Monday, June 23, 2008

Journals Section: October, 2002

Native State October

October 4, 2002
These last few days have been very frightening. Someone shot and killed two people Monday night in Rich County, which is near Marble City. Then, yesterday, whoever it was rode around randomly shooting, and they killed three people. So that’s five people dead. One of them, a woman, was only twenty-five years old. The first person that was shot at, the bullet missed. Whoever it was killed the people in very public places. And here’s what’s really frightening: whoever did it hasn’t been caught yet. Yesterday in school our principal came over the announcements to tell us that something had happened in Marble City and that as “a precautionary measure” all after-school activities would be canceled. He told us that school would be dismissing at usual time but that when it did that we should leave campus as quickly as possible. The way that he first presented the situation to us was very stupid I think, as he said “Marble City” rather than Rich County. Of course, everyone completely lost themselves, thinking that it was the terrorists that had done something. Things were clarified for us later. Today when we went to school there was talk about the killings. Football Boy even ducked on the way to school today when he thought that he saw a man begin to open his door. Football Boy is a football player; he is tough. That is why this surprised and even humored me. Not that it’s really all that funny. Nothing that could cause so much terror and grief and death as this is causing could be funny. Why, both yesterday and today I’ve run from white trucks on the way home. Although, as the police haven’t caught them yet, they’re still out there, and they’ve probably switched cars. As far as I know there haven’t been any more killings today. I’m sure that if there had been that it would be all over the news. I would like to think that this is over but I severely doubt it. I don’t know where or when the killer(s) will strike again, but something tells me that this isn’t over yet. I just hope that the police catch whoever is responsible and that they catch them soon. I won’t really feel safe again until they are caught. Why? I can’t imagine why someone would do something like this. There was a protest today at my high school, Beautiful Town High School. It all started when our school’s administration decided to cancel the pep rally due to “inclement weather;” it was drizzling outside. The students were very unhappy about this, and everyone said that something was going to happen. Well, at one o’clock (oh, by the way, they said that this event would happen at one o’clock) about one hundred or more students, mostly Seniors, walked out of class, despite the protest of their teachers, and held their own pep rally. It made me proud to know that they had done this specifically against the wishes of the administration. They were protesting like adults do, and I didn’t join them because I thought that a pep rally wasn’t a good enough reason to get suspended, which, as word has it, many of the protestors were. It’s just Dad and I here tonight. Mom, Powell, and Thomas are in Hick State. Dad has ordered sushi and rented a movie. So this is how I will spend my Friday night. I had wanted to go to our game against Rival High School, but my father would’ve had to drop me off, and he was at work. Oh, well; there will be other football games. That’s what I told him, as he was truly sorry about not being able to take me. I got my interim today.
Algebra I: B-
Health I: A-
Advanced English I: A
Government I: A

I was told that my GPA would be about 3.7.

October 7, 2002
My long hair has been threatened once again. With the family portrait my mother wants my hair to be cut. I’ve tried to avoid this. My father has made a slight concession. He has agreed to try to style my hair to make it look good for the portrait. I’ll go along with any stupid style that he thinks up so long as I don’t have to cut my hair. My bangs are so long that I can lick them now. They’ve been growing for very long. I remember the last time that Mom went on one of her styling rampages and I lost four inches of hair last May. I don’t want it to happen again. On a much more significant and serious note, a boy, a thirteen-year-old boy, was shot today in Black People County. The boy was getting out of his car and was shot in the chest. The poor boy was rushed to the hospital by his aunt, and he went through surgery today. Everyone is furious that this psychotic murderer would attack a child. It angers me to imagine the coward crouching in a bush just waiting. To imagine him purposely trying to kill an innocent child. Even the chief of police was crying on television. This makes: five killings in Native State, one killing in Marble City, one attempted murder in Southern State, one attempted murder in Native State, another attempted murder in Native State, and one attempted murder in Marble City. Six dead, four surviving, ten events in all. This is ridiculous. We’ve become prisoners in our own community. This morning when I got a drink of water I ducked away from the window. We’re all so frightened. The police patrol our high school, which is the largest in the county. We’ve been told to use the interior of the building as much as possible. We run as we make our way to the portables and to our buses. Our high school, our state, has become a giant shooting range. It has become some kind of morbid ritual of bravery to walk through the open grounds. I just want to stay home tomorrow. I just wish that they would close the schools, but I’ll probably go if the schools are open. I’m so frightened. I’m just so frightened. And now I just feel so many emotions. Compassion for the victims, particularly for that boy. I feel pity for my peers and I, for we are all suffering. Dad is considering letting us stay home tomorrow. I don’t know if I will anyway, but I may. I probably won’t. The newspeople tell us to be vigilant, but that’s impossible as none of the victims have seen their shooter.

October 12, 2002
Idiot Cousin arrived here yesterday evening. It had been lightly raining outside before she came, and I was playing street hockey with Second Twin, Lacrosse Boy, Canadian Boy, and First Twin. When it began raining heavier I took shelter in the garage, but Powell stayed outside and managed to get himself soaked. After Idiot Cousin arrived here things actually got worse. Not due to Idiot Cousin, but of course due to the parents. We had to come in because of the rain. We resisted, and of course we were yelled at for arguing. When Dad saw Powell, everything was fuck this, fuck that. “Don’t you have any fucking sense?” Powell was made to change. We weren’t permitted to go out at all last night and we were all sent to bed before midnight. What could have been a magnificent Friday night was effectively ruined. Today was a gray Saturday. When I looked out of my bedroom window I couldn’t see the mountains. This seemed to me a terrible shame, as on sunny mornings the landscape, the sky, everything is breathtakingly beautiful. The sky shimmers with pure white clouds, deep blue expanses, lightly colored, and the magnificent Old Mountains. It barely rained at all today, but quite naturally started to rain this evening when we wanted to go outside. Idiot Cousin, Aunt Ostentatious, Mom, and Powell all went to the mall earlier today. When they returned it became quite evident that Idiot Cousin and her mother had had an argument of some sort. My mother, laughing, dragged Idiot Cousin up the stairs and into her room. Idiot Cousin resisted. I would have, too. Idiot Cousin is one person who will never tolerate injustice from her parents, and if I had been in Idiot Cousin’s position I also would have fought. My mother makes enough people miserable with her tyranny and injustice. She has no right to force that unto any other people. One good thing that did happen today was that I didn’t have to get a haircut for our family portrait. My father had me bring a chair into my parents’ bathroom and he began blow-drying and combing and applying gel and hairspray, and when he finished I had a perfectly hideous hair-do. We got the pictures taken and I went home and quickly combed my hair back to the way that I usually comb it. Earlier in the day, Idiot Cousin, Powell, Lanky Girl, Girl-I-Don’t-Remember, and I all walked to Subway. Their food is absolutely delicious. Anyway, we still don’t know whether or not Idiot Cousin will spend the night. When I complained about not being able to go outside my father told me to shut the fuck up and sent me to my room. I’ve become convinced that the only way to deal with them is to channel them out. If I paid too much attention to what they say I’d just get so mad that I’d speak my mind one day and probably come to considerable harm. I’ve had it wrong for quite a while. The trick isn’t to listen. The trick is not to listen, because no matter what the tyrannies and injustice will continue. So, knowing that it really won’t make a difference whether you’re overly good, why let what they do bother you? In fact, I’ve actually found that when you’re consistently docile for a long period of time, they begin looking for ways to discredit you. It’s true. It’s all a precarious balancing act. You can’t be too argumentative or you’ll get hurt, you have to be argumentative enough to let them know you won’t tolerate them, and you have to be docile enough to keep them at bay, but not so docile as to make them apprehensive or bored.

October 17, 2002
Oh, today was a glorious day! I’m not sure if I already wrote this, but I have entered the candidacy for President of the Freshman Class. I came to school today with my speech prepared (and I nearly lost it). I got onto the bus with Football Boy and told him about my tee-shirt idea to raise money for the Freshman Class. It involves the owl (our school mascot) flying above in the air clutching a rope in its claws. The rope branches out and the ropes are bound around the necks of the five other mascots of the Beautiful County high schools. He thought that it was a good idea, but said that the football tee-shirts were too similar. Before we go to first mod, we are able to stay in the lobby and talk with friends. Preppie Girl (known as “Preppy with an ‘i’ ‘e’”) came up to me angrily and asked why I wasn’t dressed up. I asked, “Were we supposed to?” and she told me, rather angrily, “Uh, yeah.” I quite panicked, and began looking for other candidates (by the way, Preppie is another candidate for President). I found my friend, Pretty Girl, who is running for Historian, and I asked her if we were, as she also was dressed rather nicely for the occasion. She said no, and that her mom had made her dress that way. I was relieved. I first mod (which is Health) I asked my friends, Boys-I-Have-Now-Forgotten, if I had underdressed for the occasion. They said no, I hadn’t. I told Pretty Girl about what Preppie had said, and Pretty Girl said, “She just gets like that sometimes.” I went through that class, we all went through that class, listening to Corporal Police Officer talking about alcohol and its consequences. He spoke more about the law than about anything else. Then we got to wear the goggles that I have wanted to try on. They are supposed to simulate alcoholic intoxication. I was convinced that I would be able to concentrate enough to walk the line, but really I couldn’t. The line, which was straight, seemed rounded, and when I tried to walk it I found myself losing my balance. In second mod, which is Algebra I, I told everyone to vote for me. My friend Outcast Jock Boy told me that he didn’t think that I would win the election. We worked on graphs for the entire mod, and I talked with others about the election and just things in general. I’m afraid that I was a bit hyper this morning. Anyway, toward the end of the mod I saw my friend Short Blonde Boy, who is trying to grow his hair out long (like me, he says) shaking his hair. His bangs haven’t quite gotten to his nose yet, whereas mine, when I pull them down, touch my upper lip. I said, “Look, I can do that really good.” So I shook my hair, and my bangs fell into my face and the rest of my hair puffed out wildly. I was told that I looked a bit like a mushroom with my hair like that. So I quickly brought my hair back under control. Next mod, after telling everyone to vote for me, I showed some of my friends the mushroom trick, and they all loved it. Then, we continued to watch the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird.” We’ve already read the book, which is truly a remarkable work. The movie was terrible. Really, I don’t see why it won over such rave reviews. The child who plays Dill is absolutely hideous, and doesn’t look a thing like the physical description given in the book. Scout looks nothing like I imagined her, Jem looks different, and many important parts of the book are left out, as well as some events are switched around. For example, Aunt Alexandra doesn’t even make an appearance, neither does Dill’s Aunt Rachel. Stephanie Crawford takes her place. Also, Miss Maudie Atkinson’s house doesn’t even burn down, and the actress who plays Mayella Ewell is terrible. The bell rang and we went to lunch. I told some of my friends that I was running and they helped to spread the word. Also, I did the mushroom thing, and then cleared my bangs out of my eyes. They all laughed and I asked if the back of my hair was sticking up, because it’s become quite long again, and it had been sticking up badly this morning. Football Boy said that I should borrow some hairspray from someone or go in the bathroom and fix my hair. Then, he said, “Or, if you want, I have a pair of scissors.” He began to go into how he cuts his brother Duckface’s hair, but how he can only do one kind of haircut: a buzz cut. I would never do that. I’ve tried a new style, what a lot of boys are doing, combing my hair straight down on all sides. My bangs, without being pulled, hang to my nose. They’re long enough that to keep them out of my face as I bend over to write this, I can put them under this diary. I definitely don’t want to cut them. I’ll never quite forget the last time that I lost a lot of hair in a haircut. It was May of 2002. My mother took me to get a trim, which I did not want. Not only can I not stand having short hair, my long hair has become a golden statement of my independence and defiance to oppression. Plus, I just like having long hair. Anyway, after lunch, we watched more of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Pretty Girl (I love her last name) confided to me that she was nervous. She said, “I am like so freaking out right now.” I wasn’t really that nervous in the classroom. It wasn’t until I got into the auditorium that I really became nervous. Dumb Jock Boy was sitting next to me, as was Dopey Girl. Dumb Jock Boy is a football player notorious for giving what everyone calls “cheesecakes.” In my mind this practice is vulgar and cruel. It involves holding a person down while another person’s bare butt is put in their face. Absolutely disgusting. Anyway, Dopey Girl was on my right. She seemed very nice. She is the daughter of one of my mother’s colleagues. For some reason people call her Dopes. First, the candidates for Historian went up. Quite naturally, I am going to vote for Pretty Girl. Then, the candidates for Treasurer (I believe) went up. I’m not really sure who I’m going to vote for for that office. I’m not exactly sure whom I’ll be voting for for Secretary either. I know that I’ll probably be voting for a boy named Popular Hispanic Boy for Vice President. His speech was very hard to understand, although I caught something about “the many colors of Beautiful Town.” Anyway, I’ll probably vote for myself for President, although Preppie is an excellent candidate. Dumb Jock Boy’s speech was so na├»ve, so innocent and childlike. He actually started off by telling everyone that he enjoyed watching sports; it was surprisingly charming for so cruel of a person. Anyway, when I went up, I was surprised by the loud clapping and cheering. I began by saying that I wasn’t running for recognition or popularity. I also said that I thought that I would be a good leader for the Freshman Class of 2006. I commented on the fact that the Freshman Class of 2006 is in debt. I asked if anyone in the auditorium wanted changes, and the crowd roared with yelling and cheers. I told them to raise their hands, but people just kept yelling out at random. So, I finally just said never mind, but that if I were elected that I would always take suggestions and ideas, because, after all, I was representing the Freshman Class. I then said, “Finally, I ask of you not to vote for your friends and popular people, ‘cause that’s not me.” I got tons of laughter and applause, and when I came back, all of the other presidential candidates commented that I had done a great job. Everyone in my Government class complimented me and many promised a vote. On the bus and in other places, I had people approach me asking if I’d heard them or if I’d seen them. When I visited Football Boy’s house earlier this evening, he described it as “a standing ovation.”

October 23, 2002
This entire situation is really becoming surreal. We were kept home from school today, and here’s the thing: Beautiful County schools weren’t even closed. The sniper has shot thirteen people and killed ten now, according to police and the media. It’s all mostly been in the Marble City area, but a day or so ago whoever is doing this drove all the way through Southern State, about 105 miles, going south even of Confederate City, the state capital. Anyway, Dad’s theory is that we are only twenty-five miles away from one of the shootings, and therefore if the sniper would drive all the way through Southern State that he would also have no problem going just a little bit north to Beautiful County. So, we were kept out of school today, even though Mom wanted us all to go. It makes me a little angry that she wasn’t more concerned, but oh well. I wouldn’t have kept myself home either. Now, whether or not I would have allowed my own children to go to school is a different matter entirely. He’s (he being the sniper) said that he wants ten million dollars or else he’ll start shooting children. I’m actually a bit frightened about going to school tomorrow, but I’m confident that as long as I’m in the building that I’ll be safe. It’s walking to and from the bus and portables that really frightens me. There’s been a situation in Russia today that really hasn’t improved the recent wave of anti-Russian sentiment in my home. In Moscow today, at a theater, some armed gunman entered and are holding the place hostage. They’ve been letting children and Muslims go; they’re staging the entire hostage situation to protest Russia’s war against Chechnya, a breakaway republic on Russia’s southern border with Georgia. There was gruesome footage of a Chechen woman covered in blood, another falling over as she weeps, the ravaged capital of Chechnya, Grozny, which has been bombed to the point of destruction. Also, a Russian helicopter, in flames, was shown going down over Grozny, Chechnya, Rossiskaya Federatsiya, after being bomb attacked by Chechen rebels. Over one hundred Russian soldiers died in the attack. Also, about a week ago in Moskva, pardon me, I shall use the Americanism, Moscow, the Muscovite governor was assassinated at a shopping center. When my father found out about Chechnya, he said, “Come on, BB, there’s a civil war going on in Russia!” Oh! Also, I’ve learned my Russian cursive: [Russian alphabet, upper and lower case letters, in cursive]

October 25, 2002
Mom has announced wonderful news! She’s pregnant! Oh! It’s still hard to believe, it’s so wonderful! She’s going to have another baby! If it’s a girl, Mom and Dad have decided on the name “Pie,” which I hated at first but now which I love. Pie is a unique name. Oh, I hope that they have a daughter! Of course, if it were a boy, I’d still be happy, but there’s already three of us, so I hope it’s a girl. Until someone finds out otherwise, I’ve decided to assume that my parents are having a daughter. They’ve made the decision to find out the sex of the child as soon as possible. Oh, I wonder what she’ll be like? I wonder what she’ll be like when she’s my age? I realized with a shock earlier tonight that the year will be 2017 when Pie’s fourteen years old. 2017! That year seems so distant! I’ll be like twenty-nine in 2017. She’ll be twenty in 2023, whereas I’ll be twenty in 2008. When she’s twenty, I’ll be thirty-five. I wonder where I’ll be in 2017? and in 2023? Oh, I just can’t wait!

Oh my gosh. Pie will be the first Our Family to be born into the 21st Century!

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