Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

It’s been a while so I thought I would write. I haven’t written much lately, at all. I used to be pretty good about writing for my blog. I keep starting things and then, they seem so contrived. Not like you Diary. You not only seem contrived, you are! I appreciate authenticity.

Also I have a new job,  so that takes up a lot of my time. It’s really different to have to get dressed EVERY SINGLE DAY. I’m working at an ad agency in downtown Minneapolis. I do the same thing there that I did at home, plus more copywriting. It’s different in very many ways to collaborate with people again, but honestly, the biggest difference is proximity to other people. For instance, I work in the middle of a very large warehouse space. In the very center. My desk is a raft afloat on a sea of hardwood. I get up from my desk a lot Diary. A lot more than other people, I noticed. I also have to leave my desk and go to the bathroom if I need to pick my nose. And everyone knows when I need to have a cigarette. And people can hear when I get personal calls. So it is very different from working at home. And there is also the commute every day, which I don’t mind at all in the morning, but I do mind in the evening when I am anxious to be home. But in the morning, whichever way I take, be it I94, or the River Road, or down Larpenteur to Hennepin through Northeast over the bring to the warehouse district, I always see the Minneapolis skyline. Sometimes it is silvery, and sometimes it is blue, reflecting the sky, or slate grey when it is overcast, but it is always shiny, and I love it’s pretty wavering reflections and angularity.

Yesterday coming to work I had to stop at the bank, so I was over near Fairview and Grand. I needed a coffee, so I stopped at this place on Marshall, just before you cross the Lake Street Bridge. The Barista pushed a menu at me over the counter, I said,
“I’ll take a small dark roast.”  And he said, “We don’t have a dark roast, but I’m sure I have a coffee that will please you.” So I said, “Hmm, I don’t think you understand. I want a drip coffee that is roasted dark. A dark roast.” He said, through a clenched jaw,
“We only have light and medium roasts here, because we like to highlight the flavors of the beans” and here he gestured with a wave of his hand to a sign on the counter, “from Brazil, or Costa Rica.” One of my eyebrows flew up. Oh really? Your coffee beans come from such far away lands? Well, I don’t like the flavors of coffee beans even if they are from Shangri La, I like the flavor of the roast. Is this some kind of new trend? How tiresome. Well, you can’t out snob a snob. I was pulling espresso shots when you were in Montesorri, Dork.
“I’ll take an Americano then, and a brioche.” A brioche. Diary, I have no shame.

So, another new thing with me is that I quit smoking 5 days ago. I didn’t use a patch the first day, but I had 3 pieces of gum that a new paramour had given me when I left his house that morning. (more on him later Diary) He was supposed to quit too. He texted me at 10:30 am: “I caved.” Well fuck all, Diary. I am still doing it, I thought. So I parceled out those 3 little pieces of gum into 6, and made sparing use of an e-cigarette. The kids came that night, and it was about 55 degrees in the house, as the boiler was turned down or something. At the time, I was sure the heater was broken. Diary, it was a bad night. The kids watched TV and I hid under a blanket, drifting in and out of sleep. Then Veronica woke me and I flew into a rage and called the building maintenance. A woman with a southern accent answered the phone and took my request. “Where are you?” I asked her. “In Texas.” Diary, that made me mad. When the maintenance man showed up smelling like cigarettes, that made me more mad. When he didn’t believe me that I had the heat valve turned up, and claimed that it only “goes down to 5″ when I know for a fact it goes down to 1, it made me even more mad, and also I cried. Right in front of him. I yelled at the kids some more. We all climbed in our beds at nine o-clock after I apologized a lot. The next morning I dug out some expired patches, which seem to help a lot.

One thing about quitting smoking I have been thinking about is that while it seems certain I will die, the probable cause of death is more up for grabs. I suppose I could still get the lung cancer, but if I have learned anything, it’s that the universe loves irony. OK, it would be kind of ironic if I died of lung cancer even though I quit smoking, but not very edgy. More just sad. It would be more ironic if I died of, say, jogging. Or juicing. Or celibacy. “She died for lack of sex. We never saw it coming.” I don’t think that happens though. You might think it’s morbid to think about it Diary. But for a long time now, many days when I woke up I would feel a weariness in my lungs and think, “Oh, the cancer. It’s coming.” and I would experience a panicked sense of dread over how and when I would ever be able to knock this stupid habit that is killing me. So now I think, well, the future is wide open! I can die any number of ways! This is not so much comforting as it is oddly thrilling.

Also Diary, I am dating a new man, who I think is slightly crazy, a trait I do not find troubling so much as predictable.  Three out of the last four men I have dated have been medicated for anxiety. Diary, is this representative of the sample, or society at large? Does it say something about me, or dating within my demographic? Or is it just that as we get older, we tire of the old tropes and behaviors we used to use to regulate our moods? It just takes too much energy to drink or smoke away our pendulum swings, or it takes too much of a toll on those around us. I don’t know, I don’t ask too many questions. Except to you, Diary. Because you don’t talk back.

I turned 39 last week. The day before my birthday I felt really blue, which surprised me. I don’t mind so much the getting older, as the “evaluation of life so far”. Milestone counting. But I’m not one to mope, so after work I went and bought a couple of wigs at Variety Beauty Supply on Lake Street. I found a red one I liked so much I put it on in the car on the way home. I also wore it to surprise my neighbor when I went down to put a load of laundry in. I was also doing the dishes, so wearing an apron and barefoot. A few girlfriends were gathered on the patio when I dropped by, and after much adoration of the wig by all parties, my friend Val said, “So… you’re doing the housework in a hostess apron and wig. And you’re barefoot. I need my life to be more fabulous like yours.” I hadn’t realized that I was being fabulous. I wore the wig on my date later, where it was much appreciated. And I wore it to the Monte Carlo, where we drank fancy whiskey and huddled in a booth, just me and my wig and my man. And I think everyone could tell we were fabulous people and good kissers. And I turned 39 there in that bar, across the street from my downtown office, with this good looking man, and this very good feeling about my life that lasted all through the next day.

That’s about it for now Diary. It was good to talk to you. Next time we’ll catch up on the kids, and some travel, and other stuff. But for now, I think things are going just fine.


Filed under Life on Mars, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Dear Diary

  1. Oh, Dear Jennifer Korn,

    How dare you post this Friday before me, who has a weekly deadline. How dare you post something so personal, when I am working so hard not to let such personal stuff out, especially love life stuff–and nothing so amusing and positive as quitting smoking. I did start a new consulting gig. Maybe if I were more like you, I could just tell Dear Diary, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and let the page stay idle for a while.

    No such luck. I’m writing about other people, hiding behind those aprons. But I think the people who love me and who hate me can see through.



  2. Julie

    You ARE fabulous. Thank goodness for that.

  3. Oh to have the gift of gab. I so do envy you Jen.

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