. With my parents and their crazy friends. We stole Hunter’s Gold. I think I got drunk. Cos mum said I was showing off and being impossible.

- 1996, July 6: I fucking hate everybody at the moment. My parents are giving me hell, I hate school, and I just want to run away from here. I can’t even listen to my music loud. They are being completely unreasonable.

- 1997, November 14: Oh shit. A group of us are getting suspended because we bunked out of school. The folks are seriously fucked off. I’ve been grounded. This is SO not fair. Can’t they see I just want to be free? I am a sensible person. I can handle nightclubs! Now I can’t even see my boyfriend. They always have to ruin my fun.

- 1998, June 2: Biology final tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder how learning the geometrics of the fucking ear is going to somehow shape my life. I have to sit and learn the mechanics of the cochlear off by heart. Somebody help me.

- 1999, January 7: I am coping with life in France just barely. Save the date I went on with some Jean-Michel where I had to eat glazed frogs legs in a pre-Revolution gothic crypt. Then he tried to get in my pants. I’m over it. I was over it before it even began.

- 2000, February 12: It’s orientation week at varsity. Last night I couldn’t remember where my res was, or even that I’m in Cape Town, nevermind the whereabouts of my actual room. I think I snogged Warren. This is not good.

- 2000, February 13: Great. Now Warren’s stalking me. I’m hiding out in my room for the whole day, as he’s sitting outside waiting for me to come out.

- 2001, July 23: Priscilla hasn’t done the fucking dishes again. But I won’t say anything in case she yells at me. She’s completely hormonal, like, all 365 days of the year. This is a digs for crying out loud.

- 2002, January 14: S and I have been in Colorado for a month. There’s fresh powder this morning, so I took a skiing break without clocking out. Getting paid to ski - now that’s what I’m talking about. We got stoned in the Happy Hut with a bunch of Kiwis. Not sure how I got out the fucking conifer plantation alive.

- 2003, November 28: S and I are going to Thailand tomorrow. Let it be known I will be having sex every single day and drinking Mai Thais on the double, on Phi Phi island. Leonardo di Caprio filmed The Beach here. I will sit where he sat.

- 2004, May 7: I bought a fuck-off suit yesterday. That’ll show my editor I mean business.

Happy Youth Day for tomorrow everyone!

42 comments:

Daytripper said...

I am deeply envious. I have never kept a diary or journal. I have every poem and piece of fiction I have ever written, but nothing that tracks me like this tracks you. I guess I have just moved to much and paid too little attention to recording. Even my photogrpahic records have huge holes in them at times when I simply didn't have a camera anymore... entire haristyles gone unrecorded! terrible i tell you!

Peas on Toast said...

Daytripper you should see how many photo albums I have. I've been in Jozi 3 1/2 years, and I have three thick albums full of pictures. (Mainly documenting drunken braais, dress-up parties, camping expeditions, that sort of thing.)

I suppose no matter what, I have to write. (Even though I do it for a living, it's something extra.)

But let's face it - I can't see myself doing diaries for another 60 years...

Jam said...

Like you, I have kept a journal since I was 8. Including entries about my guinea pig (Snuffles) passing away (of natural causes). These journals amuse me endlessly, and whenever I feel like I have done nothing or gone nowhere in my life, I read back. I count myself lucky that I have these incredible memoirs of my life and will treasure them forever.
Incidentally, funny that you went to Thailand with your ex...I did too.

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - excellent stuff! I don't know many others that write journals like we do.

They are amusing, I especially cringe at my teenage years. I was an angsty, frustrated and rebellious teenager. At least now, while everything else seems to be falling apart, it will never be as bad as when I was a teenage brat. ;)

Yeah Thailand. It was a great holiday. Luckily we went a year before the tsunami.

Jam said...

Haha. That's even funnier. I was in Thailand exactly a year before the Tsunami too. 6 degrees of separation...or something.

Peas on Toast said...

No way!

Where did you guys go? We were there for about three weeks, starting off in Bangkok (my folks were living there at the time, funnily enough), then headed down to Phuket, the Phi Phis, and then the Samui islands on the other side, which were my favourite. Especially Ko Pha Gnan. I also remember bringing home a shitload of things - from shoes to silk scarves, to DVDs, you name it.

Jam said...

We spent a month in Thailand. We started in Bangkok for a week, and then headed up north to Chiang Mai. Then South to the Samui islands (Ko Tao, in a monsoon) and then across to Krabi (Railey Beach) and the Phi Phi islands. I also spent way too much and had to buy on a new suitcase on our return!

fly said...

I love the fact that all of a sudden in 1997 you started swearing ??? :oP was this premeditated ???

Adrian Mole move over please... :oD

Jam said...

Yeah I noticed the swearing bit too.
What's with the docs? Were you perhaps a goth girl?

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - we were also in Ko Tao during a monsoon. We thought we were going to die on the boat ride over. :) And no, never a goth girl guys. In Std 6 (1994) Doc Maartens were like the thing to wear to socials. Where I come from anyway. I cringe.

Fly - Yes, it was probably around Std 8/9 (1996/97) that I discovered the merits of expressing oneself through the medium of a potty mouth. I haven't stopped to this day. ;)

zuzula said...

Peas, this is fab! I've kept a diary since I was tiny too. But when I was about 13 one of my friends found it and we had a huge falling out so after that I wrote in code for about 2 years. And now, obviously, i can't remember what the code is so those two years are a mystery to me. First period, first snog, first boyfriend... they're all there (and probably best forgotten, natch)

Jam said...

LOL! I thought I was going to die on a boat ride BACK from Ko Tao. The boat leaned over so far...and then I had visions of it flipping, sinking to the bottom of the sea, never to be seen again...

Peas on Toast said...

Awesome Z! I've written in code before too. In some cryptic Greek font that can't be chnaged back for some reason. So there is a portion of my life that I too cannot quite work out. :)

What scares me, is that someday, our grandchildren may just read our diaries. They're going to think that 'Granny' is cooked in the head.

Peas on Toast said...

Jam - I can't believe it! Ex S and I still talk about our death-defying experience in the gulf of Thailand to this day. We put lifejackets on and everything, as waves crashed over the boat, shit was falling off the back, the sailors were in tears...we thought this was it. We even had an evacuation plan for when the boat flipped.

zuzula said...

they'll think we're completely insane. And to be fair, by then we probably will be!

Peas on Toast said...

Oh yes, if not so already! :) I don't see myself being a bingo/bowls/pastel cardigan bearer of a Granny.

I see gin and tonics, toyboy lovers and Cancun, quite honestly.

muddlepuddle said...

Gd your a special individual.

Boarding school huh?

zuzula said...

Me too! I think old age is going to be hilarious. I can just picture She of the Handbag and I drinking sherry all day and then racing each other through the streets of London on souped-up mobility scooters...

duke said...

you're kidding me! You must have made up the entry about "i'm not green any more, not too blind," etc. That's classic! Surely no teen girl actually wrote that in their journal.

it's hilarious - we're the same generation Peas. I remember the Docs craze. Did you guys also fray your jeans? Headbanging to Smells Like Teen Spirit at school socials, bunking out to drink sambuca with those little gold bits in it, my best mate chundering into our housemaster's courtyard.

Peas on Toast said...

Muddle - not half as special as you my freind. (Loved your post this morning.)

Yip boarding school made me the 'special' individual I am today. ;)

Zuzu - Funny, Ant and I were saying how we are going to retire on a wine farm in Chile, and get rat-assed all day in our 60s onwards. That's if Cancun doesn't work out...

Duke - you TOTALLY get it my dear. Sambuca with the gold bits in - crisis - I'm pretty sure I chundered on the stuff during matric holiday... and as for docs...and shirts tied at the waist...and boy suits..and side-ponytails. Sometimes I think being a 90s teenager was a cruel fate. Worse than the 80s. It's just a generation of bad taste! :) God those were the days...

Peas on Toast said...

PS: I actually wrote 'blind', 'grabbed' and 'degreened' in my journal, yes. Can you fucking handle it.

muddlepuddle said...

Aaah thanks peas - you loved it coz you can so picture me moving furniture around to clear space for my running man manoeuvre!
I cant friggin wait! Im gonna pull out my leg warmers and plaited headband too!

C.P.M. went to boarding school too - shit it would be funny if you knew him!

Ok ja not really that funny

muddlepuddle said...

P.S. I hope that was the post you were talking about otherwise you're going to think I'm a real asswolly

Peas on Toast said...

Love it MUddle. I have a set of legwarmers for occasions like those, I'm almost embarrassed to admit. ;)

Where'd CPM go to school? Natal, JHB? If in Natal, it's possible. I matriculated in 1998 if that makes a difference.

Peas on Toast said...

PS: Oh god, I just asked the almighty no-no of no-no's questions: "Which school did he got to?" Yeesh. Sorry, my bad.

muddlepuddle said...

Hahaha Peas - he did go to one in Natal! The Midlands actually!!

This would be funny I know Small Bum and you could know C.P.M!

Another thing to add to your bday list:
That Playstation dance game thingy. Just know I'm coming over on Sunday nights for rehearsal (in my leotard g-string of course over my lycra leggings with my plaited headband and blue eyeshadow!)

Peas on Toast said...

Muddle - it is such a small world. It's very possible I knew the guy. And since Smalls is a Joburg boy, well you never know. :)

I like the dance thing. I may have a stint of dancy karaoke before I go out myself tonight! :)

muddlepuddle said...

Yip a small world it is!

As for your sing-a-long tonight I recommend it in front of a full length mirror. Good for the spirit (nevermind what it'll do for your FOJO as you put it.Nothing better than appreciating your own hot ass shaking it right?)

muddlepuddle said...

P.S. I emailed you the required details

Peas on Toast said...

Oh honey, don't you know it! A full-length mirror - Ant and I both have one in our bedrooms. And we use it accordingly. ;)

PS: Thanks for emailing me those netball details, I'll check it out now.

muddlepuddle said...

Oh yes - life has taught you and Ant well.

Now if only more women could embrace the f.l.m. in their rooms/bathrooms/dining rooms, their lives would take on a new and rosier (pink seemed to blunt and crude) meaning!

Peas on Toast said...

Tell me about it. Life is much more fun when you think you're the shit. ;)

Revolving Credit said...

G'day ladies

Sorry to interject, but I have a question for both of you.

Cuddle: When did you and C.P.M break up?
Peas: When did you and SB start dating?

Is there a possibility that C.P.M = SB??

( or is it just me being paranoid and seeing similarities where they don't exist???)

Sorry to interrupt the dance class, please continue!!

Peas on Toast said...

Revolving - ok, that's hysterical right there.
I have not a smidgen of doubt in my brain that the two aren't remotely similar. The world is small, but not that small methinks. ;)

Also SB didn't go to boarding school. But for the record, we first hooked up mid-December, then I went away for a month and we formally started dating beginning January. (And dumped to the day yesterday.) Aren't these six month relationships a hoot?

Revolving Credit said...

Glad you liked the post on my blog.
So which do you prefer?
a) Hard liqour
b) Poker (possibly 5-card Stud)

Kate said...

your diary entries are wonderful. Especially the "grabbed someone, note green anymore" entry. This takes me straight back. Yay, the angsty nineties!

Champagne Heathen said...

I am just impressed you read your diaries! I still have them by the boxload, and let alone the illegible 10yr old (Ok, fine, maybe still 25yrd old) writing, I just can't bring myself to rehash all the teenage angst...

(What on earth am I still doing in this office. I am outta here. Have a good one....!)

i_am_not_who_i_am said...

my_headspace_is_my_diary_cos_i_trust_a_stone!

Daedalus said...

Hmm.. only have my matric year in detail-to-date. Poor hamster.

Peas on Toast said...

ha ha - well I'm glad I'm not the only one out there with fervour to write diaries compulsively! :)

PABX said...

"he showed me his tree house, i showed him my cookie" didnt anyone else find that hilarious? soon it will be "he showed me his car, i showed him my ...."

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks PABX. I was a naughty little girl. ;)