Home > Composition Book > [November, 1988] Mad, Sad, and Not-Very-Dangerous to Know

[November, 1988] Mad, Sad, and Not-Very-Dangerous to Know


Dear Journal,

Today I had a fight with Tolya and then somehow I got mad at Tina.

It was all through swimming and I felt mad and sad. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Luckily, I was able to set my anger toward Yanmei, Marcela, and George long enough to develop hostility toward not one but two new targets. Tolya and Tina were a year older than me and the children of two Russian families my parents were friends with. For a while, they were like the older brother and sister I never had. They probably didn’t feel the same way, because whereas I was an only child, Tolya had an adorable younger brother and Tina had an older brother who was  a jerk (he once set his t-shirt on fire with hairspray and a lighter to freak me out gave tedious soliloquies on how R.E.M.’s Green was the best album of all time). For the most part I got along well with Tolya and Tonya, and the three of us took weekly swimming lessons. Mostly these “lessons” meant listening to the instructor for the first 10 minutes, and spending the rest of the hour splashing around with my two friends and pretending to be a mermaid.

Naturally, I don’t recall what they said to me during our swimming that set me off, but if I had to guess, I’d say it had something to do with my height. Tolya and Tina, being ahead of the puberty curve, had their growth spurts early and enjoyed gloating about how they towered over me. Even though I would grow up to be nearly 5’7″ (three inches above the average female height), at the time, I was self-conscious about my smaller stature and found it offensive when those two freaks of puberty called me short.


Roses are Red/Violets are Blue/You Suck

Roses are Red/Violets are Blue/You Suck

Whether it really was about my height, whatever it was they said or did burned me up so much that it brought out the vengeful poet in me:


Dear Journal,

I made up this poem about them:


Tolya and Tina you’re going beserk,

Some people may like you, but I think you’re jerks,

Teddy and Tanya, you think you’re so hot,

I used to be you’re friend but now I’m not.

Move over Byron, Keats, and Shelly! There’s a new wordsmith in town…


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