Raw Material: The Diary, 35 Years of April 7s

Posted by rebecca.mcswain on April 7, 2015 at 3:15 AM

April 7, 1959 (Houston, TX; age 12)

Dear Diary, I wonder what has happened to me lately. It is funny but all of a sudden I feel so odd and almost excited inside whenever I see a handsome man.

I read so many frightening things about teen-agers, that I don’t know if I can live until twenty.

My back feels better today. I hope it’s all right for summer. 


April 7, 1966 (Colorado Springs, age 19)

Dear Al,

Progress report: I’m feeling better. Not because anything good has happened; except that Dave told M.J. that Bruce isn’t going out at all this weekend. Which didn’t evoke any particular response in me, frankly. I numbed myself to it, yesterday, and I’ve been studying (!).

I declared my major – political science. It doesn’t seem so bad anymore.


April 7, 1972 (London, England; age 25)

Disaster on disaster, the last days in Madrid. Still the dead numbness, which I hope will be shocked out of me by N.Y.  


April 7, 1975 (Cambridge, MA; age 28)

Woke this morning full of wrath at myself – must I accept self-hatred as an integral part of myself? At least occasionally, it seems.

The classical music station at the bottom of the dial is playing dawn bird songs – early dawn. Outside we have snow.

Once again I wasted a weekend. Except that I did my laundry.

Mark D was here for a week, filling the house with his pipe smell and man’s mess. Because I feel very ugly, I could deal with him directly and say anything I liked to him. We went with Sal to see “The Constant Wife.” (Bergman is so at home on the stage, she makes everyone else look slightly amateurish.) And after that to the Hillbilly Ranch, which seems to be full of misshapen people, very fat short women and small hunched men in raincoats. Sal was propositioned in the Greyhound Bus Terminal when he went to piss before the play. Next year MD will be an intern in Charlottesville, VA. He is hidden, like CL – his shield is a sardonic humor – he, like CL, mocks enthusiasm (CL is sometimes enthusiastic herself – but it leaks out of her almost against her own will – begins in a trickle, then if encouraged, increases to a small rocky stream – is never a flood, however).


April 7, 1993 (Portland, OR; age 46)

Worked for KAW all day – just time for a browse in Cameron’s before picking up Colin from school. Turned out to be a warmish day with some sun.

Very tired on the way home. No messages on our new answering machine – nothing from EG&G, the bastards.

Steve went kayaking with a buddy, all day, came home at 5:30 looking sun-and-wind-burned and very relaxed – did him much good.

Ate leftovers in front of TV, reading about mtDNA in American Anthropologist. Got rummage sale stuff together, so at least accomplished something. Also typed up notes from store.


April 7, 1994  (Louisville, CO; age 47)

Slept in seriously this AM, until after 7. Then Colin to school, long conversation with KK, then a last effort (for now) on the Preface. MS called at noon – had come home from work in between clinics for lunch and complained bitterly that whatever J had made in the microwave for breakfast had exploded and J had gone off and left it for MS to clean up before she could cook her lunch. Looks like J may go to Colorado College after all. Only interested in music and boys, says MS, and her grades have gone to pot this semester. Long walk, shopping at Walgreen’s, home, exercise, more tinkering with Preface (notes etc.), calls to women guitar players. Steve and I took Colin to karate together and then we all went to Pizza Hut, where the pizza was soggy.  

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