Dear Diary

October 17, 2012

Stay inside.

Ruby

I try hard not to hit the scroll of my string bass on the stairs on my way downstairs. The basement is beautiful. It’s all dark except for some tubular Christmas lights wrapped around the bright red drum kit. Wes,* the lead singer of my band, Llama Sanchez, is already there, and he tells me to put my bass down in the back corner near a small couch. I do, uncasing it and setting it beside the mic. I hear voices and follow them into the even smaller backroom with the TV and a stereo and a plastic light-up cactus glowing rainbows.

Wes and four other guys are sitting around on the two couches, and one is on the white rug in the middle of the floor. They’re listening to Amy Winehouse. I’m the only girl there. I know Wes, and our drummer, Kay, should be coming soon. I meet Kay at the door. As we’re on our way downstairs together, we’re suddenly hit by a weird herb-y scent. We look at each other, both a little panicked, then we get to the basement and relax as we realize that nobody’s doing drugs—Jake, the singer from the other band, is just lighting some incense.

Jake and Wes, the lead singers of the Burning Lights and Llama Sanchez, respectively, decide that Llama Sanchez should practice first as the Burning Lights watch, then switch. The purpose of this gathering, after all, is to compare the skill levels and music styles of our two bands to see if we could do a gig together, and for fun (also, maybe for Wes to show Jake how far he’d come since he’d left the Burning Lights and started his own band).

I set up my bass: I pick it up so it’s resting on the endpin, I tune it, I put it close to the microphone, I play a couple notes to test it out. I will also be doing backup vocals for our cover of Dispatch’s “The General,” so I set up a vocal mic, too. Maybe I should get some mics and amps for my basement. I know that Kay and Wes have them.

We start playing, and it all goes well. I prefer to keep my bass lines on the simple side for the most part. We’re fairly good and then we’re finished. It was our first time playing in front of any other people except for a few videos we put on YouTube. The Burning Lights clap.

Then my two band mates and I sit down on a tiny black couch while the Burning Lights go up. I am expecting them to be sort of folksy indie rock like us, but then they begin to play. It’s electric and heavy and fills the room. It fills the world. I can feel my bass vibrating next to my feet, and the sound moving through my entire body. Wes raises his eyebrows in slight surprise, and Kay looks like it’s the best thing he’s ever heard in his life. The bass guitar player is facing our couch, and we retain eye contact for the next 10 minutes or so. He’s really, really good—much better than me.

We can barely hear the lead singer, even with his microphone, but he doesn’t look like he’s struggling to sing over anyone. They know what they’re doing. They meant for it to sound this way.

They play some songs; each is better than the last. When they’re done, we just clap slowly, staring at them. That was incredible, and we all know it, and we all just shared it. That was music.

The feeling of lightness and connection lasts for the next few hours, after Jake’s kicked everyone out and my dad has picked me up. I keep thinking that I have been pretending my whole life to really appreciate music. I only wanted to make it because music’s cool and fun. But now I am much more excited to just be a part of it. To be part of the same musical community as this band I’d just watched for the first time, who are freshmen like me but who managed to blow me away, that feels big and new and exciting. I hope we have another practice soon. ♦

* I changed all the names in this entry to protect people’s privacy.

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32 Comments

  • carofine October 17th, 2012 7:15 PM

    Katherine – I just started college too and I swear everything you’ve written about is exactly how I’m feeling! I live about 10 minutes away from my parent’s house too, and does feel really weird to see all the memorabilia I collected in high school all over my bedroom. It’s nice to know that there’s other people out there who are still adjusting to the college life.

  • catpower44 October 17th, 2012 7:22 PM

    I’ve always wanteda ouija board, but I’ve been a little freaked out too!

  • Devan October 17th, 2012 7:29 PM

    Katherine – I know what you mean… Going home after staying at college feels so weird! I feel so awkward around my family too; it’s like I don’t belong there anymore. Then when I go back to school, it’s just the same feeling all over again. It’s like there’s no escape….

  • rabbitsongz October 17th, 2012 7:37 PM

    http://www.etsy.com/listing/110310180/vintage-ouija-board-halloween-decor

  • Madelaine Theo October 17th, 2012 8:01 PM

    I’ve never even considered the whole ‘evil spirit’ side of the Ouija board. Thanks to Downton Abbey, I was convinced that spirits only ever come to visit to wish his or her fiance and the love of his life happiness. This, of course, is completely ridiculous.

  • ShelbyNicole October 17th, 2012 8:04 PM

    Britney- Don’t stress about Ouija! We bought one from Target a couple years ago. My brother and I have messed with it a couple of times. My Mom told us stories about how she and her friends played with them. It’s stupid and funny. Just treat it as a stupid game and not like a tool for witchcraft and wizardry and talking to spirits.
    Sometimes it can get weird, just don’t believe in it. Once people start getting serious about it it gets freaky. I really like that you were up front about your concerns too! And if you’re too worried about it, then just don’t use one, nobody’s gonna judge!

  • koalabears October 17th, 2012 8:19 PM

    Ruby, when I was learning how to play the violin I’d also do it because it was fun, but I’d sometimes get frustrated and feeling like I wasn’t doing it right. I stopped practising for a while (and can’t wait to start again), but I think it’s awesome when you get that feeling you wrote about, when you feel just excited to be part of a group that is creating something. I really hope you have a great time next time you practise :D

  • kirsten October 17th, 2012 8:37 PM

    I’ve been told that you’re only supposed to use Ouija boards at night!
    Hahaha I totally buy into all the creepy Ouija board legends. My mother told me when I was in 3rd grade that playing with an Ouija board would send me to hell!

  • GlitterKitty October 17th, 2012 8:40 PM

    My sister just recently found my diary and fuh-reaked out. I get pretty melodramatic and moody in there so I can see why, but she got all worried and told my mom but neither one bothered to talk to me about it. I was horrified and shocked. I’m even more anxious now because I’m wondering when/if they’re going to ask me about it. Horrible. Absolutely horrible. I wish I got the choice about if I wanted to share what was in there with them.

  • Yellie October 17th, 2012 9:39 PM

    Katherine, please be my friend.

  • Ana October 17th, 2012 9:46 PM

    Naomi, i completely agree with everything you’ve written. I am also a journal junkie and i love hearing about other girls that journal as well. Makes me feel like i’m not alone on my thoughts about journaling.

  • bee1000 October 17th, 2012 10:13 PM

    Katherine, you’ve got it backwards: You go home first, and then you do laundry!*

    I am sorry your anxiety-absorbing pillow didn’t do the trick. That probably just means you’re growing up.

    *Assuming, of course, you’ve a washer/dryer at home.

  • Ruby B. October 17th, 2012 10:24 PM

    Ouija boards are so fun! Mine glows in the dark.

  • Abby October 17th, 2012 11:00 PM

    I hear you, Katherine.

    Also, Naomi… I’m constantly worried about someone reading my journal, because not only do I not want anyone knowing my deep dark secrets, but I also pretty much only write in it when I’m deeply, deeply upset. So… I’m pretty sure that if anyone read it, they’d probably think I was, like, super depressed or something, which I’m not, so I just try to keep it away from prying eyes. But I also think that maybe if I find my soulmate someday, I might show them my journal. Because what I write in there really shows my deepest, darkest thoughts about certain things, and I think those are important things for a soulmate to know. And I think it would be easier for me to just have them read it than for me to tell them. But for now, my journal is mine, and only mine.

  • izi October 17th, 2012 11:27 PM

    I was wondering what the process is like on choosing diarists? I sent in some writing to become one and I’m waiting to hear back :3

  • EveyMarrie October 18th, 2012 12:26 AM

    Okay, with the Ouija board, I’m going to say that I thought it was all fun and games too, but I do believe in the supernatural also, so when I asked for one for Xmas, my intent was to find a spirit to talk to.

    So I got it, opened it up on Xmas morning, and talked to some little kid named Jeremy who proceeded to spin the thingy in a circle and sent it off the board.

    Now, if you have read any Ouija myth/tales, that little remote thingy is the thing allowing the spirits to communicate. By allowing it go off the board, it allows the spirit to go free. This usually ends up bad.

    For the rest of the month, the worst possible things kept occurring. My family’s financial problems, me getting consistent bad grades, cars breaking down at 3 in the morning returning from a New Years party and having to push the car into our community and walk all the way home, just crazy bad stuff.

    Finally, my mom (also superstitious and into the supernatural stuff) took the board, burned it, and buried it in the forest next to my house. After that, EVERYTHING got better.

    You don’t have to believe everything I’m saying, but I’m definitely not touching another Ouija board for a while.

    My point of this tale: Bless your board before messing with it. Put silver on it, throw some holy water on the sucker, salt it up, light some evil-warding candles, whatever. Be careful. And don’t let that thing off the board. Seriously.

  • periwinkle_dreams October 18th, 2012 1:11 AM

    Katherine – I know what you mean. Sometimes I feel well-adjusted and like I’ve made a lot of friends already and things are going great, hoorah and all that jazz…but sometimes I feel like everyone else hangs out with people all the time and is already planning who to room with next year, when I’m sitting around reading The Picture of Dorian Grey and The Hobbit and Bossypants every afternoon because I finally have free time, which is sometimes fabulous but sometimes weird and lonely. Not even lonely, really – more like…solitary, I guess, in a way that feels strange and disconcerting because I’ve never experienced it before. Home for me is a 17 hour drive away, or else it’s here, or else it’s I don’t know where. It all takes some getting used to.

    • Abby October 18th, 2012 9:41 AM

      I understand this post completely… I’m from (very) southern Maryland, but I’m at college in upstate NY, and it takes about ten hours to drive home. As much as I wanted to get away from my hometown in the first place, I kind of regret it now, because I miss it so much. I miss my stupid hometown with nothing to do and I miss my family and my friends and I really regret going so far away sometimes. I mean, I like my school… but I wish I could just pick up my town and plop it right next to my school. Sometimes I feel okay… I do have some friends… but I would honestly give the world to go back to the way it was before I left. I feel lonely a lot… not physically lonely (I’m practically never alone–welcome to college), but emotionally lonely… like no one really gets what I’m going through. Most people here live close… I’ve literally met one person who is out of state like me. My best friend here lives in the next town over and goes home every weekend. I know that other people get homesick, too… I just feel like it’s different. I’m not the same as them; they don’t get what I personally am going through. It’s hard.

  • Janiebird October 18th, 2012 2:26 AM

    Naomi – You are an incredible writer. I love your entry. It flows so beautifully and feels so vivid. Keep it up. :) Thank you!

  • Lila Gracie October 18th, 2012 2:46 AM

    the title of Naomi’s entry made me really curious, can rookie do a piece on diaries please? have you already? i let someone read mine once and i’ve always regretted it, it would be nice to know if there is some unwritten code of conduct when it comes to the privacy of diaries!

  • Lillypod October 18th, 2012 4:17 AM

    Please, please, please don’t get a Ouija board. Just don’t.
    This is a warning. I know what I’m talking about and you don’t want those things in your life.
    It’s not all fun and games. Don’t treat it like a joke. I’m deadly serious.

  • raggedyanarchy October 18th, 2012 10:06 AM

    I’ve always wanted to use a ouija board–but they’re so hard to find! Maybe since it’s close to Halloween, I can find one and use it with my friends. Hey! Maybe we’ll be like The Craft only in real life! Actually, no that would suck, as like three people died in that movie and their friendship was destroyed and one character ends up in an insane asylum, so maybe not.

  • emine October 18th, 2012 3:06 PM

    I was very skeptical when it came to ouija boards because I’d had many fruitless experiences, but one day my friend and I decided to do it right. We got a piece of carton and made our own ouija board, kind of so that it’s energy would be more personal? We lit white candles and incense to keep away the bad spirits, etc, and held hands and waited to see what happened. For a while it was absolute silence but then it actually started moving and we got so scared that we dropped it on the floor, and it continued to move and spelled out the name of the father of our friends, who died in 2008. We proceeded to cry hysterically but it remains a positive experience for me because he was a man that I cared for and so long as you don’t abuse the spirit I think it’s worth a shot.

  • OhLeopoldLeopold October 18th, 2012 3:10 PM

    Well, Ms. Britney, I do believe that you should be incredibly careful if you do get one. I’m not going to say “HEY DON’T DO THAT STAHP WANTING ONE”, but just please be careful, because you are awesome and that would suck. My grandma is the sweetest lady, but as a wee child I asked about one, and she grabbed my wrist tightly, and said “Don’t ever mess around with something that is unknown, something that is completely uncontrollable.”
    That’s my reason for not doing that, because that scared the shizzy-nizzy out of my little lace-friled socks.

  • Laura Lemon October 18th, 2012 3:57 PM

    Ruby’s band is great! they’re actually a lot of fun to listen to while doing mind-numbing chem homework. Yay for Llama Sanchez!

  • Maude October 18th, 2012 7:49 PM

    Dang Caitlin, it looks like you’re having a really tough week. I hope things get better. I suggest sugar. Don’t even worry about eating it in some kind of food. Just a spoon and some sugar. Unless you’re diabetic, in which case celery is good, too.

    • Caitlin H. October 19th, 2012 9:22 AM

      I might actually try this, whilst singing “a spoonful of sugar” from Mary Poppins!

  • annamalous October 18th, 2012 10:22 PM

    It’s as if I can’t say this enough: Katherine, I know how you feel. :( Growing up is a trap.

  • Sssophiabh October 18th, 2012 10:45 PM

    Whaaat Katherine I know EXACTLY how you feel. I dorm about a 30 minute subway ride away from my house, and at first it was really weird going home. Before moving, I though it would be like I had 2 homes, but once I moved, it felt more like I didn’t have a home in either place. My dorm was new and strange and my home wasn’t the way it used to be. I’m definitely getting used to it though and I’m sure you will too!

  • Ella W October 19th, 2012 11:14 AM

    Naomi – I have kept a diary for about 3 years, and just the other day I trusted my friend with it. It felt strange, as it’s like giving away all my secrets and everything that makes me, but I liked how I felt I could trust her. But I can understand why you don’t want anyone reading your diary, it took me a long time before I was ready to give up mine.
    Great entry by the Way.

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica November 11th, 2012 11:52 AM

    Wow. I relate to every single one of these diary entries so much.

    I want to get a Ouija board, but I know that I never will, because I am an extremely easily scared person (even the mildest, shortest horror movie trailers on TV terrify me and keep me up at night for days and days; everyone else forgets about them five seconds later… -_-) and I am 100% sure that it would freak the living daylights out of me. But in theory, I’d LOVE to have one! ;(

    • Cutesycreator aka Monica November 11th, 2012 11:55 AM

      I forgot to mention how gorgeous Caitlin’s diary entry is. Hopefully the week wasn’t too excruciating! :}