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2001-09-07

Karen Ann Quinlan
B. 3.29.54 Scranton, Pennsylvania / D. 6.11.85 Denville, New Jersey
Pneumonia

Relaxation technique number 1. Stop watching the MTV Video Awards; leave the room.
Relaxation technique number 2. Stop thinking about tennis, and blondes, and careers. Brush your teeth. Unbridle yourself of the sinews twisting in your jaw.
Number 3—Isolation. Penmanship. I knew a girl once who wrote me a letter—we were very young—and at the end of the letter there was a stain on the paper she’d circled, and arrowed, and written of—“This is my tear.”
Relaxation technique number 4—Think of a good one. Regrets are fears in frocks. I lost my friend through not returning letters, through silence. Years and years later and years ago now, I got recognized in public by another girl I’d left behind in junior high school when our family moved away. She told me my lost friend had married, later than most of the crowd; but now she and her husband were running a small, well-reviewed restaurant down in Duxbury or someplace pretty like that.
Relaxation technique number 5. Let THIS be enough.

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