“Mom, when you were my age, was it normal to write your feelings down in a book or journal?” The doll asked me one night. Smiling back at her I replied, “Doll, girls have been keeping diaries since time began. Yes it’s perfectly normal to write your feelings, thoughts, poems, short stories down in a journal” I replied. “Did you ever keep one?” She asked. “Sure, in fact I still have a few here somewhere…” I informed. “Would you mind letting me see what you wrote?” She wondered. “Not at all…” I said and went off in search of them. The first book we happened upon was part biology notebook, part journal. “If you notice here…” I pointed out, “I liked to doodle a LOT”. Sprinkled across many pages was my full name; employing different styles of cursive. “Boy your handwriting has changed over the years…” the doll noted. “Yep…I suppose I could still write like that if I took my time..” I replied. “I like your signature now mom. Mine is boring.” She explained. “Yours is written by a twelve-year-old. Who know’s, when your 50 perhaps it will look similar to mine” I suggested. She shrugged her shoulders and continued perusing my journal.
“Wow mom, really?” The doll said with a smirk. “Really what?” I wondered. “You listed your top 100 bands…half of these guys I’ve never heard of before…” She remarked. “That’s because you’re twelve…” I said and then began perusing the list. After a few minutes of scanning I had to concur with the doll; who were some of the bands listed here? “Who is the Marshall Tucker Band?” She asked. Instead of telling her, I decided to sing a few bars using my wildly out of tune voice as my only instrument. “Can’t you see, Oh can’t you see…What that woman, she’s been doing to me…” “Really mom?” the doll replied. “Or how about, ‘Green grass and high tides forever, Castles of stone, soul and glory, Lost faces say we adore you, As kings and queens bow and play for you…” and then to emphasize the song, I began playing my air guitar to the imaginary riff of music playing in my head. For my effort I received a look of disdain from my daughter, which only encouraged me to pretend to play more.
“Mom, no! Stop! Stop mom! Mom-grow up!” The doll said loudly, bringing me out of my air guitar reverie. “Oh you’re no fun…” I replied. “Well you’re acting all weird..” she replied. “And your point is…?” I shot back. “Mom… why did you write down all these bands?” “Oh I don’t know…I was probably bored one day…” I replied. “But where are your feelings? I don’t see anything written down here about how you felt about certain people and things”. “Ah…well because I had other people in the house who could read my stuff and then use it against me later”. “You mean like Uncle Danny?” She wondered. “Yeah him-he was a brat like that…” I added before changing course. “Listen doll…I used to create poems and write down the lyrics to songs that I liked. I even wrote a short story once and gave it to a teacher to read. But she never returned the darn thing. Either she forgot, or what I wrote was really bad and she wanted to spare my feelings.” I said with a smile. “My point is, I used stories and poems as my creative outlet. That’s where I placed my feelings. That doesn’t mean you have to do it the same way. We all have ways of releasing our feelings. You just have to figure out how to release yours–so long as they are not too loud or directed at me, your dad or your brother…” I added with a smile. “Well that’s no fun…” She hrumpfed and crossed her arms across her chest. “Yes two can play that ‘no fun’ game” I said in reply.
“Feelings are really tricky at this age…” She said to me. “Yes…they are. Feelings can also betray you…so you need to be wary of them” I said. “So it’s normal if I want to write them down in a journal or notebook?” The doll asked. “Perfectly. Sometimes doing so is the best way to get past some anger or animosity you have toward someone. However, if you ever write a nasty letter to someone, don’t ever mail it. Get the feelings out and then destroy the darn thing. Otherwise you end up opening a can of worms, you’d rather have remained closed. She nodded her head in understanding and added, “You’re probably right…” To which I replied, “And again wonders never cease.” She graced me with a half-smile before saying “Thanks” and then exited the room.
I looked back down at the Marsha Top 100 1980 edition, landing on the Alan Parson’s Project and a wave of nostalgia crossed by brow. Finding them on YouTube, I picked up my air guitar and began playing along to “Wouldn’t Want to be Like You”.