Having posted something about why I keep a journal, I thought I'd post an entry from my journal. This one seemed like a good choice because it was written during the previous Winter Olympic Games. I've fixed a bit of idiocyncratic punctuation and clarified a few obscure references, but this is pretty much a typical journal entry. A bit of context: I was living in Arizona near my parents, marginally employed, trying to finish my book, and hunting for a job. I was downright miserable.
I am watching the closing ceremonies of the Salt Lake Winter Olympics. I have found them really interesting and moving--there are all these great human dramas, like when Venetta Flowers, one of the bobsledders, became the first African American ever to win a gold medal at the winter games. And all kinds of drama and intrigue with figure skating.... It's been fun but after 17 days I am kind of Olympicked out. There was a pretty funny Saturday Night Live skit about the SLC games: this skier is racing down a hill, and two missionaries come up on either side of her and say, "Would you like a Book of Mormon?" But apparently the Mormons managed not to be complete jerks during the Olympics.
Friday I cried most of the day, discouraged by my prospects, upset about the way Mom is responding to my attempts to find a job, hurt by an insensitive email from a friend. And then there was Friday night--OK, this is a very old house, and I have gotten used to the idea that I will have to deal with mice, which are bad enough, but while I was watching the Olympics on Friday, I heard a trap snap but after that, a struggle ensued. Normally, mice are pretty thoroughly dead once a trap shuts on them. But here came this big rodent trailing blood across my carpet. I thought, "What is that? Is that a hamster? Because it's not a rat," and then I realized it was a gopher, a pissed-off, bleeding gopher. It ran behind this wicker trunk where I store fabric scraps, and my cat just sat there watching. I had to move all this stuff to get it out in the open, and I found so many droppings back behind the trunk that clearly the gopher had been in my house for a while. I had to sweep it out of the house--and it did not want to go--and I was just going to leave it alone to die in peace, and then I thought about all the damage gophers have done to my mulberry tree, and I fetched a shovel and beat it to death and buried it.
And that was just about the last straw as far as Friday was concerned.