I’ve held onto this note for something like 30 years now. I found it on the sidewalk between our house and a nearby high school. It’s ballpoint pen on school ring binder notepaper written by some girl to her boyfriend. It’s a classic. It’s eternal. From the words, to the handwriting, to the very stained piece of paper that it is written on.

I’ve had it tucked away in various drawers over the years. And each time that I’ve come across it, either packing up the house for a move or just inadvertently, I hold it reverently as I re-read it. It is so charged with the meaning and angst of being a teenager.

After all of these years the paper is worn to a velvety softness and the writing has faded. But the words still maintain their confused honesty and I can’t help but wonder after this girl; like what happened to her and how her life turned out.

front page

front side

“…me all of the time, no matter what you have to say to me.
I want and need you sooo —- much. I hope that I am not ugly to you, am I? My psychologist told me I have low self-esteem, do you think I do? He also said that when something good happens that I need to be reassured, I know that is very, very, very true. Sometimes people say stuff just to say it, so I like to make sure that people don’t lie to me! I don’t know what is wrong with me today, I just feel totally terrible about the whole thing. I’m really depressed, I don’t know why, I have been all damn day. I wish I knew why. I just have been burned out all day, I don’t know what it is, I had a very, very, very, very bad dream but I don’t remember what it was at all. I feel like shit !!!”

back side

back side

“Sometimes I wish I didn’t exist. I don’t think many people would mind. I just don’t know about myself or anyone anymore. I am not going to do anything stupid so don’t think that, please. I’m not that dumb anymore. I just don’t know what to do or why I feel like this. The bell is going to ring so I’ll write more later. Bye. I love you loads.
Well I just smoked a cig. I was late for F&S. David didn’t go to school. He had a doctor’s app. He punched a truck twice yesterday and fucked up his hand. He broke it. There are so many things that I’d like to know about you. I love you so much it’s not even funny anymore. I just always want you to be here for me and to always be around to hold, love, and understand me. I just got a…”

PS – As I’ve been transcribing this note I have been listening to ‘Closer’ by the post-punk band Joy Division; their 2nd and final studio album released in 1980. Some reviews called the album ‘haunting’, ‘gothic’ and ‘claustrophobic’.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the author of the note wasn’t a fan.

 

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