Janie’s Journal (1)

This is my message to the world that never wrote to me. 

I feel a little naked writing something that the whole world might tune in and see.  Actually, I am naked.  I am 46 years old and I’m naked and my hair is all messed up and I can’t sleep.  This is a totally new medium for me.  I have been writing since I was 12 years old and I have been writing “morning pages” since June of 1996, but all that I have written before has been written in long hand, on white lined loose-leaf paper, with a smooth-writing medium ballpoint pen, in blue or black.  That never varies.  That also uses another part of the brain.  The part you use to stare at a tv screen and tap out little words on little keys has either atrophied long ago or never been engaged in the first place.  When I write my morning pages I don’t worry about spelling or punctuation and I write in ALL CAPS to make a point and I underline and write sideways in the margins and no one ever reads it anyway.  I have six or seven big binders full of that stuff and it is a veritable gold mine of information about my life and my psyche and my irritations and my likes and dislikes and what makes me happy and what PISSES ME OFF!!!!  I also use a lot of exclamation points.  I actually talk in exclamation points.  Not everyone does but I do.  I think my whole family talks in exclamation points. It may be genetic.  But here I sit because Bob made me do this and I can’t sleep anyway and I was lying in bed thinking of all kinds of clever things to say, things so damn amusing I was making myself laugh, but here I am and I’m not even mildly amusing so maybe I’d better go back to bed and try to be more entertaining tomorrow.  I am not going to do this if I can’t at least amuse myself.  I want to use family expressions like, “Well I’ll be a suck egg mule!” but you have to be careful not to use those expressions just anywhere.  Maybe I can get some of my morning pages and write excerpts from them here.  Some of them are pretty goddamn funny.  Last summer I went to a writer’s conference on the campus at the University of Iowa, and I took excerpts with me and it had them rolling in the aisles.  I also wrote several stories about growing up across the street from the Billingsley’s, a family with four kids just like ours, but we were absolutely Victorian in comparison to them and their lives.  Just a fer instance.  I once watched the two younger brothers, Bruce and Jay, get in a fist fight in their bedroom when they were maybe ten and twelve.  Jay kicked Bruce in the chest where he just happened to have pocketed a handful of loose matches, and the matches struck and started to combust straight up out of the polo shirt pocket, and I had to break up the fight to PUT BRUCE OUT.  That’s how it was growing up with them  It was a laugh a minute.  They are still my favorite people on this earth.  I just went to see Jamie in Fayetteville about two weeks ago.  All we do is laugh.  I have to go.  I have to get up and go to work tomorrow as a librarian.  I mean I GET to go to work.  I love my job.  I am known as Conan the Librarian.  Or just simply, The Barbarian.  I may have the least quiet library in any public school.  Remember I talk in exclamation points.  It’s hard for me to be quiet long enough to say SSSSHHHHHH.

Love, me

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