Sunday, February 1, 2009

Journals Section: March, 2003

March 1, 2003

Well, we have said that this is just more Iraqi deception. I believe that it is a hopeful sign of Iraqi cooperation. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has made the point that Saddam Hussein would not be doing this “if not for the army on his doorstep.” Well, duh. But he’s still disarming. Tony Blair is so stupid. Doesn’t he see what he’s doing? He’s ruining his political career. He’ll never get reelected in Britain because it will always be remembered that he put the interests of a foreign power over those of his own people. Personally, I think that the Queen should have more power in the United Kingdom. They have a constitutional monarchy. This is good. The French briefly had one of these after the start of their revolution. A surprise came yesterday: Powell, Thomas, and I went sledding with Rowdy Cousin and Uncle Mustache. We haven’t seen Uncle Mustache for months.


This is because he went to Gambling City in December without giving notice to his wife, my Sweet Aunt. The police were called and my hysterical aunt went on television pleading for my uncle’s safe return. As it turned out, he had a huge gambling problem, and he returned in disgrace. However, my aunt, the devoted (and I mean very devoted) wife and mother, forgave him.

March 2, 2003

It was a bit of a shock to know that he would be taking us; the world is not so forgiving as my Sweet Aunt. I’ll admit that I went partly out of curiosity. Although, quite naturally, there was no discussion of his flight. Well, some good things are happening: our Terror Alert has been lowered to Yellow (Elevated) once more. This is a good sign. I suppose that all of that duct tape wasn’t really necessary after all. That is unless we invade Iraq. Then I imagine that there will be quite a few terrorist attacks against us, and a decided increase in terrorism worldwide. I feel sorry for the British. Their Prime Minister is bringing them needlessly into the path of hate and violence by involving their nation with this war and associating them with the United States. Not to say that America really is a bad country, but that is how we are widely perceived to be throughout the Arab world. And, I believe, as do many others, that this particular war is highly unjust, and so American allies participating in it will likely be labeled similarly. The invasion will probably come soon. Now, back to our sledding. It was very fun. I went up to the very top of the hill again, just as I had on Christmas. It wasn’t quite so scary as it had been—at first. When we first embarked on the hill Friday afternoon (closer to evening) I thought that it wouldn’t be as frightening because we had daylight on our side. I was wrong. Now, with that precious daylight, you could see the homes in our community, Stonebridge Overlook. As Stonebridge Overlook is itself on a large hill, high up, I thought that I, too, must be high up. Added to this was that the ice on the hill had created hard bumps in the snow, which hurt to go over. Unequivocally more terrifying was turning backwards en route down the hill, after not having gone too far down said hill. I was at gravity’s mercy, sliding helplessly down the hill, over the perilous ice, and absolutely clueless as to what might lie behind me, what, in my downward plunge (or who, for that matter) I might slam into. I unexpectedly mounted a large irregular bump in the hill, a natural ramp, climbing it with the aggressive force that had caused me to spiral so quickly down the hill, and, soaring off of it, tossed into the air on a whim. My uncle stood by, laughing hysterically as I landed with a satisfying bump, and continued, as if without interruption, on my way down. I was, at this point, slowly below the half point of the hill, or so I perceived it. I went down the hill, actually kicking back and relaxing for some time, before I hit another irregularity. With a soft bump I was over the irregularity and down it, then up to a sort of snowy plateau. On this “plateau,” if you will, I stopped just inches from going down a huge slope that would have taken me to a stop just before the street. I was rather proud of myself; during the course of this huge descent, I had managed to fall off of the sled twice without ever stopping it. And I don’t mean that I paused and got back on. I mean that I held on, or just barely grabbed the sled in time, as it sped down the hill. It was awesome. Unfortunately, we had to go home early. This was for Rowdy Cousin. You see, he, well, he had to use the bathroom, and he had pains, a lot. I thought (as did my brothers and uncle) that this was hilarious, although Rowdy Cousin didn’t seem the least bit sensitive about it. Emotionally, that is, but physically…well, that’s a different story. We drove straight to our house, with Uncle Mustache intending to drop us off and then go home to his and Sweet Aunt’s house. Rowdy Cousin, however, couldn’t hold it that long. He burst into our first-floor bathroom with raging diarrhea. We sat in the living room laughing about it as Rowdy Cousin called for another pair of underwear. Uncle Mustache said that Rowdy Cousin could go home without underwear, though, and then change clothing at home. Rowdy Cousin went home, then we received a telephone call from his home saying that his parents had granted him permission to spend the night. So Rowdy Cousin came over. We watched a funny movie. Everyone went to bed surprisingly early, though. I hate doing that on weekends; I feel as if it is a waste. Mom made me go to bed before eleven o’clock. I wasn’t very happy about it; eleven o’clock for me on weekends is unusually early. As a matter of fact, I went to bed at nearly three o’clock on Sunday morning (so this morning). Saturday was relatively routine, despite a few schedule changes. We woke, as always, before ten o’clock. We cleaned our rooms. For me, this means taking all clothing (of which there is almost always a little) off of the floor. I put the clothing on the bed. Then I put the paper and portable CD carrier, which is clunky and looks like a lunch box, on the bed. I pick up the chair in front of my computer and put it on the bed. Then I get my slippers. There is a puzzle of the United States (continental/contiguous) that resides on my floor.

March 6, 2003

Much has happened lately, but I haven’t had a chance to write about it. Principally, Burned Boy’s tragic situation is what I have been most lax about. Lax by not writing about such an important thing at all. You see, he and his little brother (who attended Beautiful Town Middle School) were apparently playing in their garage. The garage was filled with highly-flammable materials. Now, there have been many rumors about the cause of what happened next, ranging from lawnmowers to fireworks, but for all that anyone knows, Burned Boy’s garage exploded with both he and his younger sibling inside. A friend of mine who was close with the family and walked through the ruins of the garage after the event said to me that it had been an explosion, describing the garage as “gone.” Burned Boy’s brother was completely engulfed in flames; they pervaded throughout his entire body. Burned Boy tried to throw him into the snow and caught on fire. He has third-degree burns over fifty percent of his body, and namely the upper half. He was flown to shock trauma, where he and his brother are still. Burned Boy has already undergone surgery so that a skin-graft can be done. It’s very sad. At a Homeroom Representative meeting yesterday, our president (against whom I ran during my euphoric presidential campaign) suggested that we raise money for Burned Boy’s family, because they can’t afford the numerous surgeries and resulting medical expenses, nor will their insurance cover these costs. So, our class (the Class of 2006) has decided to step in. We will be collecting donations for Burned Boy’s family. Today had good points and bad points. One of the bad things is that I haven’t received an e-mail from Cool Cousin in quite some time. Gym was good. We started volleyball, which isn’t that bad. In fact, I like it better than floor hockey, because I don’t have to exhaust myself. I made a successful defense, and, after one blunder, a fairly good serve. Huge Boy accidentally hit a girl in the head with a volleyball. It was so funny. He bumped it, and it went very high. I watched as it sailed nearly to the roof, and came down swiftly, landing directly on top of the head of a girl preparing to serve. It was enormously funny, as it didn’t hit her in the side of her head, but directly on top. The entire gym went “Ooh!” It was like a comedy movie. Huge Boy, the football player, covered his mouth, smiled, and laughed. He tried not to, and his smile was almost (or maybe it was) apologetic. None of us were being mean about it. Homeroom was a bit altered, as for the second day in a row we’ve had a substitute. That’s because Mrs. 9th Grade Homeroom Teacher, or, I should say, Ms. 9th Grade Homeroom Teacher, is having surgery on her hand. In second mod we fathomed over and tried to solve the complexities of some algebraic problem, which I believe that I now understand. Third mod was a bit less happy. You see, Pretty Girl said (whether in earnest or in actuality) that she pitied me. I took offense, although she sounded like she had been joking. I later aid to her, “Well, Pretty Girl, why don’t you say something about how bad you feel for me that way you can make yourself feel morally better?” Or something like that. She didn’t answer. Fourth mod was happy. The boy whom I usually clash with said nothing to me, and it was generally fun and funny. Although, something bad did happen; a bee got in. From whence it came I know not, although I imagine from somewhere in the building, as it is winter time. We listened to the old radio station, Mix 106.5 that our teacher, ironically enough, Ms. Young, listens to. During this time we worked. I was inquiring as to something concerning our work, and I inquired of my fellow classmates. As I bent over the paper to read it, one of the boys at my table said jokingly, “Maybe if you cut your hair you could read it.” My bangs indeed were hanging quite far down over my face. I sat, well, stood upright and shook my hair out of my face as we all shared a laugh. On the bus ride home something happened that made me quite happy indeed. There is a boy named Bully Boy (who is, although this is irrelevant, African-American; I only mention it to better describe him) who troubles many people on the bus. He is a Sophomore but the size of a Freshman. He is very hostile. He goes beyond defensive. He agitates and instigates and pushes his luck to the very limit to establish his superiority (which, through physical threats inflated by high talk, he had partially been able to do). Today on the bus going home, a rather large Freshman boy was sitting a few seats behind Bully Boy and the boy who sucks up to Bully Boy because of bullying. The second boy mentioned, the one who sucks up to Bully Boy, is really pathetic to watch. He dresses cool and tries to act cool, and indeed he has accumulated friends and does make fun of people; he did this to me once. However, he is quite obviously terrorized by Bully Boy, and caters to Bully Boy’s fancies. I do not mean that he serves him, but he tolerates Bully Boy’s rudeness. Well, the Freshman boy who was some space behind Bully Boy was staring blankly ahead, and by chance caught Bully Boy’s gaze. “What are you looking at?” Bully Boy asked, making use of the tired and melodramatic question. “Nothing,” the boy answered. “Don’t look at me,” Bully Boy said. In defiance of this (and, understandably so, as someone had to put Bully Boy in his place) order, the boy opened his eyes wide and leaned forward. “Okay,” Bully Boy said. “I’ll punch you in the face when we get off [of] the bus.” Can you believe that!?! People shouldn’t be punished for exercising their freedom of speech. If anyone thinks that they are being shown any disrespect, they must retaliate physically to affirm their status. It’s reminiscent of animal domination. No, that’s what it is. Today’s teenagers think on a level of territorial animals, or, many teenagers, not all. Anyway, nothing really happened. I was hoping that the boy would punch Bully Boy square in the face. Don’t think me a hypocrite; in the event that peace is threatened and peaceful terms can’t restore and protect it, physical defensive or preliminary measures may be acceptable. In this case, a strike on Bully Boy would be beneficial in reducing his hostilities against others. As the Freshman boy was walking by, Bully Boy briefly pushed him. The boy turned around as if to hit Bully Boy, but then got off of the bus. I don’t know why Bully Boy is so daring and confident (more along the lines of stupidity really); the Freshman boy is roughly twice his size. However, even though nothing happened today, tomorrow promises possible conflict. Another rapidly-advancing conflict is our perpetual invasion of Iraq. It is now thought to happen within days. Although I haven’t formerly supported this war, I am growing weary of all the tension preceding our war. This seems, I think, different than Afghanistan. When we invaded Afghanistan, there were no weapons of mass destruction involved, at least not on the side of the enemy. I am now just waiting for the war with Iraq to begin and end, with a second democratic government installed in a foreign land by the United States. These wars of ours, assuming that we will soon invade Iraq (and that assumption is very realistic), seem to be getting progressively more difficult. Afghanistan was easy. Iraq will be a bit more difficult. North Korea will be more difficult than Iraq. Russia, Japan, China, and South Korea have been listed as nations threatened by North Korea. Then there’s us.

March 8, 2003

Ten days. Nine, now, actually. That’s our deadline for Iraqi compliance and complete disarmament before we invade on March 17th. I imagine that the Iraqis will have to admit to having all sorts of weapons of mass destruction in order to get us to back off. Some people believe that there will be a coup against Hussein to prevent the war, which would almost guarantee his ouster, a decision by the rest of the government, an assassination or an assassination attempt. I wonder if anyone could assassinate Saddam Hussein? I certainly don’t know the answer to that question. I heard security around him is very tight, and he suffers from extreme and severe paranoia. Actually, that’s probably a major contributing factor to why he does have such heavy security. Nine days from now we will, in all probability, invade Iraq. I’ve been keeping the strenuous count, and that will be two countries that we’ve successfully invaded in the 21st Century. The 20th Century was one of warfare and death, and just a year into the 21st Century we were brought into another conflict, one that we’ve extended for two years. The time before I woke up (partially) to the world of other countries, the world beyond America, seems so distant and at the same time so near. It seems far away and long ago, but also a recent realization. I never thought too much about the world back then, just about my neighborhood and my own life. Back in 1999, the most historical thing I’d seen was the 2000 Election, which I knew was something very important. I honestly never thought that the United States would ever go to war within my lifetime. I imagined what it would be like, but never dreamed that it would actually happen, if we were attacked. All in all, I’d say that when I left the house on September 11, 2001, I was more knowledgeable (although slightly) than I had been two years prior to that. You know what’s funny? I have absolutely no memory of walking to school that day. I suppose that the events that occurred, beginning at 8:46a.m., pushed such a minor monotony out of my memory. I am now quite aware (or at least vastly more so than I was two years ago) of what is going on in the world. I really have to be with the war. Missing the right newscast could cost you your life, what with the constant threat of chemical, nuclear, biological, radiological, or other attack. No more about the war right now; it’s depressing. A pleasant and delightful surprise awaited me yesterday afternoon when I got home from school. I called my father. He told me that Mom had a surprise for us. “She didn’t get another cat, did she?” I asked. “No,” my father answered. I was hoping that he hadn’t bought more tickets to sporting events; we’re going to a state basketball game next Saturday. Although I’m not very fond of watching basketball (I’d rather play it than sit out) I think that it will be fun. Dad refused to tell me what the surprise was, but I would soon find out. My mother arrived home, announced by the opening garage door that lifted to admit her car. I opened the door from the house to the garage, seeing someone that I didn’t at first recognize. I saw a girl or a woman with blonde hair. It soon became manifest that this was my cousin, Blonde Cousin. I was exuberant. I practically, no, literally, jumped for joy, jumping onto my mother’s car in a pretense of humping. I was absolutely ecstatic, elated, joyous to see her again, as it had been very long since we last saw each other, since about Christmas.

March 10, 2003

One year ago today, our kid country was still reeling from the Gorgan and Other Middle Revolutions, which had then passed only two days prior to the tenth. I can’t believe that was a year ago. I also can’t believe we actually did all that. Let’s see here, now about this weekend; on Saturday night we all went to the mall and saw a new movie with Queen Latifah in it. Her father is an incredibly nice man (Powell and I were introduced to him once through our birthmother); I liked him very much and his daughter seems equally nice from her movies. I would love to meet her, partly because of the immense career opportunity it would present, but not just because of that; she seems like a genuinely nice person. If my mother, my birth-mother, can ever become reasonably stable, I will ask her introduce me.

March 12, 2003

Elizabeth Smart is alive! That’s the headline screaming at people around the world right now. Elizabeth Smart is alive! It’s incredible! It’s probably not even possible! But she’s alive! I’m so happy. During the summer I remember reading about her abduction the day after it occurred. Our entire nation is elated. I don’t even know this girl and I’m almost to the point of tears! I remember Powell telling me about it, and I wasn’t sure if I could believe it. But it’s true! Thank God! I prayed for her, and I’m sure that millions of people prayed for her, and now she’s home safe. Thank God. This has just been a happy week for me. The crumbling building that symbolized my social standing has miraculously stabilized itself, through the intervention of God (I believe). Other possible examples of Divine Intervention include what happened in Algebra yesterday just in time to coincide with the miraculous singing changes I have somehow undergone since Saturday night. This chance event in Algebra may lead to cool things. We were talking about singing during class and I asked my friend Ugly Girl if she ever sang. She said yes. I’ll go into detail later, but rest assured that the whole situation is very exciting. Oh, I love God.

March 15, 2003

I can’t believe that it’s already mid-March. I absolutely must say, now, about what happened in Algebra. There is a girl who I know named Ugly Girl. Ugly Girl is a Freshman girl who is in the popular clique. Ugly Girl is good friends with a girl named Mean Girl. Mean Girl is supposed to be a Sophomore, but I assume that she failed last year because she is officially a member of the Freshman Class, not the Sophomore Class.

March 17, 2003

And so the world was sentenced to death. I hate to break the consistency, but something has come up. Our president has doomed the world. You see, today was to be the deadline for Iraq’s complete disarmament. We pushed the deadline ahead to try to get United Nations approval, authorization, and backing for our war. However, it has become starkly clear that the United Nations will not condone or support our war, thanks mostly to the now infamous efforts led by France and Germany. President Bush, in addition to his ultimatum to Iraq, delivered a surprise ultimatum to the United Nations today to authorize his war or watch as the United States carried out his invasion anyway. This has, in the minds of many, doomed the U.N. It has caused a huge rift between Eastern European nations and “Old Europe.” President Jacques Chirac enraged me (and, I’m sure, the entire Slavic world) when he said that Slavic countries rushing to support the United States were “misbehaving.” He actually had the nerve and arrogance to shake his cane at some Slavic leaders. He wouldn’t have dared do that to a Western European. He spoke to the Slavs horrifically, demeaning all Slavic nations by speaking to their highest leaders as if they were his inferiors, as if they were small children! It’s so disrespectful that it borders on racism. I now understand why the French anger so many. They show absolutely no respect to us, despite the fact that they owe their independence to us. Although, if you want to be strictly historical, we may never have defeated the British without French aid. Anyway, President Bush has now withdrawn from essentially all United Nations negotiations. All diplomats and media staff have been ordered to vacate the nation by five o’clock. President Bush is giving an emergency address to the nation at eight o’clock, which, I believe, is approximately one hour from now. We are supposed to invade Iraq within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Most believe that we will invade tonight or early tomorrow. I don’t know if I want it tonight or not. I might not want it at all. I thought I wanted the invasion, but I should think. I suppose that it’s alright as long as we don’t harm civilians. However, when I first got home, and particularly at dinner, I was actually a bit depressed about the war. I hope that we will successfully liberate the Iraqi civilians. With my luck, they’ll do it in school tomorrow. That would be agony. Our administration would down-play the entire thing. They would barely tell us anything. I don’t know why they think they’re averting distractions by doing this. By refusing to release information they spark fears and rumors.

Around 9:44p.m.
Forty-eight hours. That is the deadline that I heard, that the world heard President Bush give.

March 19, 2003
Raid sirens have now been heard in Baghdad. It is now just before ten o’clock in the evening. President Bush is scheduled to address the nation at 10:15p.m., something that he said he’d do only if war began. From what we know, it is beginning on a relatively small scale. Small by United States standards, that is, although devastating for the Iraqis. We are supposed to carry out two missile raid attacks on leadership targets in Baghdad tonight. This is different than in 1991; now we’re going straight for their capital. My Uncle Southern Accent, who lives in Country Music City, Country Music State (he is the father of my favorite cousins, Annoyingly Perfect and Innocent) thinks that the war will be over in a matter of days. I do not think that he overestimates our strength, nor do I think that he underestimates Iraqi resistance. However, truly I do not believe that we can execute this war and take over an entire nation in a matter of days. Even though we are vastly more powerful than Iraq, I seriously doubt my uncle’s prediction to be true. I still believe that it is indisputable that we will win. This war was not on my mind today as much as it was Monday, although it was definitely on my mind. I wonder if we’ll go to Code Red? Another thing that I’ve been wondering is whether a Code Red Terror Alert will get us out of school. The President should be on television now.

March 21, 2003

The air raids were carried out. Everyone was surprised, as the world had expected an unholy, enormous air strike followed by a massive land invasion. It is not known if Saddam Hussein is alive or dead, but the most popular rumor is that he is injured. Iraq responded, firing twelve non-chemical weapons into Kuwait. An Iraqi Cessna plane crossed over the border into Kuwaiti airspace, headed for an American military base. We shot it down. I then remember hearing that it may have been carrying chemical weapons. The Iraqis have already started burning oil fields. Saddam Hussein promised, on television (I was even watching the interview), that he wouldn’t do this. The Iraqis then launched, today, a Scud missile into Kuwait, which we intercepted by Patriot missiles before it could successfully hit a target. Today (whether in response to that or not, I do not know) we dropped a MOAB (Mother of All Bombs, and, besides nuclear weapons, our largest) on Baghdad, leveling one of Saddam’s palaces and several government buildings. The explosion was enormous, as we saw on the television. It’s still almost impossible to think, to believe that this is happening. We have captured several Iraqi cities south of Baghdad. We met “light resistance” in some places, but many reports told of American forces being greeted with cheers, tears, and hugs. For the first time I have felt joy for this war, because I am so happy for the Iraqi people. I was reminded of the incredible happiness, bordering on euphoric, that I felt for the Afghan people when we invaded Afghanistan. All of those people are finally liberated, finally free from such a long and harsh imprisonment of oppressive terror. I looked back and saw that on March 21, 2002, I was excited about some upcoming party that we were having. Just the day before I had written about the possibility of war with Iraq, but, on the 21st, it doesn’t enter my journal entry. I sincerely wonder where I and the world will be one year from now. This seems to me an unfathomable mystery. I can’t wait to look back and answer all of my questions. So, BlackenedBoy of the future, what secrets do you have to tell? And do tell, because I want to know. Yes, I’m talking to you, on March 21, 2004. Today is a Saturday. Where are you? How is your career, if you even have one? Is the war over? How much money do you have? Oh, and dear God, we haven’t been attacked again, have we? This is so huge a fear of mine. You haven’t cut your hair, have you? I hope not. How did ninth grade play out, and how has your Sophomore Year been so far? I want to know all of these things.

March 22, 2003

Thousands of Iraqi troops, including an entire division of their Republican Guard, have surrendered to our forces. Their resistance has slightly increased. Several American and British soldiers were killed in the fighting, along with, possibly, some journalists. Our offensive campaign, marching on to Baghdad, has been called “the most rapid land advancement in the entire history of warfare.” We have captured several major Iraqi oil fields, securing American independence, almost certainly, from reliance on foreign powers for oil. We also plan to sell the oil to help make the money needed to rebuild Iraq. Turkey may now be sending troops into northern Iraq to prevent the Kurds there from declaring an independent Kurdish state. I think that this is terribly oppressive. I think that the Kurds (at least those in northern Iraq) should be given independence. Although the Kurds in southern Turkey probably shouldn’t be given independence from that Arab state, I believe that the Iraqi Kurds are an entirely different story altogether. They are already far more industrialized than the rest of Turkey. I enjoy looking back through my journals and seeing what I was doing a year ago on any given day. One year ago today (about) a secessionist war had just ended in Atricia, and all of the I.E. was worried about security at the Capitol. First Twin was arrested and then released soon later for trying to enter the Imperial Valley and approach the Capitol. On the 19th of March, 2002, the I.E. had announced that its borders extended to Movie State and Rocky Mountain State. The next day, Atricia and Andrea seceded. They seceded separately, which really frightened me. What a state were we in, that provinces were seceding at random? The Gorgan government really surprised us when they said that they wouldn’t annex any seceding Imperial territories. We closed the border between Atricia and Andrea, to try to prevent a joint attack. I closed our borders with Gorgan, just as a precautionary measure. As I was negotiating with the Atricians and Andreans (First Twin had been admitted across our border to negotiate), the Gorgans marched into one of our main cities, Philadelphia, and opened fire on the Andrean Capitol. I screamed and practically threw myself to the ground. They hadn’t been after us, though; they had a conflict with the Atricians. So, Andrea united with us, and we sat back and watched as the Gorgans fought a battle that we no longer had to. The Atricians retreated to San Francisco. We discovered planned attacks on the Capitol and Mt. Annoyingly Perfect. The Atricians promised an attack on the Capitol. The mountain named after my deposed royal cousin didn’t seem to be a top priority on their list of objectives. On the 22nd, the Atrician surrender came. It wouldn’t last, of course, but for a while, it was there. All of that, the rise and fall of our “empire,” the numerous wars and secessions, fought on a scale so small that they bordered on fictitious, seems strikingly recent. Now a real war is engulfing the world. Grand Ma and Grand Pa Hick Family are here. Hick State Cousin and Other Hick State Cousin did not come with them. That was a small disappointment, although it’s been rather pleasant with them here. Grand Ma has gotten much more kind, but only because her sickness has weakened her so. Her sicknesses, I should say. It’s just…I almost can’t describe it, but it’s sad in a slow, mounting-without-pressure, quiet, little crying type of way. I feel the same way when I see my Grand Pa Normal Family. His coughs are terrible, and he’s no longer the energetic person that our family once knew. He still tries at humor. I am amazed, transfixed, and horrified that one moment at work and one stray particle floating into his mouth as he inhaled could cause all of this. I worry so much for my poor grandmother. My Grand Pa’s death will bring upon her devastation unsurpassed, and almost every night I pray for my grandfather’s safe deliverance and my grandmother’s coping. I hope that God will protect her from harm when he dies, both harm from the world and harm from herself. I am suddenly struck by an incredible love for my grandmother. I pity her so, and I love both of them very much. I think that I’ll give them a call.

Later (March 23, 2003)
About 12:30a.m.

I am so bored, and disappointed, and tired, and even angry. I am sitting here in my room. For what conceivable reason am I here in my room and not downstairs watching Saturday Night Live? Because my grandparents must sleep on the couch, and must go to bed at 10:30p.m. Oh, well. I got lucky anyway; this evening’s Saturday Night Live is a repeat, it was played the week before last. I hope that She Spies is also a repeat. This show is designed to look serious in plot but actually be quite funny, really, a parody of itself. The show is awesome. The spies are hot and something about the show being not so well known (and the fact that by the time it comes on everyone else but me is asleep), makes it feel like my own personal television show, done especially for my sole enjoyment every late Saturday night. In a way, it’s kind of sad. I suppose that’s one of the reasons that I like it. I feel like no one in school can take away from me this time, that regardless of what happens, every weekend I’ll be in front of the television late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, depending on how you want to look at it). I feel similarly about my showers, and I know that I’ve expressed this through my writing and I don’t know if I am the only one my age (besides the dorks) who thinks like this. I certainly hope that some of the popular kids need these things, these moments; some of them must be human. You know, on so many levels, this just doesn’t make sense. My social situation, I believe, doesn’t warrant this. I mean, I might be wrong, it could, but I think that I would have noticed it. Perhaps my extreme paranoia is what constantly makes me feel worse off than I actually am. I constantly rebuke and am cruel to people for what they mean to be casual joking, but what I interpret as cruel. In that one way, all of those kids in Dirty County have just a slight victory; the years of torment left my initial social perception completely haywire. Sometimes I get angry with peers who remind me of myself, who are to me reminiscent of my own past. And not reminiscent as in happy memories, reminiscent as in, “Gosh, that was embarrassing,” or, “Wow, I’ve just been emotionally damaged for life.” Assholes. I cannot stand people who put down others to stay up themselves. I need to rest and relax for a little. All of this dominates entirely too much of my thought. I’ll probably be thinking quite strenuously, so I won’t relax, but I could possibly rest.

About 8:56p.m.

Today was a horrible day for our country. As our land invasion of Iraq continued with stunning rapidity, some of our soldiers got lost and wandered into the hands of an elite (“elite?” hah, that’s laughable) Iraqi division. They were held prisoner, interrogated in front of millions of people on al-Jazeera television, and then brutally executed. After the executions, broadcast live all throughout the Arab world, the bodies were piled up. For most news stations in the West, such as CNN, the one that I am most fond of, the only thing shown was a single picture of the bodies. However, one news station in the United States accidentally aired the footage. A good number of people were sufficiently horrified. The United States, understandably, has vowed revenge. I feel more passionate about the war and our country now that this has happened. It’s so terrible, and I hope that the monsters responsible are brought to answer for it. We’ve cited numerous violations of the Geneva Convention. Russia, France, and Germany have now said that they want roles in the post-Saddam, post-war Iraq. Their hypocrisy is unbelievable. They allowed us to fight the war, rallying against it all the while, and now they want a share of our newly-gained wealth, which we gained through this war. It’s like the story of the chicken who is baking bread. She asks all of the other farm animals to help her, and none of them will. Then they all volunteer to help her eat the bread, and she refuses to let them. I hope that we will do likewise. I was maddened by the French, neutral toward the Germans, and sincerely surprised by the Russians. I’m going to go snack now.

March 25, 2003

I’m trying to save journal space. Today was a good day. There’s been an uprising in Basra. The British are fighting hard there. Mom and Dad aren’t back yet. It’s 10:33p.m.

March 26, 2003

Nothing very eventful happened today, although I got a shock today when I saw Random Boy, a boy in my homeroom, with all of his hair cut off. Along with First Twin and Pot-Head Boy, he is the third boy whom I have noted to have done this recently. I won’t. The war progresses.

March 27, 2003

Papa Bear bought me a cool present yesterday. It tells time in many different cities. I am concerned about my Chemistry grade, which is a C. About a 73%. A fourth boy cut his hair off. Perhaps it is because of the rising temperatures. It certainly was hot today. My singing gets progressively better, I have noticed, day by day. I love to sing. Gosh, when we did that kid country thing we went to war all the time. One year ago today, Tylendaria, Atricia, and Andrea seceded the Imperial Empire. Just five days earlier Gorgan had helped the I.E. to win its civil war against Atricia and Andrea. After negotiations and constitutional limits on the Czar’s authority, the war ended, with all of the nation reunited.

March 28, 2003

This is the end of this journal, and with the journal that was just bought for me, I will continue today’s entry, although I cannot help but feel that as I depart to yet another journal that I am beginning a new chapter of my life. Many changes have taken place for me, both physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I have recently become much more religious (although this has been happening over a space of months) than I previously have been at any time during my short life. I treasure this newfound connection with my Creator, and I think of Him and His love for me when I’m blue. Now starts the new chapter.


March 28, 2003

I cannot remember such a terrible day in recent history. I woke up this morning. I went downstairs, and there, on the television news, the picture of my friend, Random Girl blazed across the screen, with the headline “MISSING” below it. I stopped in mid-walk, staring at that sad face and remembering her kindness. She had been a model. I remember wondering what her agency was doing. I actually had suspected that they were cheating her out of money, and I thought bitterly that they might not even miss her. They charged $3,000.00 to “train” her, and then told her that she had to do some twenty shows before being paid anything, and, even then, the pay was measly. I don’t believe that she was ever paid. There was no mention of her having been a model on the news. Then came the endless, constant war updates of our invasion of Iraq, which grows bloodier by the day. Most news stations cover nothing else. The saturated coverage is disgusting and unhealthy. It’s terrible. I think that the news stations and agencies have made it a sort of televised event. And, if one looks back to the beginning of the invasion (although certainly not the beginning of the war, and, can you believe it, less than a month ago?) we started with small air raids and many surrenders, with small attacks that killed no civilians. We started out with astoundingly rapid land advancements. No, we carry out massive air raids on Iraq’s ancient capital, Baghdad. Civilians are killed. Iraqi resistance mounts daily. Iraqi citizens fight alongside Iraqi soldiers. Iraqi cities and fortresses are heavily defended, and Iraqi soldiers act as if they are surrendering, then they attack. Some Iraqi troops dress as American troops, accept surrenders from their fellow Iraqis, and then execute them. The threat of a second deadly attack on our nation grows and looms not too far ahead, although I don’t think that anyone is paying enough attention to this very legitimate threat. I poured a bowl of cereal, and then realized that I didn’t have nearly enough milk for it. So my breakfast was a strawberry with some sugar on it and some Lucky Charms marshmallows. I went upstairs, did my hair, brushed my teeth, did not have time to make my bed, and went downstairs. I shoved my lunch into my backpack and realized that my shoes weren’t by the door. So I ran upstairs again, remembering, as I always do, that when they are not by the front door that they are usually in the garage. I went back downstairs and got my shoes out of the garage. I put them on, made sure that I had my pens and calculator/clock, and left the house. I met some friends and acquaintances of mine at the bus stop. We entered the bus, and I entered a private horror. Those first few minutes on the bus every morning are easily the worst part of my average day. For just a few seconds everything is chaos as I look for a seat, terrified, horrified, I am petrified the whole time that the years past will come back to surface on that bus. I am frightened beyond reason that someone will loudly reject me, making a spectacle for the entire bus by not allowing me to sit down. And yet, through this terror that I share with no one, every day I calmly take my seat, no rejection, no humiliation, no scarring on that day. That day on the bus never comes, but I still never fail to fear its approach. I arrived at school, and, as I do every day, I look quickly to the left. The doors to the media center have not been opened yet. I turn with a single quick, graceful gesture. No one will have license to draw attention to me. I look straight ahead. Will someone make fun of me, will someone kill me before I can reach the safe haven that that upper floor will offer? No, not today. I walk upstairs, and there they are. Tens of people. Sometimes nearly forty. Almost no one says anything. Most of us say nothing at all. I have observed this. We all know why we’re up there. We come from all social avenues, from the dorkiest of dorks, those harassed daily, to those in the highest popular cliques, to those in between. It’s an unspoken, mutual agreement that everyone acknowledges, that we aren’t there to criticize. None of us can handle the sheer terror of that unrestrained mass of humanity, none of us knows just where to go, what to do with our hand, what to say, how exactly to act. None of us can stand there, just stand there, feeling the analytical eyes of the student populace pressing in upon us. So we go upstairs. The popular girl with teased hair, make-up, and the expensive outfit read a book. The social divisions and the cliques all disappear. For who can criticize the weakness that they acknowledge themselves to have in the mere act of being there? No one, not without reprisal. And still, perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps I myself am the only one who interprets it in this way. That’s entirely possible. Then the first bell will ring, and the media center is open. I go down to check my e-mail, where I share a correspondence with my second cousin Cool Cousin. We speak of all things, although lately her response has been lacking, and I feel as if even she is beginning to detach from me. At the same time I’m equally certain that my supposition of said detachment is entirely imaginary. First period is gym. I heard a rumor today that Random Girl is in Country Music State. When I asked with whom, Pot-Head Boy told me, “With someone she knows.” There are few awkward moments, and the popular kids answer my questions with ease and politeness, although I’m sure that they are all thinking terrible, hurtful thoughts about me. I privately thank God that I wasn’t bombarded into hysterics by my peers, even though that hasn’t happened since my move. I called two boys hedgehogs. I wonder, could that possibly have warranted what happened to me later in the day? Do these occasional bouts of snobbery and mild cruelty that I have make up for the Hell that I live through? Second period. Algebra. I sit down. Mean Girl and Ugly Girl, best friends, both elevated at insanely high levels of popularity, enter and sit as well. They sit next to each other and instantly enter a dialogue about their social lives. I hear a talk going on about the recent fights. In recent days there has been a verifiable explosion of them, about seven just this week, and two or three today. I was talking about the fight in which, as the story goes, a girl wet her pants. Mean Girl turned on me. She told me that the girl had fallen in water and that I and everyone else should stop talking about it. I said, “So you were friends with her?” or something like that. She turned around with an exasperated sigh and I heard the boy in front of her say, “He’s so annoying.” I can almost dismiss this. I have heard this short, bothersome little boy say the exact same phrase innumerable times before. It seems to be one of the only things he is capable of saying. Oh, no, there is something else. When once he called me annoying, I responded with the common expression, “Oh, and you think you’re a picnic?” Somehow (and I am mystified by this) this moron hasn’t yet heard this phrase. So he tells everyone that I called him a picnic. This boy doesn’t even have the intelligence to realize that I had said he was not a picnic. If he himself wasn’t so incredibly annoying, this might be funny. I said aloud to myself, “I wonder why there have been so many fights lately?” (I still do, and I genuinely did, although I now realize that I probably did that part to defy Mean Girl and show her that her little orders would not have influence over me). Mean Girl said, “I thought I said to stop talking about it!” I could have defused the situation right there, but I, well, I did not. Instead, words between Mean Girl and I escalated. I never really liked Mean Girl in the first place, and she, Ugly Girl, and I shared a precarious, tedious, and often awkward interaction with each other. Mean Girl and Ugly Girl want to record songs, and I am doing this as well. I mean, I am pursuing doing this as well. Now, I truly believe that although both Mean Girl and Ugly Girl are both popular, they are drastically different. Mean Girl is already doomed by her own stupidity and self-absorbed nature. However, in Ugly Girl, I told out hope. I honestly think that Ugly Girl is a genuinely nice person. Ugly Girl offered to let me record songs with them even though Mean Girl didn’t want me to. Today, however, when push came to shove, Ugly Girl was obviously Mean Girl’s best friend. Mean Girl, in revenge of my defiance, made some joke at my expense. And here came my own shock and awe attack on Mean Girl. I issued forth a loud, false laugh. I did, in essence, put up a fierce defensive resistance, although, in a way, both Mean Girl and myself started the conflict. Even Ugly Girl looked in my direction and said, “You better shut up.” Mean Girl’s jaw dropped. Not because I’d never balked against her (we’d clashed once before), but because I’d never done so in such an obviously vicious nature, something that she wasn’t used to from anybody. She fired back, and hard. Ugly Girl, although, I believe, a good soul, remained loyal to her friend. “How about, I never liked you, and I don’t now?” Mean Girl said. “And you look like Harry Potter,” Ugly Girl said to me. At this, Mean Girl put out a huge show of laughing. And so, the insults were on. And Mean Girl persisted. I could tell that I’d gotten to her, because she responded in a way that I have, with a vicious defense of throwing in insults at every possible opportunity. As she laughed on and on, her large, ugly nose, clogged and red, swelled, and her whole face turned red. And the ferocious attacks came and came. The short boy of whom I have spoken joined in, as did several others. I felt isolated. I felt anger and raw, powerful, complex emotions.

March 29, 2003

My friends sat behind me, throwing spitballs at each other and a few at me, entirely oblivious of the disastrous situation that was unfolding. I felt so angry that I nearly felt the tears beginning to fall. However, I held them, and they did not fall. I retreated into myself, into the hardened shell. I could show absolutely no weakness; I couldn’t let them see that their words had hit home. Outside, I was silent, and I laughed at my friends, and I made a poking remark to Ugly Girl, but inside, I was reeling. No one guessed, I thought. However, I got quite a shock when, to my dismay, I was approached by my teacher, who asked if I was alright. Of course I wasn’t alright. In all probability he was referring to my progress with the math work. However, I wondered if he had perceived something. Had their been a hole in my defense? Was someone able to see through the mask? I still don’t know. Could he sense the pain, the anguish? I hope not. They went low, even mocking how I had once requested to work with them on their album. That’s okay, though, because my album is going to blow theirs completely out of the water. I forgot that my uncle, too, has access to recording studios. He has promised to let me use them. I had thought that going to Jive through Mean Girl and Ugly Girl (Mean Girl has relatives in very high positions in Jive) would be quicker, and I got so caught up that the fact that my own uncle has studios completely, and I mean completely, slipped my mind. Remembering this now is quite a relief to me. Third mod was alright, as was lunch. However, I was annoyed at lunch by some of the people there. I suppose that it’s simply the inertia of habit that keeps me seated with these fools. They are all very intelligent, however not nearly as intelligent as they make themselves out, or as they believe themselves to be. They are in all Level 4 classes, Level 4 being the highest that you can go. They feel the need to constantly prostrate their own arrogance by belittling others in lower classes. I told that that someone in, say, a Level 2 class could easily be a genius, fit to supercede their intelligence. They vigorously denied this, and I wondered how such smart people couldn’t see that intelligence isn’t based on how many useless facts you can retain. Anyone, I said, can commit to memory any number of things. They said that no, this wasn’t so. I was flabbergasted, in disbelief. To them, I said, “For all you know, I could be a genius, but you wouldn’t know it because I don’t talk about myself like that.” Then Pompous Boy, one of the ringleaders of their group, exclaimed, “But you’re not in Level 4 classes!” That’s when I had the sudden realization that even I had overestimated Pompous Boy’s intelligence. I doubt that he has too much faith in the system not to make mistakes, because he (along with his friends) constantly complain about a girl named Anorexic Girl whom they make out to be stupid. She is in one of their classes. So Pompous Boy must believe that genius cannot be present in the other levels, a belief which goes beyond naivete and into sheer arrogance and stupidity. I gave them a riddle, which they couldn’t solve, a riddle that I solved years ago. And yet they still boast and brag and display themselves. I absolutely marvel at this. Their undaunted egotism angers and fascinates me.

March 30, 2003

What a Spring we’re having! It started out hot and humid, with temperatures soaring high enough to wear, with joy, short-sleeved shirts. It was with glee and a long-subdued, or rather, long forgotten sense of summer, spring, and warmth that I first donned a short-sleeved shirt earlier this month. This morning, the Heavens opened up and gave us snow. I have not been able to definitely say whether I believe that this is snow or snoe. You see, snoe is different from snow. Snoe is the large, light, beautiful, floaty stuff, so gorgeous that you stand mesmerized by it, in an almost hypnotic way. And then snow is just falling snow. There have been some times during the day when I thought that it was snoe, others when I thought that it was snow. Perhaps there is an in-between point, like snowe. I must say that I’m now just leaning toward snow, although just the sight of snowfall, even if it’s not snoefall, is beautiful to me. Powell woke me around 8:30 this morning to tell me that it was snowing heavily. He’s done this type of thing before, and I didn’t want to get out of bed just to be disappointed, so I told Powell that he was lying. I wanted the snow, you see. I wanted Powell to be forced to show me proof or else have to abandon his tale. He walked over and across the line created by the differing carpet colors (blue in my room, tan for the hallway) and straight through my room to the window and pulled open my blinds to reveal the showering white angel dust. (Wait, isn’t angel dust a drug? That’s almost funny—I really meant for that to be poetic.) The trees are incredibly pretty; the snow and ice have sort of fused and lain on the tree branches, creating a dazzling scene.

Words fall short of expressing my unadulterated happiness. Euphoria would be a noun that comes perhaps most close to accurately describing my overwhelming emotions. Euphoric would be the adjective, and euphorically would be the adverb. Another semi-accurate word would be exuberant. I am so incredibly joyful that this one day compensates for this entire terrible week. Pretty much for every bad thing that’s happened throughout the entire school year. Friday night’s fight with Dad, our misery in the restaurant that we ate at, the happiness that I felt by waking up later that night, the purchase of this diary, last night’s fight with Dad, my parents’ quarrels today, are all superceded by this.

March 31, 2003

My Uncle Unreliable mentioned to me some months ago (at the beginning of Journal 7, in fact; December 31, 2002- March 28, 2003) that he was making a video for prisons, to be distributed to them. I believe that it may involve overcoming addiction to drugs, although I’m not sure. Anyway, he has come to have access to studios, or his friend does. I expressed to this uncle of mine a strong desire to record songs on a CD. He gave his permission without any hesitance at all. I went essentially ballistic, thanking him over and over. He said that such appreciation wasn’t necessary; it meant a lot to him that it meant a lot to me. I am so blessed to have such selfless family members, such as my parents, my second cousin Cool Cousin, my grandparents, and numerous aunts and uncles. Even then there are still more. I am very happy and excited, but at the same time I am scared. I want to do well since he’s letting me do this. This is why I intend to see a vocal coach beginning quite possibly as early as April. I have more than enough money saved up in my Third Account (the only one of my three bank accounts that I have unfettered access to, as I set it up myself) to pay for the entire summer in vocal lessons (nearly $600.00 by the time this birthday passes), but I don’t want to dip into my Third Account, which is meant to be a bit of a reserve. Yes, I am planning on getting a job. At Dominoes, too. Not cooking or anything; I am too young and my hair far too long to have such a position. It’d be more of an office thing, like the boy on our bus named Other Random Boy does, answering telephones and sweeping. All toward getting to record music. I’m frightened, because some days when I sing I’m great, some days fine, some days not too good at all. I have to be better by July than my current best. I hope and pray that Dr. Music Teacher is an amazingly talented teacher. In school today, Mean Girl and Ugly Girl were unusually nice. I certainly hadn’t told them about the demo album. I suppose that they were genuinely sorry about last Friday. They seemed to be putting forth extra effort. Even the boy who was talking about me in the mall was nice.

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