December 1975 - April 1976
Age 18, Senior year

"Do you think I could be an alcoholic?"

Sunday evening
December 13, 1975

Drying my hair. I just finished writing and addressing 20 Christmas cards. I don't really feel much like Christmas yet, even though I spent the whole morning putting the Christmas decorations up.  I taped Christmas cards to the mirror, hung up two red and white stockings (one for me, one for Dad), strung garlands above the archway, put the dancing Santa on top of the television. The living room looks nice now, but somehow it doesn't seem to kindle the usual fire of holiday anticipation. Maybe that kind of feeling dies as you get older. It snowed last night, and all I could think was "Damn, I hope it all melts by Monday so we can drive to the Beach Boys concert!" That's sad, because when I was a kid, a snowstorm like the one we had last night would have been pure joy. That shows you how attitudes change. I don't like snow anymore, and I don't get excited about Christmas. Strange. My 18th birthday is in two days, and all of a sudden I feel very old ...

I feel kind of guilty, lying to Mike (Baxter). I was really surprised when he asked me out, and a little flattered, but I didn't want to go to a movie with him. For one thing, we've been friends for too long. I would feel as tho I was dating my brother. And for another, he and Debbie just broke up three days ago and she's a good friend of mine. I'm not sure how she would feel if she knew I went out with Mike, ESPECIALLY since I spent most of Thursday trying to console her after Mike broke up with her. I don't want to be a hypocrite. I'm sure the feeble excuse I gave him ("I have to work" .... he knows darned well that I don't have a job!) was as transparent as glass. Oh well. I hope I didn't hurt him.

Rhonda and I will probably go out and drive around tonite ... another dull Saturday. Life hasn't been all that exciting lately, to put it mildly.

I've finally decided to just give up on Tim. I like him a lot, but I'm obviously nothing more than a friend to him, and it would be pointless to keep trying. So what do I do?? Just sit around and wait for the right guy to come along and sweep me off my feet??  Shit.  I'd better not hold my breath.  The guys at school are great ... IF you have a thing for 4'10" sophomores, pimply-faced, frizzy-haired juniors, or conceited, arrogant senior "men." (No thanks.)  Tim was the best prospect of the bunch.  He was like a lemonade stand in the middle of a scorching hot desert - the best thing around. Looks like I lose out, as usual.

7:00 p.m.

Eating a grape flavored sucker, listening to the stereo, waiting for Rhonda to call. In a way I would almost like to sit home tonight and relax instead of going out, but that would leave Rhonda with nothing to do. We never go to parties anymore - Rhon says she wants to "break away from that crowd", and mutely I agreed with her - but deep inside I miss the fun we used to have at those parties. It was a cheap, easy way to get drunk or high or whatever was on the menu that evening, and it was fun to talk and listen to loud rock and feel uninhibited. I miss that.

Maybe I drink too much. I used to hate beer, wine, whiskey, anything alcoholic ... I hated the smell, the taste, the sick queasy feeling it gave me. I couldn't figure out why the hell anyone in their right mind would pour buckets of the stuff down their own throats. When I started going to parties in my sophomore year, tho, I figured it out quick enough. It isn't the stuff itself that attracts ... it's the feeling it produces. I never feel as exhilarated and happy and completely "together" as I do when I've had a drink. That's why I love parties so much.

This Monday I'm going to celebrate my birthday in style!  Rhonda, Debbie, Greg McKenna and I are going to the Beach Boys concert and get ourselves wasted. I can't wait.

7:45 p.m.

Still no word from Rhonda. Maybe I'm not going out tonight, after all.

12:00 midnight
Bad Company

I'm in a really rotten mood now. I feel like sitting here in my armchair and putting the whole stupid evening into words -- and I honestly don't give a shit how boring or inane it may sound. Thank God I bought this new Ledger today ... that was about the ONLY thing I've done right since I got up this morning.

All kinds of little irritations jammed together to make the evening so irritating.

First, Rhonda called and announced that Debbie would be coming with us.  I wasn't thrilled.  Debbie is OK - I like her just fine -  but whenever she and Rhonda are together, I feel like the invisible third wheel. Then they jammed me into the backseat of Rhonda's Pinto while the two of them sat in the front, jabbering. I sat and looked out the window and contemplated jumping out at the next red light.

We drove around Burien, went to Herfy's three or four times, drove out to Normandy Park, cruised the Renton Loop a couple of times. The Loop was jam-packed with good-looking guys tonite ... I swear, every car that passed us had a foxy guy in it, smiling and waving at us. It would have been fun to pull over and talk to someone, but all of a sudden Rhonda got into a pissy mood and said she wanted to leave because "the Loop brought back memories of Gary." We passed my ex-boyfriend Rick Hanley on 1st Avenue, and when he asked if we wanted to go to Lewis & Clark with him and his friends, Rhonda said "No." Then Rick said, "Terri, do you want to go?" but Rhonda rolled up her window and drove away. That PISSED ME OFF. Rick must think I'm a total bitch now, and any chance of him ever taking me out again is shot to hell. Then Greg Strayer kept pestering me at Herfy's, finally embarrassing the shit out of me by telling Mike Bruin that I like him (when ALL I said about him was "he's cute"). Then Rhonda and Debbie just got up and went to sit in another booth, leaving me stranded.

A hundred little things are picking at my nerves, making me feel cross and irritable and lonely. I could sure use a drink.

Too many worries. How the hell am I going to learn that damned piano music for choir in time for the concert on Wednesday??? With only four days left to practice, I'm going to do one fucking shitty job.

Maybe I should just go to bed and forget about everything. Let it ride, Terri ... "whatever it is, it'll keep till the morning."

Sunday evening
December 14, 1975

Dad and I drove down to the Seattle waterfront today ... had fish & chips at Ivar's, then poked around Ye Olde Curiousity Shoppe and Trident Imports. Just like old times. I bought myself a blue plastic makeup case with the Space Needle painted on it, just to splurge and buy something dumb.

Dad is in another rotten mood this evening, so I've decided to hole myself up in my cozy little bedroom and watch TV. Hell with him.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'm so excited about this concert, I can't stand it!! I called Greg McKenna about an hour ago to make sure he's still going, and he sounded really nice. He is going, by the way, and I'm really glad.

Tuesday night (late)
December 16, 1975

Yesterday was my 18th birthday, and the great Beach Boys concert I've been anticipating all month ... and I have so much to tell you, Ledger, but it's super-late and I should go to bed. I'm all keyed-up and excited, and I don't know why unless it's just from the excitement of yesterday. I've got to try and get some sleep.

Tomorrow night is our stupid Choir concert, and I'm tense about that because I don't know the piano part very well and I'm going to do a lousy job in front of a lot of people. Oh well. Maybe I'll take you to school with me tomorrow, Ledger, and spend some time writing.


Wednesday afternoon
December 17, 1975

A free moment in the middle of a hectic afternoon. I've got to start getting ready for the choir concert in a little while. Cold, clear day ... feels like more snow in the air. Wintery feeling.

The Beach Boys concert was absolutely fantastic ... I've never been to a better show! There were over 15,000 people in the jam-packed Coliseum, and when the Beach Boys came on stage and did all their hits, everyone was dancing and clapping wildly and singing. Like the review in the Seattle Times described it, "it was a party." Me, Rhonda, Debbie and Greg all went together, as originally planned - plus Mark Hawley managed to get a ticket at the last minute, so he went with us too. (He's the cute little sophomore from my Stage Band class.)  Before the concert, we downed almost a full case of beer and smoked some pot, so I was totally bombed. I was SO HIGH, and it felt so good. During the concert Greg and I sat next to each other, and I was kinda surprised when he put his arm around me! I didn't mind, tho, because I was really high and I felt like being held. The music was great. I sat there, leaning my head on Greg's shoulder in complete rapture. They even did my FAVORITE song, "Barbara Ann," and I was so happy. It was a wonderful evening. Greg kissed me goodbye and promised to call. At the time it seemed very important, but now I don't really care if he does or not. I had fun with him at the concert ... that was enough.

After the concert, Greg and Debbie told me that Mark has a crush on me. I just said "I know," and left it at that. The way he looks at me in Stage Band makes it pretty obvious. He was a little upset at the concert because Greg was hanging all over me.

Later, 10:45 p.m.

My hands are numb from cold ... I can barely hold my pen.

The choir concert tonight was as terrible as I knew it would be - I didn't know my piano music and made a billion mistakes - but I'm just so relieved that it's OVER and I can relax. One less worry on my mind. I've been pushing myself so hard lately, trying to learn that music, and now that the Christmas concert is over I can relax and enjoy the holidays.

No "major" worries ... what an incredibly weightless feeling! I'm not pregnant anymore (one month ago today I had the abortion). I don't have to worry about Steve ever hurting me again. I might have enough money to do my Christmas shopping. No more Choir concert to sweat over. And - maybe best of all - I'm going through another one of those phases where suddenly my phone starts ringing and I have more dates and things to do than days in the week. Neat.

Thursday morning
December 18, 1975

Sitting here in Study Hall, my first class of the morning. I haven't really woken up yet ... getting out of bed this morning was even more difficult than usual. Last night, after the horrible choir concert, Sheri Hanson, Denise Meredith, Naomi A. and I drove over to Kennedy High School to watch the last half of their Christmas concert. I didn't get home until 10:30, and then I had to spend a half hour getting ready for bed. By the time I finally slipped in between the blankets, it was past eleven and I was dead tired. Climbing out of bed into the frosty morning was agony ...

Later in the afternoon:

This has been a good day. Mark and I have been together more than usual; he is cute and funny, and we are very comfortable around each other. He's like my new best friend. We always give each other conspiratory, secret smiles during Stage Band over our shared jokes (the faces Tony makes when he plays the guitar ... Mark V.'s "blouse" ...). He makes me laugh. Because of all this, I sometimes tend to forget that he is three years younger than I am: a very important fact. An age difference like that may not make any difference when we're older, but right now, at 18 and 15, those three years make a world of difference.

I hate sixth period Study Hall, but even more than that, I hate sophomore girls. I refuse to believe that I was ever that immature and dumb.

Saturday morning
December 20, 1975

Crap. I'm writing this a couple of days later, and some important changes have taken place.

First of all, I'm sitting in bed on a frosty Saturday morning, and my head is spinning with one HELL of a hangover. I'm depressed, despite the fact that this is the first day of Christmas vacation, and it's all because I've managed to get myself into another mess with a boy.

Here we go again  ...

On Thursday afternoon I had Driver's Ed after school, and when it was over at 5:00 I bundled up in my heavy coat and long scarf and started walking home. I live about a mile & a half from school, and it was cold as hell. By the time I was a quarter of the way home, I was frozen stiff and wishing desperately that one of my friends would drive by and give me a ride. Just then, an unfamiliar blue truck coasted to a stop at the curb about 50 feet ahead of me. I saw two guys sitting in the cab, waving at me. One of them was wearing a Glacier letterman's jacket, but I couldn't see their faces. When I finally got close enough, I smiled. It was Alan  - the guy in my History class who has a crush on me - and his friend, Ed. They offered me a ride, so I gratefully climbed in and we sped away.

While I was directing them to my house, Alan asked if I was going to the wrestling match that night. I said "I doubt it: Rhonda has to work, so she can't take me."

When we pulled into my driveway, Alan said, "You know, if you need a ride to the match, Terri, I could pick you up and take you." I didn't know what to say, so I said "OK, sounds good" and ran into the house. Well, to shorten the story a bit, Lori and I went to the wrestling match that night with Alan & Ed. When it was over and Alan had dropped Lori and Ed off, he took me up to Mt. Burien to "park." He kissed me a few times, and he was sweet and funny and gentle. I started wondering if maybe I could like Alan as more than a friend. We talked a little bit, and when he brought me home and kissed me goodbye I was in total confusion.

I saw him a couple times at school yesterday. Then last night we went to the basketball game at school, against Auburn High School. We won, and it was a good game, except that I was drinking and Alan wasn't and I think I made a fool out of myself. He probably thinks I'm an idiot now.

We went and parked at Mt. Burien again, and he was all over me. He kept trying to feel me up but I wouldn't let him. When he dropped me off at home, he said he would call me sometime, "When it was convenient." That hurt my feelings but I didn't say anything. I went into the house and went to bed.

The stupid thing about this whole damned mess is that I've managed to make it seem more important than it really is. Shit, I've been out with this guy TWICE, and now if he doesn't call me today, I'll get all depressed and sulky and worried.

I'd better get up. I have a ton of housework to do and a shower to take and a hangover to get rid of. I'll talk to ya later.

My Christmas shopping money: $48.55 (not very much)

Dad - Freddy Fender album? glass froster? hot shave capsule?
Mom - plant? jewelry? perfume?
Dick - album
Debby - "Shrink Plastic"
Grandma Vert - some kind of knick-knack
Grandpa Vert - crossword puzzle book (as a joke), nice gift
Grandma St. John - plant
Chellaigne - joint gift w/Dad (earrings?)

Noon on a Saturday afternoon, and I am still sitting around, listening to the stereo, wishing Alan would call, wondering where I'll scrape up the energy to clean the house. I feel dead. I wish I wasn't so damned depressed about Alan & our date last night ... but even more than that, I wish he'd at least CALL me sometime today. That way I'll know whether I was just a "one nighter" or not.

Think I'll go have some lunch.

Before bed:

Alan showed up unexpectedly at 8:00 tonight with two of his friends, Jeff and Dick. We didn't do anything "exciting," just sat in the living room listening to the stereo ...

He's the first nice guy that's showed any interest in me since Steve and I broke up, so naturally I've jumped into a one-sided emotional relationship with the first person to come along. No precautions. No looking before I leap. No checking the road ahead for potholes. Just plunge right in, Terri. Start building up all your hopes and dreams and emotions around this boy. Let him become the center of your entire existence ... and then wait for the inevitable let-down.


Sunday morning 10:34 a.m.
December 21, 1975

Just woke up, and I feel good. Hope that Dad and I get to do some Christmas shopping today.


Lots of free time this evening to sit around and relax and write. I hope that Alan doesn't stop by unexpectedly again tonight: I'd like to go to bed early and sleep late. I'm tired. This past week has been super-hectic, with the Beach Boys concert and the choir concert and going out with Alan three times and school newspaper deadlines and Christmas money worries. No wonder I'm beginning to feel like an old, old woman.

Today Dad and I did a lot of Christmas shopping, got our tree. The house really looks nice now.

Before bed:

Today turned out to be a good day after all. First, Rhonda came over and spent the afternoon at my house. She was really down in the dumps because she'd been involved in a minor fender-bender, so we smoked some pot and felt better right away. Sat, listened to records, laughed, talked.

Then tonight Alan called and took me out. That was really a pleasant surprise, because I didn't expect to hear from him. We went down to Southcenter to window-shop and watch the crowds of people, then we went to Herfy's for a Coke. (Debbie & Rhonda were there.) Then we came to my house, and since Dad was already in bed, we had the place to ourselves. We watched some dumb old movie and talked. I'm beginning to learn more about him, and tomorrow - if I have the time - I'll have to discuss with you some of the things I've discovered.

All for now.

Tuesday morning
December 23, 1975

Woke up feeling happy, rested and relaxed. Last night with Alan was fun: it helped quell my fear that he's just using me.

Today I want to clean my bedroom - it is a MESS - and get over to Grandma's to wash some clothes.


Alan came over tonight for a little while, after Dad was in bed. We sat and watched "The Rookies," but he was slightly preoccupied and restless. I can't figure him out.

Wednesday afternoon
December 24, 1975

I've got so many things to do today, but here it is noon already and I haven't even started. Upset because the turntable on the stereo isn't working, for some mysterious reason. It was working OK this morning. I would try to fix it, but you know how mechanically inclined I am ... ha ha.

Fixed myself a stiff drink, and now I feel hot, heavy and tired. How the hell am I ever going to finish cleaning the kitchen, bathroom, living room and my bedroom, PLUS wash my hair, take a bath, iron my clothes, finish wrapping presents and get ready for tonight??? All I feel like doing is sitting.

I don't know why I drink so much. Do you think I could be an alcoholic?

Before bed - very drunk:

Just let me ramble for now ... I'll explain everything tomorrow. Thank God that nice guy with the beard picked me up tonight or else I'd still be walking. I bet Mom knows I took the R & R bottle.


I am so drunk. I got so drunk tonite. I drank Jim Beam, vodka and God knows what else. I am so drunk. I can't stand it. Phil called me tonite, I wonder why?

Merry Christmas, Terri! This song & the Canadian whiskey was worth it - I am drunk as drunk can be, and I have some advice for next year:

A.) Don't go until 6:00 p.m.

B.) Take small gifts for Jerry & Jody and Dick & Ann

C.) Be more discreet about swiping booze - I'm sure that EVERYONE knows I took it

A suitcase, my God. And my thumbnail is so short. Remember the plastic caught in your teeth? And remember ugly, no-personality Kelly (Dick's friend)?

Drunk out of my mind at Grandma St. John's house
Clockwise from top: Stepbrother Pat Beeson, brother Richard Vert,
stepbrother Ronny Beeson, Debby Jeanne (in my lap), Mom
Christmas Eve 1975



Christmas evening 1975

Just took a hot bath, and now I feel like going to bed. This has been a long day. I got so drunk at Grandma St. John's on Christmas Eve, you wouldn't believe it. I was drinking Canadian R & R, vodka, beer and everything else, and by 9:00 I was totally and completely bombed. What a way to celebrate Christmas.

Today we had the traditional turkey dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Vert's.

Alan dropped by tonite. No thrills.


Christmas Day at Grandma & Grandpa Vert's; I am so hungover I can barely function
Left: Grandpa Vert at the head of the table, cousin Chellaigne on the other side of me
Right: Posing in front of Grandma's tree with Dad

December 26, 1975

The day after Christmas is usually an emotional/mental let-down for me. This year, though, it feels just like any other day. Lazy, uneventful, unexciting.

Alan didn't call at all today, and I ended up sitting home alone this evening. What a waste.  Do you think I could possibly really like him? I originally intended to keep it friendly and uninvolved. This may sound callous, but I actually planned to go out with him during Christmas vacation and then dump him as soon as school started again. Really dumb, Terri ... things don't work that way. I'm not saying that I'm falling in love with him or anything. I don't know Alan. I don't understand him. At least, not yet. Maybe in time. But for the moment, I'm saying that I like him, I want to get to know him, and I don't care what other people say.

And you know, he's really pretty cute ... especially when he smiles.

I've got to make an appointment at the Planned Parenthood clinic as soon as possible. My abortion was over a month ago, and I should have a checkup to make sure everything's OK. Not only that, I ran out of birth control pills a couple of weeks ago, and for my own sake I should have the prescription refilled. I'm not planning anything, with Alan or anyone else ... I'm just trying to be open-minded and responsible.

Saturday evening 6:30 p.m.
December 27, 1975

Will I go out tonight, or will I spend another lonely evening at home? I want to see Alan, dammit, but he hasn't called in a couple of days and I get the impression that things have cooled off between us. I don't want to sit home alone tonite!!!  If there's anything I hate with a passion, it's a guy who just stops calling for no reason.

Sitting in my room, slowly getting drunk (Coke in my whiskey), listening to spacey Led Zeppelin music, burning sandalwood incense. I look great - my hair curled nicely, makeup looks good, new peasant blouse and clean jeans. Now if only someone would call ...

I'm drunk now ... feeling better, simply because I'm working more within myself now. Still wish Alan would stop by - I'd like to see him - but if he doesn't, no biggy.

Sunday morning
December 28, 1975

I certainly feel like shit this morning. Rick H. and I drank almost the whole bottle of whiskey last night, and I got so drunk that my head feels like the inside of a cement mixer. I didn't even want to go out with him last night, but that asshole Alan never called, and I certainly didn't feel like sitting home alone. Rick is nice, funny, an old boyfriend from last spring, but it was dumb of me to go out with him again. We drove around the Loop a few times, and then he took me to some deserted dead-end street and promptly began crawling all over me. God, I HATE guys like that. I stopped him before things got "carried away," and now am I ever glad. I'm so disgusted with him that I don't care if I ever see him again.

Surprisingly, tho, I don't really feel all that bad about it. I mean, I'm not wallowing in waves of guilt and remorse this morning. Actually, I'm quite pleased with myself for choosing the way I wanted things to go, instead of backing down and letting Rick do whatever he wanted out of fear he might "hate" me if I didn't. I don't really give a shit WHAT he thinks of me. It's MY body, MY feelings that I'm dealing with, and I'm sick and tired of being used by stupid half-assed guys. It's my prerogative to say "no" when I'm being pressured sexually.

I've got to go - Dad & I are going to go get a hamburger. More later.

Later afternoon:

I wonder why Alan has suddenly stopped calling? It seems as though the only thing boys ever ask me out for anymore is sex ... and then when I won't give them what they want, I never hear from them again. Why?  Take my experience with Rick last night. I didn't really want to go out with him in the first place. I definitely had no intention of sleeping with him. When I resisted his advances, he went home ... and I'd be willing to wager I'll never hear from him again. And that is SO TYPICAL!  Now Alan has stopped calling, and I have a feeling the reason is the same. I haven't been complying with his "demands," so he's decided to find someone who will.

Fuck him.  (Or don't.)

Tuesday evening
December 30, 1975
Slow Ride

Sometimes I think I'm living in my own private three ring circus. Things get so confused and complicated and hard to deal with. I don't even know where my own head is.

I'm sitting in my room, listening to FM music, burning sandalwood, relaxing. Today was Grandpa Vert's 70th birthday and (my half-sister) Debby Jeanne's 7th. This evening Grandma St. John and I went over to Mom's new house and helped Deb celebrate her birthday with cake, ice cream and presents. Deb is getting so big. My God, I remember when she was just a baby, and now she's growing up so fast. I asked her if she's happy to be seven years old, and in typical Debby fashion she said, "Yah, but I can hardly wait until I'm 18 so I can be as big as YOU are!"  

Anyway, while I was gone, guess who finally called? None other than Alan. SHIT! Wouldn't you know it?? It's been almost a week since he called, and when he did call, I wasn't even home. SHIT!  Well, all I can do is climb back onto the merry-go-round of waiting and hoping that he'll call. (He probably won't, though, after the rude way Dad talked to him on the phone.)

I went out with Greg last night. We went to a movie and had a fairly good time. Saw Robert Redford in "Three Days of the Condor" and Gene Hackman in "Night Moves." After the movie, Greg came home with me and we watched some late TV. He was really nice, and I let him kiss me goodnight, but it wasn't really all that thrilling. I mean, I'm not interested in a continuing relationship with him.  And why should I?  He was smart, good-looking, courteous, attentive, funny  ...  all the things I loathed in a boyfriend.

Wednesday morning
December 31, 1975

Just woke up, feeling a lot happier and more relaxed than I have in a few days. (Great: it's the GOOD version of "Nights on Broadway.") Remembering that at least Alan CALLED me last night ... at least he hasn't forgotten about me. Makes me feel so much lighter, less burdened.

Sunny day. Dad is at the doctor's. I don't know what I'm going to do today.

I will wait
Even if it takes forever
I will wait
Even if it takes a lifetime
Somehow I feel inside
You never ever left my side
Make it like it was before
Even if it takes a lifetime ...

Oh, this is Alan's favorite song they're playing on KJR right now - "Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover." I hate it.

Tonight is New Year's Eve. What am I going to do to celebrate? Anything? Will I go out with Alan? Or with Kevin? Or with Greg? Or will I go to the annual New Year's Eve party at church (I HOPE not!)

6:00 p.m.

Ledger. Try not to die of shock or anything, but Alan - remember him? - finally called and asked me out. My God! I don't believe it. He said we're "going to Jeff's house" ... I wonder what that means? A party? People? Drinking? I'm so excited. I can't believe it. I still need to change my clothes, fix my hair, make some last minute repairs on my makeup. He's coming in half an hour. I've got to relax a little, do some back & neck exercises, loosen up.


Typical of Alan ... he's 45 minutes late. Well, at least I'm not nervous anymore, but I am getting impatient. If there's one thing I hate it's being stood up.

Home (at last)

and you know what time it is yes! It is 5:17 a.m. and I am pretty gosh awful drunk - but what a fun night! I'll explain it all tomorrow, OK? OK!

1976 ...
A brand new year.
Lord, give me the strength & grace to live
and with a sense of values & renewed
to serve You in all things.


... to the whole thing right now, before it's too late and I begin to really care. After all, it's not too late yet. We haven't done anything. We've come close but we haven't taken the big plunge. Would it be wise to get out of it now?

God, Dad makes me SO MAD! 7:20 a.m. and he still hasn't left for work ... he's lying in there on his bed, making moaning noises, trying to make me believe he's sick. Shit. If he expects me to call in for him, he's full of crap because I'm tired of his immature little games. He's the biggest 41 year old baby I've ever known.

Friday morning
January 2, 1976

Shit, I could just cry. Dad has ruined my whole, beautiful Christmas vacation. Why the hell does he keep staying home from work with his phony little excuses?? Dammit!!! I was counting on two weeks of being home ALONE, having some time to myself, to relax and unwind and do things that needed to be done, and to enjoy some privacy. And now what does he do? Stays home every fucking day this week. I haven't had ONE MINUTE to myself all week. I can't invite friends over, I can't play the stereo, I can't do anything but stagnate in my bedroom. He was supposed to go back to work this morning, but instead he gave his Sarah Bernhardt performance. He's at the grocery store now, but I'm sure that the minute he comes back, the phony excuses will start again. I can't take another day of it - hell, I'm going to go over to Grandma's. It's not any more private, but it's one hell of a lot better than spending another boring day with that hypochondriac.


Geez, I must have been in a really bad mood when I wrote that. I have to admit that it would be nice to have some time alone, but there's certainly no need to be childish and self-centered about it. Just "suffer in silence," I guess.

Saturday nite 7:25 p.m.
January 3, 1976

The phone hasn't rung once all day, can you believe it? This has been one of the most totally boring weekends of my life. Last night Alan didn't call; neither did Greg or Kevin or anybody. I ended up sitting home, watching TV with Dad. Not exactly exciting. Now it looks as though I'm fated to the same dull evening again tonight.

WAIT! DELIVERANCE!!   Alan just called ... looks like I might be going out after all.

7:40 p.m.

Alan will be here any second -- and now I wish I wasn't going out with him. It will just be a big repeat of New Years Eve, with him crawling all over me and me trying to think up clever ways to avoid having sex with him. What do I do, Lord? Is there anyway to get out of it?

2:02 a.m.
(Some great Lynyrd Skynyrd song, the one about being as free as a bird)

Am I drunk?  Yes, I believe I am, a little. I had one HELL of a weird evening, I tell you! Alan, Jeff and I drove out to this house in White Center where Jeff's girlfriend Ann was babysitting. It's a long, long, complicated story so I think I'll skip it. A lot of things happened - some good and some bad.  

Sunday night
January 4, 1976

Absolutely blinding headache. Just swallowed a couple of aspirins.

School tomorrow. In a way, I'm glad ... vacation, all two weeks of it, was very relaxing and unhurried, a much-needed rest. But I'll be happy to get back into the mainstream anyway.  At least I can "sleep in" until 8 a.m., thanks to my new Late Arrival status.

Today was a really great day; it helped me forget all about my disastrous evening with Alan last night. Maybe someday I'll write about last night, but right now I'd much rather just forget about it. (I'll say this much: he could never make me really happy.) Today was a great day, because I went back to church after a three month absence - spent the day over at Phil's house, just like old times - and then this evening I re-joined the singing group. It was unbelievably good to be back. I guess I hadn't realized how much I missed it.

Monday evening
January 5, 1976

I feel kind of low today. I think my period is going to come any time, which probably accounts for my sudden tiredness & irritability. (I screamed at Mr. Mjelde, my Drivers Ed instructor - "Would you please quit grabbing the wheel?!") I've got to keep that in mind and not let my bad mood get out of hand. Went back to school today ... it was OK, but Ledger, I'm so BORED. Skipped History so I wouldn't have to face Alan. Guess I'm going to be embarrassed to face him no matter how long I put it off. Third period was Choir, and Mr. Purvis passed out some new music for us to run through ... some old Negro Spirituals, and a difficult tune from "Lost Horizon." Lunch wasn't much fun. Rhonda is suddenly cold and distant, and I'm getting so sick of "me & Debbie did this" and "me & Debbie did that," I could barf.  Anyway, 4th period Journalism was BORING. If Mr. Carmagnani thinks I'm going to be satisfied being the fucking Copy Editor all year, he's got another thing coming. I didn't join the newspaper staff to spend the year correcting OTHER peoples' writing.

One bright spot, as always, was Stage Band. Nice to talk to Mark and all the guys again.

Sixth period on the other hand was depressing. My Study Hall class is boring as hell.

I'm just casting around, looking for my place, somewhere I can belong. Shuffled through the crowded hallways, thrown face-to-face with masses of mindless robots for six hours of my life every day. Sometimes I love high school, and the thought of graduating & leaving the old alma mater behind makes me sad ... but at other times, like right now, I almost couldn't care less about the whole damn thing.

Oh, you dream of a silver stallion
Riding high on the stars above
And then a night of love comes and carries you away
Then you dream of a thousand faces
Watching you on a the silver screen
Until the morning comes
And chases all your dreams away
Oh, Marlina
Who you gonna be today?
Oh Marlina
Don't you know you're gonna dream your life away?

Tuesday nite
Jan. 6, 1976

No time to write cuz it's nearly 11:30 p.m. and I have to get up early. My bad mood is (almost) gone. Guess it was just a case of the 24 hour Blue Meanies. The world is in balance once again.


  • Make appointment with Planned Parenthood
  • Make appointment with Dr. Oliver (orthodontist)
  • Finish "Insight" and seal before Jan. 31 (I extended the deadline)
  • Find someone to cut my hair? (It's getting too long & out of control)

Thursday evening
January 8, 1976

It rained today ... sheets of cold, depressing rain.

Things are beginning to get me down. Pat and Glenn and all those guys are really giving me a bad time, calling me names and making fun of me whenever I walk down the hallway. I don't understand why they hate me all of a sudden. Wayne Kremling has a girlfriend. Rhonda is nice, but she and Debbie are so thick now that I feel like a third wheel around them. I don't have anyone to talk to. I'm ten pounds overweight - and look it. I'm flunking History again. I feel like a big, fat, sloppy, ugly mess, and no one loves me, and ...

... it rained today.

Saturday night
January 10, 1976

Love Hurts

Couple of nights later. The rain has stopped, but my listlessness and boredom haven't. I managed to come down with the flu this weekend - scratchy throat, aching head, dizziness, fever. I feel really rotten physically, and naturally it hasn't done much for my frame of mind, either. I'm stuck in bed, drowning my sorrows in orange juice and aspirin and cough syrup. My voice is all but gone. I wouldn't be surprised if I have mono or strep, or maybe something worse. After my last date with Alan, all kinds of little white sores appeared in my mouth, and this throat infection appeared shortly after.  We never did go all the way, thank God. What a mistake that would have been.

What a crummy week this has been. No one to talk to, nothing interesting to do. At least I've started going to church again, and re-joined New Vision. That gives me some consolation. Almost wish me and Phil could give things another try, but I know that it wouldn't work out much better than it did the first two times.


Sunday morning
January 11, 1976

Why should I be depressed? It's such a pointless state of mind to be in ... why not just enjoy life, moment by moment, day by day ... ?

Monday night: I accidentally spilled a pan of hot grease on my left hand, burned 2 fingers and my palm badly.

Tuesday evening
January 13, 1976

Are you optimistic
About the way that things are going?
"No, I never ever think of it at all ...."

Still living - just living. Just getting by, living each day the best I can.

I saw Steve yesterday, and Ledger - I can't begin to explain what it did to me, seeing him again after all these months. Just a split second glance - he was in a passing car with his friend Steve Symonds - but I know it was him. I would recognize him absolutely anywhere, I swear. It was him.  He saw me too - he looked right at me.  Now all I can think about is him. That stupid asshole ... he started screwing up my brain and my feelings and my whole life the very minute I met him, clear the hell back in June, and he's still screwing me up, eight months later.

This evening I've been sitting here in my room (it's a mess), eating juicy chicken, listening to the radio, avoiding Dan B.'s phone calls, digging around looking for Steve's love letters. So sad to read them again. That familiar, squished-together handwriting ... I know every letter by heart.

I feel like crying. This song on the radio fits my situation perfectly. My heart wants to split in two.

I keep holding onto yesterday
Oh, I keep holding on ...

Doesn't that just sound like me? I mean, all I do anymore is "hold on to yesterday" ... thinking about Steve & the way I blew it with him, thinking about Phil & the way I blew it with him ... living in the past. Now my yesterdays have all gone dry, just like the song says.

I'll never have Steve again. He'll never love me, not the way he used to. He'll never hold me in his arms again, I'll never touch his face or tell him I love him or make love with him again. It's dead, dried up, finished. I haven't seen him since September 6th, the night I got pregnant, an eternity ago. So why can't I just be realistic and forget about him, once and for all? Maybe because I'm lonely. I miss him, but above all else I miss being loved. There are so many things wrong in my life. I'd like something to make it right.

Cough is getting worse. Terrible cramps 'cause my period started today. My hand is in that stupid bandage (from burning myself). I'm a physical wreck.

Friday afternoon
January 16, 1976
Only Sixteen

A few days later. My cough is still bad. SO sick, in fact, that I stayed home from school today.

4:36 p.m.

Don't think I'll go to the basketball game and dance tonight ... my cough is awful, I'd rather stay home and relax in my room. Quite a few things have happened these past couple of days, and I have a lot to think about.

I'm not thinking about Steve anymore. Seen in the cold light of reality, I know I was dumb to think I could still love him. Considering the hell he put me through, especially running out on me at the time I needed him most, when I got pregnant ... how could any girl in her right mind carry a torch for someone like that?  I'm OVER him.  There will be occasional moments of weakness. I have to admit, during those rare, few-and-far-between good times, things were very good. But I mustn't let myself forget the bad times. It's only the memory of those bad times that keeps me strong enough to stay away from him.

Oh What A Night (December 1963)

I have been thinking about Phil, though. Last Wednesday night we went with a bunch of kids to see "The Joyous Celebration" in concert at Glendale Lutheran. After the concert, we went to Shakey's until 11:00. Had a good time, talking and laughing over pizza and Cokes. Phil and I were together most of the evening, and it felt so good. I hadn't realized how much I'd missed his friendship. I'll see him again tomorrow night, maybe, if I go to the Danny Taylor concert.

If I Only Knew (Ozark Mt. Daredevils)

As for tonite, I think I'll just stay home, maybe clean up my room or something.

Monday night
January 19, 1975

I've been so depressed lately. So many things on my mind. I've prayed, and I feel the warmth of God's love within me, but there is still a sadness within my heart. I need to talk to God about a lot of things, and I need some time to be alone. Dad hasn't been to work in nearly a month because of his stupid fakey "illness," and I think I'm going to go crazy. There is absolutely no privacy in this little shoebox of a house, and lately I've been climbing the walls, craving some time to myself. School is a madhouse, swarming with cold, hate-filled people ... and then coming home to this house is not much better. I wish I had my Drivers License, a car, and lots and lots of free time ... I'd drive out to the mountains for a day, up to that spot where I went with Steve last summer ... sit by the river and throw stones and smell the trees and think.  Enjoy God's beautiful creation.

Tuesday night 10:30 p.m.
January 20, 1975
Up In A Puff Of Smoke

Dad is in his radio room, typing and talking on the CB radio, so I'm staying up late too. Lori and I went to the basketball game tonight - we beat Highline in a very close, very exciting game - but Herfy's afterward wasn't much fun. Lori and I sat in one booth, but the only guy who came over to talk to us was Jack Cupples.  He sat across from me smoking a cigarette, blowing his smoke in my face ... it was all I could do to keep from gagging. Now I'm sitting in the living room listening to the stereo, contemplating whether or not to wash my hair now or wait till I go to bed.

You're No Good

Tonight at the game, Mark came over and sat by me, and as a "joke" he reached over and started holding my hand. Later at Herfy's he did the same thing. The whole time he acted like he was just kidding around, but I have this feeling that he really does like me (still). Every day during Stage Band he always acts like that, calling me "Terri Dearest" and putting his arm around me to make me laugh. I have to admit that I don't mind. He's so cute, and funny, and fun to be with ... but I've said this before and I'll say it again - he's too young. He's only a 15 year old sophomore, and as I wrote in the beginning of this Ledger, that's a three year gap in attitudes toward everything.  I love him like a best friend, but nothing more.

I'm just waiting and waiting for the right guy to come along. Seems as though I've really had rotten luck with guys during this, my last year in high school. But I guess that most senior girls have this problem. I just have to force myself to wait for the RIGHT guy to come along, and not waste my time with any more creeps like Alan or Rick H. I can do so much better.

My relationship with Phil, by the way, will never again be anything more than friendship. I can tell by the way he still carries a torch for Sherie. I'm sorry about it, because I miss his love ... but I guess I should be thankful that I still haven't blown his friendship, in spite of all the dumb things I've done. The last time we were together I treated him like dirt. I deserved to lose him. Oh yah, I still love him (and always will), but it's got to be a secret between you and me, Ledger.

Just keep waiting for good love, Terri.

January 21, 1976

Waiting for Journalism (4th period) to begin. Brilliantly sunny day. Sitting at my desk, listening to kids shouting out in the hallway. This period I've got to work out a balanced feature page for the paper and measure the pictures I'll need for Jim, the photographer.

Need pictures of:
"Heap of the Week" (Tony DeLorenzo)
"Career Corner" (Felicia Wiggins)
John Knapp

Saturday afternoon
January 24, 1976

Lazy, boring Saturday afternoon with absolutely nothing to do. I decided not to go to (Rhonda's sister) Renee and Jeff's wedding today. My hair is too dirty, for one thing, and also because I'd feel dumb showing up without a date. Lori is taking Jeff Welk, and Rhonda is taking that older guy she's been dating, what's-his-name. I'd feel out of place, to say the least. Oh well. I've been sorting through a box of old letters and notes (some of them date back to 5th grade!) Really interesting, and fun to find old love letters from people like Kenny Bostick ... John Riley  ...  even that funny sweet note Dave Loback gave me on the last day of 6th grade. Now I'm going to watch one of my favorite old Shirley Temple movies ("Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm") and try to clean my bedroom a little. 

Dan B. asked me to go to the movies with him tonight, but I really don't want to. He's so sweet, but I just don't like him "that" way!!! I've got to wash my hair, too.

Later that night:

Quiet ... the house is quiet, the world is quiet. I feel alone, isolated. What a wasted day. I sat on my bed for twelve straight hours, watching TV and thinking. Not exactly the most exciting way to spend a Saturday. I stayed home tonite, too - no date, no parties, no going out with friends. I stayed home and worked on my Insight notebook and watched TV with Dad and listened to the radio.


Love, where are you?
Real living - when do you start?

Sunday night
February 1, 1976


I'm sorry that I haven't written in you for over a week, but I LOST you ... I accidentally left you over at Grandma's house without realizing it, and I just got you back today. Boy, have I missed you!! I was so afraid that someone at school had stolen you. God, what a horrible thought. This Ledger reflects the very core of my thoughts ... my feelings, emotions, past experiences. My soul lies naked on your pages. The idea of anyone reading the things I've written here is nauseating to me.

11:00 p.m.

Ready for bed. I just took a hot, soapy shower, washed my hair thoroughly and took off all my makeup and shaved my legs and spritzed on some cologne, and now I feel clean and sweet-smelling and tired. Ate a jumbo deluxe roast beef sandwich with little sweet pickles and a big glass of milk. The house is quiet. The clock on the wall quietly chimes the hour ... Benji Cat is stalking around the living room, plotting his escape. I feel at peace.


Monday morning
February 2, 1976

Happy Groundhog Day, Ledger!

I don't know why, but I'm getting so depressed about graduating. It's only four months away, and already I'm beginning to miss my happy high school days. What an idiot, Terri.

Tuesday night 11:15 p.m.
February 3, 1976

Relaxed, feeling very much my own person. Almost happy. The house is quiet. I'm all ready for bed and pleasantly sleepy. Tonight was fun ... Lori and I went to the basketball game at school (Glacier vs. Kentridge), and afterwards we went to Herfy's. I was in an exuberant, unusually buoyant mood. We had fun talking to Russ T. & Wayne K.

As for right now, I'm pooped. Rhonda and I are going to wear skirts to school tomorrow, so I've gotta get up early and spend some extra time making myself beautiful (a lost cause). Time for bed. G'nite.

Tuesday night
February 10, 1976
Strange Magic

One week later. Sorry! I've been busy. It's super-late at night, and I have this feeling I'll never make it out of bed tomorrow morning. I've been so tired lately ... maybe because I haven't been eating properly or taking my iron ... or maybe because I stay awake until all hours of the night, writing senseless trash in my Ledger!! Whatever the reason, my energy level is down in the basement.

Changes during the past week:

Wayne K. likes me now.  All his friends are industriously trying to get the two of us together.

Last Friday night I went to this really DECENT party with Kathy Festa and Linda Dahl.  Everybody from Glacier was there, lots of beer and pot, and we all got wasted beyond belief. It was so much fun. Pat was there- remember him???? - and the way things worked out, him and I hung out together. He actually KISSED me, and even tho we were both drunk, I wasn't too far gone to enjoy it! Ever since then we've been smiling and saying hi to each other again, just like at the beginning of this year, and it's neat.

Thursday evening
February 12, 1976

Sitting on my rumpled bed. Waiting for "The Waltons" to begin ... it's supposed to be a good one tonight, something about Mary Ellen reaching the "marriageable" age and rebelling against it. Hmm. 

I got an interesting crank phone call about half an hour ago. Some idiot whose voice I didn't recognize kept asking me, "Don't you know who this is?" Finally he said, "This is MARK - what are you doing?"  (It wasn't my friend Mark from Stage Band. This guy had a different voice.) In exasperation I said, "What am I doing? I'm hanging up on YOU, that's what I'm doing!"

I do think I like Pat again. Ever since that terrific party last Friday, I haven't been able to stop thinking about him.  For a while I was afraid that maybe he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend, who had a baby a few months ago. I see him talking to her in the attendance office all the time, and it's kinda had me worried. But thank goodness! I found out today that she is going with someone else now, and you have no idea how relieved I was when I found out!

Friday night 7:16 p.m.
February 13, 1976

Ledger, GUESS WHAT?? PAT CALLED ME THIS AFTERNOON!! Sitting in my room now, drinking a Fresca & whiskey, getting ready to go to the game with Debbie and Lori. Pat's gonna be there, so's Lori. Who knows what might happen?

5:47 a.m.

Just got home, Ledj ... fuckin' drunk, tired, sore, wet. But happy (sorta)!

Saturday morning 9:12 a.m.
February 14, 1976

Oh God. I only got about three hours of sleep, and does my head ever feel like shit. (To put it mildly.) Oh God. What a night I had last night. What a night.


Ledger, you wouldn't believe what a night I had.

Right now I seem to be recovering from my hangover. I'm sitting in the living room listening to a Led Zeppelin album, downing a 32 ounce bottle of Fresca, planning what to do this afternoon. My headache has dissipated; my stomach doesn't feel like a gravel pit anymore. I'm a total and complete wreck, but at least I feel good.

Tonight is Tolo (the annual girls-ask-boys dance) and guess what?  - I'm going after all!  What a shock. I was sitting by Wayne during most of the game last night, and thanks to Debbie's urging and Lori's encouragement, I scraped up the nerve and asked him to go to the dance with me. He seemed to be really surprised and happy about it, and we all had a good laugh about me setting some kind of world's record - waiting until 24 hours before the dance to ask. Russ is going with Denise Meredith; Rhonda is taking Marlon Olson, the 6'7" basketball star at Highline High School; and since Russ & Marlon & Wayne are all buddies, we'll probably all hang out together. That'd be OK. I guess I'll wear my new choir formal, the pink one, but I wish I had something a little sexier. Oh well. Grandma and Grandpa are taking me to Burien around 3:00 to pick up a carnation for Wayne, and I think I'll stop at Pay 'n Save and buy some false eyelashes. Even if my dress isn't all that sexy, at least my face will be!

Last night was so wild. Debbie, Lori and I went to the basketball game at Highline High School (we won), and I was really drunk. I'd been drinking whiskey, and I felt really good. I sat by Wayne during most of the game, up on the top row of the bleachers; but during the fourth quarter I saw Pat come in with his friends and sit a few rows below us. I was a little embarrassed, and pretended to be really absorbed in the game, but I could feel his eyes searching the crowd, looking for me.

After the game Lori, Deb and I went to Herfy's. We all sat in a booth and I was still drunk & rowdy. I felt so good! Talked to a lot of people. Pat came in with his friends, they were just standing by the door talking so I went up and joined them. Pat was high, but he put his arm around me and talked to me a lot. I loved it!

It was only 10:00, so I decided to go to a party with Wayne, Russ and Denise for a while. Pat and I made plans to meet at Greg McKenna's house at midnight, and then I left with Wayne. The party was at Russell's sister's house: jammed with people, drinking beer and dancing to Beach Boys music and talking. Wayne, me, Russ and Denise found a couch and sat down - I sat on Wayne's lap - and I drank two gigantic mugs of beer. By the time I finished them I was bombed, and I couldn't shut up; I was talking to total strangers. Wayne held my hand and pulled me through the crowd to meet his big sister Karol, and she looked me up and down like she was sizing me up, seeing if I was good enough for her baby brother. It was funny.

Tolo 1976
My date was the very pleasant (and no doubt deeply disappointed) Wayne Kremling




A few days later?

No call from Pat. Hmmm. I'm feeling incredibly rundown and tired ... this has been one hell of a wild weekend! ... but somehow I've got to scrape together the energy to go to choir rehearsal in half an hour.

Chew chew
double double
good good
doublemint gum!


Waiting for my hot dogs to cook. I'm not really very hungry ... I just feel tired, tired, tired. A little depressed. The more I think about it, the more I wish I wouldn't have met Pat on Friday night at Greg's. I don't think he's called me since then (I still haven't asked Dad about it) and it's becoming increasingly apparent that I was nothing but a "one-nighter." He probably couldn't care less about me.

Dad is all over my back, merely because I failed to get all excited over the idea of driving the Vega next fall, so I've holed myself up in my bedroom. Sitting on my bed listening to the radio, drinking a glass of cold milk. My TV isn't working, for some strange reason, so I guess I'll have to be content with my little radio (Take It To The Limit) and my ledger.

I'm so TIRED. I know I've said that already, but I want to emphasize the fact. I think that being tired is what's making me feel so grumpy & lonely & dismal.

Last night after Tolo, we drove back to my house. Dad wasn't home so Wayne invited himself in, bringing his bottle of 151 with him. He offered me a drink but I said "no thanks." We'd eaten dinner earlier at the South China Doll (incredibly bad Chinese food), I was still massively hungover from the night before, and my stomach simply flopped over at the thought of alcohol




Monday morning
February 16, 1976

Just woke up a little while ago, and for some reason I feel almost good. I'm well-rested, I have this feeling that everything is going to be all right. School holiday today. Think I'll clean my room.

Tuesday afternoon
Feb. 17, 1976

Very bad sore throat. The glands in my neck are all swollen and sore.

School today was a little depressing. Pat and I didn't say one word to each other all day; and as if that weren't enough to hurt my feelings, I heard yet another rumor that he's going to marry his ex-girlfriend after graduation. Mike Baxter said he saw Pat & Donna this weekend with their baby. Is any of this true? Am I wasting my time on an almost-married man?

Wednesday evening
February 18, 1976

I stayed home from school today, and Dad took me to see Dr. Hughes. I was right - I have strep throat. Really feel rotten. I can't swallow anything at all, and my entire throat is paralyzed with pain. I'll be out of school for the rest of the week. In the meantime I'm dying of boredom, worry and frustration. I'm bored because there's nothing to do; I'm worried because I don't know what's going on with Pat; I'm frustrated because there isn't a darned thing I can do about it, stuck here in bed.

Being sick these past couple of days has really put me on edge around Dad. He's so negative lately ... he makes cutting remarks about everything and everyone, he's always complaining or fussing or swearing about SOMETHING. It's gotten to the point where I can barely stand to be around him.

God, I wish I could move out. I've got to break away before I completely lose my mind. Maybe that's the way everybody feels at one time or another ... the desire to leave the nest behind. I love Dad, a lot, but I can't stand feeling confined like this. With just the two of us living in this tiny house with the paper-thin walls, I never have a minute of complete privacy. Everywhere I turn, he's standing there, watching my every move. I just can't wait for the day I have a place all to myself.  Bad news:  you'll have to wait another 21 years for that to happen.

OUCH!! INTENSE PAIN!!! I just sneezed, hard, and it killed off my throat and my ears ...

Favorite Song: "Money Honey," Bay City Rollers

Sunday night
February 22, 1976

The medication Dr. Hughes gave me (Keflex compound) worked wonders ... my sore throat and fever disappeared the very next day. However, if it isn't one thing, it's another. Now I'm stuck with a draggy cold, stuffy head and nagging cough. Honestly. I seem to be sick more than anyone else I know.  Just ask Aurora!

This weekend was totally dead. I stayed home Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night. Plus, nobody bothered to call, so I was pretty much isolated from the outside world. I did housework, read a science fiction book, watched TV and little else. Well - at least I'm rested and relaxed.

Tonight I went to choir rehearsal, and for a change it was fun & we managed to get a lot of work accomplished. Sherie wasn't there, and that put me into a considerably happier frame of mind. I can never relax when she's around. After rehearsal, Phil and Mike and me went to Karen's house ... we played pool and listened to records in the rec room, and it was nice to be with some of my old friends again without feeling threatened by Sherie's presence. I know my attitude toward her is wrong, and unhealthy, and sinful. For some reason I simply don't want to love her. Part of it is jealousy ... her perfect blonde hair, perfect blue eyes, perfect figure, the perfect way she handles herself around boys, blah blah blah ... and part of it is resentment because of the wall she's put between Phil and me. Seems as tho the more time I spend with her, the more hatred and resentment I build up inside. One of these days there will be a showdown. When it blows, everyone had better run for cover ...

I can't stand girls like her. They seem so damned beautiful and flawless, and after talking to them for even two minutes you get the feeling that your bra strap is showing and your nose is peeling and your mascara is running. Girls like her make you feel so inadequate. People have told me that I'm pretty, but I still feel insecure. I try to focus on my good points - my long shiny hair, super-long eyelashes, almost-completely-clear complexion - but then all my flaws starts to outweigh everything else, and suddenly I can't see anything but my big hips and my stubby fingernails and my too-big feet and my Mickey Mouse ears. I know this sounds petty, but insecurity is an awful thing to deal with and people like Sherie don't make it any easier.

Love life progress report: still no word from or about Pat M, but I'm taking it well. Wayne is very obviously still mad about what happened after the dance, but I DON'T CARE.   Mark asked me to "go steady" last Friday ... I offered him what I hope was a gentle refusal.

LIFE! Geez.

Monday night 7:41 p.m.
February 23, 1976
Bohemian Rhapsody

My sniffles are getting worse and worse. Feel awful, still. Managed to drag myself to school in spite of it, but during Stage Band, when I stood up to go to the piano, I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out, right there. Absolutely every bit of color drained from my face, Mark told me. He grabbed my arm and said "Are you OK?"  He is so sweet. He bought some new shoes that make him about two inches taller than me. I almost had to laugh, it was so pathetically sweet and funny. He said, "Now that I'm taller than you are, will you go out with me?"

As for Pat, he got a haircut over the weekend, really short, but surprisingly it looks nice on him. Lori looked at him this morning and said "My God! He looks just like Tony Orlando!"   I actually had one brief, unexciting chance to talk to him. I said, "Hey! Your hair looks nice!" He smiled, shrugged and said "Yah, well, it's short." His friends starting hooting and making fun of him when they saw us talking. I guess that's their problem, not mine.

Tuesday night
February 24, 1976

Time is slipping away so fast ... my precious senior year is drawing to the inevitable close. We got our senior keys last week; now we're nominating people for the "Seniors Choice" popularity polls and submitting ideas for class song, flower, motto and colors. Talk is of Senior Prom and Leonard Morgan's big graduation bash and scholarships and college applications. In a way it's all very exciting and happy and optimistic; but still I feel sorta sad when I realize that the twelve happiest years of my life will soon be ended. Twelve long years since I was Mrs. Lehman's "star pupil" in Room 4 ... the funny little girl with the ribbons in her hair and the irrepressible desire to be somebody "big" ...

Glacier may not be the best high school in the country - it may not be the biggest or the newest or the most modern - but it's my beloved alma mater, home of the blue & gold Glacier Grizzlies. I've done more growing and changing and developing during my three years at Glacier than at any other time or place in my life. For that reason I'll always think of these walls with a special fondness and warmth.

Three years ago I was a lonely, introverted little sophomore, clinging to my boyfriend Clarence, afraid to talk to people, sullen and withdrawn, intimidated by the people I thought were "better" than me (the cheerleaders, the athletes, the seniors). I stayed inside my little world with Clarence, completely isolated from the other kids. It was only after Clarence and I broke up and I was forced to expand my world that I really began to function normally within the high school world. At the time I thought Clarence and I breaking up was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Now, though, I can look back on that unhappy time and say, "Thank you, God, for making it happen exactly the way it did!" It literally forced me to open up to other people, make new friends, become a part of the class of '76.

There are still kids I don't associate with around school - that's normal - but I no longer feel so intimidated. On the whole, most of the kids in the senior class relate to each other. I can talk to a cheerleader without feeling like a nobody ... I can see the pimples on her forehead as well as my own. I've come to realize that a lot of the people I thought were too perfect and popular for me to even think about talking to are just as human as I am. I've dated some of the most popular guys in the school - something I thought was an impossible dream, back in my Clarence days! The parties that I go to are the same parties I once only heard about on Monday mornings. In other words, I've become a part of things. That's one way I've grown during my high school years, and I thank God for it. I thank Him that people grow and change and mature. Although I'm going to hate like anything saying goodbye to Glacier, I'll always be a part of the class of '76.

In the meantime ... I've got to start PRAYING that someone asks me to the Senior Prom .... !!!!!!

Wednesday afternoon
February 25, 1976

Ledger, I can't believe this. I can't. Guess who just called me after nearly six months of agonizing silence? 

None other than STEVE.

Am I happy? Am I scared? Maybe both, but what I'm feeling most of all is an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. I knew he was going to call. I just knew that one day I would pick up the phone and he would be on the other end. The feeling was getting stronger and stronger lately, and even my recent preoccupation with other guys didn't ease the feeling inside of me that our story - Steve's and mine - wasn't yet over.

We talked for 15 minutes, and I felt unbelievably calm, relaxed and peaceful. We talked about what we've been doing the past six months - working, going to school, partying, etc. - and he said "I've thought about calling you a few times lately, but I was too chicken." That made me feel suddenly very tender towards him. He also asked me - very awkwardly - about the abortion, and I briefly and somberly gave him the details. 

"I regret it," was all he offered in the way in the way of apology.

He's going to call me sometime this weekend - at least, he said he would. Oh, I pray that he does. I pray that he does.

Steve ... will I ever be able to say goodbye to you?

Before Bed:

Dead-tired. I hope I can crawl out of bed tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. and make it to school on time.

Went to Bible Study tonight. Instead of our usual routine of Scripture lesson and evaluation, we had an hour and a half of sharing, singing, praising and praying for each other. It was really neat, and I wish we did it more often .... it sure beats the boring studies we usually have. I sat by Phil and Debbie Sherman. Deb is such a sweet person, so easily hurt, and when John broke up with her two weeks ago, it almost killed her. She still loves him, very deeply. During the sharing time she wrote me a little note, begging me to talk to John for her (he's in my Stage Band class). She wants him back so much. She gave me a ride home after Bible Study. Still raining/snowing, bitterly cold.

I'm still trying to recover from my little heart attack this afternoon - the shock of Steve calling me. Ledger, I simply don't know what to do about it.

Thursday 8:20 a.m.
February 26, 1976


Ledger, I just had to find you and write a word or two. I haven't even gone to school yet, but I'm already drunk on my rear end (whiskey in my orange juice) and I feel so good, so unbelievably good. Happy, whole, complete. I'll probably get to school by 3rd period - that's an hour & a half from now - and in the meantime I intend to sit here in the living room, listen to music, think about Steve and feel so good. My body is intoxicated but I can still think and feel clearly enough - it's the perfect high. High enough. Every time I think about Steve calling me yesterday, I feel so good & happy, I could just cry. Then, this song reminds me so much of him ... that night we got together ...

9:10 a.m.

Still feeling really good. School in 50 minutes. Listening to my favorite songs, still thinking about Steve. I love him.

10:27 a.m.

Sitting here in Choir (3rd period), listening to Mr. Purvis explain music to the choir. I am so drunk and feel so good. Just went up to the 100 building girls can to fix my lip gloss and my eye makeup and my hair. Lori has gone to her dentist appointment. Both her and Rhonda are here this morning: they BOTH forgot to pick me up. What a warm, cozy feeling sitting here in this choir class. I feel so good being in high school, right smack dab in the middle of everything. I almost wish I could be drunk all the time. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy. (Scott Shearer is staring at me - I think I'll smile at him in a minute. They're passing in their papers. I think I'll go play the piano, probably very badly.)

Before bed:

I am so DEAD TIRED. What an exhausting day. I managed to get myself roaring drunk before I went to school, and it was one hell of an unorthodox day. Could barely play the piano in choir. Mark came over to my house tonite, we watched TV together until 11:00, and when he left he kissed me goodbye. I feel kinda guilty about that, since I don't know how I feel about him and because of Steve, but I have to admit, he's a good kisser!

G'nite, Ledger. Sleep tight.

February 27, 1976
Friday afternoon 5 p.m.
Money Honey

God, I hope I go somewhere tonight ... anywhere, I don't care. I'm beginning to get that boxed-in feeling again, and I've got to get out of this house.  (My new friend) Joada Brown asked me to go to a party with her tonight, and I probably will, but not until I've given Steve a chance to call.  I want to go somewhere, get something to drink, relax, talk to people, have some fun. If I don't, I will go insane.

Sitting in my chilly little bedroom, listlessly twisting the radio dial, waiting for a phone call. I really don't want to go out with Joada, but Debbie & Rhonda have "other plans" and it looks like the invite from Joada is as good as it's going to get.


My new pal Joada was a giddy free spirit

Saturday afternoon
February 28, 1976

I am very happy ... I don't even know where to begin explaining it all to you. Sitting on my rumpled bed, my freshly-washed hair drying in a fluffy red towel, watching an old Shirley Temple movie ("Wee Willie Winkie"), eating cold pizza and drinking a Shasta cola.

Wednesday night
March 3, 1976

Sorry I haven't written since Saturday, I've been really busy. Lots of parties, going places with Joada. Pat M. is an asshole, and

(entry ends abruptly)

Thursday night
March 4, 1976

I keep getting interrupted every time I start to write to you, Ledger. Last night when I was writing, Joada called, and I became so engrossed in her phone call that I forgot to finish what I'd started to write. Now I have a free minute or two to write, and I'll attempt to catch you up on the latest news. I have a job interview tonight at 8:00 - I'm thinking about working at the Jack In The Box restaurant in Burien - but until then I'm just going to sit here in my comfortable old armchair, listen to Led Zeppelin albums through the headphones, sip my Coke on ice and relax.

It would be nice if I could get that job. For one thing, I don't have any money in the bank at all, and for another, I need to save towards a car for next fall. Jack In The Box probably sells the worst food in town, but at least it's a job. Maybe even a chance to meet people, who knows?

Joada and I are really becoming good friends. She's a sophomore, really cute and really nice. Friday night we went to Blake Early's party, and it was super- fun. I'm glad I went. Saturday night we went to another party at Blake's, and then she spent the night at my house (we sacked out in my living room - she took the couch, I took Dad's reclining armchair). She stayed at my house all day Sunday, and then I spent the night at her house Sunday. After school on Monday we went to Burien to window shop at Fred Meyer, and to apply for a couple of jobs. Tuesday I stayed home sick with a sore throat but she called me after school. Yesterday Steve Peterson had a party at his house, so Joada and I skipped our afternoon classes and went to it. We both got really wasted ... lots of good beer, good music, people to talk to.

Anyway, we've become good friends, with a lot of similar experiences and attitudes.

I'm not sure how I feel about Steve. I saw him on Saturday night for a while, and even though I was pretty high, it was good to see him again. He's living in an apartment with his mom, and he's let his hair grow out long, but other than that he's the same old Steve that I've always known & loved. He took Joada and me to his apartment for a little while, where we drank tequila sunrises and talked and looked at each other a lot. I just couldn't take my eyes off him. We sat there at the kitchen table and smiled at each other, a little embarrassed, and the whole time I was thinking to myself, "Do I still love him? Should I try to give him my love again?" I still haven't sorted out my feelings, but apparently he feels the same way. He calls me almost every evening, and when we were talking on Tuesday he said, "I want to take it nice and slow this time, not rush into everything like we did last time."

In the meantime, I dug around in my jewelry box and managed to find the ring he gave me last summer - now I'm glad I didn't do anything with it! - and after polishing it, I intend to wear it at all times.

Before bed:

My interview at Jack In The Box was slightly disappointing, to say the least. It doesn't look like I'll be getting a job there - not for a while, at least. Oh well. I've waited eighteen years to find employment ... I guess another few weeks won't make much difference.

Steve called tonight at 7:30, said he'd call back at 9:00, but that was half an hour ago and I feel like going to bed. Think I'll just take the phone off the hook and hit the sack in a couple of minutes. That way Dad won't be wakened by the phone ringing (and my neck will stay intact) ...

When I was talking to Steve tonight, I told him "You don't have to feel obligated to call me every night. It's not necessary - unless you want to."   I have to admit I was surprised when he said, vehemently, "I WANT to." That is out of character for him. Steve hates, with a passion, any type of "rules."

March 5, 1976

Another Friday afternoon ... another long weekend ahead of me. Joada and me will probably go to a party somewhere tonight, at least I HOPE we do! This was such a good, sunny, relaxing day at school, I want this happy feeling to continue right into the weekend. I feel like spring ... uninhibited, young, pretty, free to do whatever I want. This feeling is good.

Saturday morning
March 6, 1976
Dirty Little Girl

Just got home. Joada and I did go to a party last night, and then I stayed over at her house. Her mom's boyfriend, Dick, drove me home this morning. I discovered I was locked out of the house again - damn, why do I always leave my house key on my dresser?? - but I managed to pry Dad's bedroom window open with a hatchet and climb through. First thing I did was take a long, hot, soapy shower and douse myself with tons of baby powder. I had to sleep in my clothes last night, and I HATE the sweaty feeling it leaves you with. Now it's about 11:00. I'm going to fix myself some breakfast in a minute, and then I have a full day of housecleaning ahead of me. I don't really mind.  Dad is at work, so I have the whole house to myself: cleaning it gives me a kind of cozy, secure feeling, makes me feel like it's my own little apartment ...

Oh, one more thing before I go. Last night when Joada and I were at that party in Burien, she called Paul S. and told him that she's pregnant. She isn't really - she just said that to scare the shit out of him, because of the rotten thing he did to her last weekend & the shitty way he's been acting this week. Tonight her and I will probably go to Joe's party, and it should be interesting to see how Paul acts around her now.

I'd started having occasional black-outs, especially when drinking hard liquor.

Sunday afternoon
March 7, 1976

I should never drink vodka. Every time I do, I end up losing my mind completely. Last night me, Joada and Sharel all chipped in on two fifths of vodka and a couple bottles of orange juice, and then we drank screwdrivers all night. I got completely smashed, and as usual I don't even remember where I was or what I was doing from about 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. or so, when I finally snapped out of my fog. That's three hours of my life I cannot account for. We went to a gigantic party at Thorndike Community Center ... there was close to 300 people there, with a live band providing dance music, but it was a "byob" party and not a keg. Lots of kids from Glacier, Evergreen and Highline. Joada got SUPER mad at me because I was sitting there holding hands with Chris Russell, and I guess she likes him. I don't know why we were holding hands, but I was stoned and didn't really know what I was doing. We went outside for a little while to "get some air" and we sat on the hood of somebody's car, kissing. Hmmmm. Anyway, I talked to Sharel on the phone this morning and she said that Joada was so mad at me, she couldn't do anything but scream during the ride home. I feel bad about that, but what can I do? I told Sharel, "I can't keep track of her! She likes someone different every 10 minutes. How was I supposed to know she liked Chris?"

Anyway, Joada & Sharel left the party without me, and I don't know what the hell I did for the next three hours, until the party ended. I must have just sat in the kitchen, watching the dancing. This really nice guy, Craig Matheson, gave me a ride home when the party was over.

10 p.m.

I really am tired, but for some reason I can't seem to fall asleep. The excitement of this past weekend has left me feeling keyed-up and restless and unable to relax. I've been drinking and smoking and partying an incredible amount lately ... continually going, doing, rushing around ... and it's taking its toll on me. I know I'm going to be dragging my butt around school tomorrow.

Steve didn't call tonight, but I'm not worried about it. His little nephew Sean is having a birthday party this evening. I saw Steve's mom at Fred Meyer this afternoon - I recognized her in a flash. She's a very distinctively attractive person. It was a shock to see her standing there, looking at linens. I haven't seen her since last June, when she asked me "What the hell do you see in that son of mine?" I'm fairly sure she didn't recognize me, although she seemed to look at me carefully for an instant, before resuming her shopping. I didn't want to say anything to her. For one thing, I was a total wreck ... dirty hair, sloppy old clothes, slipshod makeup ... and for another, I don't know if she knows that Steve and I are seeing each other again. Steve never talks about her, except for an occasional fond mention of his "old lady."

Anyway, he didn't call tonight, and I spent a semi-pleasant evening watching TV with Dad, washing my greasy hair, catching my diary up to date. Joada called a few times, and what a relief to know she's not mad about the Chris Russell thing. She said she really doesn't like him, but that she just got "too high" at the party and didn't know what she was saying. I can empathize. Joada said that all kinds of guys were trying to put the hustle on me last night, when I was too drunk to know what I was doing; she saw Chris kissing me in the kitchen, and ten minutes later she saw John Beck kissing me in the same place. Wow. That blows my mind because I don't even REMEMBER seeing John there at all.

So no more vodka for Terri Vert. At least, not unless I have someone like Steve right there to watch me. Vodka isn't even worth it, anyway ... I feel like shit for three days afterward. I'll stick to beer, I think.

Hey, my eyelids are starting to grow heavy. Time to hit the hay. Goodnight, friend.

Monday morning
March 8, 1976

I knew it, Ledger   ...  I knew I would oversleep this morning. Now I'm going to be late getting to school. Oh well ... my attendance record hasn't been that great this year, anyway.


Sitting, thinking, sipping hot coffee, watching "Good Heavens" with Carl Reiner. Relaxed, unhurried, alone, private. Today was a less-than-OK day at school: all my jeans were dirty, and my only comfortable shoes were over at Joada's, so I felt kinda uncomfortable and awkward in my emergency-use-only blue pants and sandals. That did a lot to affect my outlook, and I didn't feel very good about myself. I didn't make Girl of the Month, either, which of course doesn't surprise me a bit. I'm shocked that I was even nominated. Oh well, so what. Twenty years from now, my not being voted Girl of the Month won't make a bit of difference.

Tonight is Dad's night off. So while he's back in the radio room typing and making noise, I'm sitting out here in the living room, savoring the feeling of being semi-alone and free to do whatever I please, whether it be listening to the stereo or playing the organ or just sitting. I was kinda hoping Steve would call me and I could invite him over to


Tuesday evening
March 9, 1976

Oh Ledger, why am I so damned stupid? Nothing I do, nothing, ever turns out the way I think it should.

Steve doesn't love me. He told me so tonight when he called at 10:30. He said he wants to slow down and "take it easy" ... that he was too high on Saturday night, and didn't mean the things he said. Oh God, why did I ever let myself get involved with him?

March 11, 1976

It really was dumb of me to think I had a future with Steve. I'm ashamed of myself for being so naive. He'll never change, and neither will my attitude towards him: I'll always love him a little too strongly for my own good, and he'll always back away at the first sign of possessiveness. It will never, ever work out, and I was a fool to think otherwise.  We're "just friends" now  ...  or to put it in Steve's exact words, "We like each other a lot, but nothing more than that." He called a few minutes ago (10:30 p.m.) and asked me out for Saturday night, but I said I'd already made other plans. That was a lie, but I almost think I'd rather not see him at all than see him as "friends."

In the meantime, Scott Shearer - this really sweet, super-cute guy that I've been buddies with since the dark ages of 7th grade - called me up this afternoon and asked me to go to The Who concert on March 25. Can you believe it? That concert has been sold out for weeks. I told Scott I would love to go.

I guess I've decided to just slow down in the boy department for a while. These past few months have seen me make a lot of really terrible mistakes.

Saturday morning
March 13, 1976

Feel terrible - which is normal for a Saturday morning anymore. My head feels like a lead balloon, and my stomach feels like a gravel pit. Guess I had more to drink last night than I thought. I have one hell of a headache, and this whole stupid house to clean up. Shit. Not only that, Joada & Scott are probably mad at me for not leaving Corey's apartment when they did ... Pat's probably mad at me because we never showed up at Paul's ... Steve's probably mad because when I finally did leave last night, it was with Corey ... and Dad's probably mad because I came stumbling in at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. before crashing into bed. It was a screwy evening, trust me.

Wednesday evening
March 17, 1976
Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Several evenings later. Sitting in the living room on our lumpy old sofa, listening to the clock ticking gently,  the hum of the refrigerator, the occasional passing of a car outside, the rumbling drone of the airport a couple of miles away. Dad is in bed already. It's only 8:30, though, and I can't sleep yet. Don't feel like watching TV, so I thought I would just sit up and maybe read for a while (I'm reading "Paper Moon" by J. David Brown). My period started this evening so I feel kinda frumpy & crampy & quiet. All kinds of thoughts rambling through my head. Haven't heard from Steve since Sunday afternoon, when he asked me to go motorcycle riding with him and I said "no" because I was on my way to New Vision rehearsal ... but I'm not exactly sure if I care or not. Via the Glacier grapevine, I happened to learn that he's taking Kathleen Greenig to the Who concert next week, and that hurt my feelings. I knew he had tickets, but I guess I figured he'd eventually ask me. Oh well. I'm going to the concert with Scott Shearer, Jerry Wagner and Joada, so I can't complain. The concert is going to be one of the biggest events of this year, so I should feel lucky that I'm going and flattered that Scott thought enough of me to ask me. Right?


Joada just called ... lately she's been bombarding me with phone calls. She wanted me to go to Pizza Haven with her tonight, but I didn't have the money, the appetite or the energy. She just called to tell me that Pat was there tonight with all his buddies. Too bad I missed it.

I can't figure Pat out. He called me five times last weekend, but at school he spends all his time with his ex-girlfriend. Shit.  Men are all the same.

I've been discouraged lately ... there is so much to contend with. All the hassles with Steve and Pat, financial problems, drinking too much again, worrying about my brother, fighting against time ... sometimes it all seems like too much. Lately I've been feeling really down on myself. I know I've been eating way, way too much, and it's starting to show on the bathroom scales AND on my hips. When I get depressed, or worried, or nervous, I eat ... and eat ... and eat. I just don't feel attractive. People say that I am, especially guys, but have you ever tried convincing yourself that you're pretty when all you can see are heavy hips, scraggly hair and a pumpkin-shaped face .. ?? The trick is to organize myself. Start cutting out all the excess food - the french fries and Coke at lunch, the after-school potato chips and ice cream, the pizza for dinner, the bedtime sandwiches and chocolate milk. Start eating the right types of food, the healthy things that will put my body back into working order. Keep myself too busy to think about eating ... maybe set a goal to seriously practice the organ at least half an hour daily, or clean my room (now declared an official disaster area). Stop worrying about all the little mind-picking things that have been bringing me down and making me tear myself apart. Stop worrying about Steve & Pat, guys in general, Sherie S., clothes, graduation, not having a car or a job. If I could just accomplish a few of these things, it might be the beginning of greater peace of mind.

Sunday afternoon
March 21, 1976

Would you believe it's nearly 1:30 in the afternoon and I'm still sitting in bed? I haven't even gotten dressed yet. In fact, the only things I've done are ate a ham sandwich, brush my hair and talk to Lori on the phone. (She called to tell me all the details about her "big date" with John Moen last night.) For some reason I just have no energy at all. None. Zilch. Nada. I feel like just sitting and thinking and resting. I've been partying steadily since Thursday morning, and I'm beginning to feel very burned out.

I've been going out with Scott almost exclusively, and although he is the sweetest, funniest, most polite & considerate guy I've gone out with in ages, I can't seem to really feel much for him beyond friendship. I guess I'm too hung up on the bad boys, Steve and Pat. Hell, I don't know. I can't figure myself out. 

Steve is such a total asshole ... you would NOT believe what he did on Thursday night. He called me about 6:00 that evening and asked, "What are you doing tonight?"  I told him I was going to the dance at Thorndike Hall. He said, "Oh, OK, I'll call you tomorrow and maybe we can do something then." Fine.  So I went to the dance with Scott and Joada, and we got really wasted, feeling good, having fun, when Steve walks through the door. It looked like he was alone, so I got up and went over to talk to him. 

"Hi Steve," I said, smiling.

What does he do? "Please go away, Terri," he hissed. "I'm dating someone else tonight, and if she sees you talking to me she'll get mad." I couldn't believe it, but he was serious! He was with Lesia S., of all people ...  but that wasn't what made me mad. It was his careless brush-off that really hurt.

Then yesterday afternoon he called and started yelling at me, accusing me of being "rude." I just couldn't handle his accusations, but I didn't want a big blow-up either. So I just said "I've got a right to be mad, too," explained my feelings and left it at that. I was still shaking when I hung up the phone.

Then ... last night Scott drove me down to Chuck's house. Chuck is 21, and I wanted him to buy us some beer. What I didn't count on was Steve answering the door!  I had no idea he'd be there.  I had to come in, sit down and wait while Chuck went across the street to the Deli to buy us a case of Rainier. While I sat there, I pointedly ignored Steve. Finally he came up and said "How come you're being so snotty to me?" 

I looked at him and said carefully, "Because you're mad at me, aren't you?" 

He got all defensive and said "no" and started making all kinds of excuses, and suddenly I knew I had the upper hand. He was drunk, a glass of vodka in his hand, and suddenly I just KNEW that I was in control of the situation, and that for once I had his feelings in my hands. It was a great feeling, and I took complete advantage of it. He was actually jealous! He was jealous that Scott was waiting outside for me in a beautiful car, jealous that I was going over to Corey's apartment with Scott, jealous that I looked good and that I could simply walk away without a backward glance. It was kind of intangible ... a feeling, a sense that I can't put into words. For a change, it was me who could manipulate him ... make him bleed and cry and beg. When I was leaving with my beer, he said "Come back here later tonight, OK? In a couple of hours?" All I said was "Maybe." Of course, I never went back, and I hope it made him MAD. I hope it just killed him.

Monday evening
March 22, 1976
Spring Vacation

Taking a "breather" ... this is the first evening in several days that I've just sat home watching TV & resting. This past month has been a constant rush of going, doing, partying, and it feels kind of good to just put up my feet and relax for a change. Steve called an hour ago. He wanted me to go out with him tonight, but I said "no." I would really like to see him, but not tonight for a few different reasons:

1. I look terrible ... I was up all night last night and I look like death. My hair is dirty, I haven't so much as a scrap of makeup on my face, and if he saw me right now he would probably think twice about ever calling me again.

2. I'm dead-tired ... naturally.

3. My back hurts. It feels like I've pinched a nerve or whacked something of place. I can barely move.

4. Steve was drunk, or at least in the process of getting that way, saying a lot of things he probably didn't mean, and I don't really like to be around him when he's in that condition.

We talked for an hour, and he said he'd call me back around 9:30. Just from talking to him tonight, I get the impression that he definitely does care about me. I know he does. I can tell by the way he was talking about me going out with Scott, and other subtle things. That's kinda nice to know, anyway.

Tuesday afternoon
March 23, 1976

Just ate a big dish of spaghetti and hot bread, and now I'm sitting on my bed relaxing and hoping that I go somewhere tonight. Joada wants me to spend the night at her house, but I'm looking for a tactful way to turn her down. I can't stand the atmosphere at her house ... people are continually screaming, arguing, shouting at each other. I don't know how anyone can stand to live like that.

What I would really like to do is to see Steve, but he hasn't called all day. So it looks like I'll either end up going out with Scott or else sitting home alone. Fun.

I feel kind of depressed and I don't even know why. Rainy, grey, dismal skies ... the kind of day that makes it feel good to be holed up in a cozy bedroom with a radio playing softly, clean long hair, scrappy old jeans ... Still, I feel hollow and dried up. Even lonely. I guess the things that are getting me down are the intangibles - the things I can't put into words. This feeling of guilt, for one thing. I just feel as though everything I've done has been the wrong thing, as though I should be ashamed of myself. Then there's this growing sense of uncertainty. Am I wrong to still love Steve? Should I be leading Scott on? Am I associating with the wrong people? Am I the kind of person I should be?

Why do I always envelope myself in lies and deceit? Why can't I be open and truthful with people I care about? Why is it always necessary for me to hide behind things that are false? Why do I lie so much?

I could resolve to be absolutely truthful from now on, with everyone I come in contact with ... I could vow "No more lying" ... I could swear on a stack of Bibles that I was all through with dishonesty of any kind. No more little white lies. No more exaggerations. No more two-timing behind anyone's back.


You know how long I'd probably make a resolution like that stick? Maybe ten minutes - if I'm lucky. And even if I did manage to make it stick, there would be so many other things, so many other faults, that would still be unresolved. Every time I managed to straighten out one facet of my life, there would be another hundred new problems staring me in the face. There's just no solution.

2:09 a.m. (handwriting is barely legible)

Geez, I was busily sleeping until I came up with the neat idea of writing in my ledger. too drunk and high, I guess, which isn't such a good idea since I have to get up at 6:00 to iron dad's shirt and pretend to babysit with joada. you know how it is. I think pat m. is a fucking asshole - I love steve - scott is super-nice - rocky m. tried to pick me up. etc. etc. etc. song? "one toke over the line" at 2:13 a.m. way too high. shannon knight. I really am too high, but maybe this is the time i'm most honest and open with myself. the who concert tomorrow! decent.

6:42 a.m.

SHIT ... what the hell happened to me last night??? I have this horrible feeling that I passed out on my bed right after I wrote in you, Ledger, and then unconsciously made a lot of noise or something.

I'm not sure, but I think this is the time I blacked out and tried to crawl into bed with my understandably startled father.

Friday night
March 26, 1976

Life is so wild! I've never felt this alive, this free. This Spring Vacation has been so much fun - I wish it could go on & on!


Dad and I had a horrible fight a few minutes ago ... he called me a "lazy, inconsiderate, selfish little tramp." That's it. I've had it. I just can't handle that!! Steve is taking me out tonight, and I don't think I'll come home tonight - I'll have him take me over to Corey's or Wendall's, somewhere I can crash, relax and get away from Dad.

Saturday afternoon
March 27, 1976

Dad just got home from work an hour ago, and we haven't spoken so much as one word to each other. Even though he's out in the living room (watching "The Outer Limits") and I'm hibernating here in my room with Robin Trower on the radio, the atmosphere in this house is very tense. I didn't come home last night, and I swear to God the air is so hostile I'm scared to even walk down the hallway to the bathroom. Wow, this is really wild!

I saw Steve last night, and we had a really good time together. He finally broke down and admitted, once and for all, that he loves me - and he was perfectly straight at the time. He said that he "feels good every time he's around me," and that he wants to start doing more things for me, to prove that he cares. We were talking about what it will be like when we're married, and I don't know, Ledger ... it certainly sounded nice!


Ended up going out with Scott tonite (although both Pat & Steve called) and was it ever a DRAG. We went to two parties, and Scott got way too high on some Angel Dust we smoked at Mike M.'s. He was practically, and he couldn't keep his hands off me.  I've never seen him act like that before.

Sunday night
March 28, 1976

Sitting in my room, listening to one of my favorite albums, "Aqualung" by Jethro Tull. Steve called about half an hour ago, didn't have much to say ... told me about his evening last night ... I guess he went out and boozed it up with his buddies. I told him that I went out with Scott, he seemed to think it was OK. He said that I can go out with other guys "just so long as they keep their hands off" me.

Tomorrow I have to go back to school ... what a drag. After this Spring Vacation, what with all the parties, guys, running, going, doing, SCHOOL is going to seem colorless and unexciting in comparison. I'll probably spend most of the week working on my research paper for History, thinking about Steve, and helping my body readjust to getting up at 6:30 a.m. !

Really got a barrelful of things on my mind.

1. I think I really love Steve. In fact, I don't think I've ever stopped loving him. I'm determined that this time is going to be different. This time it's going to work, I'm sure of it.

2. Feeling very guilty about Scott.  He likes me a lot, and I know I've been shamelessly leading him on. He hasn't an inkling how intense my feelings for Steve are. He assumes that Steve and I are "only friends." I've been too scared to tell him the truth because the last thing in the world I want to do is hurt Scott's feelings. Until I find the words & summon the courage, I'll probably go right on playing this little game.

3. Confused about Pat. He calls me every once in a while, and I run into him at an occasional party, but he gives absolutely NO indication of his feelings. I mean, does he like me or what? If he doesn't, why is he still calling? Why did he come over to my house looking for me on Wednesday night?

Honestly. Men are so damned confusing.

Monday evening 7:30 p.m.
March 28, 1976

Pat called about half an hour ago and shocked all hell out of me by asking me to skip school tomorrow and drive downtown with him. I was so stunned, I barely knew what to say. I just sat there with the receiver in my hand, trying to recover long enough to say OK. And now I'm still so damned excited about the whole thing, I feel positively hyper. I can't seem to calm down!

8:30 a.m.

He still hasn't called, and I'm beginning to fear that maybe he's backing out without explanation.

As I recall, we spent the day going to some athletic store downtown and looking at basketball shoes (??),  then sitting at his house watching TV for a couple of hours, before he finally drove me home and dropped me off.  It was weird and uncomfortable  --  we had a hard time making conversation when neither one of us was drinking  --  and it sort of opened my eyes to the fact that we weren't at all compatible.


Thursday evening
April 1, 1976

Couple days later. The majority of this past week has been spent helping Joada and her family pack and move ... going out with Scott  ... skipping school ... thinking about Steve ...

Last night Joada and I threw a big party in her old house. All the furniture was gone,  but Wendall let us borrow his stereo and Scott lent us some albums, I brought some old floor cushions, and there was enough beer (we bought a keg) and pot and poker-playing to keep everybody happy. A lot of people showed up, mostly guys, and Joada and I had a good time playing co- hostesses. Felt happy and bubbly and talkative. It was a neat party, but it ended rather abruptly when Joada's mom walked in and discovered what was going on.

Around midnight I went over to Wendall's so I could see Steve. I was too high, ended up crashing on Wendall's couch for the night.

I think I've decided: I've narrowed it down to Steve and Scott. Pat is a nice guy, and so damned good-looking he takes my breath away, but we just don't seem to "click." I feel too awkward and uncomfortable around him - I can never seem to totally relax and be myself. In contrast, I have fun with Scott, and I do love Steve.

What confusion!

There are so many different sides to Steve that it's impossible to predict what he may say or do next. One minute I love him so much it hurts, and the next instant he'll say something so infuriating that I almost hate him. He's so unpredictable, completely independent, and very much his own person. I guess you could say that no one tells him what to do - and if you bother trying to manipulate him even a fraction of an inch, you'll wind up sorry you even thought about it. He says what he thinks, does what he damn well pleases, and hell with anyone else.

He showed up last night at our party with a couple of his scroungy friends, and he looked just plain terrible. His hair (which is too long anyway) was dirty and stringy and hanging in his face, he was wearing a battered old corduroy jacket that I hate, and his pants - the same white pants he's been wearing for a week - looked like they'd been through the Battle of Bunker Hill. I saw him walk through the door, looking like a complete bum ... but for some funny reason I couldn't care less what he looked like. He gave me that funny impish grin, and all I could think was "I LOVE that funny-looking guy standing over there!"

I went over and gave him a beer, but I didn't cling to him. I went around and talked to a lot of different people, making an effort to open up and be sociable, rather than hanging on his arm and making him feel chained.

9:45 p.m.

Watching a horribly graphic movie, "Helter Skelter" - the true account of the Tate-LaBianca murders and the Charles Manson family. It leaves me feeling sick and wrung out, thinking that people like that really exist, that Charles Manson is still alive in some prison somewhere. After watching even ten minutes of this movie I think the whole sick, warped Manson "family" should be gassed.

Anyway. (Back to normalcy.) Steve called about half an hour ago. He's partying down at Chuck's house, already very obviously drunk, but I'm glad he at least called. Lately he's been calling quite regularly ... unusual for him. Tonight he jokingly said, "Yeah, I thought I'd call and check in, Mother," to which I vehemently replied, "Steve, you don't have to do that! You don't have to ‘check in' with me every night!"

"I WANT to!" he said, so I didn't pursue the matter. I was flattered, I have to admit. Steve doesn't often pay as much attention to me as I would like, but his frequent phone calls lately are an indication that he's beginning to think about the way I feel.

He really is a lot self-centered, but when you stop and think about it, who isn't? His needs and desires are more important to him than anything else. I think that only lately has he been able to refocus his perspective enough to see my part in the relationship, to see that I have needs and desires too. He may not think mine are as important as his are, but at least he sees that I have them. And that's a start!

I guess that Steve and I have a pretty unorthodox relationship, and that it must look strange to anyone on the outside looking in. We love each other, and yet we only see each other occasionally ... we both date other people ... sometimes we actually avoid each other in public. From appearances you would think we were nothing more than casual acquaintances. How can I explain why? I can't. All I know is that I love that funny looking, infuriatingly self-centered, egotistical bum. I've got him in my blood, in my system, and I can't get him out. It's like a disease.

Saturday afternoon
April 3, 1976

Sunny, cloudless afternoon ... so warm, in fact, that I've jumped into an ancient pair of cutoffs and a T shirt, slathered myself with cocoa butter, dragged my old lawnchair into the middle of the backyard and have proceeded to enjoy the first really summery weather of 1976. Birds are singing from the trees all around me, and everything is pleasant and relaxed. An indication, perhaps, of the kind of summer 1976 will be ... ?

Last night wasn't much fun. Joada and I went to the Golden Earring concert out at the Gold Creek Dome in Woodinville. We drove out there with Dan Peycke, Peri D. and a few of their friends in Dan's old "beater" station wagon.  Smoked some pot and got a little high, but other than that the entire evening was a waste. For one thing, it was a 40 minute drive each way. Then, when we finally managed to find the Dome (after a few wrong turns here & there), we had to stand in an incredibly long line for nearly two hours in freezing cold. The show was originally supposed to start at 8:00, but the doors weren't even opened until ten minutes to nine. By the time we finally got shoved through the door, I was frozen to the bone, my back ached from standing so long, I was ravenously hungry, and I looked terrible. Joada and I bought a hot dog and Coke from the concession stand and ate it like the starving people we were - only to find someone had taken our seats while we were eating. So we had to stand up during the entire concert - all three bands (Paris and B Bop Deluxe were the other two). To make matters worse (as if they could be), the bands were boring and repetitious. The first group (Paris) had one good song, but their costumes, stage decorations (a skull & burning red candle) and dialogue between songs were so tacky and tasteless, it ruined what could have been the only real moment of entertainment. The concert dragged on and on, and when it FINALLY came to a close - after Golden Earring performed an incredibly bad ten minute encore - there was still the long ride home to endure. By the time I finally collapsed into bed at 2:15 a.m., I was paralyzed with pain; my whole back hurt from standing up all night.

I slept in this morning until noon, after repeated dreams of being at a concert where some ugly guy was trying to pick me up. ?

Joada called me this morning, and we're going to try and find something to do tonight. I always have more fun when her and me go somewhere together - parties or cruising with Scott or going over to Corey's apartment. Even that crummy concert last night would have been a helluva lot worse if she wasn't there to help me complain and grumble. I guess she's just about the closest friend I've had in a long time. It feels good to have someone I can talk to and confide in and be honest with. Rhonda has been so preoccupied with Debbie all year that I always feel like the third wheel around the two of them. Karen and I are still good friends, but our interests are so different that we don't have the time to be as close as we used to be. Lori is nice to be around once in a while, but a little bit of Lori goes a long way. If you let her, she'll drive you crazy with her incessant chatter and nervous energy. So that leaves me and Joada, and even though I sometimes think God forgot to give her a working brain, she's fun to be around. Since we became friends, my life simply hasn't been the same!

Graduation is nine weeks away. Can you believe it?  (Who am I going to walk  into the ceremony with???)  I'm beginning to realize that maybe life doesn't end the moment you leave your alma mater behind.

Time to go in & do the housework. Talk to ya later.

Sunday morning
April 4, 1976

Feeling kind of down-in-the-dumps. Last night proved to be another disappointment, and now I feel let-down and lonely. Damn it, why do I have to be so hung up on Steve?? It seems that I spend over half my life in depression, and he is almost always the reason. Hell, I don't even know why I love that rotten creep ... he isn't worth it. Why can't I just get him out of my life, once and for all?

Right now I'm sitting here in my little bedroom, but it's another sunny, summer- like day so I think I'll brush my hair, change my shirt and take you outside, Ledger. I have to talk to you.

A few minutes later:

Here I am, sitting in my old familiar lawnchair facing the sun ... it's a little cooler today, and a breeze is teasing my hair and the grass and the tree branches.

Let me tell you about last night.

What I wanted to do was see Steve. What I planned to do was go out with Scott. In the end, I did neither. Maybe that's why the evening turned out so disappointing. Instead, I went to Dave Jensen's party with Wendall and Joada. It was a pleasant little party, not too many people, lots of beer and pot and good music ... but I couldn't relax and enjoy myself because all I could think about was Steve, wondering where he's been (his mom says he hasn't been home in two days) and why he hasn't called. I got pretty high, sat and talked to my old pal Bill, listened to music.

Around 9:30 or so, Bill and his friends (Corey and Jim) decided to go drive around and check out a couple of other parties. Bill asked me if I wanted to come along, and for lack of anything better to do, I grabbed my purse and said "Sure." We all piled into Corey's little while Volkswagen and cruised around for an hour. There was another party at Otterson's on 14th Avenue, so we stayed there for a little while before going back to Jensen's. By midnight I wasn't high anymore, I was depressed, I had the beginnings of a raging headache, I was starving to death, and I felt like the third wheel with Joada & Wendall. So I decided to go home. Corey and his friends drove me home, and on the way to my house Bill made a pass at me. He grabbed my hand and tried to kiss me, but I turned away without a word, shaking my head. I just couldn't let him kiss me, because of Steve. Bill and Steve are friends, and if I even let Bill TOUCH me, it would get back to Steve in a flash. Besides, I didn't even want Bill to touch me. I'm so damned hung up on Steve, I can't stand the thought of another guy laying his hands on me.

Except for Scott. With Scott, it's another story. I like going out with him for the simple reason that he's fun to be with. He's so terribly sweet and considerate and thoughtful, but he doesn't drip or cling like some guys do. Plus, he never "tries" anything that I can't handle: he's every inch a gentleman. I don't love him, the way I love Steve, but I like him a lot and I just feel good when I'm around him.

Wednesday afternoon
April 7, 1976

A few days later. Feeling depressed and quiet. Nursing a terrible headache. I'm not even hungry, which should be an indication of how low I really am! I'm not even sure why I feel so bad. Maybe my monthly cycle is at a low point.

Ledger, what am I supposed to do? I love Steve so much that it's killing me. I can hardly stand it.

Before bed:

He's an asshole, Ledger, that's all he is, plain and simple, and I hate him.

Thursday night
April 8, 1976

Damn Steve. I wish I never would have met him. For the past ten months all he's done is bring pain and heartache into my life. It's getting to the point where I just can't take it anymore.

Last night at Wendall's house he was an absolute asshole - probably in the worst mood I've ever seen him in, and just itching to pick a fight. He not only completely ignored me - staying for only twenty minutes before abruptly putting on his coat and walking out without a word - he was deliberately trying to antagonize everyone in the room by playing the stereo while we were trying to watch "Baretta" on TV. He started calling Wendall a lot of names and making crude jokes, and - this is the killer - he played two songs on the stereo that were deliberate messages to me, meant to hurt me ("I Will Not Apologize" and "Stay With Me" - the last song starts out, "In the morning, please don't say you love me / 'Cuz I'll only kick you out of the door.") It was like a knife aimed at the center of my heart.

Why in God's name do I hang onto him??? Jesus Christ Almighty, am I SICK IN THE HEAD????

Saturday morning
April 9, 1976

I guess I've managed to get over my short bout of depression. Feeling relaxed and semi-happy, and I've got a few things to write to you about.

Last night was pretty fun. Scott and I decided to go out "party-hunting," and for once I felt relaxed enough around him to be myself. We had a good time together - stopped in at Steve Peterson's for a little while to help him and a few friends finish off a keg they'd bought that afternoon (is there anything worse than warm, flat beer??) - and then Scott, me and Blake Early went driving around. We stopped at Albertsons and had some guy buy us a half case of Budweiser, and then we drove around searching for Debbie Smith's house, looking for parties. We were all three kinda drunk and really talkative, and it was funny.

When we couldn't find anything else to do, the three of us came over to my house. (Dad wasn't home - he took Dick to a soccer game at the new domed stadium. That would be the Kingdome.) Listened to the stereo, drank beer, talked. Blake finally left for home, Scott and I sat there and looked through my old photo albums. Dad got home around 10:30, and so Scott and I drove up to the airport. We stayed there and "talked" until 2:30 in the morning.

Scott asked me to go to Prom. Can you believe it??? I'm so glad, and naturally I said "Yes." I was so afraid I'd be sitting home alone on May 1st, crying and missing my Senior Prom. Now I've got to scrounge up the money for a new dress, shoes, and whatever else I'll need.

Scott also said something incredibly sweet while we were parked up at the airport. He said, "Um, would you mind if I told you that I love you?" I couldn't believe my ears. It was so unexpected and sweet. I didn't say anything in reply. I couldn't. I don't want to lie to Scott any more than I already have. I like him a lot, but I don't love him yet.

About Steve. He called me last night, just to see what I was doing, and as always his phone call left me feeling both frustrated and exhilarated. He said he'd call today too.

6:00 p.m.

Shit, what a fix ... Scott and I were planning to go to Dave Jensen's party tonight, but Joada called me a little while ago and said that Steve is planning to go to the same party. What am I going to do? If I show up with Scott, Steve will start making trouble - I know it - but if I hang around Steve at the party or leave with him, that would hurt Scott. Crap. How do I get myself into these things?!

Before bed:

Everything's cool. I ended up going out with Scott, and we didn't go anywhere near Dave's. So there was no conflict with Steve. Had a good time.

Tuesday afternoon
April 13, 1976

Scott was really in a terrible mood yesterday. He waited for me after 3rd period Choir, as usual, and as he wordlessly walked me to my locker I noticed he was wearing the tight-lipped, 'wounded-pigeon' expression that means something is bothering him. "Is anything wrong?" I asked him gently. He shook his head and continued walking silently next to me, never tearing his eyes from the pavement.

"Are you sure?" I persisted. We've only been going out for a month, but I know him well enough to detect his moods. Something was definitely wrong.

As we neared the 100 building, he stammered, "Well ... "  He has the agonizingly annoying problem of never being able to explain himself clearly. When he's nervous or excited or mad, it takes him ten times longer to say what's on his mind than the average person. He stammers and stutters and falls all over his words, and by the time he finally says whatever he's trying to say, his train of thought is broken and he can't remember why he needed to say it in the first place.  "Well,"  he tried again, while I waited patiently, "it's really nothing."

I knew it was something and I continued to prod. "You're sure?" I looked at him - he was still looking vacantly at the ground, shifting uncomfortably.

"Well ...," he tried for the third time. "I - I - I'll talk to you about it ... later." And with that he simply walked away.

Early in the afternoon he called. In an unusually quiet mood, even for him, I had the burden of making conversation. We "talked" for half an hour - about his job, my brother, school, Choir, Mr. Purvis, Joada and Wendall, etc. - but throughout the conversation I still sensed that something was bugging him. I finally brought the subject up, and when he again seemed unwilling to discuss it, I insisted.

"I didn't want to tell you about it over the phone," he began - "I'd rather tell you in person, but I might as well tell you now." He paused, cleared his throat. I was sitting on the edge of my bed, clutching the receiver tightly, waiting for the worst. Shakily, he continued. "You know that I can't talk very well. This will probably take me a long time to say, you know me. But this morning in English, I was talking to a very reliable person, and um, this person told me a few things."

All kinds of terrible things began circulating in my mind. Who had he been talking to? What had he heard?

"Um, this person told me that - uh - that, you, you're just, uh ..." He stopped, painfully.

"Just TELL me, Scott!" I shouted.

"Um ... this person told me that you're just trying to screw me over ... that on nights when you go out with me, after I bring you home, you go out with Steve."  I was silent, wordless. "And she said that you're just, um, using me for rides to parties and stuff, that you still like Steve and that you're just going out with me to get him jealous."

By that time I was no longer wordless. Enraged, I screamed "WHO TOLD YOU THIS??"

"Take it easy, let me finish," he said. "I didn't believe her, but, well, she seemed to know what she was talking about, because she talks to Steve a lot."

"WHO IS IT??" I screeched.

"Does it really matter?" he argued. "I mean, what good ... "

I was crying, angry to the very bone, tired of "people" talking about me. "I WANT TO KNOW WHO IT IS," I said, "AND I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW!"

"Well," said Scott, sounding a little abashed by my outburst, "It was, um, Carolyn D."

Our argument lasted for an hour, until I became too hysterical to talk. I said, "Scott, I just can't talk to you now. I'll call you back later when I've had a chance to calm down." And with that, I hung up.

The reason I got so upset (besides the fact that everything Carolyn said was true?) was because I'm sick and tired of people talking about me. My reputation has been shot to hell and my relationships with a lot of people jeopardized because of people "talking," and it's getting to the point where I can't take it anymore. Scott said that Carolyn was only trying to be "helpful." Hell, I need that kind of "help" like I need a hole in the head.

Anyway, last night Scott and I went driving around, to give ourselves a chance to talk things out. We drove around Three Tree Point and through Burien, finally parking for a while at Sunset Park. During that time, Scott repeated what he's been saying all along: "Terri, I know I've said this before, but I really like you a lot and I want to go with you for as long as you want to go with me." I was dying inside when he said that, because I do like him a lot and I've had fun dating him this past month ...  but the whole thing is such a screwed-up mess. I haven't even talked to Steve since Friday night, and he was drunk when he called me, so I haven't got the faintest idea how he feels about me. Joada and Wendall say that he likes me and wants to take me out, but that he "doesn't want to be tied down." Steve himself has said the very same thing.

Saturday morning
April 17, 1976

Several days later ... I haven't written because I couldn't FIND you, Ledger!!!  My room is such a total mess, I didn't see you sitting in the rocking chair under a pile of clothes and books.

I'm still in turmoil over Scott and Steve, but this past week a few other things have happened, adding to my confusion. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if men are even worth it.

Steve called me several times during the week, and instead of the usual frustrating conversations we always have, he couldn't have been nicer. He told me that he cares about me a lot, and that he does want to marry me in a "few years." He said that he's getting a house this summer, and he practically invited me to move in with him.

In the meantime, I went out with Scott every night this week - just to drive around one night, to the Duwamish Drive-In to see "Jaws" another night, down to Southcenter, to Value Village to prowl through the stacks of old books and records. We've been having fun together.

Last night Scott, Joada and I went to Sandy & Lori's party (they just moved into a house down at Alki Point). The list of people at that party read like the Glacier High School social register ... practically the entire senior class was there. I didn't feel very good, though, and around midnight I asked Scott to drive me home. We sat in his car in front of my house for about half an hour, talking about Prom and stuff.

Just then Joada pulled up in front of my house with Corey and Jim, and she asked me to go to Bruce Halvorsen's party with her. I didn't really want to. For one thing, I felt terrible. For another, I didn't really want to run into Steve, who I knew would be there. And on top of everything else I knew it would be rude to just leave Scott like that. But I went anyway, and I shouldn't have bothered. Steve was there, alright, and he was a complete & total asshole. He didn't say one word to me, and he left ten minutes after I showed up. I felt like an idiot. Corey was talking to me about this whole crazy mess while he was driving me home. He said that he talked to Steve for a long time yesterday, and that Steve says that he really cares about me a lot, more than any other girl, but he doesn't want to get tied down. (Essentially the same thing Wendall told me.) Then Corey said, "I know how you feel ... like a worm on the end of the hook, unable to get free."

All I could say in reply, softly, was ‘Yes ... but sometimes the worm learns to love the hook."  (Rolling my eyes.)

As he was driving away from my house, Corey leaned out the window and said, "You should give some consideration to being free, Terri."

Now it's about 1:00 on a Saturday morning, and I haven't done one bit of housework yet. Gotta run - lots to do.


DAMN IT!! Why can't I calm down?? Steve just called me, and he isn't one bit mad about last night - in fact, he sounds like he's in a really good mood. He has to go eat lunch - I could hear his mom yammering in the background - but he said he'd call me right back.

Oh Ledger, I love him so much. I really do.

7:30 p.m.

For the first time in about two months, I find myself sitting home alone on a Saturday night ... watching "Doc" on TV, sipping a cola on ice, relaxing. Steve called back after he'd eaten lunch, and we talked for over an hour. I don't understand it. We were not only civil to each other, we were actually friendly, open and loving. We talked about everything, including Corey and his big mouth, Scott, parties, girls, and - get this - the kids we're going to have "someday." (We couldn't seem to agree. He said he wants three, but I said I only want two, a boy and a girl.)  

Tonight Steve is going out with Wendall, Kevin Jennings and Rod Nuss, and (according to Joada) they're going to "get really wasted and then go beat the shit out of Corey." Sounds like fun, ha ha. So tonight I'm sitting home for a change, and although I'm a little bit lonely - I have to admit it!! - I don't really mind. Tomorrow is Easter, and Steve called me tonight to invite me over tomorrow for Easter dinner with his family. Naturally I accepted - it made me feel so good when he asked me. I know that Steve goes out with other girls - usually the loose girls he picks up at parties - but I'm the one he invites to dinner with his family. I'm the one he calls when he's at a party and starts feeling lonely. I'm the one whose picture he carries in his wallet. Sometimes, when he lets his guard down, I'm able to believe that I'm the one girl who could tame the untamable Mr. P..

It's actually kind of strange that girls (especially me) should find him so attractive. I don't mean that he's not attractive - he is, in a kind of offbeat way - but he just doesn't seem like the type who should have to fight off the girls. He's no Robert Redford. What is it about him, anyway? Why do I love him? And why do so many other girls find him so irresistible ... ?

9:00 p.m.

Steve just called me (the din & roar of Brad Hall's party in the background) and he kept saying, "I wish I would've brought you with me, goddammit!" Then he said he'd call me again later. Wow. What devotion.


Sunday afternoon
April 18, 1976

Easter Sunday ... a warm afternoon, but the sky is filled with menacingly dark clouds. Feels as though it's going to rain any minute. Sitting here in my room, listening to the radio, waiting for Steve to call me back, sipping a beer. (He's playing pool with his brothers right now.) I'm kind of excited about going to his apartment for dinner tonight. I'm going to try my best to make a good impression on his mom and the rest of his family. I want them to like me, I really do - because I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I become a part of that family some day! Usually I dread eating dinner with my boyfriend's family. It's kind of like the Grand Inspection, and I'm always paranoid that I won't measure up, that I'll drop my fork on the floor or knock over my milk or spill something on my shirt. Today, though, I feel surprisingly relaxed about the whole thing. I guess that's because it's not going to be any big formal occasion ... according to Steve, just a relaxed, casual dinner with the family. Good.

Before bed:

Oh Ledger, I love him so darned much that sometimes it just makes me ache. Tonight with his family was a lot of fun. I really had a good time, and I felt such a sense of belonging, being with them all like that. It's impossible to describe the feeling, but all I can say is that with my whole heart I love him and want to become part of that crazy, unconventional family. I love Steve, I love him, and I want to marry him and be his wife and have his children and love him for always.

I'll tell you more about it later, but now I've got to go to bed.

Tuesday afternoon
April 20, 1976

I've got another damned Stage Band concert tonight - this time at Mt. Rainier High School - and two hours to get myself ready. "Getting ready" will involve taking a much-needed shower, setting my hair, refreshing my makeup, and eating my steak and baked potato dinner. But before I begin the overhauling process, a quick word in my beloved Ledger.

Something really awful happened yesterday. Hell, "awful" isn't even the right word. Catastrophic is closer. I'll put it simply, because to be quite honest I don't even want to talk about it. That's how bad it is. Steve and his friends got into a fight yesterday with some guy ... and they beat him up bad enough to put him in the hospital with a concussion, a broken nose and a multiple internal injuries. Now Steve is facing charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault, while the guy they mashed is laying in a hospital hovering near death. If that guy dies ... my God, they'll lock Steve up for years and years. I just don't know what to say, what to do. I can't even think straight. I'll comment on it all later.

Wednesday morning
April 21, 1976

Scott and I were out last night until nearly midnight. He drove me to my Stage Band concert, and then afterwards we went to Herfy's for a rootbeer and then parked in front of my house for a couple of hours. This morning I was too tired to get up for school so I purposely overslept and didn't crawl out of bed until 10:00. Dad came home early a little while ago, and I gave him a phony excuse about "not feeling well." So now I'm more or less stuck here at home. Oh well ... in a way I enjoy spending quiet, purposeless days in my bedroom ... but even more I feel guilty about staying home. I'm wasting precious remaining days of high school.

I'm glad I went out with Scott last night. He helped relieve a little of my worry and depression. I told Scott about the fight Steve got into, and he could see how deeply upset I was. He really made an effort to be understanding and reassuring.

The concert was awful. We played three numbers - "Jazzman," "Turquoise" and "Every Little Beat Helps" - and we made complete fools out of ourselves in front of all those other instrumental and vocal groups from around the district. Not only was our playing sloppy and unprofessional, we also suffered some major mishaps (like my piano music disappearing).

When Scott and I were sitting in his car in front of my house, listening to his tape deck and talking and "stuff," things got a little carried away - if you know what I mean. Nothing X-rated or anything like that, but I just have this feeling Scott was reading more into it than I meant for him to. He put his arms around me very tight, and shivering a little he whispered into my ear, "You'll probably think that this sounds immature or childish ... but I love you, Terri." That's the second time he's told me loves me. What can I say to him? How can I make him understand that I care for him very, very much ... but that my heart belongs to someone else? How can I explain to him the depth and intensity of my feelings for Steve, when for the past month I've been telling Scott that Steve and I are "just friends"? How can I suddenly do an about-face and tell him that Steve and I are in love?

The stupid part is that it would be so easy to explain these things to Scott, if it weren't for one thing ... I'm not sure I want to explain it to him! I'm afraid I enjoy Scott's company - his shyness and his hidden humor and his sensitivity - too much to give it up yet. I love Steve, yes. I am absolutely certain of that. But I see him so seldom, feel his love so rarely, that it's very reassuring to have Scott in love with me too. His attention and devotion are proof that I'm still "desirable." Sometimes Steve's callous indifference can tear down all traces of self- esteem: Scott's attention restores my self-confidence.

Maybe it's all a big ego trip for conceited, self-centered Terri Vert. Maybe I need a few lessons in growing up. But in the meantime I've got Scott on a string, keeping him "handy" for things like the Who concert and Prom and graduation, rides to parties, things to do on weekend nights when Steve doesn't feel like taking me out.  I was not a nice person when I was a teenager.  OK? 

12:30 (afternoon)

Steve must be psychic. For some reason he knew I'd be home from school today, and he called me! We talked for an hour. He didn't mention anything about that guy in the hospital, so apparently it wasn't as serious as I'd worked myself into believing. We talked about: Steve's three abscessed teeth, and his subsequent pain and difficulty eating ... the medication he's been taking, which knocks him out completely ... the fact that sometimes I'm dumb but definitely not stupid ... Pink Floyd, Joe Walsh, Ted Nugent, Foghat ... my Dad and his attitude towards Steve ... me getting a summer job and supporting the two of us (semi-jokingly) ... Pat M., and how much we both hate him ... the first night we met at Steve Peterson's party, and whether it was him or me that made the first move. I didn't mention Scott at all. I'm still confused about last night, and I didn't want to complicate things by playing on Steve's jealousies.

Now I've got to wash my hair and become "presentable," just in case something comes up tonight. You never know.


Wow Ledger, I didn't realize that there were so few pages left in this notebook ... just about time to get down to Albertsons and buy a new one. There are so many important things coming up in my immediate future - Prom and graduation, to name two - and it would be a shame to let them go unrecorded.

Tonight is Dad's night off, and I'm sitting here in the living room in his comfortable recliner, watching the terribly un-funny "Tony Orlando and Dawn Show," fighting the beginnings of an awful cold. (Tony Orlando looks so much like Pat. Same dark hair, sexy eyes, dark skin, mustache and smile. I can hardly stand to watch him.)

Steve called around 5:00. He went to the dentist and had his teeth fixed, but the medication he has to take makes him extra irritable and barely coherent. He started yelling at me about insipid things, calling me names and administering verbal whiplashings. Luckily I had the sense to realize it was the medicine talking, not Steve, and I stayed cool and calm throughout the entire tirade. I carefully avoided touchy subjects and kept him as pacified as possible. When he called back an hour later to apologize, I said it was no big deal and chalked it up as another lesson in How To Handle Steve P.

(Tony Orlando is singing "Let The Good Times Roll" now, dancing with Telma and Joyce, taking off his coat, acting sexy ... women in the audience are going nuts, oblivious to his off-key singing. Well, at least he's got looks going for him.)

I took some Nyquil at 9:00 for my cold, and now it's made me pleasantly drowsy and heavy-lidded. You'll have to excuse me ... my pillow is calling.

See ya.

Thursday morning
April 22, 1976

Sitting in Mr. Carmagnani's 1st period Bible Lit class ... I brought you to school today, Ledger, in the hopes that perhaps I can use up the rest of your pages and buy a new notebook.

Rhonda didn't pick me up for school this morning - I don't know why - so I had to walk to school. Cool, cloudy morning, light sprinkling of misty rain - I walked briskly and got to school in 15 minutes, hot, sweaty and tired. Escaped immediately into the girl's bathroom to repair my soggy makeup and hair, but I'm afraid it's no use. I'm going to feel dirty and poorly groomed all day. That's why I hate walking to school. My cold is getting worse and worse, and my head feels stuffy and heavy and hot. Sniffle.

The main things on my mind right now are getting down to Southcenter and picking out my Prom dress ... writing my editorial for the New Voices feature in the P.I. ... the conflict between Steve and Scott ... wondering why Rhonda has been so cool and distant lately ("I won't be able to pick you up tomorrow") ... among other things. Sniffle. I wonder what kind of day this will be.

Friday afternoon
April 23, 1976

My cold took a turn for the worse during the night, and when I woke up this morning I couldn't even breathe, so I stayed home today. I haven't been this sick in a long time. I feel terrible.

Last night Scott took me down to Southcenter so I could shop around for a Prom dress. I have $80 to spend. I couldn't find anything, though, and I'm starting to get worried. Prom is in one week and I still don't have a dress. Anyway, I window-shopped at Southcenter for an hour, then Scott and I went to Herfy's for our usual rootbeer. Then we parked in front of my house for nearly three hours. I didn't climb into my bed until the ungodly hour of 1 a.m.

Tonight I heard, via the grapevine, that Pat is having a party at his house. I'm not sure if I'll go, since I can no longer stand the sight of him, but I hope I do something tonight.


Talked to Joada on the phone a little while ago. Ever since she started going to Highline, we've really drifted apart. She's still going with Wendall, but apparently the male population at Highline High School has "discovered" her and all kinds of guys have been asking her out. She told me that both of the Swaab twins asked her out for tonight, and that one of them invited her to Highline's Prom tomorrow night. Looks like she's found her niche.

She asked me, "How's Steve doing?" and when I replied that he's been calling me more often than ever lately, she said "Yah, Wendall says that Steve's been talking about you a lot more lately, and it sounds like he really cares for you." Now that's the kind of stuff I like to hear!

Saturday morning
April 24, 1976

My God ... surprised I can even write. Talk about hangovers ... this morning I feel like somebody is pounding on my head with a lead pipe. I got way too drunk last night, didn't get home until 6:00 this morning, and I feel horrible. Shit, I wouldn't have gotten that drunk if Scott hadn't poured that stupid Jack Daniels into my glass. I can't handle 90 proof. But you really can't blame anyone but yourself when you tie one on. Boy, did I ever. We went to two parties - Lori Nelson's, which was fairly small and quiet and mellow, and then (I admit it) Pat M's gigantic, frantic one. That was a mistake. I never should have set one foot inside his door.


Still sick to my stomach, my nose is running, my head is pounding, I feel miserable. I guess this is the price you pay for having "fun."

Sunday evening
April 25, 1976
Love Song

Finally recovered from my awful hangover. For a while there I didn't think I was going to live through it. This weekend, on the whole, was pretty fun ... the two parties with Scott on Friday night ... spent all day Saturday recuperating and attempting to get my stomach & brain back into working order ... Saturday night I went to the drive-in with Scott and saw two really good movies, "Family Plot" (Karen Black, William Devane) and "Murder on the Orient Express." Then today Joada and I spent most of the day shopping at Southcenter, where - I don't believe it - I FINALLY found the most perfect dress for Prom. It's black with diagonal white stripes, a halter dress with matching sleeveless bolero, and the incredible part is that it's a size 5 and fits, AND it only cost $38.00. I also got some matching black sandals, some silver jewelry that really compliments the outfit, and some new makeup (including false eyelashes). Now all I need is the little black evening bag that Joada's mom is loaning me, and I'll be all set for my Senior Prom on Saturday night. I can't believe that my day has finally come, but it has.

Comfortable settled in my armchair, listening to quietly peaceful Jesus music through the headphones, munching Cheetos. Scott called at 8:00 and we talked for an hour, and then Steve called at 9:00 and I talked to him for an hour. Feeling pleasant and peaceful and tranquil, wishing that this quietness and peacefulness could go on and on. I wish that time would just stand still: that I could always be living today, April 24, 1976 at 10:35 p.m., eighteen years old, looking forward to my Senior Prom, graduation a month away, in love with two guys who are in love with me, with so very much still looming ahead in the hazy future ... and so very much to be living for ...

Oh, Ledger, I hate to say goodbye to you. So many things have happened in my life since December 13th, and you've been such a friend and comfort. I don't know how much I've changed in the past five months, but I know for certain that writing in you has helped me develop more of a sense of self- worth and individuality. You've helped me see that I am somebody, and that I have a right to sat and do what I think, without being so afraid of what "other people" will say. I've been honest with you, and that's the first step in having honest relationships with others.

So thank you for being my friend.


April 24, 1976

Favorite Songs During This Ledger:

  • Saturday Night - The Bay City Rollers
  • Rock and Roll All Night - Kiss
  • I'm Still Gonna Need You - The Osmonds
  • I Want To Do Something Freaky To You - Leon Hayward
  • I'm On Fire - 5,000 Volts
  • Slow Ride - Foghat
  • Love Hurts - Nazareth
  • Only Sixteen - Dr. Hook

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