It's been since December that I last did one of these.
In November of 2003 I was fifteen years old and a bit closer to the childhood side of the child/adult continuum that is adolescence.
That month I ruminated over what it meant to stop Trick-or-Treating, wrote a poem inspired by domestic violence, and chronicled the spectacular implosion of Aria, the child nation, founded in October of 2001, that has figured prominently in my journals from this period.
November 2, 2003
This Halloween was very fun. Since I’ve stopped Trick-or-Treating, the holiday has taken on an entire new meaning for me. Before, the excitement circling the occasion involved finding the right costume and the most fruitful collection of homes from which to collect. Now it involves thrilling the Trick-or-Treaters and scaring myself and my family and friends.
On Friday afternoon Blonde Cousin and Thomas were carving pumpkins. I went with Dad to pick up Pie and to get a movie. We got Wrong Turn.
I came home and called Blonde Friend [a girl] on the telephone. We talked about Rich Boy’s party (Rich Boy is a wealthy boy who goes to our school). Blonde Friend said that she really wanted to go to this party but that she hadn’t been invited. I told her that barely anyone going had actually been invited, so she needn’t worry herself with it.
Rich Boy has a large home within a forest, and his parties are known as breeding grounds for intoxication. It’s common knowledge that scarcely anybody likes Rich Boy at all, but they use him for the extravagant (well, okay, not extravagant)—scratch extravagant—large, alcohol- and drug-oriented parties that his parents’ money can provide. This is, in my mind, pathetic of him.
Blonde Friend then told me that was going with her mother, brother, and her brother’s girlfriend to see the new version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacres. One of the scariest things about that movie is that it’s based on a true story.
While I was talking to Blonde Friend on the phone, Thomas was at the hospital with Dad. While we were gone he tried to show off with the knife and he cut his finger. He quickly stopped trying to act like a teenager as he was too busy screaming and crying.
He asked me to guess how many stitches he had to get and I said “Three,” which actually turned out to be right.
In Geometry earlier that day I had guessed the answer to a complicated coordinate graph question.
November 4, 2003
On November 4th, my father and I had an argument that concluded with his hurling a football at me. He threw it across the living room and into the kitchen with so much force that it shattered the glass I'd been holding in my hand. Unfortunately, these types of incidents were quite common. I wrote the following poem immediately afterward.
What is it?
Who is it?
Where is it from?
Should I suppress it, or let it go on?
Is this thing healthy?
Was I right all along?
Or have I been
Terribly, terribly wrong?
Their words pierce like knives
Their fists, supreme, reign
My soul screams through the night
My heart, fiery, flames
My mind burns with anguish
My being with the blows
That nobody knows
I must keep it inside
I must not let it show
Though it hurts me down deep
Though it scars me so
I must maintain the silence
Or worse will rain down
The torrent of hurt
I can’t let it be
Can’t let it be seen
Can’t reveal the horror
Resistance is death
A shot with a rose
A soul being murdered
Amidst hails of their words
Just take it, accept it
Your killers ordained it
Let them hack you to pieces
Strike you down with the sword
And they all say nothing
It goes as a norm
But why take it this way?
Why not try to fight?
Well, those orthodox bastards
Would get quite a fright
An outcast you’d be
For daring defy
By all despised
Might it just not be so?
To Hell with their thoughts
To the gutter their wishes
To ashes acceptance
For their attacks vicious
I will cry from the hills
I will scream out my pain
I will proclaim against it,
“My heart will not be maimed!”
I will fight it with fire
With a passion untouched
They can never erase
My loving to love
November 9, 2003
Much happened this weekend. First of all, I failed another Geometry test on Friday. This is becoming a serious and disturbing problem for me. I received my report card on Friday, and, to my delight, it was my best-case scenario that played out. I already knew this, but seeing it on the report card made it so much better. The teachers’ comments did not print, though.
You see, our school’s computer system crashes periodically throughout the school week, going down on average probably about three times a week. Last week there was a particularly bad malfunction (“Attention teachers,” an administrator had announced dramatically. “We have a critical situation in the Network.”), and, as a result, teachers’ comments did not print on report cards.
Friday was great. First of all, five minutes before we were to be dismissed to go home, the fire alarm rang. Someone came over the announcements and said that we would have to evacuate.
Despite having been explicitly told on former occasions to leave our things in the event of evacuation, we all took them anyway. On the way down the stairs, many people reported having seen and smelled smoke. I thought that I had smelled it, although I did not see any of it.
So, we had been standing there for less than a minute when we were told to return to our classrooms. For me that meant a trek up three floors. I had not even reached my classroom (I was just outside of it) when the bell rang and we were told to dismiss.
My father was delighted with my report card, as was my mother. So, I convinced my parents to take us to Pizza Hut. My father wouldn’t go, though, saying that he felt too sick.
Mom quarreled with him because of this, saying that the medications that he is taking are making him depressed and withdrawn. She says that he hates everyone (including his family) because he wants to be young again and can’t take the pressures of running a family.
Powell wanted to stay home and play football, so just Thomas, Mom, Pie, and I ventured out to Pizza Hut. We had several appetizers, and the pizza itself was good. We drove home, full and content. We stopped ay Blockbuster on the way home and rented Eight Crazy Nights, which I didn’t see, Legally Blonde II, which was very stupid (much less appealing than its predecessor), and Spongebob Squarepants Season I, which, of course, Thomas loved.
I spoke briefly with Greg, a peer of mine who works there.
When we got home there was a package for me. I assumed that it was from Grand Ma Weird Family but wondered why it was so small; it bounced around its outer box every time that I picked it up. I tore open the larger box and there was a ring case. I said aloud, “Well, that’s odd, why would Grand Ma send me a…”
I knew what it was before I finished the sentence. I quickly opened the case and screamed my delight. My class ring was here. It was even more beautiful than I thought it would be. It’s silver all over, with my name and graduation date on the side (2006). The ACADEMIC and GOVERNMENT symbols also affixed to both sides look magnificent, and the large faux diamond on the ring’s top sparkles wondrously. Around the faux diamond wind the words: “Beautiful Town High School.” Dad loved my ring, as did Mom. I went outside and got into the hot tub. That was nice. I came back inside and Mom went to bed shortly thereafter.
My alarm clock went off at 5:30a.m. on Saturday morning. Pie woke a little while later, honoring me with her presence a little bit after six. She’s such a cheerful little baby, and especially in the mornings. I got ready, and around nine o’clock I rode through downtown Beautiful Town with Mom to the building that houses Charity Grocery Store.
There was a rather uncertain woman there who didn’t seem to know too well what she was doing; she goes once a month, and she hasn’t been able to make it since March or so. Much to my embarrassment, a woman who came in thought I was a girl! I didn’t correct her, but another person (a man) thought so, too (he, however, recovered from his mistake quickly). I managed to contain my mortification and I went on as if it hadn’t happened.
At noon Dad was waiting for me outside in the van, quite contrary to last week, when he didn’t come at all and tried to force me to walk home. Blonde Friend’s mother came to the rescue, though, answering my phone call from downtown and quite willingly coming to get me. Not all parents would do that. We went home, me with a “Dr. Bob” (cherry soda). When I got home I made some soup for lunch, and then Anne called and I spoke with her. I’m going to go to bed and pray now.
November 13, 2003
Snow!!! Glorious, pure, white snow! The Heavens opened up and rained it over us today. I’ll write more about it tomorrow.
November 27, 2003
My hair is getting long.
November 29, 2003
Truly shocking news out of [the child nation of] Aria.
First Twin, [the President of Aria] said today that he will not run for a third term next month, even though practically everyone loves him and in the last election he won more than 90% of the vote. Even the children in Andrea voted for him! [First Twin was from Atricia, with which Andrea had a long and bitter rivalry]
With First Twin not running I really have no idea who will be president and neither does anyone else. I guess Short Boy might run again.
Powell [the constitutional monarch of Aria] is really worried about it. A lot of people don’t really like him but they do like First Twin, so having First Twin as president makes Powell easier for people to deal with.
Some people have even said that Powell should abdicate but he says he won’t and for once I agree with him. Powell might be a bad Czar (okay, a really bad Czar) but if he gives up the throne then Thomas is next in line and Thomas is only eight. That would be crazy. Plus, Thomas is kind of bratty.
The Constitution was signed two years ago today. That's strange.
November 30, 2003
Everything is moving so fast that I can’t believe it. First Twin resigned as president this afternoon and Powell called an emergency meeting of his cabinet.
My parents wanted to know why so many children were crammed into our basement but we told them they were playing video games.
Nobody was sure what to do. Some people (like Lacrosse Boy) were saying that we should have a new presidential election right away, but other people thought we just shouldn’t have a president anymore and the Czar should rule on his own like back in the old days.
Everyone in the provinces was going crazy and the phone was ringing every few seconds. Thank goodness Mom and Dad went to the store. That would have been hard to explain. A lot of the people calling were kings and queens from the provinces asking what was going to happen, and many of them said they were dealing with unrest.
Andrea was completely berserk the whole day. We could hear them cheering and chanting from inside our house. A couple of kids even came up to the door wanting to talk to Powell but we didn’t let them in.
Short Boy [the king of Andrea] walked over to help Powell figure out what they would do next, but then they got into a huge argument. They made up, though.
Finally around 7:30p.m. Powell decided that he would abdicate.
Since Thomas is so young, Powell just granted independence to all of the provinces rather than pass the whole empire to our youngest brother. So now there are seven separate countries where this morning there was just one, and Powell isn’t Czar anymore. I guess there is no Czar, actually. Wow. That’s such a wild thought.
I’m relieved by it.
I’m very tired and am going to bed.