May: Filling in the Gaps

Hello all! Sorry if my post is a bit scattered—I’ve had some family stuff going on and I was in a wedding this weekend. Thankfully my dress was a tasteful gray and did not make me look like a giant banana.

April is only ten pages long and I initially panicked that I would have nothing to talk about. We go from a long entry on April 29th to Jessica’s letter to Hope on May 6th, and then not another entry until May 14th. So what’s going on? What’s happening off screen, so to say? Well, everything happens off screen, because a diary is someone recording things after the fact. Days can pass without incident or things can go unnoted for other reasons.  Diaries are both confessional and unreliable. We’re limited to Jessica’s point of view and only see what she reports. Events, conversations, and opinions (both Jessica’s and ones she ascribes to other people) are always going to be biased. Jessica is already depressed and that colors all of her writing.

Jessica is in a funk—the doctor was no help with her lack of period and insomnia issues, Hope is still gone, Hy has abandoned her, Scotty isn’t talking to her, and her dad is mad at her because she bombed a race. Jessica states, “How I spent the rest of my day is just too depressing to write about. But maybe I’ll write about it another day. When I’m extraordinarily happy….A day when writing about today doesn’t make me ache. Until then, I’d rather just forget it,” (101).  A diary is a place to record things for posterity, or to sort out what’s going on, but it’s too disheartening for Jessica to consider. Not being able to talk to Hope just exacerbates the problem.

So what do we do with the gaps in her diary entries? Do we try to fill them? Ignore them? Hope we’ll get enough information to make sense of them? May is clearly a low point for Jessica. Will it get better or worse from here?

As with last week, I’m going to recommend books by E. Lockhart—the Ruby Oliver series. There are four books, starting with The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver. Ruby’s best friend starts dating her ex-boyfriend and things continue to go downhill from there. Ruby starts going to therapy because she has panic attacks and starts keeping a diary with a lot of lists. She has boy problems, friend problems, and family problems, but she’s always funny.  

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One thought on “May: Filling in the Gaps

  1. Every time I have an idea of what I’m going to write for the week, I read your post and then think about how much better it is than what I was going to do!

    This was such an excellent post — I’m always thinking about what Jess isn’t telling us, especially about people who she’s already made her mind up about, like her parents, Bridget, even Hope.

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