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The Journalists

 

Jenna stumbles on the journal of a complete stranger.  As a writer and long time diarist herself, she cannot resist reading.

April 20, 2009I hate my life and my parents.  If I have to spend my twenties living in this house with them, I will slash my wrists.  My mother is a bipolar, delusional hypochondriac.  She’s always in my face, asking a million questions.  Oh, how I loathe her…I just wish she would leave me the fuck alone.”

Jenna’s heart hurts; she wants to howl in pain even though she does not know any of the parties involved.  But then she remembers that she felt the same way about her own strict and stuffy parents at that age, and how she vowed she would be the complete opposite.  And, if despite her strong belief in zero population growth she did have children, they would be showered with love and attention and most importantly, unconditional support.  She’s always secretly gloated that she is the Mother Superior of Cool and fortunate to have a daughter who not only thinks so, too, but is also her best friend.

It is her proudest accomplishment.

Sitting at her computer later that evening, Jenna is still thinking obsessively about the author of that post – clearly a desperately unhappy teenager, and wonders what she herself was doing on April 16, 2009 in parallel to this person, this sad young girl.

She types in the URL to her blog and hits the archives.

Sara has been rehearsing non-stop for the up-coming Ian MacPherson tour and while she asked that I go upstairs, I am still able to be her ecstatic audience. She’s got the MP3 from their rehearsals down in Austin last month (which I totally confess to downloading on my iPod and have been listening to non-stop) and she’s been playing along. First of all, what a freaking awesome set list. It spans Ian's career. Secondly, I am just blown away by my daughter’s talent. I've been turning off all sound in my bedroom and opening the door so I can hear every note and it's like I'm living in some kind of wonderful musical fantasy world. Yep, I admit it -- I am the luckiest woman in the universe right now.”

Jenna sighs and closes the lid to her laptop.  It’s been almost three years since Sara moved out, but today, because her husband is away on an extended business trip and Sara has been incommunicado, she finally began tackling the dreaded job of transforming her daughter’s former bedroom from shrine into a real office, a dedicated writing space. 

Somehow tomorrow, she will force herself to finish the job.