You have made it to the transcript of Lawley's diary! I do warn you, Lawley's diary contains mentions of suicide and graphic descriptions of death, a lot of which are based off of actual stories that I've seen and heard throughout my life time. So please, as a favor to me, dont push yourself to read this. - Lugnsteel

31 December, 2000

My name is Constantin, but it's not really anymore. I am not even supposed to tell anyone, but this is my diary so I don’t think it matters much. I got my name changed at the Interior Ministry near Hostivice. I am called Lawley now. I like it because it sounds like the English word laundry. I never spoke English until about three months ago. I mostly spoke Czech, sprinkled with bits of Knaaic and Yiddish profanity. When my mom told me we were moving to America, she enrolled me in an accelerated English course in a large building called the English House. It was really hard for me to settle down in the English House because I wasn’t ever planning on speaking english. The man who taught me English was named America- which is quite funny because he told me he was from America. Thats like being named Czech Republic and being from the Czech Republic. When I said goodbye to him, he only waved and said "see you" before walking away. I wished he had made a bigger deal about me leaving since I do not think I will ever see him again. I wished he would have given me a hug or let me recieve his address so I can send him letters while Im away. I thought he liked me, but I guess he doesn't.

I got this diary at while I was saying my goodbyes to my other teachers who taught at my old gymnázium. Its actually a Czech mathematics book, but something had gone wrong in the production and all of the pages ended up being blank. They gave it to me because they didn't want all of the paper going to waste. I like writing in it. Its so big and weighty, holding it in my arms makes me feel like an author. Being able to write had distracted me from crying so much. I was crying a lot when we left because I didn’t want to leave my home. The hardest part was leaving my mother’s cunicology farm. She sold our rabbits to some man with no hair. That's all I could remember from that man. Now every time I see a bald man I start to tear up, which has led to a lot of tears because a lot of people in airports are bald. Does flying in an airplane make your hair fall out? Is that why all of the people here are bald? Will it grow back if you stop? I saw a service dog lick a bald baby’s head so maybe dog spit makes your hair grow back. That's gross because dogs eat everything in front of them. I never had a dog. I've only had rabbits. Now I want to cry again.

I fell asleep crying a little. I was still holding my diary when I woke up so that's good. We are almost to America. I don't know what I will do when I get off the plane because this is the last plane of the trip. We are over Nebraska now. Nebraska looks like a quilt this high up.

I thought I saw a wall like the one in Germany. I wonder if Nebraska has a communist problem like Germany, but a family friend who moved to America told me America is far from communist and will try at every cost to keep it that way. She moved to America a couple years ago from her little house farther east of the Czech Republic near Slovenia. She sent me many cards with big glossy pictures of parks and big letters that read MARYLAND on one side and a long paragraph that was a toss up between English and Czech, like, even the words in English were spelt with slavic digraphs– but anyways, these cards she sent me felt more like complaints than greetings. She told me she was called a dirty commie by kids no older than myself, which confused me because I didn’t even think people knew where Bohemia was, nor did they think it was a communist country. Technically, I was born in Bohemia, but Bohemia is no longer a country. Its the Czech Republic. I grew up in a transitional state from the Czechoslovakian Velvet Divorice. Now everything that once was is now gone. It makes my mom sad.

I asked my mom if what I saw below us was a wall, but someone sitting behind me overheard, and, in an accent that was hard for me to grasp fully said, “that's a highway”. Highways are usually not that big, I said, but he insisted it really was a highway. He told me it was called “Document Highway”. I asked him why it was called that and he shrugged. He told me it was just a mystery, just like all of the murders that go on there. My mom promptly scolded the man behind me for “trying to scare me” but it was fine. I didn’t mind.

1 January, 2001

šťastný nový rok!

The house was here before the cornfield, and the cornfield was here before the funeral home across the road, probably. I woke up on the bare mattress upstairs and had a floral pattern on my face in the morning, which really scared me because when I looked in the mirror I thought I had a bullseye rash.

I drew a picture of my new house

I am standing in the kitchen right now. The clock on the stove says “11:46” and the sun is shining. I don’t even know what to do right now, I am feeling so much right now. My mom got up at 4 am to a call from the freight terminal telling her that our belongings had just arrived on a train coming all the way from Rhode Island. Before they were in Rhode Island they were on a cargo ship in Germany, and before they were in Germany they were in our house. We don’t have a car, so my mom got on the public bus. I looked up the name of the bus and apparently they are called Greyhound buses. I wonder if they are called that because Greyhounds are fast.

I cant remember exactly what I packed because it was hard to see through all the tears. We left a few things in the Czech Republic, like our kroje and some cookware and a few other things in boxes I never looked in because they were shoved under the beds. Those things we left behind are with my grandma, who isn't even my grandma. My mom isn't even my mom either. It's hard to tell if I was adopted or just a hitchhiker. That's what people in my village called me because I suffered from statelessness, which means that the Czech Republic, Slovenia, or any country for that matter didn’t recognize me as a citizen. I got my citizenship in the end, but it doesn’t really matter anymore. I live in America now.

My grandma refuses to say I'm adopted. Instead she calls me a wild animal because my mom found me in her rabbit pen in the middle of winter. My grandma says I had a tail and large cornets sticking out from the sides of my head. I don’t really believe her now, but when I was little I did. I told all of my classmates that I was a víla and I got a punishment for lying.

My grandma owned the rabbit farm before my mom did, so I think that's why she doesn’t like me too much. I am a víla hitchhiker.

12 January, 2001

I haven't been busy besides unpacking my things from the freight terminal and taking apart and putting back together the television remote countless times. That's actually the problem. I don’t have anything to do now, but there is so much to do. It’s endless. I could read the television guide, I could paint the house, I could walk the dog that we don’t have, I could hitchhike until I don’t know where I am anymore. That's what I was made to do; hitchhike.

But thats not true because my mom has always told me that I was made to listen, like a therapist or Michael the angel. That either means I become a therapist or protect my land.

(Lawley draws a smiling face here).

The bank on the hill named “Saint Sebastian Bank” slants downwards at nearly an 180 degree angle, and has a big blue PVC banner tied to the front that reads “now hiring”. They would take me in, my mom says. Just like everyone else in my life; taking me in from the cold.

I am ironing my best shirt for my interview tomorrow.

4 February, 2001

For the thousandth time in my life, I was taken in. I got a job at Saint Sebastian Bank, which wasn't actually a bank. A therapy organization had bought the building, but the building still had the words “Saint Sebastian Bank” in blue and white on the front, and a small caricature of a man impaled with arrows, tied to a tree that had money for leaves. When finding the directions from my house, I noticed the building was still under the name, “Saint Sebastian Bank”, like the true identity to the building was unknown. It was like the therapy organization was stateless, just like me.

It smelt like sawdust on the inside, which almost had distracted me entirely from the ridiculously large old fashioned vault just past the receptionist’s desk. There were large pots of flowers and rows of chairs lined up against both walls, which forced you to look at the other miserable people sitting across from you. My interview was with a lady who had messy brownish-blonde hair. I avoid calling it dirty blonde. Her name was Sandy. She wore navy heels with a silver buckle on the toe of each shoe. There was a thin line from her skin-toned tights on the back of her legs which reminded me of all the times my friends and I would paint with clay on ourselves to either make us look like we were wearing expensive stockings or makeup.

Sandy was sweet. She looked happy to interview me, happy to take me to a room in the back, happy to give me a job. I didn’t need a masters degree, she said, which was nice to hear because I'm not in school. I haven’t even thought about school ever since I graduated from my old international school. I was seventeen when I graduated because as soon as I got my Czech citizenship at age four, my mom rushed me out the door and right into school. She’s since apologized for pushing me so hard at such a young age, which, I don't know— It was the only thing that I could do at that age anyway.

I wonder when the constant adoption or espousement will stop. I wonder if one day I will house myself. My mom doesn’t want me to live alone. She has always scared me into staying with her by telling me some gruesome story about a sibling I had who ran away and was killed on the railroad tracks in Germany. My grandma tells me I never had a sibling because my mother was a virgin.

14 April, 2001

Things have been so interesting lately. I feel like a movie character. I always have company, I don't spend any mornings or nights alone anymore, and I don't watch TV as often. I used to watch TV a lot, especially at night because I liked to hug the television for warmth before going to bed. My bed is always warm nowadays.

30 April, 2001

Sean always tells me the story about the day his parents we buried. He says that it was so windy, a chicken laid the same egg seven times. I laughed so hard I spit out my juice and had to run to the kichen sink to catch what was dripping down my chin.

7 May, 2001

I keep hearing whispering coming from my mom's rabbit box (Lawley writes, what is the english word for naos?). Sean told me it was just a mormon cricket that got inside of there but I don't think it is. He says either that or I am overtired, but I don't have any trouble falling asleep anymore.

8 May, 2001

The reason I can sleep so well is because I don't feel like someone is watching me.

13 May, 2001

I asked Sean why he gets out of the car every time he sees roadkill. He told me that sometimes, when someone gets murdered and their murderer wants to dispose of their body, they run a carpet through a woodchipper, dip the body in glue or sap, and then roll it around in the torn up carpet. They then leave the body in the road to make it seem like roadkill. Like a dead coyote I think. I felt very sick after he told me that so Sean gave me a mint from his pocket.

25 May, 2001

I love the toaster strudels Sean buys me. He comes to my house with toaster strudels and lemonaid and chewing gum. They are all the things I like the most. They are really the only things I've been eating lately. He sits down on the couch an I lay over his thighs because he rubs my back whenever Im on my stomach. He tells me the story about his uncle who had type 2 diabetes. He has told me the story twice now but I dont mind. He starts the story the same way each time. “Did I ever tell you the story about my uncle and his mule? His foot came off in his boot due to diabetes. He smelled so strongly of sugar that his mule couldn’t stay away. He ate him and then licked out his boot clean”, he says and then awkwardly strokes my calves as if he doesn't know where to place his hands. Im like the mule that can't stay away. I love sugar. Ill lick his boot clean.

10 July, 2001

Sean asked me if I remembered anything from the day we met, and, as I was sitting cross legged on the foot of his bed, I suddenly felt the fabric underneath me disappear. I put my arms out to catch myself even though I wasn’t falling. I told him I remember a little. Sean moved closer to me and took one of my hands to the bed and held it like a clamshell. His face was pensive. It reminded me of my teacher, America, at the English House who would look at my English process reports in confusion,, as if to say with his eyes, “how could someone be so terrible remembering something they’ve clearly seen and learned”. That's what speaking English to me meant– remembering.

Sean made sure I was calm. He asked me with his eyes and I answered with mine. He asked me what I remembered. I told him I remember the horseweed fields and how sweet the leaves tasted. I remember the mark the snare trap made around my leg, the beach, the peeling sound of wet denim off my legs, feeling warm, feeling slightly damp again, and not brushing my teeth when I left for work that morning.

Sean said his aunt got in a car accident but she only knew about it because someone told her. She didn’t remember it because it was so scary her brain forced her to forget it. She thought it was just a big prank. She thought the neckbrace and the hospital and letters of condolence were just elements in some sick joke. She was so bewildered that she killed herself before she could even get out of her neck brace.

I knew that your brain could hide things from you, things that reminded you of bad things. It made me wonder what else my brain was hiding from me, and if my body and my brain were really one, and who am I to refer to my brain as its own separate person, and if my brain is a separate person who is hiding things from me, then what am I thinking with right now?

“Dont kill yourself over it though”, Sean said to me. I realized then, in regards to the story about his aunt, that I had actually believed what he said, that I had actually believed I had done those things. I didn’t know why I believed him, I guess I had to because denial would probably kill me faster.

What I do remember from that day was how shaken I was by Sean’s height, how his knees stuck up like the roots of a tree when he sat down at the velvet chair. His voice was like an air conditioner humming flatly. He is coyote faced just like his cousin.

Lawley has not worked in his diary since the 10th of June. I wouldn’t say that Lawley had somehow forgotten his diary, because there has definitely been work done in this diary since then, but it's all been ripped out. The spine of his notebook has been loosened, and when you close the notebook, a gap remains. What could have been read is now just little scraps of paper that couldn’t be ripped away completely. You could only imagine what that paper had been used for. Maybe he was using it for smoking, maybe he was using it for spitting his gum into, maybe he had actually used it to house his feelings, but why would he rip them out? Such unusual behavior from Lawley. But I'm sure there's a rationalness to the irrationalness in his behavior. After all, that's what this website is all about! - Lugnsteel