I’d like you to meet my good friend Alex. He’s really just like you and me. He’s seventeen. He’s a high school student. He has a crush on one of his teachers. Sometimes he does the right thing, and sometimes he just messes things up. He writes down everything in his diary and… I read it. Actually, that’s how I know so much about him.
At first Alex just wrote lots of trivial things in his diary, like what his teacher wore to school and how his team did at the track meet. I think he was just nervous because he was scared to see his thoughts written down. Maybe he thought they would seem silly on paper. He must have liked recording them though, because now he writes about really important things. One time he wrote about struggling with a moral decision. It was complicated because he loved his teacher and didn’t want to hurt her, but if he didn’t get her fired his friend could be in big trouble. Another time he tried to work through his confusing relationship with his best friend – Alex had always looked up to him, but now the friend was beginning to do some things that Alex wasn’t sure he could agree with.
Alex’s writing is so beautiful that it’s wondrous and inspiring for me to read his thoughts. He makes our shared feelings of confusion and understanding, betrayal and love seem exquisite. When I read his journal, I forget where I am and what I’m doing. Sometimes I wonder, if I were Alex, would I really have agreed to get drunk and jump off that cliff just that one time?
You really should get to know Alex. His diary is waiting for you. Just try checking out Jenny Hubbard’s Paper Covers Rock and take a lesson from Alex – the written word triumphs all. Find it at your local library by going here.