Monday, July 30, 2012

Selected Entries: October 2004

In October 2004 I was sixteen years old and awaiting the final result of the presidential campaign whose progress I'd followed obsessively since the summer. As the month drew to a close my father smuggled me into a voting booth to cast an underage ballot for John Kerry and our family experienced the passing of Grand Ma Hick Family, the second death we'd endured since August. 

October 1, 2004

John Kerry was brilliant last night, doing better than even I would have thought. President Bush seemed irritable and immature, while John Kerry was calm, as if he was so far above petty bickering that Bush’s truthless rhetoric meant nothing to him. As numerous reporters (including some Republicans) remarked, Senator Kerry looked and acted very presidential, but President Bush did neither. 

The CNN and Gallup polls this morning showed that Kerry won the debate by 50%-60%. Bush, on the other hand, was thought by fewer than 40% of the people to have been the victor. Powell's American History teacher said that the final polls showed 70% believing that Kerry did better compared with roughly 30% for Bush. I don’t know if I believe that the numbers were quite that high, but one thing is indisputable: John Kerry emerged the champion. I only hope that he can win the election. 

October 6, 2004

I saw Michael Moore (a liberal civil liberties activist) give a speech last Saturday in which he offered Ramen noodles or underwear to anyone who would register to vote. It was so crazy and I was really glad Dad took me. 

October 7, 2004

My biological clock is hopelessly out of sync. Fall just doesn't happen here. I wake up every morning and vainly await the sight of golden leaves and the dash of chilling winds, the smell of timber and pine. Alas, fall, that glorious precursor to winter, journeys not into the tropical regions. It was about 80F today, and my whole soul ached. My mind ached, too, as I was pulled out of first period so that I could waste the entire day taking the state exam we must pass to graduate from high school here. It wasn’t challenging, just…stupid.

October 14, 2004

Today is our family's birthday! Anne and Grand Ma told me. Our family was founded in 1066 because of something that happened with a knight and a king, and people have marked the day ever since then. Apparently they're going to have some kind of celebration up in Independence City, but we're not doing anything here because that's Anne's family and Dad doesn't care. I think it's kind of cool, though. 

I subtracted 1066 from 2004 and saw that it makes 938 years. That's a long time for a family to be around. I wonder if someone 938 years ago looked like me?

October 15, 2004

I went to Alice’s house tonight and a bunch of people came over, among them Leia, Nichole, Kyle, Powell, Jack, and others. We were daring each other to make prank phone calls.

I made a first-rate prank phone call from Alice’s cell phone in which I stated, “I’m from Sears Electric. Is your refrigerator running?” 


“Well, you had better go catch it.” 

I went on to ask the man if the power outages had led him to have genital warts, at which point he hung up. 

I tried to prank call Perfect Cousin as a member of the Kerry Campaign since she LOVES politics, but she recognized me straightaway and then everyone started laughing and the whole thing fell to pieces. Perfect and I talked about a lot, especially her transition into college and the election. She said that college is very difficult but that she loves the independence. She advised me not to live at home while I go to school.  I agree. 

At the end of the conversation she said, “Happy 938th,” which I thought was funny.

October 17, 2004

I have to find a map of Germany in the 1400s or 1500s for AP European History. And it's impossible to find one. So random. 

October 23, 2004

Last night we all ambled about, finally going to the park. I opted to walk home alone in the rain, and I wound up stopping at the security guard’s little booth. Well, it’s not really a booth, more like a small building. She let me in, and I remarked that she had a cozy little arrangement. There’s a computer, a screen showing various images from security cameras, and a television with VCR, where she was watching It, appropriately enough. 

The girl on duty was a bubbly, twenty-year-old girl with long red hair, bright eyes, and a glowing face. I was just saying how scared I would be of someone sneaking up from the back of the booth when Alice did just that. I screamed like a little girl and they laughed so hard. I spoke a bit more with the guard (who turned out to be a pagan--who knew?) and then hurried home to watch the movie that we rented, The Day After Tomorrow.

October 26, 2004

["I Voted" sticker posted in journal]

It’s true, weirdly enough. I went with Dad to the polls today, and, after waiting in line for about an hour and a half, it was our turn. Dad told the election monitors that he couldn’t see well and needed my assistance, and so I got to go with him into the voting booth itself. 

And then I got to mark the ballot to select John Kerry as the next president of the United States. It was so awesome. 

I talked to Innocent Cousin and she said she's been praying for John Kerry to win. I have been, too. I just don’t understand how anyone can think of voting for President Bush after his blunders. His recent mistakes show dangerous incompetency, ineptitude so profound that it borders on truly life-threatening to the people of America. This man cannot be Commander-in-Chief.

October 29, 2004

My grandmother Hick Family has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is going to die within two to four weeks. My mother came home today more emotional than I have ever seen her, crying all over the place. 

I hugged and her and asked what was wrong and she just cried more. She dug her hands into my shoulders and my shirt actually got wet from the tears. My father walked through the front door at that moment and I called out, “Dad!” He entered the kitchen, mouthing “What’s wrong?” 

I shrugged and he took hold of my mother. 

“What’s the matter?” he asked. 

“The cancer went from the size of a tennis ball to the size of two basketballs, and she has two weeks to live!” my mother screamed. She flung herself into my father’s embrace and her whole body convulsed. I wish I could do something to comfort her, something that would alleviate this terrible weight of despair.

October 30, 2004

Grand Ma Hick Family died today.


Jay M. said...

Very interesting. I enjoy getting a sense of your life before the present. My father's cancer wasn't as fast as your grandmother's, but it was fast enough (to fast?). It's horrible.

I think it's really cool you celebrate a family birthday. That's very different. And major props to the person who traced your roots back that side of my family is back to the early 1600's in Germany, the other side to the late 1700's in Ireland. I keep digging.

Peace <3

laura b. said...

I don't know anything about my family lineage. Yours is interesting!
I was so convinced, in 2004, that Bush could not possibly be re-elected. I guess I was naive (and still am.) It was quite a blow.