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LJI, week 3: Tsundoku

"You.  Don't  Touch.  My.  Books!"

I am crazed and bitchy in the way only a 12 year old girl  who is having her life uprooted and moving cross-country for the third time in three years can be.  And now--NOW!--those horrible people I am supposed to call parents (they get called Mr. & Mrs. Asshole in my journal.  Mom and dad is too good for them) have hired movers for the first time.  And I am supposed to let these strangers in my room?  The dolls I still cling to like the last shreds of what little childhood I had are here.  My first three notebooks where I write my hopes and dreams are in here.  And my books--my beloved escape--are here.

I whisper a quiet apology to Juliette--the twin of Juliet, one of the porcelain dolls Grandpa would bring back from yard sales and flea markets.  I loved them, but one had to go--and she crashes to the floor.  Cue the tears, and running for Mrs. Asshole (who is suddenly, conveniently, now "Mommy").  "They broke my Juliette!  I want them out of my room!  I can pack by myself!"

I sweep a few bits of porcelain into my hand and put them in a small satin bag Mr. Asshole brought me back from Okinawa.  They fit in neatly next to the shards of the china tea set he bought me and then broke for...some reason.  I've given up searching for reasons why grownups do what they do.

I put them both in the small box that hold my secret, my journals.  They sacrificed to keep my words safe.

And to keep my books safe.  I may never read them all...but they guard the words for me.  They dream the words for me.

With these precious shards and my words and these books, I find comfort.  And I might just survive.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
tjoel2
Oct. 25th, 2018 12:40 am (UTC)
I would totally be the same way!
bewize
Oct. 25th, 2018 02:24 pm (UTC)
"And to keep my books safe. I may never read them all...but they guard the words for me. They dream the words for me."

What a beautiful line. I felt for this 12 year old girl. It's so hard to move like that.
rayaso
Oct. 25th, 2018 04:30 pm (UTC)
To be 12 years old and forced to move, especially so often. That would be its own kind of hell, which you created nicely here. Keeping books safe is hard to do. I loved the line "They dream the words for me."
murielle
Oct. 25th, 2018 07:45 pm (UTC)
Such a great piece on the horror of moving at that age. So sad that Juliette had to pay such a high price for the cause, but autonomy is essential.

I envy the heroine. I would come home to find all of my stuff packed and then told we were moving. Never found out until we arrived that my stuff had been sorted before being packed so that beloved things just disappeared. Of course we didn't have to be moving for that to happen.

Well done!
alycewilson
Oct. 26th, 2018 12:21 am (UTC)
You capture the voice of a child well.
halfshellvenus
Oct. 26th, 2018 07:41 am (UTC)
Being only 12 and moving cross-country for the third time in 3 years? That is most children's nightmare. How awful! And why? What could justify jerking your family around like that?

The sacrifice of the poor doll, to make sure nobody touches those precious books and diaries and mementos... I can completely understand that. In such an out-of-control situation, you want to keep close the few things you can, no matter how you make that happen.
eternal_ot
Oct. 26th, 2018 02:00 pm (UTC)
Ah! The sacrifice one has to make to keep secrets hidden. You captured the 12 yr old's mind perfectly well. I felt bad for Juliette but the kid has a presence of mind, I must say.
patrium_novorum
Oct. 27th, 2018 02:01 am (UTC)
Very believable 12 year old girl. Watching her gather up the pieces of her doll and saving them was heartbreaking.
dmousey
Oct. 27th, 2018 04:22 am (UTC)
Pretty cool write. It's so hard being bounced place to place, I remember. Especially for middle school aged kids. I used books and music as my outlets! I enjoyed this piece, thanks for writing it!✌😊~~~d
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )