The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
As seen by Jennifer Lynch
(Page numbers come from the first printing, October
The (almost) complete secret diary of Laura
book at Glastonberry.net
The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer
Lynch is purported to be the complete secret diary as written by
Laura from the age of 12-17 and left hidden with Harold Smith
shortly before her death, as described in season two episodes of
Author Jennifer Lynch is the daughter of Twin Peaks
co-creator David Lynch.
The diary is seemingly misdated, as it goes through February
1990, whereas the TV series takes place in February/March 1989.
The events of Fire Walk With Me do not conform entirely
with what Laura records in the last year of her diary, though it
could be argued that the "missing pages" of the diary related to
events in that film.
Characters mentioned in the diary
Laura Palmer (also uses the alias "Bernice" at one point)
Donna Hayward (also uses the alias "Trisha" at one point)
Jupiter (Laura's cat)
Troy (Laura's pony)
Maddy's boyfriend in 1984 (unnamed)
Big Jake Morrissey (owner of the Book House)
Bobby's uncle (unnamed)
Mayor Dwayne Milford
Shelly's aunt (deceased)
||Notice that the cover of this edition of the book has
the red and gold cover design of Laura's secret diary as
found in the TV series.
The diary opens with Laura's first entry on July 22, 1984,
when she turned 12 years old. She received the diary as
a birthday gift. This matches her birth date as stated in the
Twin Peaks collectible card set of July 22, 1972.
Laura has a cat named Jupiter. Is it just coincidence that
the cat is named after one of the planets that must be in
proper alignment (the other being Saturn) to enter the Black
Lodge through Glastonbury Grove as seen in
"Miss Twin Peaks"?
Also for her birthday, Laura receives a pony she names Troy,
kept at the Broken Circle Stables. Does the name "Broken
Circle" have any reference to the Circulars, a secret
fraternal order in Twin Peaks, as listed in
Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the
Town? The Access Guide states that Circulars were
originally a small Amerindian tribe of 50-62 members that
believed in a cyclical/circular nature of existence. It's
possible that this "circular" idea is part of the "timeline
changes" I have speculated as taking place to bring slightly
different iterations of the storyline as the Twin Peaks
storyline progresses (see
The Secret History of Twin Peaks).
Laura names the pony after one in "Mrs. Larkin's
photo book"; presumably, Mrs. Larkin is one of her teachers.
Laura learns over a year later that Troy was actually a gift
from Ben Horne, not her father.
At the end of her birthday day, Laura hopes she will dream
of Troy that night and that BOB doesn't visit. Laura usually
writes "BOB" in all capital letters...is there a reason for
this? When writing things he said, or when he takes over her
hand and writes things to her in the diary, it is also in
On July 23, Laura remarks that when she can't sleep, her
mother will often come into the room and sing "Waltzing
Matilda" to her. "Waltzing Matilda" is an 1895 Australian
bush ballad song by Banjo Paterson (1864-1941). The line
from the song she quotes is an actual lyric from it.
Also on July 23, Laura writes of a dream in which she is
walking through woods by the Pearl Lakes as a strong wind
blows. Pearl Lakes is also where her father says a man
called Robertson used to harass him during visits to his
grandfather's cabin (in
"The Man Behind Glass").
Laura remarks that her dreams are frightening, but don't
seem so scary when she writes them down, deciding she should
maybe write down all her dreams. This provides a reason why
so many of her dreams are recorded here.
Laura remarks that she's not going nuts like Nadine Hurley.
This implies that poor Nadine was psychologically unstable
for years before the beginning of the TV series.
Laura writes that her mother once heard her calling our for
her in her sleep and then hooting like an owl. She has also
been known to sleepwalk.
On the night of July 27, Laura, Donna, and Maddy have a
campout in a fort they built in the Palmers' backyard and
the three sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". "Row, Row, Row
Your Boat" is a nursery rhyme and children's song since at
least the mid-19th Century.
During the campout, Maddy tells Laura she has also been
having bad dreams and Laura wonders if she dreams about the
long-haired man and wind, too?
On July 30, Laura remarks that Ben Horne is not very
attentive to his daughter, Audrey, but is very attentive to
On August 11, Laura describes how she hides cigarettes and
other things in her bedpost where the knob comes off. Maddy
tells Donna she found some of Laura's tapes for Dr. Jacoby
in there in
Laura says the kids in school often refer to Twin Peaks as
T.P. and Bobby Briggs says, "The world wipes its butt with
On August 31, Laura writes that sometimes she thinks there
is someone inside of her, another, stranger part of her, and
she comments, Sometimes I see her in the mirror. In
the TV series, Leland sometimes sees BOB in his own
reflection, as does Cooper in
Episode 29:_"Beyond Life
On September 15, Laura somehow realizes that someone has
been reading her diary and she writes an entry telling
whoever it is to stay away. She does not write in it again
for over a year.
On October 3, 1985, Laura begins writing in the diary again,
stating she has found a hiding place for it she will not
mention. Jupiter got hit by a car that day. That night,
Laura's mother fixes her one of her favorite meals, potato
pancakes with creamed-corn topping. Creamed corn is later
seen to be a symbol of "garmonbozia", the pain and sorrow
that residents of the Black Lodge feed on.
Laura says that sometimes she and her mother have the same
thoughts and the same dreams.
The final paragraph of page 30 contains the passage that
Harold Smith reads to Donna in
"Laura's Secret Diary".
On October 12, Laura records how she and
Donna pretended to be older than they were and met three
young men at the Book House, Josh, Tim, and Rick, and the
men introduce the girls to their first marijuana cigarette.
While high on marijuana, they all talk about all kinds of
things, including the idea of the existence of other
universes and how they'd like to meet people from those
other places. This may be a allusion to the Man from Another
Place (the dwarf) seen in the Red Room in Cooper's dream in
"Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer"
and in person in
Episode 29:_"Beyond Life
and Death". It may also be meant to touch upon
the concept of alternate timelines previously mentioned
(from my study of
The Secret History of Twin Peaks).
Laura and Donna return to the Book House
to meet the three young men again on October 20 and learn
that the men are 22 years old; Donna tells Harold about this
second meeting in
"The Orchid's Curse",
but she says it was at the Roadhouse instead of Book House.
She claims the young men were "about 20 years old."
On October 20, Laura wonders about the kind of pain that
lives with you, can it ever be a friend? She specifically
states it's not the kind of pain when a cat is killed or
when an aunt dies. Laura's cat, Jupiter, died just a couple
weeks before this entry. Did she have an aunt that died at
some point (probably before she started the diary)?
Laura refers to the pain that lives with you as
a shadow or companion.
Laura refers to Highway 21 through town as "Lucky Highway
21". The highway is also written this way in one instance in
the original script of the pilot episode.
On November 10, while brushing her pony
at the stables, Laura suddenly gets an address she's never
been to before stuck in her head and feels she must go
there. She rides Troy to 1400 River Road, which turns out to
be an old, abandoned gas station. The Log Lady is waiting
for her there; a dream told her to meet Laura there so they
could talk. One of the things the Log Lady tells her is "Things
are not what they seem"; this is obviously similar to the
Giant's warning to Cooper in
"May the Giant Be With You", "The owls are
not what they seem."
Laura goes on, "Here are some of the things she told
me. She said that sometimes the woods are a place to learn
about things, and to learn about yourself. Other times the
woods are a place for other creatures to be, and it is not
for us. She said that sometimes people go camping and learn
things they shouldn't. Children are prey sometimes...she
told me that she would be watching, and someday people will
find out that she sees things and remembers them...it is
important to remember things you see and feel...owls are
sometimes big...and I listened to her hum this song that I
had never heard before, but I thought it was very nice. It
made me feel safe, which I think she was trying to make me
Briggs says that all he really remembers of his abduction is
the image of a giant owl, similar to Laura's statement here
of "owls are sometimes big". And in
The Secret History of Twin Peaks, Wayne
Chance, in his journal from around 1875-80, describes
something that may have been an owl screeching and flying
out of Owl Cave and that, if it was an owl, it was "the
biggest damn owl I ever seen."
When Laura gets home, she tells her mother about having met
the Log Lady and her mom tells her that her husband had been
a fire fighter who "was killed fighting a fire...he tripped
over a root or something and fell headfirst into hot coals
and burned himself to death, face first. They had just been
married a little while when he died, and since then Margaret
has been very quiet and has kept her pain to herself. Mom
also said that she didn't have her log until after her
husband died." All of this seems generally true of what we
know of the Log Lady, but the Twin Peaks collectible card
set says that her log was a wedding gift from her husband,
so she presumably had it before he died, if only
for a day. A log is certainly a strange gift to give
someone. Episodes of the series generally hint that the
spirit of Margaret's dead husband resides in, or
communicates through, the log. Maybe he had a premonition of
his death at some point in the near future and gave her the
log knowing he would be able to continue to communicate with
her through it.
The story Sarah tells Laura of the death of the Log
Lady's husband is generally similar to that described in
The Secret History of Twin Peaks.
On December 16, Laura decides to take a break from her diary
for a while and does not write in it again until April 23,
1986 when she dreams of wanting to be a tree. Could this be
a metaphor, in a sense, for wishing she was dead? In the
Episode 29:_"Beyond Life
and Death", I wrote, "After telling Cooper
she'll see him again in 25 years, (Laura) says, "Meanwhile,"
and makes a hand gesture that is similar to the symbol for
"tree" in American Sign Language. Since trees or wood seem
to house spirits in the world of Twin Peaks (e.g. the Log
Lady's log, Josie in the wood of the Great Northern Hotel,
the name of the forest around Twin Peaks is Ghostwood), her
"meanwhile" might suggest that she or Cooper or both will
live out those 25 years as a tree!
On July 25, Laura writes that she has begun dating Bobby
On page 66, Laura describes humiliating Bobby and making him
cry after the first time they made love. This is the incident
touched on briefly during Bobby's therapy session with Dr.
On August 4, Laura describes herself as a girl of 15, but
she would just barely be 14 at this time.
On September 10, Laura describes BOB as "entering dressed in
the clothes of one who could be a best friend. A neighbor. A
traveling salesman who casually invites himself in, goes as
far as to request coffee, regular, before dissolving into
the daydream he sometimes is?" In the TV series, Phillip
Gerard, who acts as the unwitting host of Mike, is a
travelling shoe salesman. Did Laura have encounters with
Mike as well?
On October 1, Bobby takes Laura to a party where she first
meets Leo Johnson. She also finds Ronette Pulaski there,
already drugged out, whom she recognizes from school; it
seems as if Ronette is already in the habit of coming to
On October 3, Laura leaves a note for her mom that she is
going to ride Troy to a clearing she discovered and maybe
nap over Nancy Drew. Nancy Drew is a character in a series
of books for juveniles about a teenage girl who is an amateur
Laura makes mention of Bobby borrowing his uncle's truck. We
have never met or heard of this uncle in episodes of the TV
Leo remarks to Laura that the last time he saw her, old
Dwayne Milford was awarding her for "Finest Performance/Five
Consecutive Years." Presumably, this was a scholastic award.
Dwayne Milford is the longtime mayor of Twin Peaks.
Laura remarks on having a physical attraction to Ronette and
has a lesbian experience with another, unnamed, girl at
On February 3, 1987, while Laura is writing in her diary,
BOB takes control over her and writes things to her. This
continues to occur intermittently throughout the rest of the
On June 24, Laura sets her pony, Troy, free, feeling she
doesn't deserve him and not wanting him to have to continue
experiencing the beginning and end of each day in a small
square box. She later has feelings of regret about setting a
tame animal loose to try to survive on its own.
On November 12, Laura remarks on she,
Bobby, and Leo driving out past Mill Town and deeper into
Low Town. Low Town is mentioned on the show and various
other sources; it is a neighborhood on the south end of town
and is implied to be a lower class neighborhood. This diary
entry is the only mention of Mill Town I've found for Twin
Laura describes Bobby's face while he's driving this
night as like something out of the Twilight Zone. The
Twilight Zone was a TV series of
1959-1964, an anthology of fantasy, horror, science-fiction,
They arrive to meet some people for a
drug deal, which goes bad, and Bobby winds up shooting a man
who has jumped into the back of their truck as the three of
them flee. This is presumably the incident Laura mentions to
James Hurley about Bobby killing a guy, as related by James
"Northwest Passage", but it is quite
different from the shooting incident later presented in
Fire Walk With Me.
After Laura reveals she snagged a bag of cocaine
from under the noses of the dealers, Bobby calls the two of
them a couple of regular "Bonnie and Clyde's". "Bonnie and
Clyde" refers to Bonnie Parker (1910-1934) and Clyde Barrow
(1909-1934), an infamous girlfriend-boyfriend couple who
(along with a larger gang) robbed stores, gas stations, and
banks during the Great Depression.
On page 94, Laura mentions the NRA. The NRA is the
On page 95, Laura records Leo as having said the drug
dealers at the deal-gone-wrong had referred to her as a
bimbo. "Bimbo" is a slang term in the U.S. for an
attractive, dumb female.
Page 96 states that the local
Cash & Carry is just two blocks from Leo's house.
On page 97, Laura alternately refers to her deceased cat
Jupiter as both "he" and "she". In all other instances in
the diary, the cat is referred to as a male.
On page 98, reflecting on her recent decision to set Troy
free, Laura refers to him as a horse instead of a pony.
Also on page 98, Laura writes that she's not racking up the brownie
points this week. "Brownie points" is a slang term in the
U.S. for earning favor by doing a good deed for another.
On November 13, Laura mentions Sleeping Beauty and
Stuart Little as children's books. Sleeping
Beauty is a fairy tale written by French author Charles
Perrault in 1697. Stuart Little is a 1945
children's novel by E. B. White.
Also on November 13, BOB writes in Laura's diary that he
knows about her sex and drug use the night before, adding,
"AN OWL TOLD ME.'
On December 15, Laura writes that she has begun tutoring
Johnny Horne three times a week, being paid $50 a week for
it by his parents. He likes her to read to him, especially
his favorite book, Sleeping Beauty. But, at Laura's
"Rest in Pain", he is seen clutching an
old copy of Peter Pan instead (a deleted scene in
the pilot episode also has Dr. Jacoby mentioning Peter
Pan was Johnny's favorite book to have Laura read to him).
On December 16, Laura remarks that Ben
Horne seems to have her father working very hard on some new
plan of his. When asked about it, her father just rolls his
eyes. The plan is probably Ben's scheme for the Ghostwood
Development project, seen in episodes of the series.
Laura comments that Donna has begun dating Bobby's
friend, Mike Nelson.
Laura says that Jacques told her that, like Bobby,
he used to play football. Presumably, this was in high
school, or maybe college, probably in Canada since Jacques
seems to be a canuck.
On December 23, Laura has a desire for
some Valium, which Jacques had given her a couple weeks
before. Valium is a trademarked name of a drug used for the
treatment of anxiety, sleeplessness, or alcohol withdrawal.
It is also used illegally recreationally to achieve a high.
Leo tells her that Shelly just came back from her
aunt's funeral and she didn't get the inheritance he thought
Page 119 implies that Leo sometimes stays at
Jacques' place when he wants to be away from Shelly, telling
her he is on a trucking run out of state. This may be why
Shelly was so sure Leo wouldn't be home when Bobby drives
her home from the diner, only to be rudely surprised at
Leo's truck parked in front of the house in
"Wrapped in Plastic".
On December 24, 1987, Laura sees an old woman at the Double
R diner reading a book called Shroud of Innocence.
As far as I can tell, this is a fictitious tome.
Laura overhears that Norma's husband Hank killed a
man on the highway last night. This is the vehicular
manslaughter crime that Hank had been in prison for
when he is released on parole in
On January 20, 1988, Laura remarks today
is a Saturday. However, the actual calendar shows that date
to have been a Wednesday.
Johnny Horne speaks his first-ever sentence: "I love
On February 1, Laura writes down the initials of every
person she's had sexual experiences with. It's missing J.
and R., the 22 year olds with whom she had what you might call "heavy
petting" when she and Donna were 13. The initials I can
identify are: B = BOB, B.B.= Bobby Briggs, L.J. = Leo
Johnson, R.P. = Ronette Pulaski, J.H. = possibly Jerry
Horne, another J.H. is possibly a misprint and should be
J.R. for Jacques Renault. Some of the initials might be
in-joke references to writers/creators associated with the
show: J.C.L. = Jennifer Chambers Lynch, the author of the
book; D.L. = David Lynch, M.F.= Mark Frost, D.D. = Duwayne
Dunham, H.P. = Harley Peyton, B.E. = Bob Engels.
On March 10, Laura learns that Troy was found malnourished
and with a broken leg on the train tracks by the border and
had to be put down.
By April 7, Laura and Bobby are not seeing each other as
often as they used to, she having partially pushed him away.
This is largely unknown to the student body of Twin
Peaks High School, who vote them best couple for the
semester. At this point, Laura suspects that Bobby is having
an affair with Shelly Johnson.
On April 10, Donna tells Laura about a trip she's taking out
of town the following week to check out colleges. Does this
mean Donna left Twin Peaks after graduating from High
School? Maybe we'll find out on the new episodes to air
Showtime in 2017!
On April 21, Laura and Ronette have Jacques take some
Polaroid photos of them to send into Flesh World
magazine. Polaroid is the company
that introduced instant film to the camera community in 1948
and the photos taken on this film were often referred to as
Polaroid prints or just Polaroids. The Polaroid company has
not manufactured instant film since 2008 due to falling
sales as a result of the popularity of digital cameras.
On July 22, Laura finds out she's pregnant and does not know
who the father is. She has an abortion at a clinic a couple
weeks later. Her parents never know anything about it.
Laura begins working at One-Eyed Jacks in August. She also
says she is going to start keeping a second diary in which
she will present herself as the innocent Laura "everyone"
expects. (Well, not everyone...certainly many of her
acquaintances at this point now know better.)
On August 23, Laura describes her and
Norma's meeting to set up the Meals on Wheels program. Laura
suggests the name as if she thought of it. But the term has
been used widely around the world for such programs since at
Laura makes her first Meals on Wheels deliveries
On the same day, Laura volunteers to tutor Josie
Packard in English to improve her speaking skills.
Laura says that Harold Smith had told her he just
awoke one morning to find himself agoraphobic. Agoraphobia
is a fear of certain environments or of even leaving one's
home, which is what afflicts Harold. Laura remarks, "He
believes death is just outside the door, and that late at
night it calls to him from outside like a strange bird."
On November 13, Laura records that she has begun seeing Dr.
Jacoby for therapy, unknown to anyone else.
On January 13, 1989, Laura writes that Dr. Jacoby gave her a
hot-pink tape recorder for Christmas so she can talk to
herself in it and listen to the tape later. Then she sends
the tape to him. What happened to the tape recorder? Recall
Dreams", Maddy finds some of
Laura's tapes and calls Donna to tell her, agreeing to meet
up the next day, and she tells Donna to bring a tape
recorder, implying there was not one around. Maybe it was
taken by the Sheriff's men as part of the murder
On June 4, Laura writes that Josie used to be a dancer and
prostitute in Hong Kong when Andrew Packard met her there 6
years ago. She says that Josie still has more of that
lifestyle in her and is a darker person than most people
realize, writing that Josie shows little sign of improvement
of her English skills, putting more effort into trying to
seduce her than into her studies. It's not clear whether
Laura ever allows a sexual encounter to occur between them;
she says she loses more respect for Josie every time she
tries. She also feels sorry for Sheriff Truman, implying she
knows of the relationship between the two.
On October 5, Laura writes she was fired from One-Eyed Jacks
after humiliating Blackie in a sexual encounter. She also
writes that someday she'll have to tell the world about Ben
Horne. Presumably, she is referring to all of Ben's illegal
and illicit dealings.
On October 31, Blackie's sister, Nancy, brings her
clothes and the money she was owed after leaving One-Eyed
Jacks. Laura says Nancy wanted to speak to her outside, but
we never learn what the meeting was about.
An undated entry reveals that Laura has
begun secretly seeing James Hurley, whom she has known for a
while, but not well. She believes James' purity may be able
to lead her out of the darkness.
Laura also writes that she basically raped Harold in
his home, the only place he felt safe. She leaves his home
feeling terrible about it and, as she does, Mrs. Tremond's
grandson, Pierre, walks up to her and pulls a gold coin out
of her ear, then walks away.
The entry states that she has been telling Dr.
Jacoby about BOB and what he does to her. Why does Jacoby
never mention BOB to the authorities in episodes of the
In her final, undated entry, Laura says she knows exactly
who and what BOB is. Having found pages torn out of the
diary, she writes that she is leaving it with Harold for
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