In March of 2004 I was fifteen years old and painfully conscious of the sixteenth birthday that was only a month away. I dreaded growing up and the impending addition of another year to my age caused me palpable anxiety, as did my academics and the domestic abuse that I was only beginning to acknowledge in a realistic way.
During this month I continued my sparse reports on the Democratic primary race and reflected on, among other things, scenic walks through our old child nation, basketball games, and my history teacher's man boobs.
March 2, 2004
We have invaded yet another country! Haiti, this time. This all took place following a massive rebellion there, and only days after President Bush assured us that the United States would not get involved!
We had off of school today for the elections. Yesterday afternoon was absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t resist going on a long walk. I crossed the old border from Andrea into Atricia--or, what used to be Andrea and Atricia. It's been months but everyone still uses the old names just for directional purposes. It's kind of weird. People say "Atricia" the same way they would say "Highway 5" or "the old farmhouse."
I walked through what used to be the Imperial Valley, then around the lake in what used to be Gorgan. I kept coming across forts and stuff that we built way back. It was eerie. Like walking through the ruins of an ancient civilization.
I got through Cristenia, then out of Novgorod, and by that point the former Aria was behind me. I was more than a mile from my house.
After crossing the old border that doesn't actually exist anymore, I mounted a gigantic hill. From the top of this hill, one can see our entire neighborhood, and many other neighborhoods, sprawled out for miles. The first time I climbed this hill I didn’t turn around once until I got to the top. It was quite a shock. You can’t see our house from up there, because a row of townhouses blocks it, but you can see Lacrosse Boy’s house and you can see Military Boy’s court (if that’s what you’d call it). It’s so weird to be up there!
March 3, 2004
Kerry won every state but Vermont by the way, which went to Howard Dean, even though he’s not in the race! Ironically enough, it was his first victory. I took a wonderfully long shower and had the most delightful game of pretend.
March 8, 2004
I saw Passion of the Christ yesterday. It was amazing. I’m going to pray.
March 9, 2004
Passion was one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever been through, despite the fact that none of it was spoken in English. I am without words. The film graphically detailed the sacrifices made by Jesus Christ.
March 11, 2004
My hair was so straight today! It’s usually quite curly and unruly but when I woke up this morning it was so sleek and shiny and perfectly straight that I wouldn’t’ve had to comb it at all if I hadn’t wanted to! School was good today.
Dad and I had a huge argument this evening, prompted by the trouble-brewing antics of the Crazy Fat Guy [a well-meaning but obnoxious neighbor]. I was very saddened by what my father said to me. Somehow, even though it happens at least once in a while, it never really stops hurting. It made me want to go to church more.
Although I do wish that my father really loved me, I don’t kid myself into thinking that that’s the main problem. What I’m more concerned about is being at the complete and total mercy of someone who doesn’t seem to like me very much. As a matter of fact, my father often seems to be saying something negative about me.
Although I try not to think about it too much, I am quite powerless. If my father deeply loved me, this would be a desirable situation, but it is not. My father loves me when it is convenient to do so. When I achieve or when I receive attention or publicity, my father loves me.
It’s when things don’t go right that my father begins to release and treat me with the respect he thinks I deserve, which, incidentally, is none at all. He says absolutely terrible things to me, and on a few occasions he’s become violent. I’ve never really been injured in one of these episodes, but it worries me all the same.
When he’s shoved me or picked me up, or thrown me or knocked me to the stairs, I know that he wants to do more. It frightens me so much sometimes, and on so many levels. He wants to hurt me, and one day he might. I wish that I had some control over my life. I have Jesus and God, and that’s a huge, gigantic, solid comfort, a stone pillar for me to lean on. God and Jesus’s love and protection will, I know, always be there. It helps.
March 15, 2004
I have now fallen from a 60% to a 58% in Algebra. I am very concerned. In Survey I am slowly making progress, and I no longer have cause to worry about that class. I’m staying after school on Thursday to get help with Algebra. Oh, God, I’m so worried. My sixteenth birthday is the week after next. I wish it wouldn’t come.
March 17, 2004
My academic troubles have started to pervade even into my dreams. I had a terrible dream last night that I failed a huge U.S. History test. I forgot to set my alarm last night, so I didn’t wake up until 6:31a.m. It was a huge rush after I was finally out of bed. A shower was out of the question. I sped through breakfast and raced upstairs, hastily getting ready. A search for my keys, however, caused me to miss the bus (my keys, by the way, had been in my pocket the whole time).
My father got about to taking me to school sometime around 8:25a.m. The recent anxiety that has overwhelmed me seemed all too obvious to him, and he mentioned it as we left the house. While driving to school, he played his Barry White CD. My father seems to have just discovered this artist, and so for the next few days Barry White’s soothing songs will resonate non-stop throughout our house.
March 21, 2004
I got a haircut this morning. It looked so horrible that I was screaming at my father for it. [My father had forced me to have it done.] Then I messed with it a bit and now it looks good. It’s like I had it before, except about two or three inches shorter and straighter. All in all, it looks great. If feels wrong, though.
The Globe Trotters was fun yesterday. We were in the first row. I got bored and started to doze off, though. I definitely can’t tell that to my grandparents! They surprised me at Aunt Crazy’s with a birthday cake. My birthday is coming up. It’s on April 10th. I can’t believe that I’m going to be sixteen in three weeks. In a way, it’s frightening.
March 22, 2004
I have undergone an interesting vocal change in the last few weeks. My upper register has exploded, and yet my lower register seems to have lost two or three notes. So I’m singing in baritone and all the way up through to alto. Perhaps Lent has something to do with this. But I’ve actually been singing far less. How does that work out?
March 26, 2004
U.S. History was so funny today. Christian Girl and I were trading food, as usual, and U.S. History Teacher was reprimanding us for it. Anyway, I was staring blankly at him when I experienced an epiphany of sudden realization: U.S. History Teacher has breasts!
When you really look, his nipples protrude quite noticeably. I told Christian Girl, and she stared intently at U.S. History Teacher, as if searching. Then her eyes widened and she covered her mouth giggling. That’s right, she’d found them.
Christian Girl told Cindy and Alex, and the four of us were laughing all mod. At lunch I told Dan, and in Spanish today I said to him, “U.S. History Teacher tiene mucho leche!” At first he was baffled, but then he said, “Oh, I know what that means!”
Christian Girl, Alex, Lindsey, and I all laughed. This week seemed to fly by incredibly quickly.