Sunday, October 29, 2023

Journey of Old Journals: 1984- 1985


I started this journal by mentioning the "countdown to Seneca", the Women's Encampment for Peace and Justice, a righteous collection of women forging a new path to peace at the Seneca Army Depot. "It was a good feeling to come alone, to set up my tent. I feel like I've entered something important a year after it was first founded."  I wrote of the feminist process, discussions that I felt went nowhere but reached a far more satisfactory goal.  I noted that the women weren't interested in engaging (visitor fatigue in hindsight) and knew I should have stayed longer than a couple of days. But I commented to myself that I was brave to go alone. 

And alone, I ventured to Boston, getting there in advance while G and J drove the van down. I wrote, being perturbed that they "broke down" on the way, a happenstance in the location where G's new lover lived.  I got the keys to the new apartment and tried to make the best of it. My high school friend helped me rent a carpet cleaner from the local supermarket.  But when G and J arrived, my housemates collectively freaked out.  It was a blur, but I'd seen another ad in the local newspaper for a place in Jamaica Plain. Old, clean, hardwood floors, and cheap. So we were able to move there. 

Tension living with G, she wanted to return to our past amid all this change. I was looking forward: to new friends, a job. Copying and delivering the resumes around town. Community organizing jobs, something meaningful. I had two interviews with Bridge Over Troubled Waters, which I was fairly sure I'd get the job, and then "failed at my own great expectations" when I didn't.  I took the offer as an intake worker for ABCD. That job, at the desk, involved a new slew of characters in my world. The stories were mindblowing for my suburban mind. A deaf Chinese woman who did not speak English and sought services. An elderly man spitting on me as he was seeking a flu shot, with hairs growing from his nose and ears that reminded me of a sea urchin.  It was an urban adventure, back in the day when Jamaica Plain was gritty and real. 

Through this, I still took notes on the books I read, May Sarton, Kinds of Love. "Was growing old a matter of learning to close doors on the unbearable?" 

Sketched out more embroidery pieces (now long gone), dreamed of dresses for my new sewing machine. Dealt with the realities of sharing a space with former intimates, cockroaches on the toothbrush in the middle of the night, and sounds of violence in the city.  Found a new lover, who was too clingy and gushy for my taste and eventually left for a trip to India. Bridge offered me the job  and I started working second shifts. I began my search for a new place to live.