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This is one amazing found diray!
January 17, 2001 4:30 PM   Subscribe

This is one amazing found diray!
Once you start reading this transcription, it is very hard to stop. Incredible. From the site:
Walking to work the week before Christmas, 2000, I found a notebook on the sidewalk, on 5th street between Mission and Folsom. I thought to find a phone number in it and return it, but after reading it, I couldn't find any contact info at all. What I did find was a diary, spanning about nine months of someone's life. Here is the contents of the notebook, reproduced as faithfully as possible.
posted by DragonBoy (46 comments total)

 

Warning...spoilers! Amazing indeed. The list of "things I want" brought tears to my eyes. Other parts made me hate her, or perhaps her addiction, which caused her to steal to live. Knowing that she may have brought a baby into the world is truly depressing. I can only pray that she ended up getting the help she so desperately needs.
posted by milnak at 4:52 PM on January 17, 2001


Hmm. Interesting character, to say the least.
posted by swank6 at 4:56 PM on January 17, 2001


Am I the only one who thinks it was wrong to publish this? By the way, it's a violation of copyright, but I also think it's morally wrong.

I didn't read very far and I'm not going to, irrespective of how remarkable it is, because it isn't any of my business. I keep a journal myself, and I wouldn't want it to appear on the Internet.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:38 PM on January 17, 2001


putting up personal details about your own life is one thing, but putting up someone else's is something else entirely...i guess i'm with steven on this one...feels eerie and intrusive.
posted by th3ph17 at 5:43 PM on January 17, 2001


Yeah, I'm going to have to agree with Steven and th3ph17, this should not have been published on the internet. What if someone found your life story and posted it. I read it, but I feel wrong for having done so.
posted by bytecode at 5:54 PM on January 17, 2001


Seems I'm following the trend here too, that was pretty irresponsible to publish something that someone OBVIOUSLY wanted kept a secret. Even if the name isn't leaked, it's still rather intrusive.
posted by Dark Messiah at 5:58 PM on January 17, 2001


Why are we all assuming that this is an actual found diary and not a work of fiction being promoted by a gimmick? It seems just a little suspicious to me, at least.
posted by darukaru at 5:58 PM on January 17, 2001


well, obviously i'd be relieved to find out its a hoax, but who knows really...


posted by th3ph17 at 6:13 PM on January 17, 2001


So at what point did you feel that it became intrusive? Would publishing a page or two from it have been ok? Do you have problems with people displaying found photos or answering machine messages or other people's mail?
posted by gluechunk at 6:17 PM on January 17, 2001


glue: all of the above seem far too invasive. If you don't have their concent, I don't think it's right to release someone's personal communications or property.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:29 PM on January 17, 2001


It becomes intrusive when you reveal stuff about someone's life that they wouldn't have wanted made public. If it's a private diary then I'd have to say that there's not much justification for printing all of it. I can see a reason to print some details from it in the hope that the original writer might find out and reclaim it but that's about all.
posted by davidgentle at 6:33 PM on January 17, 2001


Sure it's intrusive if you publish stuff about someone that they wouldn't have wanted to be seen in the public domain. But.. and this is the important but.. we don't know who she is!

I'm of the belief that since there's no clues in here to tell us who she is (friends names don't help much).. and the fact that several different people have written in this journal (so obviously all of her group had read it).. it can't really do any harm by being in the public domain.
posted by wackybrit at 6:39 PM on January 17, 2001


Am I the only person who read the diary and didn't care at all about violating her privacy (assuming she actually exists)? You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated.

Actually, I found the diarist to be absolutely loathsome in almost every way imaginable. She's an ignorant racist cracker, she's a thief, she's a hypocritical snob. Oh, and she's a heroin addict, but frankly, that's the best of her qualities. But at least she knows how to pronounce "heroin". This, and her tenuous ability to string together sentences, is what has led some folks to claim (in the guestbook at the diary site) that she's surprisingly articulate. No, she's just self-obsessed.

I anticipate that some people will respond by saying that I don't know what traumatic circumstances may have led her to become a homeless racist junkie thief. I'd respond that I would defy anyone to come up with a plausible sob story that justifies her existence.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 6:47 PM on January 17, 2001


The information wants to be free. (Especially the juicy information!)
posted by waxpancake at 6:48 PM on January 17, 2001


At least the people who are reading her diary without her permission are getting really choked up about her travails.
posted by Joe Hutch at 7:00 PM on January 17, 2001


I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
posted by stbalbach at 7:34 PM on January 17, 2001


I saw the diary linked on memepool, and did not read through for the reason others gave above. Stbalbach's use of a quote that goes through my head all the time, as applied to what I have gathered is a tragic diary makes me feel really weird. Beautifully sad from a distance. Is there a word for that? Interesting all around.
posted by thirteen at 7:49 PM on January 17, 2001


Sorry, couldn't get through the first page. That was a collection of some horrid teeny-bopper writing. Putting that up on the web was not appropriate in any sense of the word. Then again neither are one of my past employers that recorded all office conversations with room bugs to see if you were stealing real estate sales and take notes on all the incoming and outgoing activities from your desk and phone.

I'm sorry - what was the question?
posted by velvett at 8:18 PM on January 17, 2001


Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree here. If this diary was truely "private", wouldn't it be better protected and not been found lying on the street? I think something like this would be better kept at home, or somewhere you wouldn't lose it. That said, I suppose it didn't have to be displayed to the whole world.
posted by moural at 8:25 PM on January 17, 2001



Thirteen, “pity.”

And Mercerism is scary. No thank you.

posted by capt.crackpipe at 8:31 PM on January 17, 2001


Yes, it was wrong to put it up.

I read it anyway, and found it compelling, appalling, fascinating. More real than any blog, because she truly wrote for no audience. If it's a work of fiction, then the author really knows how to get inside the head of a teenage junkie.

I do feel a little guilty. I think I'll go find a traffic accident to watch now.
posted by frykitty at 8:32 PM on January 17, 2001


thirteen>I saw the diary linked on memepool, and did not read through for the reason others gave above. Stbalbach's use of a quote that goes through my head all the time, as applied to what I have gathered is a tragic diary makes me feel really weird. Beautifully sad from a distance. Is there a word for that?

Gullible.

You're welcome.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:56 PM on January 17, 2001


Rube: If it's OK to read the diary of a bad person, but you don't know the person is bad until you read the diary, isn't that a Catch-22?

This reminds me of the Emily Project, a project started on the Web in 1995-96 with a woman's diary from 1932. The purpose of the site was to figure out who the woman was, based on the snippets of biographical detail she revealed in the diary, and there was a lot of speculation about the life she led and the times she lived in.

A few years after it began, they found her. Unfortunately, it was also a few months after she died.
posted by rcade at 8:59 PM on January 17, 2001


if something good comes of this, is it justified? Will someone read that and decide to track down their little sister? Will i give a quarter to the next streetkid that asks me for money--even though i'm broke and they have a $80 nose-ring?


posted by th3ph17 at 9:00 PM on January 17, 2001


The diary also includes an AMEX number with an expiration date of 04/03. I ran it through a credit card validator (a Java program; not a real transaction), and it checks out as a real AMEX number. Yikes!
posted by rcade at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2001


capt.: Pity? Really? That is not what I think of when I think of pity. It does not convey the beautiful part.

Dial "228" on your Empathy Box and you'll feel differently about Mercerism.

Seriously, it has been a long time since I read the book, wasn't Mercerism just about being able to muster sympathy towards animals? I am not so big on sympathy, but scary? I am just about to read DADoES again, I guess I will find out.
posted by thirteen at 9:24 PM on January 17, 2001


Gullible
Really? You think gullible? How do you figure?
posted by thirteen at 9:47 PM on January 17, 2001


I'm sorry, "diray?"
posted by Awol at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2001


"You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated."

For several reasons, most of which would take too long to go into, I don't see the parallel there. Shades of grey rather than "all theft is wrong and equal in its consequences."

A diary seems acutely personal, and far be it from me to judge what a person is driven to do when they are firmly addicted to drugs. I also feel that our society is party to blame for that, and the fact that we all suffer, is part and parcel of that.

The drugs she is addicted to should be free and available from a safe setting. Until a drug addict has a secure supply to feed their dependence, they often can’t even begin to contemplate what life would be like without the drug, the possibilities inherent in that thought.

Why are we all assuming that this is an actual found diary and not a work of fiction being promoted by a gimmick?

Yes, this could certainly be a hoax, completely manufactured. If true, there would still seem a sense of appropriation about it, which makes it seem wrong on so many levels.

"If this diary was truly "private", wouldn't it be better protected and not been found lying on the street? I think something like this would be better kept at home, or somewhere you wouldn't lose it."

It looks for the most part like the street is her home much of the time. Unless they have a well-paying job and some sense of stability, I think most addicts carry their sense of belonging somewhere from a place within themselves. When you have an addiction and have no job, any lodgings are ephemeral. What is important is the thought of where your next hit is coming from. Your priorities change, becoming more in the order of (1) hit, (2) Figuring out where next hit is coming from, and how to get it, (3) food, (4) warmth, (5) shelter, That said, I imagine this diary would be valued a great deal more because of these facts. It would provide a sense of continuity at the very least, a way to divide the days, and even (important when one is under the influence of addiction) a way to retrospectively monitor one's health. It can be frightening to addicts never to quite be able to monitor just how close to death they are.

Sure, addicts are used to losing things, their health, their friends and family, their homes, their self-respect, sometimes their lives. But there’s no way to tell if you ever really become inured to the reality of those losses…. and there’s big difference between losing something, never to find it again, and discovering that what you wrote for your own self, thoughts and ideas that you imagine you own, now exist on the most public domain imaginable.

I don't think there is any legal or moral right to publish this whatsoever (putting aside the idea that it is a hoax, which in a way, I hope it is.) I’m not assuming that this person would not, if given the opportunity, choose to share her experience on the internet in this way. The problem is that unless we are able to ask her, there’s no way to tell. Even were that person to give permission retrospectively, I still don’t think that would make the initial act (of posting it onto the Internet) right.


posted by lucien at 10:54 PM on January 17, 2001


USR>"You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated."

lucien>For several reasons, most of which would take too long to go into, I don't see the parallel there. Shades of grey rather than "all theft is wrong and equal in its consequences."

A diary seems acutely personal, and far be it from me to judge what a person is driven to do when they are firmly addicted to drugs. I also feel that our society is party to blame for that, and the fact that we all suffer, is part and parcel of that.

The drugs she is addicted to should be free and available from a safe setting. Until a drug addict has a secure supply to feed their dependence, they often can’t even begin to contemplate what life would be like without the drug, the possibilities inherent in that thought.


Well, I didn't say that "all theft is wrong and equal in its consequences." That's why I said that she gave up her rights when she stole to get money for drugs.

Leaving aside the theft for now, I fail to see how heroin makes one racist, self-absorbed, self-pitying, or a hypocritical snob. Even if she went cold turkey tomorrow, she'd still be an annoying nuisance: that has nothing to do with the heroin. So the diarist "can’t even begin to contemplate what life would be like without the drug, the possibilities inherent in that thought". So what?

But your statement of "far be it from me to judge what a person is driven to do when they are firmly addicted to drugs" is simply ridiculous. You take the drugs, you deal with the consequences. And even with full legalization, there are still going to be addicts, and they are still going to commit crimes.

rcade>If it's OK to read the diary of a bad person, but you don't know the person is bad until you read the diary, isn't that a Catch-22?

Sure, which is why I said "You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated." Had the diarist not been a thief feeding a drug habit, I'd feel bad for her loss of privacy. I wouldn't want a diary posted online normally, but I simply don't care about this woman's loss of privacy. Now, I'm talking about her moral right, not her legal right. If she wishes to assert her copyright, she has the legal right to do so. And then the police have the legal right to toss her in jail, where she should feel free to explain her theories on race to the rest of the inmates.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 11:48 PM on January 17, 2001


USR>"You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated."

I really fail to see the connection between these two concepts. Just because you find this woman repugnant, and I think most would agree she is no charmer, doesn't mean she doesn't have the same moral rights as anyone else. The moral foundation of our culture agrees that certain rights are available to _everyone_ regardless of how we feel about them. Certainly, if you are convicted of crimes you lose a fair number of rights (freedom of movement being the main one), but where do you get off on deciding that violating a woman's privacy is justified by her being a racist shoplifter? The casual attitute the goverment (and a frightening proportion of the american populace) view privacy rights makes me uneasy.


posted by david hedge at 12:13 AM on January 18, 2001


Dang, I can't type today. Sorry for the typo there AWOL. I hope it did not get in the way of the f*cking post.

Woops, did I say that?
posted by DragonBoy at 12:16 AM on January 18, 2001


"You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated."
Erm. Which constitution are you reading? This diary wasn't obtained via a warrant, it wasn't used as evidence, etc, etc.
"If you do something we don't like, it justifies making public your innermost thoughts and etc, etc.."
Now, if I had found the diary, I might have published it myself (well, in a different manner), but I certainly wouldn't use this absurd justification.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:13 AM on January 18, 2001


"if something good comes of this, is it justified? Will someone read that and decide to track down their little sister? Will i give a quarter to the next streetkid that asks me for money--even though i'm broke and they have a $80 nose-ring?"
thank you for articulating a sentiment i have felt every time i have been on holiday to the city... there is a difference between kids that have fled thier homes because they have been abused or have no home to return to and kids who have ran towards some perceived idea of "freedom" away from thier parents homes/rules. if they are saavy enough to maintain a *style* with the accoutrements of self expression they should certainly be clever enough to procure food without my spare change.



posted by jyoung at 7:24 AM on January 18, 2001


Helllllo? Didn't anyone notice that the diary was public even before it was put on the Web? All the writing in that diary isn't from one person.. there's several different people writing in there. Anyone associated with this girl could/and probably did read and write in this book. It seems more like a forum book than a diary.
posted by wackybrit at 7:48 AM on January 18, 2001


How is sharing some diary entries with friends the same as someone finding it and posting it onto the internet? I don't get that. I used to share some of my diary too, but I would feel like part of me was raped if I lost it and found out someone had posted it online. Did anyone give this person the go ahead to do this?
posted by intuit at 9:12 AM on January 18, 2001


I have a little trouble with the argument that a created text is forever private and sacrosanct. So should we burn all the journals and diaries of writers, statesmen, and other famous sorts the day they die, rather than analyzing, publishing, and preserving them for posterity? A text is not a thought, though it originates from thought. Thought has a right to privacy, but I think the choice to make permanent those thoughts on the page (or in the ether of the internet) gives up *some* of that right. How much...is open to debate.
posted by rushmc at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2001


I wonder if people debated the faux hitler diaries as much as this. This is more ripe for a haux than anything I've seen in a long, long time. Not even worth my wasting time on. But the debate of the propriety of posting this so called intrusive information did remind me in a funny way of an onion story whose link is no longer published, with the headline "Anne Frank: "Quit Reading My Diary!"
posted by DiplomaticImmunity at 10:52 AM on January 18, 2001


USR>"You steal liquor to get drug money, you give up your right to argue that your personal property was misappropriated."

davidhedge>I really fail to see the connection between these two concepts. Just because you find this woman repugnant, and I think most would agree she is no charmer, doesn't mean she doesn't have the same moral rights as anyone else. The moral foundation of our culture agrees that certain rights are available to _everyone_ regardless of how we feel about them. Certainly, if you are convicted of crimes you lose a fair number of rights (freedom of movement being the main one), but where do you get off on deciding that violating a woman's privacy is justified by her being a racist shoplifter? The casual attitute the goverment (and a frightening proportion of the american populace) view privacy rights makes me uneasy.

Yes, and that's why I specifically stated that I was talking about moral rights, not legal ones. I have the legal right to say that Jews are subhuman and should be exterminated. Do I have a moral right? No. If someone wrote a book arguing that, and people made illegal copies of it and gave them away, I would have no sympathy for the violation of his copyright. He'd still have the legal right to bring the matter before a court, and he should have that legal right. And I have the legal right to say that I don't care that his rights were violated. So where do I get off saying that I don't care about the diarist's privacy and copyright being violated? I get off because she's scum, she would be scum even if she wasn't addicted to heroin, and her self-pitying writings are nauseating and without any redeeming value.

sonofsamiam>Erm. Which constitution are you reading? This diary wasn't obtained via a warrant, it wasn't used as evidence, etc, etc.

Which is why I said she still has the legal right to copyright. As far as the warrant is concerned, the point is moot. If the police ever found out whose diary it was, they wouldn't use it as evidence, but instead would contact the groceries she stole from and use eyewitness evidence to bust her. But they don't need a warrant to read a diary abandoned on the street. She has her legal right to free speech, and I have the legal right to point out that she's worthless scum and she has no moral right to complain about violations of her privacy or copyright.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 12:28 PM on January 18, 2001


I must say I agree with rushmc. Now that I think about it, in history class we often read some type of document from a famous dead person which ends up revealing so much. I can't think of any examples right now, but there's tons of letters, diaries, and other stuff that was meant to be private that tell us things we never would have known without them. For all we know, something in this diary may change the world. :)
posted by swank6 at 12:28 PM on January 18, 2001


Agree with swank6. After all.. this is only life, and the end result is always the same.. we're just gunna die one day. Who really really cares who reads what? There's far more important things that worrying whether someone's going to read your diary.
posted by wackybrit at 12:46 PM on January 18, 2001


So what if it's a hoax. There were so many comments here that are genuine.

Just because we read the letters of the famous, doesn't mean that hasn't and isn't still lots of controversy about them being published. Look at the letters of Katherine Mann.

Bit different publishing the letters of someone who is famous and very dead, to taking the diary of someone we assume is alive and a bit unstable going on the pretext of the whole thing.
posted by intuit at 1:45 AM on January 19, 2001


SETEC ASTRONOMY


jyoung said:
"... there is a difference between kids that have fled thier homes because they have been abused or have no home to return to and kids who have ran towards some perceived idea of "freedom" away from thier parents homes/rules."

A runaway is a runaway. I do not see the difference that you see. Oh, there's a difference alright. The reasons why they run are as many and varied as there are kids on the street. That still makes them runaways. Perhaps it is wrong for us to clump them all together. Perhaps you'd prefer taking the time to decide which ones deserve your sympathy and which ones should just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Most of us do not have that luxury.

Believe it or not, there are young people who have run away from home after getting a bad report card. They preferred the streets to facing their parents. Stupid reason for running away you say? This is not my beautiful house! This is not my beautiful wife! Just whose shoes you walkin' in, dude? You can choose pity or not. You can choose sympathy or not. You can choose suspicion, sarcasm, disdain, there's really a lot of options available to you. You can try them all. You can question the relevance of someone posting such a story that should have been private. You can question this individual's state of mind and opinions and how racist she is. You can judge whether or not she has a right to live, or share your air, or if she has a right to privacy. You can tell yourself it's okay if YOU smoke some hash and maybe have a brewski and that's alright but OH SHE DID HEROIN WHICH MAKES HER A BAD PERSON. And you can feel free to ignore the fact that such an opinion makes you a hypocrite. Hey. Being a hypocrite is what being human's all about, isn't it? You can choose to pretend you never read the words. You can choose to look away. You can choose to absorb it. You can choose to assume it a hoax or believe every word. I don't care. It means nothing, because it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes, little bits of data. It's all just electrons. And y'know what? I don't care.

She's still out there. Her or someone like her. A lot of hers like her. And hims. Theys. They're all out there. Runaways. And there are people out there who think they can save some of them. And there are people out there who think they cannot. And there are people who think they do not need saving. And there are people who think they should just fend for themselves.

It is too convenient of us to take so many individuals and clump them together. We don't even use racism to do this. Or sexism. We don't delineate on sexual preference. It's a simple matter of economics. Those who have and those who have not. The ultimate in prejudice. Prejudice without lies and deception. I have a credit rating; you do not. That is where we draw the line. The Homeless. As if they're all one big happy family. As if they're not just like us. As if black people and white people are different kinds of people, when in fact they are not. Same mentality, but prejudice via economics is somehow politically correct. She's different you say? She dropped her diary on the street. How careless. She turned to a life of crime and drugs. How thoughtless. Obviously she's a hateful soul. Listen to her scoff at those around her. You people read the words but you don't see the picture. Reading any online diary, is looking in the mirror. But for the Grace of God go I doesn't even enter into it. That person is different from you. You couldn't possibly end up like that. Right? Wrong.

Adrienne is representative of the ones who are not lost because they know exactly where they are but from their perspective, society is what lost. It's their loss I ran away. The young person may be brash and spiteful and even hateful of everyone around her. Wouldn't you be? If you didn't know where the next meal was coming from? If your blood family are strangers and complete strangers become your family? If you live in a world where you get hit by a car and recieve one hundred bucks for it? Huh? If the laws of physics and common sense simply don't apply to you and your world makes no sense and you stopped trying to make it make sense because it just hurts your head? Or can you not appreciate this "work" online because it does hurt your head? Because placing yourself in this person's shoes is too uncomfortable, and too close? Or do you tell yourself this could never happen to you?

What if the world you know is topsy-turvy, and changes by the hour, and nothing is dependable, but just out of reach and just beyond the glass you see an alternate reality. People in better clothes. People with bank accounts and appointment calendars. People who have a routine and somehow society didn't fail them where it failed you. You used to be on that other side of the glass but somehow things didn't work out and now you're on the street. Drugs? Pride? Sloth? Ignorance? Does it matter how you got here? You're here now. From your perspective, these people in the cafes and hotels and taxi cabs are the ones living a lie. You know the truth. You've seen the dark underbelly in the alleys and red light districts and subways and sewage drains. You know what the city really looks like. These people are living in a facade. These people on the other side of the glass are the ones who are lost. You know exactly where you are.

A runaway is like Schroedinger's Cat. The scientists take the cat, put it in the box, and close it. Inside is something that may or may not have killed the cat. The scientists and philosophers stand there and contemplate whether or not it's dead. As if it's in some perpetual state of quantum flux: alive or dead. That's just the subjective reality we're dealing with. The objective reality is you put the cat in there, next to something that could kill it. The cat can't stop the thing from killing it. No one else is gonna open the damn door and save the cat. Whatcha gonna do? I don't care whether you pity or care about her or not, or the others like her. The question is, what will you do? Sit there and contemplate indefinitely? Open the box and help them out? Or walk away.

And I don't mean offer an easy handout. I don't mean give'em a buck to tide them over until the next handout. I mean do you open up the damn box and help the cat out? Or not?

Me? I walk away. Why? I'm a pathetic self-centered loser who'd rather not give a nickel to a homeless person. I'm wrong, but like a drug addict I choose my own undertow. I don't see how a handout helps. I don't see how volunteering for soup kitchen detail helps. I don't see any charity effort that stops homelessness. All I see is people perpetuating it. I choose to turn away, but I do not do so blind. I know exactly what that means to my karma. That I don't even try. I know exactly what that means about me as a person.

I don't expect a drug addict to change. I don't ask others to expect me to change. I don't help that homeless person I run into, because there is nothing in it for me. I accept the consequences of that decision, and will continue to do so. I accept what it means to be me and make no bones about it. No excuses. No complaints. And people ask me why I hate myself so much. I live with who I am. If ever I find myself out on the streets, homeless and hopeless, may my karma run over my dogma. Bah humbug. But my fate is sealed. What about you? What are you going to do?


Going Under; 1997; Kristy Kruger

I open my mouth loud, I open it wide.
I play no games cuz I believe silence is for the ashamed.
I got a foot in my mouth for every atom in the air.
And much to your proper suprise I like having them there.
You never cared for me before so why tarnish your record?
You were doing so well keeping all our ties severed.
So don't do me no favors. I never asked for your help
And I was doing okay helping myself.
Cuz I am a fish and I love to jump in
And I don't really care if I sink or I swim.
I never ran from the whirlpool and I don't fear the thunder.
I never minded the thought of going under.
I'll be the first to put my eggs in one basket.
I'll be the first to dig a grave before there's a casket.
I anticipate the worst, work endlessly for the best
And I guess that makes me a hard-ass optimist.
You say I can't make decisions, but don't I decide not to make them?
You know I see the solutions and I choose not to take them.
So, wipe that " I feel so sorry for you" look off your face,
Cuz every hole I go down in, I choose to create.
So, save your pity for the pitiful girl.
I never needed you, I don't plan on starting to soon.
Don't try to pull me from the water.
Don't drag me to shore.
Trust I can save myself from drowning,
if I want to.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:14 AM on January 19, 2001


Reading the diary of a dead person for historical purposes is a bit different than reading a living person's diary...
posted by geir at 4:18 AM on January 19, 2001


(First of all, fascinated though I was by the writing, I have come to believe it was wrong for the guy to put Adrienne's notebook online. Most of the comments generated by her journal have proved this beyond a doubt.)

I was moved to tears while reading the posts on this matter. Bearing in mind that these thoughts were unsolicited and published here without her knowledge or consent, this is a private document we're reading and pulling apart here, akin to tearing through the thoughts in her head, judging and damning her without a second thought, throwing out glib, high-and-mighty comments - like saying that a drug addicted theif deserves no privacy or even a shred of respect as a fellow human being.

We all have thoughts hidden and mistakes concealed which, were we to reveal them to the public, would probably result in a drudging just like the one going on here. None of us are faultless or blameless - we all have occasional nasty thoughts, fleeting mental rants of insult, unfavourable judgements towards the people we see on the street. This journal wasn't a day-to-day thing, and it doesn't contain every single thought she's ever had about the people she passes. Some of you see a certain amount of bad-mouthing and declare her at once to be not worth knowing, to be ugly in spirit and mentality. Would you come away smelling of roses if we knew each and every thought in your head?

Thought it might make me as "stupid" and "immature" as the girl in question (not my judgements - just some that I've seen here), I was touched by the writing. It hit something very real in me and when I read all of these judgements and insults, I responded with tears and sobs. To some of you she might be just another lost cause, a hopeless drug addict, some piece of street trash, to me, she is a person. She is a person who didn't ask for you to provide judgemental feedback on her life and thought structures. She is a person with untold stories and reasons for her life on the street that we might never know.

Call me a bleeding-heart if you will, but I think that most of the commentary here was unjustified and cruel.
posted by sammy at 11:22 PM on January 19, 2001


It hit something very real in me and when I read all of these judgements and insults, I responded with tears and sobs.

It's a text, not a person. However it originates (and all texts DO originate from people), once we read it, it must be experienced and judged as a text. Personally, I am surprised that anyone could find this particular text very personally affecting--it's rough, predictable, and the questions about its authenticity are significant--but if you did, there's certainly nothing wrong with that. I believe that we are each entitled to respond to any text uniquely and idiosyncratically. I may hate Catcher in the Rye; you may find it life-changing. I may find this diary trivial (and arguably, manipulative); it may move you to tears.

That's what makes us different. I think it would be extremely arrogant to go beyond sharing our experiences and reactions to make the claim that one of us was RIGHT and the other WRONG. There are no facts here, to be proven or disproven. Only interpretation. And interpretation is what makes life interesting. Therefore, I take strong exception to your contention that the commentary here was "unjustified." On the contrary, I think it was meaningful, valuable, and constructive.
posted by rushmc at 9:56 AM on January 20, 2001


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