With all the looking forward I've been doing lately, it seemed to make sense that I should take a moment to look back. In December 2004 I was sixteen years old. As a departure from Deep South State loomed ever nearer, I found myself pondering what George W. Bush's (very recent) reelection meant for my immediate future. Many of my concerns were those of a typical sixteen-year-old boy: homework, family, and the loss of friends from a big move. Others, like war fears and a bizarre amount of death, were a little deeper and shed light on the strange time in which I grew to young manhood.
December 2, 2004
My I.D. List for AP European History is due tomorrow. I’m confident that I’ll complete it with time to spare, but there's so much else! Following that, I have to study for the test, also happening tomorrow. Tomorrow is Friday, praise be to God. Over the weekend I hope to get done a lot of work on my portfolios, otherwise I'll have to take off of school Monday to get them finished on time. I’ve set aside five hours to work tonight on AP European History material. I can't wait until this is over and I can have weekends again!
December 6, 2004
I finished the rough draft of my essay last night, thank God. I don’t know how I managed to squeeze out over four pages about Sweden during the reign of Gustavus Adolphus, who I know like nothing about, but I did it.
The final copy is due next Monday. Crap. I'm going to have to stay home from school tomorrow.
Grand Pa Hick Family is here from Hick State to help take care of Pie while Mom is on her business trip and Dad is working late. For the first time that I can remember in my entire life, I saw him cry today. He's usually so tough, but Grand Ma Hick Family's death cut right through him. It was very disturbing today, watching him sob onto the head of his little dog. He's broken now.
December 8, 2004
I spoke with Aunt Smugly Superior today. She's afraid there could be a draft soon and told me I should go to college right away after high school. Aunt Smugly Superior is extremely smart (she works at the medical school of Fallen Dynasty University) and is my favorite out of all of Anne’s siblings. I trust her judgement.
December 13, 2004
Pie is so cute. It's been a little cold here at night, like 40 or 50 degrees, so we have her all wrapped up in stuff and it's amazing how funny it is. She totters around the house (now with a pink jacket over her nightgown), often wearing my mother’s shoes and screaming like a total lunatic at random things. It's pretty great.
Not everything is great, though. In the last week alone Grand Ma Weird Family, Aunt Smugly Superior, and Grand Pa Hick Family have warned me against a coming draft. Today Grand Pa asked me point-blank what I would do if called up to serve. Well, I’m still only sixteen, but if the law about college deferments is changed I could be called up.
I answered him, “I’ll do whatever I have to do.” Then I clarified what I meant: I will not die for this president and his oil. I will not sacrifice my life and everything that I’ve worked towards, for Iraq. If it were a legitimate war, maybe my decision would be different. As of now, though, the fight isn’t worthy. I can't believe we're even having to worry about this. When September 11th happened, I was thirteen years old. Now my generation is in line to be the next mass casualty of this conflict. If only John Kerry had been elected. President Bush is so stupid, and the people who support him are even dumber.
December 20, 2004
When it gets so close to Christmas I really miss Native State. It would never, ever snow here, but back there they're getting tons. Dad and I did go Christmas shopping today! It was a Sunday but it didn't feel like it because our school schedule is so short this coming week.
December 23, 2004
Yesterday was our last day of school until January 5th!! On Tuesday and Wednesday we got out of school at 11:45. Can we just do that all the time? We’ve actually managed to achieve the Christmas feeling, despite being in Deep South State. Fate has played a role as well; today is rather cloudy. Our Christmas tree, sitting on a landslide of presents, lights up our sitting room. A Christmas CD plays from the living room, and we watch Christmas specials on television. I got everyone cool gifts!
December 22nd was Dad’s forty-first birthday. He had to work on his birthday and I worried that he’d be depressed because of everything. He couldn’t find a decent job anywhere so now he's doing odd things because we, you know, have to have money. I worry about him, though. To cheer him on his birthday, I gave him his George W. Bushisms 2005 Calendar early. He liked it and laughed when he opened it, saying that he’d told Mom to buy me the exact same thing.
December 24, 2004
Christmas Eve 2004
It really does feel like Christmas! It’s Christmas Eve and it’s actually quite nice. We’re all very excited about “Santa” coming (Thomas still believes in him) [tell me that's not crazy, readers] and we can’t wait for morning. I’ll write more tomorrow.
December 28, 2004
Great Grand Ma is dead. Mom and I just visited her on Christmas Day, and she really looked awful. She was so gaunt and pale and couldn't move. Her eyes were wide and confused, and she couldn’t speak or recognize anyone. A death is a death, though. Grand Ma, Grand Pa, and now Great Grand Ma all died this year. I wish everyone would stop dying.
December 29, 2004
Something horrible has happened in Asia. The entire Southeast Asian coast, from India to Thailand, has been hit with tsunamis. Apparently the waves were triggered by underwater earthquakes and now over 100,000 people are dead. I can't even imagine that many people. It doesn't even sound real. They were showing video footage of Indian women, crazed by grief, searching through piles of corpses for their children while shrieking. I hate that sound. I hope I never, ever hear it again.
On the news they were also talking about these two divers. They went out into the ocean just minutes ahead of the tsunamis, having no idea what was coming. They were underwater when the waves struck, and they held onto rocks and coral to survive. When they emerged through the surface of the water, the coast from which they’d come was gone. What must that have been like?
Great Grand Ma's viewing was this afternoon. I’d never seen a dead body before today. It made my head reel to look at it, because it was just so strange. I kept expecting her eyes to pop open. Her funeral is tomorrow and Powell and I have to help carry the coffin. I’m worried that we’ll drop it.