Today in one of the storage room in my parent’s house basement—the most forgotten and shabby one that is behind our washer & dryer—I found a silver paper bag. It’s made with the kind of cheap dollar store gift wrapping paper that glitters. The bag was stuck in a part of the ply wall that was ripped open, just beside the electrical box.
I pulled this silver paper bag out of the gap between the ply walls. Inside the bag, was a obvious image of what I was suspecting: a thick diary book that is written on the cover ‘Journal Intime‘. Judging from the 90’s feminized character on the cover, it doesn’t seem that old. There is a lock mechanism on the side (another cliché!); I thought for a second that I will not have its tiny key to open the pages, but it opened with a click.
Inside: first page was blank with no name and contact info filled in. Last page ended in the year 1996, with
“J’ai commencé mes menstruation.”
“I started my menstruation.”
From its first entry in 1994 to its last, the diary filled around 1/5 of the whole book. I did not read every entry, and put it back where I found it when I finished.
I know she was the daughter of the last family who lived here. They lived in this house for more than 30 years. I also know how our family background and ethnic background must have differ from each other. But, a strange sameness waved at me.
Another point I gathered: there was a certain boy ( initial L.F. ) that she could not stop thinking about. He was a the cousin of one of her friend, and she thought about him until she forgot the time at night.
Reading it earlier, I can’t help but feeling that I know this well, for example the scarce entries, the simplicity, the silliness, and the way the diary ended. I would have done the exact same to it, in my own teenage.