My Diary, 1977 SÖDERTÄLJE– translated from Swedish, word for word, unabridged, sic, ad nauseum
Recall first post: My Diary 1977
For January 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 1, January
For February 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 2 February
For March 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 3, March
For April 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 4, April- The Audition
For May 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 5 May- Paris
Today is Fredrik’s birthday.
I bought him a tackle and a large cardboard perch that he can hang from the ceiling. He says he has finally grown out of the pee and poo stage. He is going to have a masquerade party next Saturday. He wants to dress up as a drunk old man and he will borrow my inflatable champagne bottle. But only if I get to dress him up. At first he didn’t want to invite any girls but then he sat down and had a “think.” And he changed his mind. He is so nice. We always horse around but I suppose that is meant to be. He is obsessed with fishing. And he likes pop music and things like that. He likes the records that Anders plays. At first, I didn’t, but now I do too. But not that kind of screechy electric guitar music. It pierces the ears and sounds like a dentist drill. I like Boney M. and Queen. But most of all, I like Swan Lake. I can sit for hours and hours and dream.
I have never wanted to be a ballerina as much as now. I have been to ballet during spring break- 3 to 5 hours a day. Last Friday- 6 hours. We are practicing our dances and were going to perform on Thursday and Maud said we could perform at Anlan in Huddinge. But that didn’t work out. No, that did not work out. And she will absolutely not perform at her school. I would perform at Rosenborgsskolan but we have no stage. Maud is so silly because when we practice and someone comes in, she stops and says she can’t continue. And when we dance for our friends she always has to talk and explain. Why not just stay silent and dance? Then the dance would be a lot better.
Now I have to stop because I have to color the poster for Hyllman. We have a professional day today. I had all last week off school. I wonder if someone has read you. I have read the book that Majlis wrote Anders. Hope he doesn’t know that.
Yesterday I was totally surprised.
About the other day. Catharina called me and asked if I wanted to come to her house. To eat sandwiches and drink tea. Gitte, Lena, and Marianne were there too. What a house she has! 3 levels. Ground floor: 3 rooms, and sauna. 2nd level: kitchen, living room, porch, and entrance. 3rd level: 3 bedrooms and a den. They live right by the forest. It’s a townhouse. But it seems like a mansion. We had fun. Danced. Watched TV. I had my new vest and pants. Pink. I think it’s a great outfit. But the new cloth leaks dye. But Mom cleaned them and they got better.
On Thursday, the teachers played soccer against the students. There was a penalty shot and Catharina got to do it. It went in! I really was happy. Gitte played too. And Steven. I was jealous when Gitte got to wear Steven’s jacket to cover her red shirt.
We were invited home to our teacher. She has two kids and a husband with a beard. She is so nice to her kids. They have a lot of toys and she does all that psychology stuff you are supposed to do with little children. She has a large aquarium that is really clean. And beautiful. We played in her house, the whole class. I gave her the poster that everyone had signed. We got cake. She has 11 rooms in her house. She said we have to come and visit her during summer holidays.
Before I rode to her house on my bike with Gitte, Lena, Catharina and Marianne, I went to town with Catharina and Marianne to look at shoes. We looked around a little bit and I found some black ones I think are cute. We went home to Catharina and ate sandwiches and drank milk.
June 10 GRAD
In the morning, I got ready and walked to the kiosk. I met Steven and Thomas. They were on their way to Lars B. (Bolle). They asked me if I wanted to come along. OK. Bolle lives in an ugly house. But. We went into the garden to take pictures. We looked so funny in our hats. I looked like a Carl Larsson painting. Bolle put his arm on my shoulders when we took pictures. Yuck. They smoked cigars.
We walked towards Östertälje and met some others from our class. It was great with all the hats. Everyone stared. We walked to the park to meet the rest of the class. Then we walked to the school. We were a big success. We were the only ones with hats. Ulla H. got one too.
My homeroom teacher, Ulla H., Class 8:3 (75-76) and 9:3 (76-77), writes:
Grad ceremonies, Grade 9, Rosenborgsskolan. It has been really nice to get to know you, Katarina, during these past 2 years. Good luck in your future endeavors. Ulla H.
Catharina gave Affe a hug and a rose. That was funny. Everyone was dressed up. Peter had champagne along and sprayed it everywhere. We sang. Got our report cards. B average. I lost points in music. How maddening. Hugged the teacher and said goodbye to Rosenborgsskolan. I had a lump in my throat. I never thought I would have that. Tell you more tomorrow. Summer holidays!
(Fredrik is going to have a costume party tomorrow)
The weather is like it was pre-ordered. Cold school weeks replaced with warm and sunny summer holidays. I am by the lake. I am finally getting a tan. Anyway, after school last Friday, 12 of us walked to town. We had on our hats and everyone stared and congratulated us on our graduation. We went to Pizzeria Milano and I ordered a 1/4 pizza and gave the rest to Per-Arne. He gave me a balloon. I have taken a bunch of photos. I have to take a break. We are heading home. I never have time to write in you.
Tomorrow, ballet. I will try to write on the train. But there are so many people. Good night! Let me be a ballerina!
Now I will continue writing about Friday. We were in the local paper but I didn’t get in the picture.
News clipping from our Grade 9 grad. Steven is on the left.
Today we find out if we are going to move or not. I want to move. I really want to meet a boy there that likes me. It would be ideal if he were a dancer. He would preferably be an athlete.
Now I have to concentrate. Back to last Friday: I had fun. 12 of us walked to town and everyone stared. We ate pizza. I don’t like pizza but I was almost forced, as it was grad time. But I already wrote about that. Anyways, after the pizzeria, we went into the department store, Domus, and bought a bunch of balloons. That’s when Per-Arne gave me one. He wanted to pay for my pizza, but I told him he didn’t have to.
Gunnar was having a party that night, but I did not want to go. Catharina couldn’t go because she was competing, and there would just be a bunch of drunkards anyway. Marianne, Lena and Gitte told me I should go, and they aren’t drinkers. But I didn’t know. Gitte called me that evening and told me they had bought pop and we could all bike together. I gave in. We met at Lena’s house. We got there early. So we hid in the forest in front of Gunnars’ house. He drove by on a tractor to pick some people up. We laughed a lot.
We went into his house and hid the pop. We sat in the living room and laughed. We went up to Gunnars’ room. Bolle was already there, piss drunk, and going on and on how nice I looked in my blue dress. “Why aren’t you wearing it now?” I wonder what he would have done if I had been wearing it.
Later, we were offered beer. I did not want any but the others accepted. I started to get anxious. After awhile, everyone was getting drunk, except for Gunnar, Christer P. and Steven, and me, of course. It was so boring and awful. Everyone sitting around, drunk, and me in the middle of it all.
The party at Gunnar’s.
Couldn’t talk to anyone. Thomas H. put his arm around Lena and she put her arm around him. Gross. I tried to find Gunnar to tell him I was going home. But I couldn’t find him, so I just went home. But know what? Steven knocked on the window and waved goodbye. He must have understood my need to leave. He is leaving for the USA on Saturday.
Secret: I would like so much to say goodbye to him in person. But how? Just go there? I want so much to hug him goodbye. Now, no one… NO ONE is allowed to read this. I wish he would come here to say goodbye to me.
I have a new dance teacher. Her name is Ann Parson. I am taking a summer course with her. She speaks American English. She has so much feeling. She is not at all boring like Lillemor and she always does different things. She has such an imagination. Put away plates, tell stories, throw Frisbee, catch a football, blow with a straw into a coca-cola bottle. Every step refers to something in reality. I will learn a lot from her.
Tomorrow is the last day before Steven leaves. I have to get his address in USA. I will have to put a little letter in his mailbox.
We have decided on Vancouver! I have been longing and longing. Now that we finally made the decision, I feel strange. Like I’ve changed my mind. But we will get a better life, and Kathy and I can be friends again. I hope her dog, Sarge, and Milton will get along. I would preferably like to go to Balmoral.
I hope it goes well for Milton on the plane. Poor thing. I will never abandon him, like we did with Tippy. Poor Tippy. Today, I rode my bike with Milton. Kari rode by and rang his bell. Totally unexpected. I am so glad. Fredrik is alone at home in the morning. Poor thing.
Today I am visiting you again. We left a little note for a certain someone. Hmmm… When we were heading into the city, a Mercedes full of Middle Eastern men honked at us. Help! We went home again. But now we are going to do pantomimes. Bye bye – Maud
I did it. I wrote a letter to Steven. I put it in his mailbox a few hours ago. But it wasn’t as romantic as I would have liked it to be. If it had been, he probably would have thought I was nuts. Wonder if he has found it. What if his brother, Thomas, reads it first? Darn it. He can’t do that. Steven maybe even won’t get a chance to read it. He is leaving tomorrow. I told Maud about the letter. We rode to Skimmelvägen 2 and put it in his mailbox.
Maud and I were going to go to the craft store but didn’t have time. Fredrik has a little hot rod bike. It’s great. Tomorrow we are heading to the summerhouse.
I didn’t get a hug from Steven after all. Pity.
June 19 AT THE SUMMERHOUSE
Yes, we are going to move.
We have finally made the decision. Dad says we will give it all we’ve got when we make this move work. Dad is going to get a big car. Mom is getting a little car. Even Anders is getting a car. I hope Majlis comes with us to Canada. She is so nice. You feel good when you are with her.
I wonder if Steven had time to read the letter. I hope so. I hope he didn’t leave on Saturday, but waited till Monday. I came up with the right time to hug him. It should have when he knocked on the window after the party. Why do I have to come up with that so late?
I dreamt about Steven last night. The whole class was at the summerhouse. I was going to head home. It kind of looked like the actual summerhouse. When I was leaving, I stood on a chair to call Anders. Anders arrived and he and Steven shook hands. Then Steven pulled me into him. In front of everyone. He whispered in my ear. My throat swelled up with tears. What a dream. If only it were true.
[Years later, in 1984, I ran into Steven in Stockholm. He HAD read the letter. He saw us put it in the mailbox, as he was right down the street at the time. He had run after me, and was going to give me a hug, but Maud and I were riding away so fast, probably in a cloud of dust and giggles- we didn’t hear him calling after us! He was a UN peacekeeper in 1984 and much shorter than I remembered. And I was the bold one this time- hugging him and admitting all my follies and shyness]
The summerhouse is so nice. But it would be nice if it had electricity. Then it would be easier to stay here longer. It’s hard coming here late at night and to have to find candles, light lanterns, and get water from the well. And the outhouse is so far away. But I love the summerhouse and now we have sold her. It’s so sad to think that others will be living here. We have had her for so long. But now we must leave. The lake, the forest, the moose. Goodbye beautiful summerhouse. You have given me so many beautiful memories. I hope to return one day. Goodbye.
Today at ballet, Ann Parson helped me a lot and talked to me. She said “good girl” when she showed positioning. It is so fun to dance for her. She talks to us as equals- like we are real dancers. With steady jobs. We dancers… When we stand on stage… We are artists… We make images of that we are not… (e.g. To fly) In the studio she says- downstage and upstage. She is fantastic. She curtsies so beautifully at the end of the class. Pauleena, who tried in to the Opera Ballet at the same time as me, is also in the summer course. She was accepted on a 6-week trial at the Opera Ballet.
I want to buy the film of our ballet year-end but I don’t really dare to ask Mom, as it is quite expensive. Fredrik borrowed 20 kronor from Charlie, his classmate, last year. Today Charlie wants it back. Poor Fredrik. He hadn’t dared to tell Mom all year that he had borrowed the money. But he got the money from her now. Now it sounds like I have strict parents. Not in the least. They are the world’s nicest.
I got a letter from the elderly lady on the Paris bus trip. She sent along a handmade tablecloth she had made. Wonderful! We have a lampshade that is similar. I will paint her a little painting.
I got a long letter from Kathy. We are already best friends. Someone I can be with 100% of the time. Ann Parson said “good girl” the whole day today, and people asked if I am with the Opera Ballet.
I just called Mom. Grandpa (Morfar) died this morning. I can’t believe that. Maybe it’s for the best. He had terrible asthma and his bones are, I mean were (gulp), very stiff and painful. And since we are moving, he won’t have to miss us. Goodbye Morfar. I hope you will be happy in heaven. I believe in heaven. I always have.
Forgot to write yesterday. Just a second- I just have to put on my pajamas- there, now I am done. Sorry. I still haven’t explained our issue with Middle Eastern young men (not women). Maud and I call them “Black Ands.” First we called them bad spirits- “onda andar.” Then we called them “black spirits.” And we mixed it together to “black ands.” We don’t hate them, but they creep us out terribly. Yes, I sound racist. I can’t judge everyone for the actions of a few. But every young Assyrian man we have met behaves that way. Stares, tags along after you, and acts creepy. Teases us, etc. They say Sweden should be kind to them, but what are they doing to us? Two of them followed Maud and Marie. They grabbed the girls and picked them up in the air. Blah!
I went to ballet today and rode the train with Majlis. Anders had written her a letter that I had to deliver. And she wrote a letter back that I had to give to him.
I was at Maud’s today. Hard. It was hot. I was tired after ballet. Maud wanted to go to the city. I didn’t dare to say that I was too tired. I got such a headache. It was so hot. She didn’t find anything. Useless trip. She easily loses her temper. But I LOVE her.
We celebrated Midsummer yesterday. The whole family went to S. (except Anders who was with Majlis). Milton stayed home because it was too hot. We ate dinner at O.’s. B. wasn’t there. They said he was out for a walk.
After dinner, we headed to a park but we were late as usual. They had already raised the May Pole. We went to Gamla Stan. We went to Stor Torget and the market. But the market was closed. So we did a lot of walking this Midsummer.
When we got home to the O.’s, B. was home. He was acting strangely. He seemed drunk. T. told us that B. comes home late at night, drunk. I noticed B. was drunk. Poor T., S. and N. He walked around talking gibberish about flowers etc. Poor Mom and S. It must be embarrassing. He doesn’t seem to consider the family. I was scared. Dad held my hand and squeezed it, and told me not to be scared. I felt safe.
I feel ashamed and sad. My [ ] has a drinking problem. Fredrik asked me privately later if B. was going with us to Skärgården. I said no. I have never seen Fredrik so relieved. I think it is so terrible. I will try not to go to O.’s place for a while. That sounds insane. They are my [ ] after all. I don’t dare face it. It has made such a big impact on me that I will never forget.
We were at Malmsjö Badet yesterday. That’s when I found out that Fredrik also thinks that Middle Eastern men are creepy. I told him that Maud and I call them “black ands.” He started using the term too.
Today Majlis was here for dinner. When I was supposed to get her and Anders to let them know dinner was ready, I heard kiss-kiss from behind closed doors. So I didn’t dare to disturb. Tomorrow is ballet.
Today I asked Ann Parson if she knows of any good dance schools in Vancouver. She is going to give me her address in New York. That way she can ask her friends in New York if they know. I also talked to Lillemor.
I feel like Anders did last year. That Mom and Dad think I am lazy. They say, “What are we supposed to do? Be home, so we can drive you somewhere?” I don’t know how to explain it to them. I am tired. The weather is bad. It doesn’t feel like summer holidays. Then they would sigh over me even more. I don’t dare to tell them that I am tired of coming home and cleaning up after Fredrik, and nag him, clean his room, and pick up after Anders and Fredrik. Can’t they do it themselves? I want to have more time to go for walks with Milton, and to paint. Even if the weather is bad. Then I would have more energy. I want to communicate this. When mom comes home, and I am lying down, relaxing after dance class and cleaning up after the boys, she says, “You seem so lazy. You should walk Milton while you are off school.” Now that Anders isn’t depressed anymore, I don’t want to act all depressed. Fredrik is so darn lazy. He always has to be contrary. I have to put up with it. I want everyone to be happy. I don’t want to be lazy. I want to work hard in school. Have high marks. Dance a lot. A lot of ballet.
Now everything is good again! I told Mom that it is hard work to pick up after Fredrik and Anders and she had a talk with them, and things are better. I was grumpy because I had PMS. It’s ridiculous that you get grumpy just because of that. Oh well. Can’t help it.
Today I took an extra class with Ann Parson- en pointe. Only adults are in the class. But I will attend anyway. I have to get faster and get better balance. I watched the advanced group. I fell in love with a girl in the class. She seems very shy. She has gorgeous long legs and beautiful arms. I think my legs are too short. And I am bow-legged. It drives me crazy. And I have a bad balance and I have to be able to hold an extension for longer. I have to train, train, and train. Now that ballet is ending, I have to jog. I want to maintain my fitness level.
I have bought a UCLA sweater- yellow with blue letters. I am going to buy blue jeans and blue ADIDAS shoes. Very Swedish. I wonder what it will be like when we head to Canada? Exciting but scary. I want to be a ballerina so badly once I am over there. Let my legs be strong. I, I, I… want, want, want, so much.