Dear Diary April 25, 1969

Dear Diary,

My teacher always says an introduction should grab your attention, so YESTERDAY I FOUND 100 ESCUDOS ON MY WAY TO SCHOOL! This kid, Arturo, tried to take it from me, but he knows my Papá is a Sergeant in the army (about to be First Sergeant), so he never really does anything. I should explain how the army works. I just asked Papá about this yesterday, so it is still fresh in the mind. So, in Chile it goes, soldier, corporal, second corporal, first corporal, second sergeant, first sergeant, sub-officer, and then sub-officer major (and then there are a bunch more, but I can’t remember them). Papá is pretty high up. He has been in the army since he was 18, so I guess that makes sense.

Ok, I guess now I will officially introduce myself. My name is Patricio Sepúlveda Ortiz and I am 14 years old. I live in Arica, which is super far North, and I guess it is all right. Someday I want to go to university in Santiago, but Papá says that it is full of communists and thieves. Plus between Antonio and me, it would probably be too expensive. Oh, I should probably explain who that is. Antonio is my older brother. He is 17 and good with the ladies and pretty much everything else, too…the exact opposite of me. Papá always insists that he doesn’t have a favorite child, but he does. And it isn’t me. I have already mentioned my Papá. He is a good father. He is strict, but he makes sure we are fed and he is really smart. He is even learning English, so he can read military books written by the gringos. My mamá is tired all the time and coughs a lot, but she still smiles with her eyes. She does the wash for all the ricos in the neighborhood.

Ok, I have to go, but I’ll write again soon. That was kinda fun. I just won’t tell Papá.

Signing off,

Patricio (Pato)

P.S. Papá told me that real men don’t have diaries, but mamá told me that writing down my feelings will help me to be able to express myself. She doesn’t want me to grow up like Papá—always moody and terse, bottling up his emotions.

Also, I’m keeping the money in here for safe keeping.

2 thoughts on “Dear Diary April 25, 1969

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hi, Patricio. Thanks for letting me read your diary (and I won’t tell anyone, I promise – and your escudos are safe in there!). I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live way far north. I’m in Santiago, myself, and Arica seems about as far away as the moon, although I guess it wouldn’t be that hard to go to. Maybe someday I’ll come up and we can meet. Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you in the future!

  2. patricio says:

    Oh please come visit! It gets so boring up here. I would love to live in Santiago–so much more to do and see.

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