She Handed Me Her Diary

Journaling • November 24, 2006

She handed me her diary. It was cold from sitting in her bag on the passenger side floor. The binding used to be black, but the years had added stickers and gel pens, and, is that…? Yeah, housepaint. It was so hard to see in the muted streetlamp shining through the windshield.

I flipped through quickly – stapled bookmarks and envelope halves – she files quotes too; I’ve been guilty of that for forever.

“I want you to write the ending.”

I got to the last page and glanced over to confirm. She nodded and moved towards me in her seat, the cushion groaned in the wintertime.

I dug a pen out of my pocket, clicking it open as she grabbed my wrist, “Not in front of me!”

The lit-up orange and teal controls from the dashboard reflected in her dark nail polish, where her nails weren’t chewed down. She pulled away. Reaching under the dashboard, she gently set her diary in my glove compartment.

“When you get in from Chicago you can give it back.” Her voice cracked on the last word, but she refused to clear her throat and acknowledge it.

“And I want a proper ending, not one of those and-then-I-realized-it-was-all-just-a-horrible-nightmare endings.”

She let out a nervous giggle. And so did I, I think. I am so bad at good-byes.

I looked past her for a moment, through her front porch window, to the pink, yellow, and green twinkling stars on her living room Christmas tree. They were the only colors that punctured the grey winternight blanket that surrounded us outside.

She leaned over and I met her kiss.

Even before out lips were done, she had her bag in one hand and the car door handle in the other. With one motion the car door opened, closed, and then muffled the sounds of her shoes crunching the snow up the walk.

The twinkling stars went out some time before I pulled away.


In January of 2006 I read an early version of this piece for the Fall of Autumn Zinester Podcast series. My reading was performed with Samantha Castillo and was published as the eighth episode in the Zinester Podcast series.

On October 8, 2006 I published an early video recording of this piece, performed by Alex Wrekk and myself, as an advanced preview of Pressed Between the Pages #2.

Originally published in Pressed Between the Pages #2.

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