IN THE BEGINNING
It all started back in 1960 when my Aunt Mona, who I barely knew, gave me a pink diary for my seventh birthday. I wrote in it every day, and when it filled up, I got another, and another, and another.
Too young to know better, I believed those chintzy locks and keys kept my diaries safe from the outside world. All of my thoughts, fears, dreams, and schemes were packed into those volumes for me and me alone to write, read, and reread. And in so doing, to never forget. Or so I thought.
I stored them under whatever bed I was sleeping in. A collection of heartwarming, terrifying, funny, and not-so-funny words. I took those twenty-six letters in the alphabet and created a magnum opus out of them.
In my naiveté, it never occurred to me that anyone could be so deceitful as to read them. And I never thought anyone else would have a faint interest in what I felt or thought anyway. And yet I kept those diaries safe and sound under locks and keys just in case. At last count, I had over forty of them and a President Kennedy key ring full of tiny diary keys.
I have been keeping a written recording of my life since elementary school. I still keep a diary although now I call them journals.
My treasured Kennedy key ring is gone. And with it all the keys, and yes, the older diaries are gone too.
Stolen, read, and interpreted. Or I should say misinterpreted.
And that’s what this story is about. In the pages to follow I will try to remember the entries, the momentous and not so momentous times in my life.
But the diaries are gone, so I can’t recreate the voluminous entries spanning a lifetime in a Dear Diary format.
But what I can do, is recreate the diary entries from the volumes seared in my memories.
And to the thief, and you know who you are:
You might have been able to dispose of the diaries, but you can never do away with my memories, my words, or what’s in my mind.