The (Early) Lisa Diaries

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The Lisa Diaries by Lisa Carver  

Early Diaries Intro


Note: In 1984, I was a physically immature fifteen-year-old, sex-drenched but not having any. I was hyper-aware of my unpenetrated body and so was everyone else — as if it was in a display case for all the dirty old men and the confused young ones, and for the dreadful Natalie Burleigh too.

January 27, 1984

I’m starting to know some of the regulars at Dunkin Donuts. Roger is the leader of the dregs. He’ll say something like, “Oh, look at those blue eyes!” and it’s cute, but he has this friend named Cly who looks like a cave-dweller who should’ve stayed in his cave, and when he says the same things they sound creepy. Cly’s eyes are folded into flesh behind thick, dirty little glasses. And there’s some French scum with a toupée who keeps saying he wants to see me after work. Sometimes he waits outside and tries to follow me home, but I always lose him cutting under the bridge. I’m a bit afraid, but I don’t think he would carry out an actual rape or maiming.


They might have printed my checks wrong at Dunkin Donuts (wrong social security number) and if they did, Ma won’t have to report it to Welfare and they won’t dock her allotment, thus I won’t have to give my check to Ma.


I’ve never made out with a guy when I wasn’t drunk except for Craig this summer, but that doesn’t Lisa in 1984count because he was nine. I don’t know how to do anything good except (oh, I’m so embarrassed) suck fingers and ears. Last night I had a dream about Sam Eddins, of all people. I asked him a favor — to string fishing lines from Earth to Hell so I could hang candles down there and no one would have to be scared in the dark. I put my arms around his neck to ask the favor, and he held me very close and obscenely. He said, “Do you want me to hold you like this?” I said no, but I wanted him to.


Thumbs are ugly.


I’m reading the Bible because I heard it is a great example of English. Adam Ant is playing tonight. Jedd asked me if I was going and I said yes! Now he’ll see I’m not there and he’ll think I’m not serious about New Wave and that I’m a liar.

January 28

Jedd was at The Speakeasy last night! I thought he would be at Adam Ant! I never know where I stand with him. He held my hand and bought me a coke, but he never wants to dance slow songs with me. He danced slow with some girl named Roxie and seemed to like her better. I guess Jedd is popular. Wendy Fraser danced with him, and she won’t dance with anyone unless they’re halfway decent. If I was a guy, Wendy wouldn’t dance with me.


My feet swelled considerably.

January 29

Dean and Michael and Conrad came over after school today. We did obscene things with the Pink Panther and it was so much fun! I wore my sleaze top and I think Dean liked it. Michael goosed me, then Conrad, then Dean, back and forth. Dean hugged me about three times. I didn’t do anything back because I didn’t know what to do back. Conrad told me he was you-know. [Note: “You-know” meant gay, and ten years later, Michael came out as you-know too.]

January 30

I think Jedd likes me because he always touches me. Today we almost bumped into each other, and he kind of helped me along even though I didn’t need any help. But then again, he might have just been pushing me out of the way! He’s so aloof. Lisa in a school playI don’t think he likes to talk about personal things; I asked him about his job (meat packer at Prescott Farms) and he got a disdainful look on his face. But then maybe he thought I was a money-hungry girl trying to assess his assets. It’s a good thing I didn’t ask the next question on my list: Does he drive?


Two bad things have happened in school lately. Mrs. Clendaniel said I was the best creative writer she’s taught in twenty-four years, and she asked me to read my composition “Pillows” in front of everyone, making me even less likely to get asked out. Then in Latin, Natalie Burleigh cut me down to the floor. I asked Jennifer what a word in Latin meant and Natalie said, “Why don’t you do your own work and stop being such a sponge. You eat everyone’s food in lunch every day.” (That’s because I don’t want to take the Free Lunch, so I don’t eat, but then I want some of someone’s ice cream or snack.) I laughed and called her a “bag,” trying to make it seem like a joke. But then she said, “Shut up bitch, at least I’m not flat!” — really loud, so everyone could hear. “At least I’m not short,” I said. “I’d rather be short than skinny and flat like you,” she said, and I started crying.

February 1

I don’t know what to do about sex. It seems like fun, but after, you can’t live without it. At least, that’s what it seems like. It gives you confidence, but you can feel cheap after, or get the reputation for being cheap. I think this is the way I stand now — I’d like to do most of the



Everyone else is asking people to the prom already, and Jedd hasn’t even asked me to a regular dance. My father’s advice is to stand him up. I’d do it, if I only got the chance! Jedd has light brown eyes, not blue as previously reported.


I think I’m going to have a happy life. I want to love and be loved in the most violent and serious way. I want to try everything; I want to get dirty, I want to get cold, I want to work. I don’t want to dream of writing great books; I want to write them. I don’t want to wish I had money; I want to grab it.

2001 postscript: A year later, when Jedd heard through the grapevine that I’d finally (barely) lost my cherry, he asked me out. We did it in the back seat of his car on the way to getting Chinese food. “Nice fit,” he said upon penetration. A week later he asked out my friend, and used the same line at the same moment with her. He didn’t even take me to Chinese food when he was done! That was the only time I got the bad end of the sexual stick; it was also the only time of my life I was innocent. Before then, I was a hussy inside the clearly drawn parameters of non-sex sexy games with my friends, and after then, I was an actual hussy. But for that short period of time, I hovered between two worlds and didn’t belong to either.

Lisa Carver is the author of the books Dancing Queen, Rollerderby, The Lisa Diaries and Drugs Are Nice. She’s written for Hustler, Index, Icon, Feed, Newsday and Playboy, among others. She lives in New Hampshire.


Lisa Carver and, Inc.