The Daria Diaries

Left the town of Highland this morning with no regrets, looking forward to the move to Lawndale with excitement and anticipation. Then I remembered my family was coming too. I felt the need to bring along a memento of my former life, so I removed the front doorknob when no one was looking and slipped it into my jacket pocket. I hope the new owners don't have their hearts set on a lot of going in and out.

Quinn had filled the car trunk and half the backseat with wardrobe overflow, so I had to ride in the moving van. The movers were pretty cool. They let me be the lookout while they stopped to run a quick errand in the warehouse district. When they got back, they offered me a new microwave oven as a token of their gratitude, but I said no. Sure, you tell yourself it'll be just for popcorn, but the next thing you know you're steaming fresh broccoli.

By the time we pulled up at the new house, Quinn had already claimed the so-called "normal" room. I was left to inhabit the room that had belonged to the former owner's schizophrenic mother. It's extremely creepy, with padded walls and sawed-off bars on the windows... as usual, my sister has played right into my hands. Mom says she's going to redecorate my room. Probably right after she gets around to signing my third-grade report card.

The house is bigger than our old one, which is good because it'll be easier to avoid Quinn. The phones are hooked up (the people who bought our old house already called up looking for their doorknob). And from what I've seen of Lawndale, it looks like a pleasant, typical suburban town. A nice place to raise a normal family.

Somebody please help me.

* * * * *

Started school this week. It's reassuring to know that no matter where you go, kids are the same... stupid and shallow. Shockingly, Quinn fit in immediately; now she's managed to convince her new friends that it's just a coincidence that two girls named Morgendorffer happened to start school on the same day. I kind of admire her for that. The way you'd admire Attila the Hun for being focused.

Not everyone here is friendly and popular. There's this one girl named Jane who is snide, antisocial, and resentful. Finally, a friend. Jane invited me over after school to watch Sick, Sad World and help barricade the front door in case someone tried to foreclose on the house. (Her parents are out of the country for a few months and forgot to leave the mortgage payments.) I met her brother, Trent. He's a musician, which means he sleeps all day and doesn't have a job. This is a cool family.

Trent started talking to me, and the conversation was going pretty well until he fell asleep. Jane says that's his worst habit, and that it's really annoying when he does it while driving. But Trent asleep is more interesting than Quinn awake.

Hmm, maybe I'd better burn this page. I'd hate for this diary to come back to haunt me when I'm nominated to the Supreme Court.

* * * * *

Life in Lawndale is as exciting as ever. That's the problem.

My family is active and busy. Mom has thrown herself into home and work, except for the home part. Dad has thrown himself into reading the paper at the table. Quinn has threatened to throw herself in front of a train if she's not allowed to date on weeknights.

I've got the daily routine down pretty well now. Go to school, avoid making eye contact with teachers, get called on anyway. Walk halls between classes, be ignored by other students. Go home, listen to parents' frantic messages on answering machine about working late, watch TV. It's a good life. I just hope I can keep up the frenetic pace.

Occasionally I think about doing something to change my situation, but where am I going to get hold of a Stealth bomber?

* * * * *

Lying here on my bed, staring at a fascinating crack in the ceiling, I consider the past year. I've left a place where I don't fit in and moved to a whole new place where I don't fit in. I've made a new friend who is equally unpopular, so that together we really drive people away. And, thankfully, I can always count on my family... to make me want to join the Witness Protection Program. Yes, things have really improved in the last twelve months. By which I mean they haven't gotten any worse.

At least keeping this journal has been a valuable experience. Maybe I flatter myself, but I think I could be a professional writer if I put my mind to it. A bitter, angry hack who starts fistfights at cocktail parties - I could do that job.

Anyway, the sun is setting, the moon is rising, and I can hear the lonesome sigh of the wind outside my window - no, wait, that's Quinn's blow dryer. The future is an enormous question mark, and I don't know what lies ahead. I only know that if it moves, I'm shooting it.



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