Does anyone know what this is? It’s a Nothing Book. It was given to me at a gift when I was probably in eighth grade, as indicated by some of the entries I made at the time. It was either a birthday or Bat Mitzvah present, and I loved it! The pages were so crisp and clean, and waiting to be filled with God knows what! But I would figure it out. As time went on, I had many such books, or journals. Some had quilted covers, and lined pages and were meant for writing. The Nothing Book had unlined, rainbow colored pages, and was so neat! I was almost afraid to write in it, to ruin its pristine-ness! But I did anyway. I wrote, I drew pictures, I made lists, and I professed my love to whoever I had a crush on at the time (if I had been consistant with keeping up with my list, the book would have been pretty much filled, just with crush names!). I would put the book down, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. There are huge gaps in my entries. I picked it back up in college and wrote poetry in its pages. I have whole soliloquies of my relationship with my boyfriend when I was in my early twenties. Will I get back together with him? Will I not? Will we live happily ever after together (we will not)? That’s the last thing I wrote in my Nothing Book, as I soon moved to Houston, Texas, leaving my Nothing Book behind somewhere in my parents’ house in central Massachusetts. Only to be found again last year.
Here are some pictures I drew in my Nothing Book in junior high:
The first one is an illustration from a story I wrote about a girl who thinks she turned into a frog but then realizes that she just forgot to take off her costume for a play she is in at school. Everyone thought she was a real giant frog for some reason. And then at the end, she eats a fly. So go figure.
The next one is a picture of an area in my kitchen. Notice the two phones mounted on the wall with really long cords. One was my mother’s business phone. The other one conveniently reached all the way to the cellar steps, so you could have your own personal phone booth to chat in. You just had to hope that no one would trip over the extended cord. I actually portray this in my recent book when Sally wants privacy while talking to her friend Michelle about things she doesn’t want her parents to hear. Note the analog clock on the wall, plugged into an outlet. That clock is long gone (yes, my family still resides in that house) and replaced with something digital I think run by batteries. Then there are the two alien looking creatures on top of the phones. Those are Weeples. They were very popular at the time. They were little pompoms with googly eyes and antennae, stuck to large feet. They were sort of stickers. I had a ton of them. They all had names. These were Willy and Weepy. Businesses used Weeples for advertising purposes. Very 1980s.
Last year, I got into a conversation with a friend who is also from the 80s about what we called denim articles of clothes back then. I was specifically referring to jackets, which were prolific. I thought they were jean jackets, and we agreed on that, or maybe denim jackets. We both could not recall anyone calling them dungaree jackets. Then I was looking through my trusty Nothing Book, which I had just brought back with me from Mass to Oregon, and what did I find?
Aside from the hysterical context, I clearly called Jeff’s jacket “dungaree.” End of discussion. I have absolutely no recollection of who Jeff was, except he was wicked good looking, wore a dungaree jacket, and had a Sony Walkman. How cool could one guy (10th grader) be? I am guessing this was in 1982. I wonder if Jeff is still wicked good looking (all my friends would have to agree). I doubt it. But does he still have the dungaree jacket? They’re back in style now!
Okay, I’m not going to share all of my thoughts and creations of the 80s, but I did find a poem that I wrote that I want to share. I can’t recall when I wrote it, in high school or college (both were in the 80s of course), but it did end up getting published, unfortunately anonymously since I forgot to put my name on it, in my college literary journal. It’s called “The Rose Thorn Of Love” (I know, I know).
The fragrance drew me near. I inhaled deeply, The sweet addictive scent. I reached out to the sea of red, To touch the velvet shining bright, But my harsh touch to delicate flesh Burned, as it fell, rained to the ground. I stood back, appalled, Stunned by my dastardly deed, By my streak of passionate violence. Lying dormant, so very long. But still the fragrance remained, And drew me even closer. Again, I reached out to grab hold of the stem, So not to harm the precious bud, But I did not anticipate obstacles, Looking so willing but bearing thorns. My blood is a small price to pay for The deal of innocence.
My book, “May I Have Your Attention Please” can be found on my new universal link, in both paperback and eBook! Check it out! I plan to release my second book, “I Just Can’t Say I Love You,” in September 2023. Please check it out, and if you do read my book, please leave a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, or whatever other platform you are using. It would mean a whole lot!
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