Monday, April 28, 2008

Journals Section: April, 2002

Beautiful Town
Originally uploaded by BlackenedBoy

Beautiful Town High School
Originally uploaded by BlackenedBoy

April 7, 2002
I will turn fourteen years old in four days. I spoke with Grand Ma Weird Family a few days ago. She is very worried about my mother Anne. I am, too. Grand Ma has asked Anne’s address several times, but Anne refuses to give it to her. Also, with my birthday drawing so near, I have still received no card, no money, nothing. I know that nothing is coming, of course, but somehow in my heart I keep clinging onto the foolish hope that maybe she’ll pull through. I wonder if she’s doing drugs. If she is, I can never see her again. It is a self-imposed restriction, and one that I still stand by. The thought of never being able to talk to her again, never to hug her again, is almost too much to bear. Well, I would be able to communicate with her, by telephone and by letters, but it would never be the same. My God, has she ruined everything when everything was so close to being perfect? I left her a message yesterday and she has failed to call me back. What is going on over there? What is she doing three thousand miles away from here? Ella será muy mala! No quiero creerlo!

April 10, 2002
Anne called here last night. She is back in Dirty Town [where she lives in Decaying State]. We got into a huge fight in which I hung up on her some five times. She basically told me she was going to disown me and I called Grand Ma Weird Family and she comforted me very much. I told Mom and Dad and they called Anne and spoke with her (though not quite as loudly as I had) and she is calling back tonight. Today is my fourteenth birthday. I was born on April 10, 1988. I was conceived sometime around July 4, 1987. Many people are coming here on Saturday. I can’t wait. Today was a warm, sunny day. Also, our bus driver accidentally took the wrong road, leading us leading us through a plaza and onto the highway. He made a circle around and we were back on track. I said to the girl next to me that it would be funny if he did it again, and she laughed for the longest time. I received many gifts from my parents this year. I actually ran out of room in my closet because of all the nice clothes. I had to clear some older things away. Except for the fight with Anne, today was a wonderful day. There is some sushi waiting downstairs for me. One of my teachers even gave me a present. Mrs. Plump Spanish Teacher gave me [a] one hundred Peruvian Intis [note]. It’s worth practically nothing here in the United States. I still like it. It says: Banco Central de Reservo de Peru. 100. 26 de junio de 1987. Presidente. Gerente General. Director. Cien Intis. Also, there is a picture of a man named Ramon Castilla. I hope that Anne is not still mad at me. Ella necesita decir “Lo siento” a mi. She needs to apologize for what she said. If she doesn’t apologize, I will be very mad and I will refuse to speak to her. She was terribly mean. All the times she said she loved me, and then she said she’d disown me because we had one fight. I still love her, but that was incredibly selfish, especially on the night before my birthday. Especialmente en la noche antes de mi cumpleanos. I just hope she’ll come to her senses.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How Things Have Changed

Water-Balloon Fight

I haven’t written for the longest time, in large part due to the numerous crises that have presented themselves since my last full post (which, not counting journal entries, has now been two weeks ago).

I have felt in the last fourteen days as if the very world has fallen down upon me, and, even as I write, the simultaneous academic and familial problems that have coincided to form such an awful situation have only continued to grow.

The issues have divided fairly evenly between home and school, and I’m not sure which is worse: the fact that my academic career is slipping through my fingers or that my family seems to be collapsing at a truly alarming pace.

I live on the campus of Major University, away from daily interaction with my mother and father, and so I haven’t become accustomed to what my siblings seem to perceive, insomuch as they do at all, as a gradual erosion.

The news I receive is sporadic, coming in very occasional discussions over the cell phone. As such, each new development strikes me not as one natural step in a steady progression, but as a stunning revelation of rapid decay.

Each conversation I have with them seems to portend darker things than the last, and, following another such communication earlier this afternoon, I can only marvel at what seems to me the supersonic speed at which my family has disintegrated.

The current state of things is so dire that I fear to think of how it could possibly be worse. Of course, I do know what the next step would be, but saying it is so surreal, so terrible, that I can’t fully grasp it in a realistic context.

The problems have been going on for some time, and really began last Fall, when my father, groggy one night from the pain and sleeping medication that have made him slur through most evenings of the last decade, slipped in the kitchen and broke his foot in several places.

He had just recovered enough to begin hobbling up to his bedroom on the second floor when, once again under the influence of medications, he fell down a full flight of stairs and broke his back.

This was shortly before Christmas Break this school year, and from November or so he did not work.

At first, this didn’t make much of a difference. My mother is employed as a pharmaceutical sales representative and by herself makes slightly more than $100,000.00 a year, while he, selling luxury decks to Southern State’s wealthy families, usually brings in even more than that.

In 2006, they had a combined income of nearly $250,000.00, enough to put us in the top 2% for household earnings in the United States and to comfortably pay for my tuition at Major University.

Of course, even then they balked at this. My mother was twenty years old when she married my father, and, as she constantly reminds me, was working three jobs, attending college full-time, and raising two children.

“When I was nineteen I was taking care of you and Powell,” was her constant reply to my requests that she please, please just let me be a normal teenager.

“Mommy and Daddy weren’t paying for my college,” was the sneering comment that ever escaped her lips. “We don’t owe you anything.”

By her logic, I had forfeited any rights I had to their assistance upon turning eighteen. Really, her foot has been on my back from a very early age, attempting steadfastly and vindictively to force me through the door of premature burden and responsibility into which she was hurled as a mere girl.

It’s hard for me to think of her as ever having been a girl; at nineteen she was my mother, an authority figure, and, along with my father, a co-tormenter.

It wasn’t as if she deliberately set out to do badly, and I give her credit for being there when my birth-mother wasn’t, for comprising the memories of my earliest childhood. She was, however, very young, and very quick in a financially and emotionally-taxing situation to adopt forcible, and, in my opinion, unacceptable, control methods.

My father administered most of the beatings, of course, brought more haggard screams for mercy shrieking forth from my mouth as his violently-swung leather belt met my soft white skin, but she stood by giving tacit approval.

Children to her were something sub-human, non-citizens, half-people. We were very much to be seen and not heard, and the denigration of our opinions, the harsh suppression of our beliefs and protests, has over the years contributed to as much awful resentment as the physical abuse that my father carried out with such anger.

“Daddy,” I sobbed as I stood before the post of the bed that he was telling me to lean against. “Daddy, please don’t hurt me.”

“Pull your fucking pants down!!!” was his brutal response.

I did, turning my naked thighs toward him with the naked terror that I always felt. I was already gasping, already heaving, so afraid of what was to come that I was a wreck of flowing tears and unheeded pleas.

And then came the pain, the crack of the whip, the sharp cutting as the leather struck me, as I was beaten by a full-grown man.

I was always a small child, am small for my age even now, and the sharpness of this blow inevitably overwhelmed me.

My screaming ceased, because the breath had been taken from me. All I could do was sink to the floor, wrack back and forth in agony, draw short, voiceless blasts of air into my shuddering lungs as I croaked almost inaudibly.

“Get up,” was the command that always came.

This was so unnecessary. When I think of all the damage that has been done, all of the years thrown into that whirling cauldron of misery, how much energy was wasted on hate and anger and fear, it makes me sad and vengeful at the same time.

Had it ended at the beatings, which came far too frequently and for crimes far undeserving of such a response (though I believe that no child should be subjected to corporal punishment under any circumstances), things may have been different.

It never stopped there, though. It crossed over, consistently and in fact more often than corporal reprisals were delivered, into an intellectual and emotional realm.

We were made to feel as if nothing we could have to say was of any significance, and the idea that we would have any part in making our own decisions was one that they found laughable, sometimes to the point of actually laughing at it.

This was a targeted form of debasement, but typically the emotional abuse in our household took the form of blatant scapegoating and name-calling.

If something broke, “the kids” had done it. They couldn’t go out without a babysitter, because “the kids” would eat and drink whatever they wished, would watch television and cause chaos.

It was always “the kids,” referenced so contemptuously, who did everything.

And I wasn’t simply “BlackenedBoy” or “sweetie,” or “honey,” or “buddy.” I was those things, but I was more.

I was “faggot.” I was “dickhead.” I was “son-of-a-bitch.” I was “mother-fucker.” I was “asshole.” I was “queer.” I was, at one point, “evil.” I was going to become crazy just like my worthless birth-mother, who I never forgot was a drug addict.

Any peace in that household was always tenuous. And I believed, somehow believed in my deceived and beaten heart, that I really was the bratty monster they described, that my inherent badness was somehow causing this.

They really were cowards.

Over time I did learn not to cry. I had to. For as this was going on, I received a constant barrage of harassment at school, where I was ceaselessly mocked and made fun of for not having the cool clothes, for not knowing the popular people, for being slight and skinny and for reading so many books. I was the object for all of their hatred, for all of their careless torture. They never could just leave me alone. It was something I marveled at; I didn’t really have any friends, and essentially did nothing to bother anyone else. That fact deterred absolutely nothing.

I will never forget an incident that took place one afternoon when I was about twelve years old.

I had been leaving class, preparing to walk home for the day, when my Social Studies teacher, whom we’ll call Mrs. C., stopped me as I passed her desk.

“BB,” she said quietly. “I just wanted you to know that I know people don’t treat you the way they should. But one day, you’ll see that being the odd man out pays off.”

She smiled up at me with a deep and bountiful kindness that I had no basis for responding to.

“You’re really cool. I wish you could be my kid.”

It was everything I could do not to burst into tears in the middle of her classroom. I had longed so desperately, as any innocent and frightened child would, to hear words like those.

I had learned the hard way not to weep in public, though. Instead, I just cried myself to sleep.

That was my childhood: one endless trauma, one endless wrong, after another. When I became old enough to understand and be outraged by what was happening, too old to be beaten with a leather belt, my father graduated to slapping me around and heaping the insults atop me more viciously than usual.

He’d wanted a construction worker, a tough guy, a football player and a miniature version of himself. He got me.

All of this was punctuated by his alcohol abuse, his dependence on pills, her neurotic perfectionism and frequent hysteria. Nothing was ever hidden from us. We grew up in a family where everything was perpetually teetering on the brink of disaster, and, what’s more, we knew it.

It is perhaps because of these things that my reaction to recent events has been one of disgust and profound annoyance rather than sympathy or fear. Of course, I am afraid, but for my own wellbeing and that of my siblings, not for them.

The abuse stopped when I was sixteen years old, the summer we moved to Deep South State. I am still at a loss to explain exactly what happened, but over the course of about three months, my father transformed into a very loving man. Do not ask me how this took place. I simply don’t know.

My parents’ income dramatically increased beginning in 2003 or so, and by 2004 we had surpassed the older families whose comparative prosperity had been held over our heads in Native State. As more time passed and our status continued to improve, this chasm became gigantic, to the point that we not only outdid our aunts’ and uncles’ clans but eventually had more money than the rest of the families combined.

We moved to Southern State in 2005, and in 2006 my father secured his current job, which is when our income growth went from incredible to astronomical.

And, when he was on his game, he was very good; in 2007 he accounted for 49% of his company’s total revenue, an astounding figure.

Following his accidents, however, he was out of work for a number of months, and he found readjusting upon his return to be difficult.

His injuries were really the start of all of this, but they were the direct consequence of his unhealthy relationship with prescription medications. Had he not been taking the pills he was, he never would have fallen in the first place. In that sense, we’ve just been very lucky for many years in the game we’ve been playing, silently ignoring his serious problem as the money continued to roll in. It was only when they fought, when he came home from the bar so drunk that he couldn’t walk straight, that we heard the full truth.

“You son-of-a-bitch!” her furious and hysterical shrieks reverberated through the house, reaching my elementary-school ears. “You can’t even answer me because you’re so fucked up on your pills!”

Then she kicked him, but he was too disoriented to react.

“Get up!!!” she screeched manically, so angry that her sorrow and rage had coalesced into one another (much the way that I often felt because of what I endured at their hands).

Earlier this year, the spectacle of my incapacitated father played itself out in our basement as it had countless times in my childhood.

I helped her to pick him up out of his own urine, and then together my mother and I tricked him into the car so we could take him to the hospital. He weighs well over two hundred pounds, far too large for either of us or even both of us together to have coerced into her SUV. Had he sat down and simply refused to budge, we would have been helpless.

So we told him he’d fallen again and then forgotten about it, and that the doctor was worried he might have a concussion. He believed us.

I am twenty years old, and I have done what most people don’t have to do until they’ve begun families of their own. I’ve watched my father turn into an infant in front of me.

I’ve literally held up the man who once picked me up by my throat and threw me onto a countertop. He sickens me.

Today, I called home to ask for money. I no longer visit home, mind you. After a lull in our bickering, a four-year oasis of goodwill and understanding, I’ve reached the point where I cannot sit in the same room with them.

The last time I journeyed to Mountain Town was for my twentieth birthday earlier in April, and on the way back my mother and I got into an explosive argument.

“I can’t wait ‘till you have kids,” she said contemptuously as we neared my campus.

“I’ll do a way better job than you and Dad did,” I responded with savage derision. “That’s okay, though; you showed me what not to do.”

“Oh,” she said, beginning to scream in the same indignant tone she assumes whenever I mention the veritable disaster of my younger years. “I’m sorry! I was twenty fucking years old!”

She’s livid now, and I wonder if her anger is so intense because she knows the truth in what I say.

“Did I make mistakes? Yes. But I did the best that I could! Marie didn’t get a childhood! Marie didn’t have Mommy and Daddy to pay her way! But I was such a bad parent, I was such a bitch!”

“I’m sorry that what happened in my childhood upsets you so much,” I answered coldly. “It must have been very traumatic for you.”

“Whatever,” was her corrosive reply.

My request for funds comes from the fact that I literally don’t have any; I’m very nearly out of money, and don’t know how I’ll make it to the end of the school year without some emergency transfer of cash. The problem with this, however, is that they’re not good for it anymore.

Since his falls and confinement to our home, my father has become severely depressed, and as such is making no money. There’s no problem with the clientele, no problem with the product. The problem lies entirely with him, something that has served to agitate me considerably.

“This is all in his head,” I exclaimed angrily to my mother. “He created this in his head, and now it’s affecting things in the real world.”

I dialed his cell phone number today and he wouldn’t answer. Following that, I dialed hers, and she picked up to address me with a brisk “Hello?” as if she were busy.

“Hey,” I asked. “Do you know where Dad is? He’s not picking up his phone."

“He’s with me,” she answered quietly, and merely in the way she said it I could tell something was wrong.

“Can I talk to him?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said hesitantly before handing the phone off to him.

“Hello?” he said.

“Hey,” I said. “Where are you?”

“Route X,” he answered evasively.

“Oh,” I said. “Where are you going?”

In truth I was surprised that he wasn’t at work, busy selling nothing.

“We just came back from Harley Davidson,” he said heavily.

“What did you do there?” I asked.

For just an instant I felt a glimmer of hope; if my parents had been looking to purchase something it meant we were in the clear, as they’ve always been very frugal with their money. Even then, though, I could sense what was coming.

“We sold the motorcycle,” he unloaded, sounding as if he had leaden weights around his neck.

“Oh,” was my reaction.

It’s come to this: they’re selling off their miscellaneous possessions because the system that has grown and strengthened over the course of the last decade is now hemorrhaging money. His delusions carry very real consequence, and in the back of my throat I could feel something like bile rising at this display of pathetic weakness.

Then I told him that my cash reserves were almost depleted, and he said that I should withdraw money from my bank account.

“I just don’t have it,” he said in a defeated voice. “I just don’t.”

A few minutes after I’d hung up, my disdain for his inability to support his family overwhelming my desire to talk to him, my mother called me again.

“BB,” she said with a slight edge of anger in her inflection, as there always is. “Your father’s in the store right now. Don’t call him anymore and bug him about anything to do with money. He can’t handle it.”

She went on.

“The financial strain we’re under right now is unbelievable. He was suicidal yesterday.”

“What?” I asked, my lip curling into a grimace of appalled disbelief. “Did he tell you that?”

“Yes,” she confirmed. “We had to take him to the doctor’s. He’s trying to get help.”

“Great,” I said acidly, the words pouring from my mouth like the bitterest vinegar before I could stop them. “Great. So now what?”

“I don’t know,” was her reply.

“Whatever,” I said. “Tell him I hope he gets better. I have to go.”

I didn’t have an ounce of sympathy for either of them. And I wasn’t surprised.

As I later confessed to someone on campus, “I’m at the point now where I’m like, ‘Commit him or give him a gun.’”

Will he die?

I doubt it.

Do I care?


Is that caring mixed with emotions that I probably shouldn’t be feeling?


All I could think of was that he has a wife and four children. Would he be so selfish as to abandon us?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


The amount of school work I have right now is not even funny.

I am so sorry for not posting a whole lot recently, but, as all of my friends in academia would no doubt attest, this time of year is an extremely difficult one.

Give it about two weeks, and things will really have settled down.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More PlanetaryCelebration

Originally uploaded by BlackenedBoy

Another picture from PlanetaryCelebration.

Journals Section: March, 2002, Part 2

Sunday, March 10, 2002
I saw on CNN today that Iraq is expecting a United States attack. “Apparently Iraq is preparing for war,” a newswoman said. U.N. inspectors have not been allowed in Iraq for some years, so Iraq may have weapons of mass destruction. What a thought.

Monday, March 11, 2002
Six months ago today, at 8:46a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Dad, Powell, and I stayed up late watching a special called “9/11.” It was from 9:00 to 11:00 at night. The footage was from inside the World Trade Center. I hope our school at least has a moment of silence. I have to go.

Today in school we had a moment of silence. I think that we should have done more. War with Iraq seems to be looming closer. This is certainly an interesting time in history. I was very tense today. When I came home a helicopter flew over the house. I ran outside. Before I had realized it wasn’t a plane, I yelled, “Oh, my God!” I was so nervous. Snickers is so nice. He is our new cat, and he is the fattest, friendliest cat. Well, actually, Midnight is the fattest. My mother Anne is in Gambling City. She told me she is thinking of moving there permanently. I asked her to drive the twenty minutes to Movie State and live there instead. She said no, she was living in Gambling City. She has a friend who lives relatively nearby, in Celebrity City. I cannot wait to call her again. Her telephone number for her cell phone is x-xxx-xxx-xxxx. You know, that in movies, they always use the number 555 for telephone numbers. They have an agreement with the telephone companies that no real telephones will have a 555 number. Referring to an earlier entry, I cannot wait until the year 2058. I won’t have to deal with school projects and whatnot then. Right now, I have a U.S. History project. My project seems very insignificant compared with the war that’s going on. I told Dad it will be over soon. Dad is convinced that in four years this war will still be going on but will have escalated. World War III. That’s what this is starting to turn in to.

March 13, 2002
Mom is very sick. She is in bed. [The following section has been translated from Spanish, in which I wrote my entries every other day] She’s in her bedroom. I’m going to write in this journal in Spanish as much as I can. Dad’s not here. He’s in Marble City. It’s going to be two hours until he’s home. Until then, I’ve told Powell and Thomas that we’ll be going to bed at ten o’clock tonight. Yes, we’re going to bed at ten o’clock. I like writing in my journal in Spanish, but I have to write in English a little, too. I know! One day I’ll write in Spanish, and then the next day I’ll write in English! Today is a Spanish day, and tomorrow will be an English day. There’s much to write. I’m glad that I know a lot of Spanish. My fourteenth birthday is next month. I’m happy. That day will be a lot of fun! My grandmother called me today. She asked what I wanted for my birthday. I told her, “I want an atlas.” I don’t really know where things are in the world. Then I said, “And I want money.” I need to write in my computer now.

Dad’s home. I need to wash. Goodbye for now.

I’m going to need a new book to write in! I need to sleep. I need to rest. I want to call my birth-mother, whose name is Anne. I want to tell her what I want for my birthday. My brother Powell can be very stupid. He yells at midnight for everyone to hear. They need to rest and sleep, not hear him yelling. Powell, Dad, and I didn’t go to sleep until after midnight. Dad said that I can’t call Anne tonight. I don’t like not being able to call her when I want to talk to her. Dad says that I can call her over the weekend. I want to close my eyes. Goodnight. I’ll write tomorrow, but goodnight for now.

March 14, 2002
Today is an English day. I am so happy! Democratic reforms! Here, at my house! Too good to be true, I know. A new set of rules was set today, guaranteeing trials for anyone punished. The first trials took place tonight. I ruled Powell guilty and he ruled me not-guilty. It’s all quite exciting. Also, I think that there is something that my parents are hiding from me. They asked Powell, Thomas, and me if any of us has field trips in Marble City and then refused to tell us why. I asked if it was because of the terrorists. Mom said no, but I have my suspicions. What is going on in Marble City? My handwriting is worse than usual now because I am writing under the covers. I wonder if there is a reason to believe Marble City will be attacked? Just when things were finally getting back to normal. Well, no. They’ll never be normal again. I know people have been saying that so much that it’s becoming a cliché, but I sincerely mean it. How frustrating this is! This journal is barely four months old, and yet nearly the entire book is full! The worst part is, I seem to have nothing to write about except to complain about this journal. Well, there are some things. For example, my father has forbidden me to go to Gambling City this summer, and no Gambling City means no Celebrity City, which to me is a very bad thing. Well, I have three months to debate on how to get to Gambling City. I just know that I have to get there. I have a strong feeling about Celebrity City, one of the strongest feelings I’ve ever had about anything. I must go there, this I know. Quiero ir a la Cuidad de las Estrellas! I shall have to get Anne, my birth-mother, to convince my father to let me go. Oh, you can’t possibly know how my heart yearns for this city I’ve never been to, never even seen besides in videos and photographs. I think of Movie State and I think, “That’s my state.” That’s where I belong. That’s all I can say. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I do.

March 16, 2002
We’re on the car waiting for Mom and Dad so we can get started on our way to Inbred State. Thomas and Powell are talking about skateboarding. We’re moving now. It’s very hilly here in Beautiful Town. I’m going to stop writing and enjoy the view.

March 17, 2002
The terrorists have done something truly evil. Right near the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, some people threw grenades into a Christian church full of Americans. About five people were killed. Also, the U.S. may be planning a war on Iraq. Apparently not many Middle Eastern countries support our move there. The King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia have both said they will not support any U.S. action in Iraq. I wonder if any nations would go so far as to declare war on the U.S. because of the attacks on Iraq. World War III seems to be looming closer. One of my teachers told me that since September 11th anything seems possible. She’s right.

March 20, 2002
We’re going to have a big party on Saturday. Many people are coming to our house. The party’s going to be fun. Lots of kids will be there. We’re going to have a lot of fun. I want Saturday to be here now! Well, I need to go to sleep or my parents won’t be happy. Goodnight for now. I’m going to obey my parents. They don’t want me to hear what they’re saying. It’s about a friend of my father’s. He’s not a friend of my father’s anymore. Well, goodnight for now.

March 21, 2002
Today was funny. We did many funny things today. Only two days until the party. We’re very lucky to be having this party; many kids don’t have them. Many people will be at my house. I don’t want anyone in my room. I’ll close my door, and Powell will close his as well. I want to talk with Anne. I can only talk with her on weekends, because she lives in Gambling City. Because of this, it’s very expensive when I call her.

Saturday, March 23, 2002
The party’s today! In two hours many people will be at my house. My mother wants the kids to go outside. I know what I want. I want to stay inside. I want all of the kids to be inside with the other people. The other people are older, but that’s no reason to say that we need to go outside. And we will not go outside! The children will have a party, too.

Monday, March 25, 2002
I need to write a list in English.

God has helped me:
*To get over my parents’ divorce
*To be strong when I was made fun of
*To come closer to my future goals than I’ve ever been before
*To give me direction
*To help me receive high grades

I finished the list. I’ll write more in it later. I’m hungry. Now it’s time to eat.

Saturday, March 30, 2002
I’m really bad. I told my parents and brothers that an asteroid hit Gay City and that Gay City isn’t there anymore. It’s not true, of course. I said it only because tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. My father doesn’t believe it. He’s very intelligent every once in a while. I’m in the car. It’s very hard to write when you’re in the car. My mother is in the store called “The Dutch Market. “My uncle is here with us. He’s very stupid. Powell believes that an asteroid hit Gay City. I’m going to tell them the truth. I want to go to Celebrity City and Gay City. A boy I know has friends in Colorado who have friends in Gay City.

It has been very long since I’ve written in this journal in English. I’ve had it quite some time now. We went over to Grand Ma Normal Family’s house today. It wasn’t as pleasant as I thought it would be. In fact, it was rather awkward. We’re going over there again for dinner tomorrow, because tomorrow is Easter. It’s a bid odd. Good Friday and Easter are both major holidays, but the Saturday between the two days seems to have little or no significance, aside from being the last day of Lent. My grandmother is Catholic. There is much about this religion that I don’t understand. Grand Ma seemed mad about everything. All in all, it was fun. Era muy divertido. Oh, I can’t wait until this summer. I’ve been repeatedly told that Anne will not come through, and, sadly, I’ve come to believe it. I need to find another way to get to Celebrity City. My second cousin Cool Older Cousin may be going. She said she’d take me with her.

Journals Section: March, 2002, Part 1

March 2, 2002
On this page you can see a very long hair of mine [I had pasted one into the original journal]. I didn’t write yesterday, but not because it was boring. It was quite a day. After school, many of us kids played Hide and Go Seek Tag in a large, open space behind some houses. There are a great many huge piles of dirt back there, and it is very fun. After that, we played Truth or Dare. It was a very exciting night. 10:00p.m. is now my official weekend curfew. Mom’s Old Best Friend is coming over tonight. She’s a friend of Mom’s. We lived with her for about four months. It was quite horrid.

Even though I feel incredibly guilty about what I’ve just done, I had to do it. Tonight is Saturday night. It is around 10:30. I have been sent to bed. Dad said, “I love you” and I said, “Whatever.” He was very shocked, but I had to say it. He treats me like a little child and then expects to make it all better by saying “I love you.” He has to know it won’t work anymore. Of course, I feel horrible. He has to start respecting me, though. I’m worried now that he’ll die or something and the last words I’ll ever have said to him will be in anger. I shall soon need a new journal. I’ve decided to go to college in Movie State. That is my goal. Well, that is actually one of many goals. We went to the “Rockin’ Bowl” tonight. It happens every Saturday night. It was quite fun. I hope that we go again next Saturday. How I wish I could fully enjoy my Saturday night. Without these pointless restrictions! I hate it.

March 3, 2002
It’s one of those Sundays that would be immensely pleasurable if it were a Saturday, but is immensely boring because it’s a Sunday. It’s very cloudy outside, and Dad and I are alone in the house. Powell is out skateboarding, Thomas is with him, and Mom had to run to the store. Dad is cooking our dinner. We’re having tacos. I think that two days is entirely too short of a break. I can’t wait until summer. What a good time that will be. I told my father that in the summertime, I always forget what day it is. My father said, “Good.” When I asked why, he said, “Blessed are those who don’t have to wonder or worry what day it is.” It is one of the most insightful things I’ve ever heard him say. The next time I can do that (besides summer vacation) will probably be around 2047. I’ll be old and retired…maybe. Wait! Not 2047! I’ll only be fifty-nine. More like 2058. I’ll be seventy. I wonder what I’ll be doing? In 2058, I’ll have to get this journal out and look at it.

Monday, March 4, 2002
For some idiotic reason I’ve been hiding my journal under my dresser. Any idiot could find it there. I must find a better place. Wait! I know exactly where! I can’t say, though. Well, yes, I can. [Code begins here] It’s in the pouch of a leather case I keep in one of my desk drawers. [Code ends here] We received our interims today. I got four C’s, one B, and two A’s. I am very concerned. Powell was not so fortunate as I, though. He got two D’s. Dad is talking to him now. I do not think he is too mad, though, because I heard laughing. It has become cold again. I do not go outside much. Just three more months and it will finally be summer! How I detest school! Especially now. My grades are really slipping. I have to push myself further. I must. I have four C’s. By this coming report card I can only have one C. If I want scholarships I mustn’t let my grades continue on their downward trend. I’m becoming very frightened for my future. I must work harder, I must. Whoever said that the good die young was certainly right. However, as I’m not dead, I suppose God has some purpose for me. I’m honestly trying in school. Why is this happening to me? I must work harder! I shouldn’t fill the pages of my journal with things like that. When at home, I need to relax. I want a bath. Dad says baths are feminine. Powell and I pointed out that it was he who had gotten a perm in the 1970’s.

March 5, 2002
One year ago today, Powell and I were hoping for snow. We did not get it. I am so mad at Mom and Dad. They have punished us for no reason. I could kill someone. I really could. Not that I would. I hope my mother Anne comes into some money. If she does, I am leaving, and nothing will be missed. I wrote a hateful letter I will never actually show Mom and Dad which is hidden under my dresser. I had to get it out. I’ve wanted to for years. I’m afraid that if I ever said it out loud, I would be seriously hurt before I could finish. It’s too bad that I can’t tie them both up and force them to listen to me. I hate life. There is no reason to live. I hate everyone. I wish everyone would die. Life sucks. Everything sucks. I hate humanity. No, I don’t. I hate my father, but I don’t want to. I wish I would just die in my sleep, seriously. That’s the best thing that could happen to me. With my father, I have no reason to live. My cursive sucks so damn bad! Can’t I do anything right? I need to snap out of it. [Code begins here] I seriously understand suicidal people. [Code ends here] I’m not going to be like that, though. Just because the two parts of my life that matter most have hit an all-time low. I hate my father. Oh, God forgive me. Oh, Lord forgive me my hate. Why is my handwriting so horrible?

Okay. I’m afraid I just wrote some things that I did not at all mean. I was very angry. I must calm myself. Oh, my cursive is horrible. I still have many pages to fill up and I should fill them with good things. That entry was psychotic. I don’t know what I was thinking. I just don’t understand why my life is so unfair. I wish it were not so. I graduated elementary school on June 14, 1999. The three-year anniversary is only three months away. That means that two years ago I was in the fifth grade [Note to readers: it was actually a three-year difference; my math has never been the best.] Unbelievable. My, how time flies. I don’t know what to do now. After writing those horrible things I feel as if the whole day’s entry has been ruined. Oh, well. I’ll read now, like I do every night. Goodnight.

March 6, 2002
On the next page, you can see the poem I wrote last night while in a rage. What I truly feel guilty about is what was written on the back. I meant the poem, except for the very last line.

[Poem was as follows]

So unjust, so unfair
To be righteous, you do not dare
You make up things that don’t exist
Then deliver punishments for these imaginary slips

“You have no say, you have no rights”
You say to me just out of spite
There are Congress-people who would be concerned
But of your tyranny, they are unlearned

All day I hear, “Don’t fill my head
“You’re less than a person. You’re a child, don’t you comprehend?
“You’re insignificant. I will soon break you
“Along with your talk of justice, too.

“I’ll try to get your esteem low.”
You wonder, father, why I hate you so?

[Letter was as follows]

I never do anything! That little brat gets off scott free, though! I HATE YOU!!!

I have the hardest time keeping my grades up in school and you two retards!!! make my life more damn hectic by making up punishments! FUCK YOU!!! I’ve wanted to do this for so long, and even though I’ll never say it to you and you’ll never see this, it feels so good! FUCK YOU!!! Get a fucking life! Leave me the fuck alone unless you’re not acting like idiots! I would live with Anne in a heartbeat if she had money. So FUCK YOU!!! I FUCKING HAAAAAAAATE YOU!!!

I did not mean what I wrote on the back. I’m running late. I must now go eat.

It is around nine-thirty in the evening. xxx-xxx-xxxx. It is the number to call to get screen tests done. It’s free. It’s in Marble City this Saturday. I hope to go. One year ago today, I was also excited about a similar opportunity. I hope this one is more successful for me.

March 9, 2002
Today is Saturday. It is about nine-thirty in the evening. Unfortunately, I did not go to Marble City today. Oh, well. Anne has not called or sent money. She is supposed to be in Casino State. I wonder. Monday is the six-month anniversary of September 11th. I can’t believe it’s been half a year. We’re watching a special tomorrow called “9-11.” It will be showing video footage from inside the World Trade Center on September 11th. I love Saturdays. Today was very dark and gray. Mom’s Newer Best Friend (my mother’s friend) and her son Tall Boy are staying with us tonight. They’re very nice, although I must confess, Tall Boy has been very annoying lately. He is eight.

It is shortly after eleven o’clock at night. Dad and I just finished watching South Park. It is a very funny television show. I had to get a haircut yesterday. I hate haircuts. I can’t wait for the summer. I am calling xxx-xxx-xxxx tomorrow for information about acting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Originally uploaded by BlackenedBoy

Here I am during Major University's PlanetaryCelebration. I'm the one with the long blonde hair on the right of the photograph.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


So, I apologize for my lack of posts this last couple of days, and, to my special friend with whom I exchange letters, my lack of correspondence.

I have so much school work that it's not even funny, and immediately upon completing this (very brief) post I will turn immediately to the task of my Government 300 paper, which, incidentally, was due three days ago.

God help me.

I have a class at nine o'clock tomorrow morning, which means I need to get up at eight despite the fact that I likely won't go to bed until one.

I would skip this class, but it's a Physical Education course where attendance makes up around 60% of the grade, and, seeing as it only meets for half of a semester, each day counts a lot.

I should also mention that I have a test in Spanish 301 tomorrow. Yes, a test, one that I haven't even begun to study for.

Thankfully it's at three o'clock in the afternoon, which should allow me some time to look over my materials between my nine and one-thirty classes.

I could skip Government 300 and buy myself another hour or so, but we have an immensely-complicated homework due on the first session after the weekend, and missing any instruction time would make it that much more impossible.

I have to go.

I will post more later, though, I promise.

And to my friend, I will get back to you.

I have many exciting plans for the summer, and I'm soon to receive a digital camera as a late birthday present, which means that, beginning in May, I'll be able to post pictures! Won't that be a happy occasion?

I have a lot to put on here, but it will have to wait for another day (hopefully this weekend).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Journals Section: February, 2002

February 4, 2002
I’ve got to eat dinner.

February 5, 2002
It’s the most wonderful thing! And what a shame I can’t tell Powell! Dad told me tonight, after first saying that I mustn’t tell anyone that I know it, that he and Mom may be taking us to the Bahamas this summer! How exciting that would be. I asked if we would be going by ship and he said that no, we’d fly. Everyone is a little iffy about flying these days. Oh, I hope we go! If we do, I’ll be sure to write all about it! I wonder where we would stay and what the hotel would be like? Somehow I imagine a small hut, even though I know that is not where we’d be staying. I wonder if we’d stop in Mexico or some other country on the way, because we would after all be flying into the Caribbean, which is quite far away from Beautiful Town. Oh, to fly over water! It would be my first time out of the United States. Imagine, the farthest south I’ve ever been is Myrtle Beach State. What fun it would be. We’d have to stay for some time, of course, after flying all that way (over a thousand miles).

February 7, 2002
Oh, it’s so bad I almost can’t bear it. The peace talks that my cousins have been trying to use in Renaldi (Country Music State) have failed. The Rebel Empire has grown to over one thousand people. The people hate my cousin Elizabeth. We are going to pretend now that Sarah has betrayed Elizabeth. Also, Sarah came up with the idea that we start a colony in Decaying State this summer. We had intended to meet there to work on our constitution, but that was before the Revolution. Now we’re meeting in a time of war. Sarah knows some other people in Country Music State who will take her side. If only they weren’t so big. At this point they’re far larger than us. Of course, if we win it will mean that our Empire would be huge. If we actually conquered them. They’re growing at an alarming rate, though, and I fear that this will be a hard war to win. I am seriously considering starting a colony here. I just don’t know, though. Beautiful Town is safe. Out of the whole world, it’s safe. To bring that warfare to my own home…I hope that we can successfully start a colony in Decaying State this summer. Oh, how I hope for my country, my poor country. Even Powell, who doesn’t care about the Imperial Empire, became mad at the injustice of what is happening to us. I started all of this. All of these hundreds of people are in their nations because of me, and now they’re leaving. How could they do this? What gives them the right to do this?

February 8, 2002
It’s wonderful! It seems that there is hope for my beloved country! Today we added two more provinces to the Imperial Empire, and they are Atricia and Andrea. Atricia is ruled by King Smith and Andrea is ruled by King Travers. These are the first two Provinces to actually be touching each other. The border goes straight through Ben’s house. He is a friend of Powell’s who serves as a soldier. Our house would be in Andrea, but because it is the capital of the whole country, it isn’t part of any province. Ben is an Atrician troop, because I can tell by looking at the design of his house that his bedroom is on the Atrician side. These provinces will be huge, I know. King Smith plans to get at least fifty people. It is all very exciting. Now if only Renaldi were free. If only we could win this damn war.

February 19, 2002
I was just looking over a journal that I started on July 1, 2001, and that I ended only twenty-three days before September 11, 2001. Oh, it turned out that Elizabeth and Sarah were lying about everything. No one outside of our family is ever to know that, though. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think it would be wiser not to tell anyone. Today is Tuesday, and it’s the end of a four-day weekend. I only have three school days this week, thank goodness. I detest school. Who will ever read this? My cousin Rowdy Cousin is here today. Powell doesn’t like him much. Thomas does. I am neutral on the matter, but I can see what Powell would find annoying. To think that I started my last journal in July. I am so congested. I cannot wait to hear from my mother Anne. I cannot wait for Friday. On Friday I am going with Grand Ma Normal Family to see a movie (most likely “A Walk to Remember,” as she’s too scared to see a horror movie) and then we are going back to her house in Grand Ma’s Town, where I will stay Friday and Saturday night, plus all day Sunday. It’s still quite early, not yet ten o’clock. I was up at 7:45a.m. I recently did something very funny. I checked Powell’s e-mail ( and saw that a girl named Stupid Fifth-Grader had e-mailed him about twenty-five times. So I sent her back an e-mail that went like this: “Haw, haw, toot, toot! Are you a monkey stalker with testicles? You’ve send me more e-mails than you weigh in pounds, and that’s like three frickin’ tons! And that’s just your balls! Balls, you have balls! I’m glad you live in Bad Town so that you can’t—”

I believe it’s around noon now. I’m not sure. Powell, Thomas, and I were supposed to be punished. Mom gave us unfair punishments. So we went to something called The Courts, which is where Powell, Thomas, and I get together and judge our punishments. I think we’re quite fair, and it’s working very well. It’s such a nice day out. Thank goodness there is no school, because it would be a true shame to be in school on a day like this. I’m sitting in a rocking chair and looking out my window as I write this. The sun is out but there is a cool breeze. My glass chess set is sitting in front of me, and as the light hits the glass figures it looks very beautiful. There is a screen over my window. This makes me glad, because I used to hang my head out and I was constantly worried about falling. Now I don’t have to worry about self-control. I fear that my writing is very sloppy. I find it very difficult to write longhand sometimes. I need to practice my neatness if this is to be at all legible. I need to practice my neatness, oh, damn! This is quite frustrating. I wonder if I spelled that right. Lunch is almost ready, so I will now go downstairs. I will take some books with me. I have started reading Pride and Prejudice. I’m sure I misspelled that. Oh! All of my efforts to maintain neat writing seem to be in vain. I think that lunch is ready now, so I really have to go. Midnight just jumped up into my window. It’s really funny. Powell would be amused, but he is downstairs and I daren’t call him. Midnight is so peaceful. It’s a shame that I will soon have to close the window. Well, no. She is so content that I think I’ll let her sit there. I had to close it. She was leaning against the screen so, it made me nervous. I’ll open it again soon.

February 23, 2002
Today is such a wonderful day. Last night, Grand Ma picked me up. We’ve had a delightful time. We’re going to the movies. Grand Pa is not coming with us, unfortunately. I really wanted him to. We’re going to see “A Walk to Remember” because Grand Ma won’t see a horror movie. The only thing that spoils this weekend at all is that I have to find resources for my bibliography. My handwriting is disastrous. Well, not really.

Grand Ma and I went to see “A Walk to Remember.” It was a very sad movie. Grand Ma even cried. I did not. It was sad, I’ll admit. We’re on our way to dinner. We’re discussing the political world. Grand Pa has very heated views. I have my own views. None of them include racism. Grand Pa does not think that there will be a World War. Dad does. Two missionaries have been captured. World War is looking like a serious possibility. I hate my cursive. The world is a busy place. We’re almost there. It’s been so hard to write, what with being in the car.

It is very early on Sunday morning. I just saw American Pie II. We saw another movie that took place in Greece during World War II. Here are a list of things I want to do:

1. Get married
2. Have kids
3. Go to Greece

My handwriting is still terrible. I have to do that gay brochure for Health. I have to work on that. I have until March 4th, I think. By March 1st, I have to get my permission slip in to go to Gettysburg. I have to get a spiral notebook. The U.S. economy is sinking. World War III is about to blow up in our faces. Does the stress never end? I can’t wait until this summer. There’s so much I want to do. Okay, I start work on the Health project on Monday, or by Monday. Why is the weekend so short? I hate that, short weekends. I want to go to a beach house like in American Pie II. There’s something hysterical going on. Summer, hurry up! It’s almost March 11th. It’s almost half a year since September 11th. I remember it like yesterday. I want to go to Ground Zero. That can be another of my ambitions.

February 24, 2002
It’s days like this one that just being alive is a great joy. I just got a shower, changed into fresh clothes, and pulled my hair back into a ponytail. The sun is shining and the birds are singing. What a beautiful day. I think that the most wonderful days are Sundays. I suppose that God makes them that way. I hate Mondays and Tuesdays. September 11th was a Tuesday.

February 26, 2002
I called Grand Ma Weird Family tonight. She sent me history videos, she sent Powell Harry Potter books, and she sent Thomas a scooter. She must have spent quite a bit of money. Here is a funny story I wrote:

“It was not long after our parents and her parents had left that my brother, cousin, and I were sitting at my kitchen table watching television. Idiot Cousin had been telling us about her dad and how rich he was, and how great he was. She had just said how they were going to France this summer. Powell and I exchanged a look of skepticism, and we both agreed on one thing: we knew more about her dad than she did. She couldn’t know, though. Then the commercial came on. ‘Have you been considering Viagra?’ I gagged on my soda and Powell kicked me under the table. ‘What?’ Idiot Cousin asked. I spit the soda into the sink and ran into the next room. ‘What’s so funny?’ I heard her ask Powell. Powell was laughing too hard to answer. ‘What do you know!?!’ she yelled. ‘What’s so funny about my dad? I think he’s cool!’ Then Powell said something to her that was muffled, and she began laughing hysterically. I emerged and asked, ‘What did you say to her?’ Smiling, Powell said, ‘Your dad’s a big softy.’” Here is the letter Grand Ma Weird Family sent me:

“February 20, 2002. Dearest BB, This has been a very difficult time for me. Grand Pa and I had been married for almost 53 years. My life now is about adjustment. Some of it is bad, some of it good. Time is the very important part of grief, it alone can bring a change. I am sending this course to you, I believe it will stimulate your imagination and your interest in history—”

There’s more on the back, that can be un-taped later.

[Back read: “If you like it and find it helpful I will be very pleased. This course will put you ahead of most people, let me know if you like it. This must be a difficult time for you, new home, new school, new acquaintances. If you would like to spend some time here, this summer I would love to have you. I do not have a lot of exciting things to offer you but we could read, talk, go to some flea markets, and perhaps even do some cooking. I would find great pleasure in your company. Love, Grand Ma.”

I have to go to bed now.

February 27, 2002
I don’t know how it still hurts. It’s been so long, but thinking about Old Middle School still hurts.

It is around eleven o’clock. I had to write. The reason is, I am becoming sick of all these scanty entries. A journal is meant to write in, not to sit and do nothing. I recently found out that I actually wrote in a journal four days before September 11th. It’s been nearly half a year now. I still remember it very clearly. The weather was so nice, to the point of irreverence really. I just finished an excellent novel. I am writing my own novel. I think it is quite good. Thank God for blessing me so with the gift of writing. I really should be going to bed now, although I feel the urge to keep writing and writing until I have filled up several pages. I should have four journals. Instead I only have three. I’m not sure where the other one is. It contains some hairs of mine from last summer. My hair has actually gotten pretty long. My eyebrows are very thick. How annoying it is. It’s funny, really; the hair I want grows slowly, and the hair I don’t want grows all too fast. Nearly half of this book is used up. You know, one day someone is going to have to get me a very nice journal, not another Harry Potter one. As I have said before, journals should be generic. I suppose I’ll go to bed now. Goodnight.

February 28, 2002
I picked the perfect night to finish my novel, the one I was reading. My flashlight’s batteries went dead tonight. I was most disappointed. I was just starting to read another novel, called You Belong to Me. I only read one chapter, but I think that On the Street Where You Live was much better. I’ve noticed that Mary Higgins Clarke, the author, writes about the same things in different books. For example, in On the Street Where You Live, Emily Graham, the main character, was a defense attorney. Another defense attorney has already shown up in her other novel. Also, the name Douglas is mentioned in both novels. Dad angered me so tonight. He sent me to bed at 9:30, and for no reason. I tell you, it’s very frustrating. I wrote him a very strongly-worded letter, which I gave to him earlier. I am not sure yet if he has read it. Goodnight.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

First Days of My Twenties

The Southern states are beautiful, vast, uncompromising, and powerful. If spring in the North arrives in tepid ripples, it comes here unrestrained, in a burst of heat and flowers and wind. Today was beautiful, the first eighty-degree day in what promises to be a florid season. As my mother drove me from Major University to Mountain Town, I could see bright colors everywhere forcing their way into the world, astounding violet hues surfacing in great clusters amidst the lush green of the hills that just a month ago were dead.

Winter has perished.

For all his whining, his remonstrating, his bullying resistance, he’s gone.

Now Summer wields her hand over the land, for it is summer, not spring, that has truly dawned. Spring is somewhat of a fiction here, downgraded from what may once have been a consistent season to the several scattered days of mild temperatures between weeks of 40s and then 80s. It’s just so gorgeous.

Pie and I went out this afternoon to play soccer and had a great time of it in the clouded humidity. Those clouds, iron gray just before our dinner at six or so, opened up several hours ago and have been pouring ever since.

I haven’t seen a storm of such wonderful rage in a long time.

The thunder is so thick and booming that it actually shakes the house, while robust rain pounds forth on the windows and a fearsome lightning ignites the sky bright as day. In the moments it strikes, you could be looking out your window at an overcast noon.

This is the type of storm that nature seems to deliver simply for passion’s sake, and I love it. The tempest outside is like youth: shining in lovely pathos just because.

My first day as a twenty-year-old was benign, but not quite so good as this. Temperatures hovered in the mid-seventies and the sun shone amiably on the occasion. I maintained mostly the same routine as normal, dutifully attending Government 300 but indulging myself to skip Spanish 301, which I can’t stand. My instructor is an American woman whose unintentionally-hilarious facial expressions (she seems to lack the ability to smile normally) are not enough to lighten the heavy dullness of that course. It could potentially be interesting, mind you, with the right professor. She’s nice, but she’s also not that person.

Anyway, I couldn’t abide the idea of sitting in there on my birthday, so I used to extra time to pursue a lead for Student Newspaper.

I had two stories to write yesterday, the glorious occasion of my entry into the world notwithstanding, and I was occupied most of the night with those responsibilities.

The first news article concerned a women’s film festival being held on campus, while the second was actually somewhat of a disappointment; I signed on earlier in the week to cover an appearance by author Petey Chizzi, a poet, in the hopes that it might be a rare treat. I was mistaken.

While the man was clearly a good writer, at least insomuch as having an extensive vocabulary and a knack for god description, if applied right, his poetry was so absurdly abstract as to be indecipherable and unenjoyable, at least for me. The papers (my own not included) have hailed this man as if he’s some kind of god, but I for one found the material intolerable.

I spent the rest of the night, up until two-thirty the following morning, typing up the pages to go to print on Monday. This takes longer than it might seem because one has to integrate information from many different sources, deciding which quotes and statistics to use, which parts of an organization’s press release are not so overtly self-promotional that they might be cited in the piece.

I spent the time from two-thirty to four or so singing in the music rooms (next to literature, music is my other true love), and then went to bed just before five.

I was up at eleven for my English 396 class. Mom picked me up around one, and I had a very nice reception at home this afternoon, one that included a fish dinner and a cookie cake.

I’m going to bed now, though. I’ve got, thanks to my renewed work effort in school, no more homework to do this weekend, and am eager to enjoy myself.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Teenage Night

Sometime around seven o’clock, I realized that the sun was going down, and that it was the last sunset I’d ever see as a teenager. I’d been sitting in my school’s computer lab, pointlessly surfing the Internet, when it occurred to me how angry I’d be with myself if I didn’t venture outside once more before night fell on the evening and on my adolescence.

I left the computer lab and headed for the school grounds, intending merely to take a walk.

I’d been racking my mind, trying to think of where to go, all the while failing to acknowledge the gnawing voice in the back of my head whispering, too rightly, that none of the artificial and blank places I frequented on this campus would be worthy or capable of concluding an era that had been so majestic, so wild, so terrible, but so beautiful all the same.

I almost missed the opportunity that came to me.

I had been strolling along past academic buildings, trying futilely to see the full orb of the sun one last time before it settled below the parking lots and concrete structures that stand everywhere here (I would not be successful). Upon reaching the University’s artificial lake, I had determined to turn around and go back to the school’s Main Building, not to waste my time along the small and unwelcoming trail, as fake as everything else about this pathetic place.

Then I realized, though, that by walking the glorified dirt road with its smattering of trees nearby for show, I could reach a sidewalk that cirlced the lake. It would be contrived, it would be manufactured, yes, but I would still get to see something.

And yet the old cliché is true: the best moments in life are seldom planned.
I’d walked past a wretched miniature cottage that you can't go inside but that stands adjacent to the water to look pretty, and had just been about to make a left towards the lake when my eye caught something.

Up ahead, across the street, there stood a parking lot like any of the countless others. Behind it though, through which showed the deep orange-gold sunlight of a day about to pass, was a forest.

I don’t know quite what possessed me to do what I did, but within an instant I had made up my mind and was heading across the asphalt to the line of trees.
Looking around hastily that no one should see me, I dove headfirst into the leaves and thickets, entering with surprising quickness a small world very different from the large one I’d just left.

The forest was my solace and playground as a child, the place where I went simply because I loved being there. In Beautiful Town, I was constantly exploring different groves and shades of wood, a habit that has not quite left me but that is now socially unacceptable.

There is something about the woods I’ve just always loved. The deep dark colors of the leaves and bark, the green of the twisting thorns, the smell of the timber dust and the crispness of the air, welcome me, perfume the air with a scent of adventure, bring me deep into their bosom. Some of my earliest stories were inspired by the woods.

I am currently writing a book, and the magic that I felt plunging through uncharted (to me at least) bits of wilderness continues to be a source of my ingenuity as I weave the tale. It is in places like that I can believe in the existence of a god, believe in fairies, believe that mystical and incredible things could possibly happen.

So I went into the woods.

I hadn’t entered a forest of any kind in quite a while, and was uncertain what to do. I retreated far enough in that the brick edifices behind me were blurred by the trees, and then I stopped at a particularly tall oak to stroke its bark, as if petting an old wooden guardian.

I slung my backpack off of my shoulders, thinking all the while how strange it was, removed my coat, and then put my books on top of them as I lay everything on the ground. I stood there just a second, expecting but still somewhat overwhelmed by the feeling of longing that poured over me, and then I fell forward and clung to the great giant the way a small child might cling to its mother in a moment of fear.

I had become, quite literally, a tree-hugger.

I found a comfort in that I can’t truly explain, standing there, my skinny arms flung around that wide tree.

There was just something about it that steadied me, made me feel better; the organism which I now touched had been there many years, longer certainly than this monstrosity of a university, and, unless the tides of commercialism and endless expansion soon swallowed it up like they had all the other vegetation for miles around, it would be there for a long time to come.

Clutching at the trunk gave me something.

I surmised shortly after this that I had to pee, and, far than a reasonable distance from any bathroom, was not about to abandon my new post for the sake of a urinal. I looked around in every direction, convinced, almost certainly with good reason, that I would be arrested if anyone happened upon me doing what I was about to do.

I’d done it many times as a child, as much for practicality as for convenience, but those two terms have been so skewed in modern times as to mean “impracticality” and “the avoidance of any meaningful intellectual exercise whatsoever.”

I am wary of the law, and so gazed about cautiously before heading over to a second tree. I didn’t feel right about possibly desecrating the one I’d just embraced so passionately.

My eyes flew about once again, scanning the air, searching on instinct for the cameras that now abound everywhere.

Can they have cameras in the forest? I asked myself. No, no, surely they don’t.

It is a statement about our society that this idea boggled me so; the notion that any area could be completely free of surveillance equipment seemed impossible and wholly out-of-place, but, unlike most things that arouse such a sense in a person, this one was accompanied by happiness.

Of course they didn’t have cameras in the forest. They haven’t yet gone that far.
That being settled, I pulled down my pants, whipped out my member, and urinated peacefully on the back of a tree.

Some people will be amused, confounded, or possibly disturbed to read this.
It is such a bizarre behavior, is it not? And yet I did it.

When I’d finished, I zipped and buttoned my pants, and then proceeded to bound about the woods free of my material burdens, which sat safely by the first tree.

At that moment, I felt as if the last five years had been stripped off of me, and, as when I was a fourteen-year-old boy jumping through the valleys and over the hills of Beautiful Town, I lost myself in a sense of quiet greatness.

I climbed atop a fallen tree, stood tall and erect, and then made my way across it, arms cast out to my sides, as I had countless times before, though very seldom recently. I derive great enjoyment from balancing in this way. Once I’d reached the opposite end, from which the stricken thing's roots were anchored and to which it still stubbornly held despite laying on its side, I sat down nimbly.

With nothing to stop me, no books to drop, no phone to answer (I’d turned it off inside of my pocket), I lay back on the felled beast, wavering for the slightest moment before gaining my equilibrium.

I remained like that for probably ten minutes or so, looking up at a blue sky framed by high branches and feeling happier and more tranquil than I had in a long time.
It seemed natural that I should be there, in accord with the laws of being that a young boy should reflect with perfect innocence and pure delight on the late afternoon air.

What could be more right than sitting in the woods while taking in clouds? My hands were musty and brown, soiled with soil, dirtied as they haven’t been in such a length that I can’t even remember the last time it happened.

I left only as the lights from the parking lot came on, their garish yellow glare intruding on my solitude.

I came up here to write this, and took a break at 11:55p.m. to go outside once more. I couldn’t bear the thought of turning twenty in a computer lab.

I prayed out there, a lovely, sweet little prayer.

I hope He’ll guide me. I’m still scared.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Last Day as a Teenager

It's today.

It’s today and I haven’t been able to figure out how to commemorate it. In truth, I’m not sure that it’s the type of thing I feel like celebrating; after tonight, I will have relinquished my teen status, entered the very unfamiliar and very frightening world of the twentysomethings.

Ridiculous as I know this will sound to the few readers this site has, most of whom are well senior to me, the knowledge that in less than an hour’s time I will have crossed the milestone from nineteen to twenty makes me feel impossibly old.

Right now, I am in the same demographic category as thirteen-year-olds. In half an hour, I will have moved into the same subset with twenty-nine-year-olds. You can see how dramatic the transition is, even if the momentary difference between nineteen and twenty isn’t all that great.

It’s the symbolism that matters, and I tend to be a great believer in tradition and the significance of ceremonial meaning. That being the case, I spent the day, following an English class and some scarce homework when it was all that was on my mind anyway, reflecting on what my teenage years have been like, what they’ve meant to me, and how strange it is that I’m leaving them behind.

I became a teenager seven years ago tomorrow on April 10, 2001, a date that, by virtue of the many things that have taken place in the world since it passed, makes it seem even farther away than seven years typically would to begin with

The day that I turned thirteen was a full five months before September 11th. That event alone altered the politics, economy, culture, and political dynamic of this country and of the international community in a serious enough way to by itself constitute the most far-reaching development of the decade, or, indeed, of our generation.

Eight months after entering the teen realm, and three months after the devastation of 9/11, the single most momentous happening of my life (even today) took place; my family moved within Native State from Bad Town, the lower-income, crime-laden suburb of Large Native City where I had grown up, to Beautiful Town, the more rural and affluent locality that I would soon come to treasure.

In Bad Town, where I’d lived from the time I was five to the time I was thirteen, I was made fun of horribly, so harassed that I’d retreated within a shell of insecurity and paranoia. I was well on my way, eight months from entering high school, to becoming a basket case of shattered youth, unrealized dreams, and crippling shyness born by way of constant abuse.

My mother, however, received a promotion from the pharmaceutical manufacturer, Big Drug Company, with which she was employed, and her higher rank entailed a move forty miles to the northwest for us.

Despite having essentially grown up in Bad Town, despite the fact that everyone and everything I knew was there, I prayed fervently that we would move as quickly as possible. Most children in the same situation (and, having relocated quite often sense, I have known this first hand) are resentful and resist departure for as long as possible, but I couldn’t wait to be settled in our new home.

At several points, when it looked as if the house in Bad Town was not going to sell, I literally fell to my knees and begged God to take us out of there.
On December 27, 2001, we moved. I have ever since remembered it as Deliverance Day, and, each year two days after Christmas, take some time to remember what God has given me. Everything I am today, every opportunity I have, every talent and social grace I’ve cultivated, is a result of what happened on that blessed Thursday six years ago.

Had we stayed in Bad Town, I would have been smothered, so buried beneath ridicule, criticism, and bullying that my talents and personality may never have shone through.

I am in college today, while my tormentors loiter on the streets, because of December 27th. I did not fall into a deep depression in high school and try to kill myself, because of December 27th. I am nineteen years old, and I still think of every day as something special, something I was never intended to have. The Lord delivered me. Therefore, it is Deliverance Day.

We lived in Beautiful Town a short time, two years and five months, but it is a place that I still covet in my memory. It was located in the western part of Native State, where mountains abound and the loamy, coastal climate of my original region gives way to fantastic greenery, spectacular fall foliage, and, in the winter, heaps upon heaps of magnificent white snow that were the joy of my earlier youth.

My fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth birthdays passed in Beautiful Town, and by the time we left one month following the last of those passages, I loved it as I had loved no place before and have failed to love any place since.

Ah, now it’s done. I’m twenty, twenty and I can’t believe it.

In any case, it was May 27, 2004, when we left, two years and five months to the day after moving in. My parents, Powell, Thomas, and Pie (who’d been born the previous summer and had not yet reached her first birthday) headed to our opulent new home in Deep South State (this move the result of a second promotion for my mother) while I stayed two weeks in Native State with my grandparents Normal Family before going up to Decaying State to stay with my birthmother, Anne.

She hadn’t been present much during my life, and while there I confronted her about the past, something she didn’t want to discuss. The resulting fights were so furious that I left early, staying first with my aunt in Beautiful Town and then with my grandmother just outside of Large Native City. On July 29, 2004, I took a flight from Large Native City International Airport to Central City in Deep South State.
Over the course of the next several months, our home there was hit by three major hurricanes, one of which ranks among the largest storms in U.S. history, and, in an unrelated series of events, my paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, and maternal great-grandmother all died.

We buried my great-grandmother on New Year’s Eve Day, 2004, and, deciding we’d had enough, left Deep South State for Southern State in March of 2005. We resided in Wealthy Town for nine months before moving to Mountain Town that December, and in Mountain Town we have since remained.

Shortly after arriving in Mountain Town, I learned I’d been accepted to Major University, which is located in the Important Area of Southern State.
On June 16, 2006, I graduated from Privileged High School, and in August I left home to attend Major University an hour and a half away.

My Freshman Year of college was very difficult, a long and dramatic story that is the reason for my pseudonym “Blackened Boy” but that I will have to detail later, and, after seriously considering not returning the summer between Freshman and Sophomore Years, I began classes last Fall as a second-year student.

Things have gotten much better since then, and I have rejoiced in my recovery, of which this blog is a part.

So, having lived through all that, I was searching today for a meaningful way in which to end a period of my life that has defined me and will likely continue to do so (or at least shape who I am with great significance) for some time to come.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blogging in Class

Here it is, 2:19 in the afternoon, and I’m sitting in a Government 300 class so mind-numbingly boring that I’m literally having trouble keeping my eyes open.

In high school, teachers, with the exception of the annoying ones who prodded anyone caught looking away for the front of the room for even a fraction of a second, mostly turned a blind eye to the regular scene of a student sleeping at a desk. Occasionally an irate instructor would tell one of their drowsy pupils to wake up and pay attention, but the majority seemed to accept as a matter of course that teenagers were going to doze off periodically in any given period.

In college, this is not the case. Professors, much more so than teachers, have a tendency to take themselves very seriously, and are often given to the unfortunate habit of perceiving as a personal offense when each and every person present is not enthralled with their stultifying lecture on democratic theory, the history of big band music, or, in the case of the room in which I currently sit, statistics as it relates to Political Science.

I’ve literally watched, always with tremendous irritation, as an indignant undergraduate faculty member interrupted an entire class, more than once in a lecture hall with hundreds of attendees present, to haughtily chide a single person who had dared to close their eyes against the deluge of soulless, inhumanly uninteresting garbage pouring their way.

Hearing a pretentious professor’s injured cry of, “Excuse me, I’m trying to teach here” is one of the most obnoxious things I can summon to memory.

My Government 300 class manages to combine some of academia’s worst elements, being simultaneously deadening in its turgid language and infuriatingly-frustrating in the complexity with which its endless chains of numbers and formulas are presented.

My professor, a genuinely nice woman who thankfully has refrained from drawing notice to me when my chin occasionally dips into my chest during particularly tiresome presentations, stands at the front of the room chirping happily about a topic in which she is clearly very interested.

“So you see,” she says, her blue eyes flashing cheerily after she’s just gone through an impossibly-dense mass of material. “All you really have to do is this. It’s so easy!”

Several moments later, once she’s caught sight of our open mouths and anguished, near-suicidal expressions, she asks with equal suniness, “I’ve lost you, haven’t I?"

We all nod yes, too exhausted to do anything but sigh hopelessly, and she assures us with total confidence, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get it a few classes from now.”

It amazes me that, for as smart as she obviously is, she fails to pick up on the fact that she’s been saying this all semester and that it still hasn’t happened.

I’ll be lucky to pass this class (and, while I say that in a joking way, I really need to).

At least there’s a computer here, though; next I have to go to a Spanish class equally bereft of human joy but without the happy diversion of the Internet.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Journals Section: January, 2002

At this time I was thirteen, Powell was twelve, and Thomas was six.

January 1, 2002
A new year. I have started a new journal, a computer journal, which I write in much more than this one, because typing is much easier than writing like this. Besides, my handwriting is not all that neat. Powell is so cruel to my brother Thomas. I fear Thomas’s life, his childhood, will be ruined by Powell. He is more cruel than his father. Mom made a New Year’s resolution of no name calling. He broke it in ten minutes.

Friday, January 25, 2002

I have not written in these pages for many weeks. I have only been writing in my computer journal, and I do not care to share the words I entered there. We have signed up for the YMCA. I just found out in depth today about what high school will be like. It has not left a pleasant impression on my weekend. I have to earn twenty-five credits. I am particularly worried about my mathematics classes. If I do not pass the Native State Functional Math Test in the spring, I will enter high school in Basic Math classes. I desperately want to be in Algebra I, so I must pass that test. The recent weeks have been an abyss of loss. Last week I received word that my grandfather Northern Branch, born in Panama in 1925, had died. Grand Pa Northern Branch: 1925-2002. Anne [my birth mother] and her siblings were all devastated. My grandmother Northern Branch, born October 10, 1927, was said to be the most composed person at the funeral. Oh, my poor grandmother.

January 27, 2002

Today we went over Grand Ma Normal Family’s. Yesterday was splendid. I got up today, and we had pancakes and sausages. I hate eating sausages with any other good food, because sausages fill me up far too fast. Soon after I got dressed. I read Thomas some Greek Myths. I have been reading him The Chronicles of Narnia. He has been listening every night, and I test him on it, but I’m not sure if he really enjoys it even if he pretends to. We have to return the books to my school library anyway. I am going to write down our page numbers. Then we went over Grand Ma’s, Thomas, Mom, and I. Powell had gone with Grand Ma, Quiet Cousin, and Rowdy Cousin and spent the night. I imagine they had quite a time. Thomas was most upset that he couldn’t go. We went over Grand Ma’s and Powell and I got into several fights, and Mom said we were punished, but I think she may have forgiven us. I hope so. I do love Sunday-night television. I can’t wait for summertime. I cannot wait for summer vacation. I wonder if we’ll go to Southern Beach again.

Opening Post

Well, I’m going to be quite honest; I’m not sure what to write about. In fact, I probably never would have started this blog had it not been for my friend Jo(e), whose own page,, has inspired me in more ways than one, and who encouraged me to commit my thoughts to paper.

Now, I keep a person journal that I would like to write in daily but in practice am only able to contribute to about two or three times a week. That being said, my great fear is that I will empty out the contents of my mind onto a computer screen, find that experience satisfying (typing is so much easier than scribbling things out longhand), and then be too lazy to record anything in my own diary later on.

The solution I have devised is that, rather than airing my beliefs and observations here and then undertaking the boring and laborious task of retelling them once again at night, I will confide in my journal first and simply transfer those musings onto the Internet afterward.
The problem is where to start. I’ve been journaling for quite some time, and I’m young enough that going back too far would take you into the reaches of my very childhood, which would, at least the very early parts of it, probably be excessively uninteresting to read about from the perspective of the person actually living it.

I’m debating how young is too young, and how much I should post in a given week. I guess what makes the most sense is to provide one month’s worth of journal entries per week, likely starting around 2002 or 2004.

That would really give me the motivation I need to finish typing those up (nothing like a deadline!) while keeping the pace of things acceptably swift for my readers (assuming, of course, that I’ll have any).

Well, we’re now in April of 2008, which means that if I start in January of 2002, I’ll have enough for seventy-two weeks, or slightly more than a year. After that, I’d just have to post current entries as soon as possible after completing them.

Yes, I think that’s how I’ll do it. Every Monday will be a Journal Entry Day, and for the rest of the week I’ll comment on things going on in the here and now.
I suppose that I should tell you a bit about myself.

Unfortunately for the more curious of you out there, I will not reveal my name or location, unless by some marvel of investigative prowess someone is able to figure out exactly who I am and e-mails me with my real name.

My pseudonym is Blackened Boy, for reasons that will later become apparent, and so I guess that you can call me BB. I am nineteen years old, and currently a college student at a major university in the American South, where I’m studying Government and International Politics. I imagine that after graduation (which is yet some years away for me), I’ll probably be a journalist, but would like eventually to become a lawyer.

My parents, David and Marie (not actual names), also live here in Southern State, along with my three siblings: Powell (aged 18), Thomas (aged 12), and Pie (my sister, aged 4). They are about an hour and a half away from my university’s campus, where they live in Mountain Town, a rural and isolated community remarkably cut-off from the extremely affluent area immediately to its east.

We are not originally from there, nor are we even from this part of the country; our Native State, where many of our extended family members still reside, is located, depending on your definition, in either the South or the Northeast. We left Native State when I was sixteen year old, took up residence in Deep South State, and then headed north for Southern State, where we have been ever since.

During our first few months in Southern State, we lived in Wealthy Town, a well-heeled locality nestled in one of the richest counties in the country. We moved to Mountain Town slightly more than two years ago, and will likely stay there for the foreseeable future.

A few notes: I was raised by my father and step-mother, who got together with my father when I was three years old and who has served as our caretaker since that time. My brother Powell and I regard her as our full and true parent, and, whenever my birth-mother is mentioned, she will be called Anne.

You will, of course, read about all of this through the Journal Section of the blog, and you can follow the journey as I did, seeing what came before and, eventually, what’s coming ahead.
I do not yet own a digital camera, but will be receiving one for my (uncomfortably close) upcoming birthday, and so will add pictures as soon as possible. I’m counting on my friend Jo(e) to teach me how to navigate the intricacies of Flickr, which, as things stand now, I would be completely incapable of operating.

It is now nearly mid-April, and here at Major University classes are getting ready to let out. Between procuring housing for next year, studying away that I might pass my finals, and working on the awful backlog of homework I’ve foolishly allowed to pile up, I may be at first pressed for time to write.

This summer, though, once courses at Major University have concluded, I will be able to contribute a bit more freely.

I have to go now, though, as there’s much to do!

I’ll post the first entry for the Journals Section today.

Thank you!