SBAP Throwbacks: Jas’s High School Journal

“There is a pigeon in my freezer.”

At fourteen or fifteen years old, you never stop to think about how you may want to look at yourself down the road with a (god willing) healthier and more mature perspective.

My friends and I kept a number of online journals from middle school all the way through most of college. Then I went off to college and found myself entrenched in a relationship with someone who found misogyny hilarious. Within a month of moving in, I was told that I had two options: I could either delete any and all traces of an online presence – or be homeless. I had pretty much lost any real sense of autonomy by the time I received that particular ultimatum and deleted everything with little struggle – including a journal that held five years worth of constant writing and documentation of what I thought, felt, loved, and hated. Dark times. 

The thirty day recovery period came and went and I assumed that my writing had dissipated into cyber nothingness. A year later, when circumstances changed and I no longer had to answer to anyone in particular, I logged in for shits and giggles. It was still there; all five plus years of myself. Safe!

But oh how the weary road we travel takes its toll! We want young women to emerge from the clutches of abuse with enough anger to stay out, but not so much anger that they obliterate their brains and remaining sense of honor night after night before coming-to, half dressed, at the bottom of an empty swimming pool with a pulled thigh muscle and a sore ear. Even worse? Documented. It was all documented from the perspective of a crazy person. I deleted my journal again. Except this time, the company actually purged it from the servers.

A few days ago, I found myself with an hour to kill and a hankering to do some reflection/research for a script I’m writing.
“Man, I wish that journal still existed,” I thought.
Then it hit me.
“Holy crap,” I thought, “there is still one out there.”
When I was in the tenth grade, I had created another account using an email address from a domain that went defunct. A few rushed keystrokes later, I stared at the last remaining sample of my writing. It had the same goofy layout. Same color scheme. Perfectly preserved and untouched for years. And though it’s only a short snippet of my life, it does contain the dated thoughts, reflections, and answers to such poignant questions as,
“If your life had a movie montage, what would the accompanying song be?”

Without further adieu, here is a fair representation of of what 16 year old Jas was like.

“We have a dead homing pigeon in our freezer. Mom found it in the yard today. It has a ring from Australia on its right leg and a ring from Athens on its left. So mom picked it up out of the yard, put it in a bag, and put it in the freezer.”

“That pigeon is beginning to freak me out. I had completely forgotten about it when I went out to the freezer to get a box of girlscout cookies, and that damn pigeon fell onto my feet and scared the SHEEYIT out of me.
Why can’t she take it to the zoo or something? Honestly, it would do the Animal Society of Athens more good than in it would our freezer. It’s not like I’m going to eat it anytime soon.”

“I’m still bombarded with visions of that damn pigeon. That pigeon, with it’s weird almost nonexistant eyes, that pigeon with the stiff legs and that smirk that says,
“I’m on top of your girlscout cookies and you have to touch ME before you can touch them!”
That pigeon that should be somewhere in athens other than in my freezer.
That pigeon that was too stupid to avoid whatever it ran into, that PIGEON, that is dead and in MY FREEZER.”

MarJas: I’m uber tempted to take that pigeon out of the freezer and throw it in the yard for the lightning to strike.
Throwingmyself4: hehe
MarJas: seriously… that pigeon made me scream earlier
Throwingmyself4: why is it in your fridge now?
MarJas: it’s in the outside freezer
MarJas: mom found it in the yard
MarJas: it’s a carrier pigeon with tags on it’s feet
MarJas: she said, “Someone might need this.” So she put it in a baggie and put it in the freezer
MarJas: and when I was getting something out, it FELL on me and I screamed
Throwingmyself4: i would secretly throw it out
Throwingmyself4: or read the message, than throw it out
Throwingmyself4: or bury it
MarJas: there wasn’t a message, just tags
MarJas: I’m not venturing out to the freezer in the storm
MarJas: I’ll leave a note:
Take the pigeon out of the freezer to thaw and put it in the ground.

Why did I think that thawing the pigeon would make any difference?

4 comments… add one
  • BlackLOG December 20, 2011, 6:59 am

    you may want to look at yourself down the road with a (god willing) healthier and more mature perspective.
    Not really, I have found as I get older my sense of humour has got sicker and more puerile. So much so I am probably going to be damned to hell….luckily I don’t believe in god, the devil or children so have avoided that trap…

    I’m not sure I could actually read anything I wrote as a teenager, mainly because my handwriting was so bad (bad enough to have been a Doctor). I’m guessing that it has not proved a great loss to the world of literature…..We couldn’t afford homing pigeons yet alone a freezer so my unpublished story about an amoeba kept in an air pocket (borrowed) was never destined to break into the Amazon top 5 million list….

    Then, one day, I was told that I had two options: I could either delete any and all traces of an online presence – either that or be homeless
    Sounds like you should have read the small print before you took out that mortgage with “Mortgage’s for people with no web presence”

    On a more serious note – ouch, I thought I had it bad with my Mother after my father died….She was manipulative and controlling…..fortunately for me I’m a stubborn git so the more someone tries to manipulate me the more I dig in my heals – A legacy of this is I don’t eat vegetables because of being forced to eat them as a child – so indirectly my mother has probably managed to shortened my life – which would have been a bonus if I was still living at home but not so good in that I’ve enjoyed my freedom from the age of 20 when I escaped her evil clutches and made it small on the Who the F*ck are you scene….

    Back to that Frozen pigeon, it sounds like a sub plot for a Coen brothers movie…..or with a better soundtrack , more swearing and orchestrated violence a Quentin Tarantino sequence.

  • JUST ME December 20, 2011, 8:50 am

    I kept one diary as a kid – even then I didn’t quite understand why I would write JUST for myself and not an audience, so it’s a little dramatic at times. Mostly about boys. And it’s full of spelling errors.

    …Some things never change.

  • Tom December 21, 2011, 4:51 pm

    16 year old Jas sounds like a pretty cool girl.

    One question…why did your mum freeze a pigeon…?

  • BlackLOG December 23, 2011, 5:21 pm

    Jas have a good Christmas and New Year, Thanks for the entertainment and the visits.



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