Monday, March 22, 2010


April 21, 1985

Dear Ophelia,
"It's OK now. I care again. My life has gotten better since then. Remember how I was totally happy those last few months in Alaska? Well, I kind of feel that way now. I know a lot of people at school so I don't worry about friends now. They are more like acquaintances but it's OK to have them. 

My two friend right now are Katie and Luke. I talk to them and we're friends and I can call Luke and yesterday I went to his house. It's like I can talk to both of them and they both make me so happy. Luke is really unusual, kind of special, and I want to be good friends with him. Well, more on that later. I have to go. Luv, Jennifer"

What a difference SEVEN days makes! Jennifer went from wanting to ruin her life to being happy in seven days. It's all about connection--connection with other human beings. Jennifer remembers drifting around school feeling alone among 1000 kids. She hung out with her brother's friends at home, but they kind of had to like her. At school, she was restless. Katie and Luke were two people who she sparked with, especially Katie. Jennifer wasn't anchored at San Mateo High until she met some people she believed would turn into real friends.

Katie resembled the Ally Sheedy character in The Breakfast Club. She lived in the elite town of Hillsborough in a huge, white house. Jennifer was awed by the house and the money, until she was invited inside. Katie's mother was drunk from morning to night. She was a pasty, shapeless, incoherent  blob. She smelled. She always wore a moo moo and sat on the couch. Katie and her sister took care of her. She did nothing to mother her girls that Jennifer ever saw. There was no man in the house. Jennifer sensed all the pain in that house and in Katie. She has always been attracted to broken people.

 Katie's house looked almost exactly like this Hillsborough home--except the trees and bushes were wild and unkempt.

The 2009 median price of a home in Hillsborough is around 1.2 million.

Everything is going to change for Jennifer again in the next entry. Everything.

In the meantime, I decided to include some of Jennifer's poetry and fiction now and then. A lot of her fiction isn't dated. Jennifer often wrote dark poems and fiction. Raised during the Cold War, Jennifer was soaked with images of nuclear war and a devastated planet. Here she ponders a broken world... (she had always heard that only the rats and the cockroaches would survive!)

Me in the Tree with the Rats up to Bat

Two suns
blaze tandomly in the sky
(a double order of fried eggs).
Freshly born rats run rampant in the meadows.
They have learned no fears.

Inflamed with insatiable hunger,
the baby rats rip bare
the bones of our skeletal world.
I cannot swing
above the Earth forever.
Soon, I must come down to eat
(or be eaten).

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