Diary 13
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Sept 30, 2005

Diary 13 / 24-years-old / Rome, Italy
On September 1, 2005 I was flown to Rome. On September 2, 2005 I met Giovanni; and some weeks later, we’re in an intense Starting a Something Special phase. I’m a bit Midwestern. He’s uber-Italian. It’s all high drama to me! Meanwhile, I’m shooting a movie with Vincent Gallo and Ernest Borgnine, and trying to keep some degree of cool. This is from the diary that I shared with a friend. I had it for my entire eight weeks in Rome, then mailed it off to him to read and write in.

Getting lost in time? Remember the timeline

our hands
Our hands: Giovanni was teaching me the words for fingers. I’m on the left; he’s on the right. Italian dates are written with the month second.
September 30, 2005
September 30, 2005, from the journal I shared.
me in costume
me in costume for “Oliviero Rising”
TBD Bonus

The Jump Little Children song

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TBD Submission: Brandie

~Be sure to check out Brandie’s work on Youtube and Instagram: @the_diary_library. We’ve been in touch via Instagram for some time, and this is her first submission.~

“Set up: I’m riding up to my ex-step father’s house in his car, waiting for my own car to be done at the mechanics, and with a mission of retrieving some of my belongings that had been left behind when I moved out of our family home, in which he still resides. Post-divorce, our family dynamics haven’t quite been the same (he had been with my mom for 17 years).

‘Date: September 12, 2016 (Mon)
When we pulled up to the house, I could see in the daylight what I couldn’t see in the dark a few nights prior dropping my sister off. The yard was terribly overgrown and abandoned. The house now has ivy climbing its walls. Wood rot is rampant. It seems as though the house is just as dilapidated as our relationships with him. It was sad, really, to see the state of the house outdoors. Almost as forgotten about as any good times spend together.
We got inside, walking down the hallway that connects the two garages with the rest of the house, and I asked if he was okay. He turned back at me and said “That’s relative.” Thinking about it later, I wondered if he was having trouble with his girlfriend. Who knows. I didn’t press for any details.
It was weird walking through the house. Some things have changed but some hadn’t. It was like seeing a ghost of our family home and the touches my mom had put on it, or they did together.
I followed him up the stairs to his bedroom where the attic is. Walking into his room felt..odd. So many times before I had gone in there when it was also my mom’s room. And now it wasn’t, but from I could see, the furniture was still the same. The only thing that wasn’t the same was that there were clothes and other debris littering the floor, the counter tops, the walk-in closet. My mom would never let that mess happen. Other than that, it was like I half expected her to be sitting on the bed (since that’s where they used to hang out together), excitedly greeting me. It’s only now that I realize ghosts of the past are so real.
We climbed the attic stairs, a noticeable change in temperature half way up. He quickly showed me the corner where all of my stuff (or the majority of it) was supposed to be, then promptly left after telling me he’d come back and help take the boxes downstairs. To say the attic was “hot” was an understatement. I’ve never poured sweat off my face before and yet I barely noticed. I was on a mission to find my old blank journals I’ve been waiting to write in and all my old photos. I went through many boxes, finding a good amount of stuff. You would have thought I struck gold with how I felt once I found my journals! It was the same once I found my pictures.
While I was waiting to hear from the mechanic about my car being done, I opened the box with all my pictures in it. I saw my twelve and thirteen year old face. My fourteen and fifteen year old self. I hadn’t seen that girl in a while. Something in me wanted to show him that face. I selected first a picture of me holding my youngest brother as a baby. I was thirteen. For two seconds, I could see in his eyes his guard go down and he smiled. As quickly as it appeared, it seemed the most recent years of sadness and stress came rushing back in. It was hard to watch. That flicker of happiness, even if it was for what used to be,was a small flame and easy to extinguish. I wanted so badly to re-plant a seed in his mind about our family. OUR family that includes HIM, that he helped CREATE. Just a tiny seed to remind him…of what was lost? To somehow bring him back to it and start to think about the family he has left? To remind him that we did once have a family and those people need healing? I’m not sure. Maybe even to remind him he seemed like a family man, cut the crap he’s doing now, and remind him he still has a job as a father. All he did when looking at the picture was comment on how big my brother’s head was, which is pretty much what anyone says.
I walked away, only to return and shove another picture in his face, trying once more. It was a picture of just me, still thirteen, but at the end of the year. I commented nostalgically how long ago it seemed and how young I looked. “Do you remember that girl?” I asked. He looked and responded with a flat “Nope.” To say I was a little crushed was…I’m not even sure. There was no feeling behind that one word. No recognition that he helped raise me and he was there during those times to watch me grow and become a young woman. God, I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It really seemed he didn’t want to go there and keep me at arms length. It hurt. It just did. Things are different now than what my thirteen year old self experienced. She’d be devastated.’

a.k.a The Diary Library”

~thank you, brandie~

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Diary 19
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Sept 21, 2011

Diary 19 / 30-years-old / NYC
“Sleep democratizes fear.”
Giovanni and I are doing so poorly, that I’ve started writing him letters that I send to him in Budapest, rather than try to speak on the phone or visit him. That’s when I dream my meeting with Death, who selects me, and so I must die.
This entry begins with a passage from a favorite novel of mine, “The History of the World in 10.5 Chapters,” when Julian Barnes describes are different modes of sleeping and nightmare-ing.

September 21, 2011
September 21, 2011
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TBD Submissions: Libbet

Listen to Libbet read her account of being in New York on September 11, 2001. From exiting the subway, learning what had happened, not knowing where to turn, to finding a way back home and starting some attempt at processing the experience.

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From her journal, September 12, 2001.

~thank you, Libbet~

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Diary 8
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Sept 11, 2001

I have wondered since the start of this project if I would include September 11th. I could just as easily use early September of 2005, when I first flew to Rome and met Giovanni. Ultimately, I decided 9/11 is a substantial part of my story~

Diary 8 / 20-years-old / NYC
I spent the fall semester of my junior year in the Duke in New York Program. A group of us took classes and held internships in the city. Within the first few days of being in New York, my beloved childhood pet died. And some short days after that, the entire city changed.
What strikes me in rereading this entry is how quickly the political tone turned to revenge.
This entry includes a note I had written–and never sent–to my mother.

September 11, 2001 pg1
September 11, 2001 pg1
“The day the world fell.”

September 11, 2001 pg2
September 11, 2001 pg2

note to my mother
From between the pages: a note to my mother. The death of Elsa, and the World Trade Tower attack, certainly left me feeling vulnerable and lost. But it seems I was intent upon showing my mom how to carry oneself with strength.

A view of 2016
the new world trade tower
the new world trade tower, September 10, 2016
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Diary 18
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Sept 9, 2010

Psssst: there’s only 4 months of the project left! Have you submitted a story or reaction from your own life? Have you been thinking about it? Now’s the time… submissions@throwbackdiary.com. See what others have sent: Submissions

Diary 18 / 29-years-old / NYC
I’ve got that Almost-30 Feeling, and a fear I’ve lost too much of my 20s to depression.
Six years ago I was just starting to write non-fiction (outside of diary-keeping, of course.) A lot of the entries from this period take on a more essayistic tone. I was also reading a lot of “Calvin & Hobbes” [© Bill Watterson] and amuse myself with a metaphor about chasing tail.

Read the NYTimes article I reference: What Is It About 20-Somethings?

calvin and hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes ©Bill Watterson
“your tail still has a death-grip on your butt.”

September 9, 2010 pg1
September 9, 2010 pg1
September 9, 2010 pg2
September 9, 2010 pg2
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