A Few Days in the Life of Minnie Goetze
Categories: Excerpt Literature & the Arts
by Phoebe Gloeckner
The film adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl, starring Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, and Kristen Wiig, will be in theaters in New York City and Los Angeles on August 7 and in other major cities soon after. If you’re someone who has to read a book before watching the movie, you now pick up a copy of the revised edition starting this week! Until then, here’s an excerpt, plus a slideshow that shows Gloeckner’s flawless blending of images and text.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17
…Sometimes I feel incapable of love. I have a little feeling that I’m doing something wrong. I can’t look at myself objectively. I want someone to say, “Minnie, you shouldn’t do that,” even though I know it’s my business and no one else is interested. I want someone to care enough to say more than just “It’s up to you what you do with your life.” I don’t have any opinions and I don’t trust myself.
FRIDAY, MARCH 19 AM
The window was open all night. It was very windy. All the clouds were pulled down from the sky and sucked in through my window. Some clouds melted and I am covered with dew. Wisps of fog entangle the chandelier. Bows and flows of angel hair are thick and smothering.
I love churches. I love to sit in a pew towards the back of the church reading the hymnal and filling in pretend names on the collection envelopes while the sermon drones on in the background.
Religion was a regular part of my early life in Philadelphia, before we moved to San Francisco. The faith of other people was an enigma to me in the Quaker meetinghouses and Presbyterian churches of my childhood.
Sometimes I go to noon services at different churches instead of going to school. Doing this makes me feel above reproach and nearly holy. Still, I don’t believe in anything. But I wish I did.
Today I went to the Russian church with the big gilded onion tops out on Geary. They have a noon service. I sat through it with my head bowed, mostly. There were only about ten people there. Old men and women. I copied what they did, and curtsied and crossed myself before going into the pew, and I knelt when they knelt and stood when they stood. I took Communion for the first time. I know that Catholics study for years before they do this. Am I bad? Even though I had been blessed under false pretenses, I felt blessed just the same.
SATURDAY, MARCH 27
Kimmie Minter is my best friend, I suppose. We boarded at Castilleja together but since we both moved back home we go to different schools. She lives in South City so I don’t see her much. We talk all the time on the phone, however. At the moment she is my only friend, but we really, really have nothing in common. In fact, I never know if she’s telling the truth or not. Last week she told me that her mother was not her real mother, but that she was adopted. Then she said that she just found out she had a twin sister who still lives with her real mother. The reason I don’t know whether to believe her or not is that she always tells me things that seem so important so matter-of-factly, as if she was telling me that she has a spelling quiz tomorrow or something. “Oh, my dog died yesterday. Are you eating something? What are you eating?”
Kimmie is shorter than I am and more rounded. She is not fat, but her body has an inch-thick padding of warm softness over its entirety. She’s somewhat pear-shaped, with broad hips and small breasts, but boys find her irresistible. She’s got light brown hair that she bleaches blond, and a face that nearly always looks sleepily happy; her eyes are heavy-lidded and downward slanting, and her full lips always seem to curl up at the sides in a slight smile. She carries a tooled leather purse that says her name, “Kimmie,” on the lid.
Oh, and she’s got three-inch fingernails that are always painted and she always wears five-inch platforms in order to appear taller. She says she tried masturbating but her nails are too long and it hurts—ouch!
SUNDAY, MARCH 28
Kimmie thinks it’s stupid to sleep with Monroe. She thinks he’s taking advantage of me because I’m so much younger than he is. She says he’s sick because he still sleeps with my mother (he has to because otherwise she’ll suspect something). But she wants to know how big is Monroe’s dick? She goes out with this guy named Roger Farentino (I’ve only seen him in pictures). He drives a Camaro and looks like a stupid materialistic greaser guy but Kimmie says he has a huge dick and it always hurts when she fucks him.
She lost her virginity when she was only thirteen. Well, that’s how it is in South San Francisco.
Excerpted from The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Revised Edition by Phoebe Gloeckner. © 2015, North Atlantic Books.Tags: Graphic Novels & Comics Phoebe Gloeckner