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4,258 You Wish You Were Me

About Ronyx

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  1. It’s Friday and I’m in Ms. Neuman’s 6th period. She gave us a test which I finished in about 20 minutes, so I’m going to write a little as everyone else finishes. She’ll probably give us the rest of the period free since it’s Friday and the last period of the day. The only problem is, she’ll give us more homework to do for the weekend. Anyway, something really weird happened first period. After Mr. Byrd checked our journals, he gave us a writing assignment. As I started working on it, he came over to my desk and asked to see me in the hall. So I get up as Cory and Abe look at me. I shrugged my shoulders because I didn’t know what I did wrong. I thought maybe he was upset about the comment I made about blowing up a doll. We go out into the hallway and he closes the door so no one could hear us. He knows if he leaves it open, someone will try and listen to what he’s saying to me, probably Abe or James. He surprised me when he asked me if I was okay after what happened over the weekend. I kind of gave him a puzzled look because I wasn’t sure I should be talking about what had happened. He told me that Jayson was in one of his classes and when he didn’t come to class all week, he called his home last night. I guess Mrs. Williams started crying and told him what happened. For some reason she also mentioned what I had done. I guess Mr. Byrd was worried about me because I was still pretty bothered about what had happened and I didn’t say very much in class this week. Also, my journal didn’t have any funny comments which I think he enjoys reading. So he asked me again if I was okay, and I sort of started crying a little bit. I don’t know why, but I guess I had been holding things in all week and my body decided that it was a good time to let things out. When I started crying, Mr. Byrd sort of pulled me into him and held me. He asked me if he wanted me to have him call my father to come get me, but I told him I would be all right. He said he was very proud of me for what I’d done, but I told him I didn’t feel very proud- that it kind of hurt a little bit knowing that Jayson had tried to kill himself. He assured me that Mrs. Williams had told him that Jayson was better and getting help. So we hear a noise at the door, and we look over to see Cory, Elizabeth and Abe looking through the small window. Mr. Byrd motioned for them to go back to their seats. Elizabeth and Abe disappeared, but a couple of seconds later, Cory opens the door and comes out into the hall with us. As soon as he sees that I’ve been crying, he starts to cry too. So now Mr. Byrd holds him and lets him cry. I put my hand on his back and pat it while tears are running down my face. For the first time, I realized that Cory probably does care about his brother, even though he’s said before he doesn’t. If it’s been hard on me all week, I can only imagine what it’s been like for his family to almost lose Jayson like that. After a minute or two, Mr. Byrd tells me and Cory to go to the bathroom down the hall and wipe our faces clean. We don’t say anything to each other until we get inside the restroom. Since it’s during class, no one else is there. As soon as we enter, Cory grabs me and starts giving me a really big hug. I kept my hands to the side because I wasn’t sure what I should do, but finally I put my arms around him and hugged him back. He’s still sort of crying, but not as much as he was doing in the hallway. He starts thanking me again for saving Jayson’s life. I wanted to tell him I really didn’t do anything, but he just kept thanking me. Finally, I ask him how Jayson is since I hadn’t seen him in school, and he told me he’s been staying at a clinic that deals with people who have tried to commit suicide, and that he hasn’t seen him since Sunday afternoon. He said his mother visits him every day and she says he’s getting along all right. I asked if his dad visits and he gave me a kind of sad look. He said his father has been acting really strange since Jayson went to the hospital. He won’t go see him, and he doesn’t talk about him, which I thought was really strange. Then I get to thinking that maybe that is why Jayson tried to kill himself. I tried to ask Cory about it, but he said he didn’t want to talk about it. So now I’m more confused than ever. One thing really good came out of this, and I know it’s wrong to about the 3769th power, but after we finished talking, I went over to the sink to wash my face off and Cory walked over to the urinal to pee. There is no partition, so when he took IT out, I could see it really well. I honestly tried not to look, but I kind of froze and watched him as he peed. He didn’t look over at me, but I know he saw me looking. He couldn’t help but see me standing just a couple of feet away and watching him. Thinking back on it, I think he was kind of rewarding me for saving his brother’s life. He has known for a while I’ve wanted to see it. We even joked about it on the phone a couple of weeks ago. So I think he let me see it. It was long and not circumcised like mine, and it grew a little as he let me watch him pee. I thought he was going to let it get all the way hard, but then he chickened out and put it away before it did. He was probably afraid someone might walk in and catch us. He didn’t say anything to me when he washed his hands, and I definitely wasn’t going to say anything. I’m just glad he did it because I’ve wanted to see IT for a long time and he finally showed it to me. The only problem is, I’ve had to walk around with my book bag in front of me all day. Even now, Cory is sitting beside me finishing his test and I’m really extra excited. I was going to ask Ms. Neuman if I could go to the bathroom, but Larry Finkle got caught last year doing IT in the bathroom by two other boys, and everyone in school knew about it before school was even out. So I think I’ll just wait until I get home- if I can wait that long. Okay. Ms. Neuman just wrote the homework assignment on the board, so I’m going to start on it so I won’t have too much homework this weekend. IF GOD HAD INTENDED US NOT TO DO IT, HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN US SHORTER ARMS. If you’re read this Mr. Byrd, I’m talking about eating with our fingers. It’s Saturday afternoon and I wasn’t going to write, but now I feel like writing something down because sometimes writing in this journal kind of puts things in perspective and helps me understand things better. Something has really been bothering me and it’s something I thought I’d never really think about, at least not since I’m only 16. But I don’t understand why Jayson tried to end his life? I just don’t understand it at all. I know that life can sometimes be pretty bad, but so bad that a person wants to end it? I mean what can be so bad that someone like Jayson can’t find a reason to live? I’ve never given this much thought, but life is kind of a really special thing if you think about it. I’ve never really thought much about how we got here, but we are here, that is what is important. I mean, just look at everything and how it works. I’m sitting here right now breathing air and it gives me life. Wow! That is kind of remarkable, right? If you really really think about it, life is really kind of special. I mean we are only in this life for a second if you think about time as being eternal, which I don’t even want to consider at this moment. I’m already having trouble dealing with everything else. But when I think about Jayson and why he wanted to kill himself, I really think he got life and living all confused. Living can be really really difficult sometimes. But it always gets better, right? Bad things can’t go on forever in someone’s life, can they? So why kill yourself and end your life, then you won’t be able to live to enjoy life again. Okay, this is really getting confusing. I mean I read all the time about people who went through some really tragic things in their life, but they lived and were glad they lived. So if Jayson tried to kill himself because he is gay, then what if people find out and it’s not so bad as he thinks. Or if it is, does that still mean he can’t live a happy life? So okay, if his family and friends all turn against him, that would be a horrible thing to happen. But what if he lived it out, and later finds someone who is really special, someone like Perry. Then he falls in love with that person and his life will be happy again. But if he died last Saturday, then he would never ever know what might have been. That is what is really bothering me. I get really scared when I think about what if Jayson had died. Then his life would be over. His family would be hurt and his friends would attend his funeral and say some nice things about him, but then they would forget about him in time. But he did live, and I hope that someday he really really regrets feeling like he did. I hope someday when he’s an old man and death is really approaching, that he looks back on his life and decides that his life was worth living, and that trying to end it when he was 18 was the stupidest thing he ever did in his life. I’m going to go call Perry. Writing this really got me depressed and scared. Perry knows what to say to make me feel better. Actually he doesn’t even have to say anything to make me feel better. Just knowing he likes me and cares about me is all I really need. I like how my life is going right now, and I hope that someday Jayson will be able to say the same thing. When I do talk to him someday about what happened, I’m going to really get mad at him for doing what he did. WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU A HUNDRED REASONS TO CRY, SHOW LIFE YOU HAVE A THOUSAND REASONS TO SMILE It’s Sunday morning and I just got through eating breakfast with Mom and Dad. They’re really excited about our trip to London. School ends next Friday for Christmas break. We are off for two weeks and don’t have to start back until January 2. We are flying to New York on Tuesday, December 20, then to London the next day. We’re staying a week and then flying home on December 27. So we’ll be in London on Christmas day, and Mom says we’ll go to Trafalgar Square on Christmas Eve. That is so cool. I am getting really excited about it too. I wish I had some money so I could buy my parents a really nice gift to show them how much I appreciate what they do for me. But Mom says that being a good son and making good grades in school is the best gift I can give them. I had to hold back some tears when she said that. So only 16 more days and I’ll be on a flight to London. I’m still worried a little bit about flying over the Atlantic, but Dad says I won’t even think about it because they show movies during the flight. I hope it’s something good that keeps me distracted from thinking about being on a plane flying over the ocean. With everything going on, I also realized earlier that I only have two more weeks to write in this journal. Mr. Byrd told us today he’ll grade us on the 16th for keeping the journal. I don’t know how he’s going to grade us since he says he doesn’t read them. But I better get a good grade because I’ve really written a lot of personal things in this. I want to keep it and read it again someday, but I’m really afraid someone will find it. I’d be really embarrassed if Mom found it and read what I said about Little Reggie. I’d never ever be able to look her in the face again if she did. So anyway, I’ve decided not to keep writing in this thing when I don’t have to. I’ve got way too much to do now. School is going to get even worse after the holidays. The teachers are already warning us about upcoming projects. Then I still have to volunteer at the crisis center for at least the next few months. I’ve already completed about half the hours that I need. And most importantly- I’ll be getting my driver’s license at the end of January or early February at the latest. I hope. Then I have to find a part-time job to show Dad I’m responsible enough to get a car. I hope if I can make enough to put gas in it and maybe pay for my insurance, then he’ll let me. I figure a few weeks of some serious whining and I can convince him to let me buy a car. Maybe my grandmother will help me convince him since she’s on my side about this. At least I think she is since she gave me money to buy a car. So hopefully, the two of us can get on his nerves enough to let me buy one. I may be growing up, but I still know what I have to do to get what I want. If all else fails I can use the being a good son approach, which would make me feel guilty, but desperate times require desperate measures. Not much excitement last night at the crisis center which I didn't mind. I sat and talked with Mavis mostly about Jayson. She’s still very worried about him. She visits his house every day, but she can’t see him at the center he’s in. I asked her where he is, but she said that no one will tell her anything except that he’s getting help. I guess they’re afraid she’ll try and visit him. She also said that Mr. Williams is acting really strange since Jayson tried to kill himself. She said anytime Jayson’s name comes up, he gets upset and leaves the room. Cory said he was acting strange too. Last week when he came in the hospital, he didn’t seem like a very friendly man. I’d met Cory’s mom a lot of times at school events, but it was the first time I had seen him. I guess he goes to a lot of the games that Jayson plays, but since I’m not into sports, I never go. I have a feeling that by the things I’ve heard about him, he may be some of Jayson’s problem. I hope wherever he is, they can help him deal with it. I sure don’t want him calling the Talk Line again and telling me he’s tried to kill himself again. Something did happened which made me feel good. Mrs. Armstrong had me take a call from a boy who called around 9. He said his name was Davey. He sounded really young, maybe 12 or 13. He was crying and saying that he was being bullied in school and he didn’t know what to do. He said the kids kept calling him a sissy and a queer. He said they were starting to get physical because he was getting picked on and they were pushing him into lockers and stealing his books. So I asked him if he’d told his parents and he said he was scared to say anything to them. It took me about 15 minutes to convince him that he had to talk to his parents and tell them what was going on. Finally, he promised me he would and then he hung up. Mrs. Armstrong came out and told me I did really well talking to him and that I gave him good advice which made me feel proud of myself. So anyway, he calls back about an hour later and tells me he told his parents what was happening at school. He said they got upset about it and they are going to visit the principal to see if she can get the other students to stop bullying him. I told him to call me on Wednesday and let me know what happened. He said he would. I hope so because I think he may be gay and I can help him with that too if he needs someone to talk to. So I’m kind of proud of myself. The thing with Jayson made me think I didn’t want to do this anymore, but Davey kind of made me realize that I’m doing something really special by volunteering at the crisis center. I guess I can see that I’m making a difference in someone’s life, and it kind of makes me feel good about that. I HEARD YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND. SO WHAT DID YOU DO WITH THE DIAPER? Since it’s getting to the end of this thing, I better do something to make Mr. Byrd laugh if I want a good grade. This is like the best day of my whole life! I know it’s been a really bad week, but today made up for it. It’s Wednesday and I came home from school and I was in my room working on my homework and Mom came home and called me downstairs. She was smiling really big and I could tell she was excited about something, but she kept playing this little game. She asked me what would make me happier than anything in the world. So I thought a minute and I got excited because I thought her and Dad had decided to buy me a car. I jumped around and asked her if they did. She laughed and told me no, which made me feel disappointed. Then she asked me was there anything else, so I thought a minute and told her I couldn’t think of anything. Then she asked me how I would like it if Perry went with us to London on vacation. I just stood and looked at her like I was stupid or something because it was something I’d never even thought about. She laughed and asked me again. So I said, “Really?” And she laughed and said he was going with us. Then I ran over and gave her a really big hug and we sort of danced around the kitchen for a minute. She told me to sit down and she explained why Perry was going with us. She said she and Mrs. Morgan were having lunch together and Perry’s mom asked what we were doing for Christmas. Mom told her about the trip to London and how excited she was about going. Then Mom told her she was a little worried about me not having much fun just going with her and Dad, and Mrs. Morgan kind of joked about Perry going with us. Mom didn’t think it was a joke, but a good idea. So they really talked about Perry going, and they decided that if he wanted to go, and I wanted him to go, then he could. I asked Mom about a passport, and she said he already had one because they went to Australia three years ago, which he didn’t tell me about. So if Perry wants to go with us, he can. If he says no, I won’t ever talk to him again. Well, maybe not until I get back from London, anyways. I want to call him to see if he’s talked to his mother yet about going, but I’m afraid to call. I want her to be the one to say something to him just in case he doesn’t know about it and he doesn’t want to go. He might want to spend Christmas with his family. I can understand that since we haven’t known each other very long. But still, I have my fingers crossed that he wants to go. He’s going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He called me and told me what his mother said and he’s really really excited. He kept saying we’re going to have so much fun. I was so excited that I wanted to climb through the phone and give him a giant hug. I know I’m going to want to do it when I see him on the bus in the morning. I hope I have kind of calmed down by then. We talked about some of the things we wanted to do. Neither of us know much about London, so we’re both going to do a search tonight to find some cool sights to go to. I know I want to see Big Ben and The Tower of London. Perry said he wants to go to Piccadilly Circus and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. I know Mom and Dad will want to go to Buckingham Palace, and Dad will definitely want to go to Westminster Abbey since a lot of famous writers are buried there. So Perry and I will be spending the next two weeks making a list of places we want to go. And the best part- Perry and I get our own room!!!!!!! When I asked him if he’d be uncomfortable sharing a room with me, Mom and Dad, he said his mom and my mom already talked about them getting a suite with separate bedrooms. So now I’m really really excited because I’m going to be sleeping in the same bed with Perry. And if he wants to do something, I’m going to do it. We’ll just have to be really really quiet so we don’t make any noise. You wouldn’t believe how hard Little Reggie is right now. I’m going to call Perry back and kind of see how he feels about sleeping with me. I don’t want to spend the next two weeks worried about doing something that will ruin the whole trip. I don’t want to make a mistake and he tells Mom and Dad. I don’t think he’d do that, but I still want to have a good time. If I spend it worrying about what to do when I get into bed with him, I’ll never get any sleep. I’m going to go call him and kind of see what he thinks. Okay. I’m going to take a big chance here and hope Mr. Byrd doesn’t read this, but Perry wants to have sex with me. He told me. I went online to see if I could chat with him. He was online, so I asked him if he had done any research yet on where he wanted to go, and he told me he was doing that. Then I told him it would be cool to see the hotel we were staying, so we found it. Then we found the suite where we would stay and it showed the bedrooms. They were really big with a king size bed. So I joked and said we’d probably get lost on a bed that big, and he said he’d find me somehow. So I joked back and said I’d be waiting. And he said, “really?” and I said “yes.” Then he told me I’d be too scared, and I told him I wouldn’t be, and he said “really?” So I got all brave and my hands shook as I asked him if he wants to sleep naked. I didn’t want to come right out and ask him if he wanted to have sex just in case he didn’t. I got kind of nervous when he didn’t respond right away. I was relieved when he wrote, ‘yes.’ Of course, Little Reggie came to life and I giggled and told Perry. He said Little Perry was awake too. Then he asked me if I really wanted to do something with him, and I couldn’t type ‘yes’ fast enough. He told me he’s been thinking about doing something with me, too. So now I’m really really excited because I’m going to London with Perry and we’re going to sleep naked in a big king sized bed together alone in our own room. So I’m hoping that this trip to London will be more than just a sightseeing tour with a friend. And Mr. Byrd, if you’re reading this, I’ve made all of this up. None of it is true. I LOVE WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH YOUR HAIR. HOW DID YOU GET IT TO COME OUT OF ONE NOSTRIL LIKE THAT? It’s Thursday and I’m in Mrs. Griffin’s lit class. We’re supposed to be reading a short story, but since she said we wouldn’t discuss it until tomorrow, I thought I’d write about what happened at lunch and then read it tonight before I go to bed. So at lunch, Cory was behind me and Perry in line, and after we got our food, he asked me if we could go sit together somewhere else so he could talk to me. I didn’t want Perry to eat without me, so I asked Cory if he could join us. He didn’t act like he wanted him to, but he finally said okay. We go across the cafeteria to an empty table. As soon as we sat down, Beverly came over and asked us what is wrong, and Cory got kind of upset and told her to mind her own business. He apologized, but it was obvious he had hurt her feelings. She left, and we ate quietly for a minute. I know he wanted to talk, but he wouldn’t since Perry was with us. I ask Perry if he’d go eat with Beverly. Perry is smart, so he kind of picked up on what was going on, so he leaves. After a couple of minutes when I see that Cory isn’t going to say anything, I ask him what’s wrong. He told me he didn’t want to ask me, but he had promised Jayson he would, but if I wanted to say no he would understand. I kind of laughed and told him he wasn’t making a lot of sense. He told me that Jayson came home last night. He said things were really tense around his house because his father seemed like he didn’t want him there. Cory said he was in bed and getting ready to go to sleep when Jayson came into his room. Jayson said he was upset and kind of crying a little bit. Cory got worried because he was afraid Jayson was going to do something to himself again because he was all upset. Cory said they talked for about an hour, but he wouldn’t tell me what they talked about. He said it was the first time he had actually liked his brother. Jayson even apologized for being such a bad brother. So anyways, Cory said that before Jayson went back to his room, he asked him if he would talk to me and see if I would meet with him this weekend to talk. When I asked him about what, he wouldn’t tell me. He just kind of looked at me like he was begging me to do it. Okay. Now Cory is really cute and I’ve had the biggest crush on him for several years. He could ask me to jump off the school roof and I would do it. But meeting his brother to talk? That I’m not too sure I want to do. I’ve kind of put all of that out of my mind. I want to go to London in 12 days and I don’t want him to ruin it. What if he tells me he wants to kill himself again. I couldn’t leave worrying about whether he’s going to get drunk and take pills again. But then I’d feel guilty if I didn’t talk to him and he did something. Then I’d spend the rest of my life regretting that I didn’t because maybe I could have said something to prevent him from doing it. Cory waited for my answer with that cute pleading look. He finally smiled when I told him okay. He told me he’d talk to Jayson tonight and then call me and let me know when we can meet. I asked him if he would be there, and he told me he thought it was best if he wasn’t because Jayson may say things to me he wouldn’t say if he was there. I know Perry is going to want to know what Cory said to me, so I don’t think I would be violating anything if I told him. He already knows what happened because I told him last Sunday when he came over and got in bed with me. Oh, man. I just realized. He got in bed with me and he told me he had been thinking about doing something with me. I wish he would have said something then. I was too upset to do anything anyway, so I probably would have told him no and hurt his feelings. Then we may never have done anything. Okay. I have enough words for this week, so I’ll just say that Cory called me a few minutes ago. Jayson wants to meet me on Sunday. He’s going to pick me up at 1 and we’re going to go someplace to talk. Cory said his mom will call my mom tomorrow to make sure it’s okay with her. I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight. YOUR MOMMA IS SO STUPID, SHE WALKED PAST A YMCA AND SAID, “LOOK. THEY SPELLED MACY’S WRONG.” 5189
  2. It’s Wednesday night and I want to write a little because with it being Thanksgiving weekend I might not have much time. Mom makes a big deal out of it. She invites my grandmother and a few other relatives over. Most of them are old so it’s not much fun for me. I usually go to my room after we eat. Last year was really embarrassing because she had me come downstairs and read a poem I wrote for my literature class. It was something about peace, and the teacher had given me an A+ and wrote in red ink how good she thought it was. I didn’t think it was because I wrote it in about 15 minutes because I forgot it was due and wrote it on the bus that morning. But anyway, she called me downstairs and made me stand in the middle of the family room while my grandmother and two aunts and uncles sat and listened to me read it. They even applauded when I finished which made it even more embarrassing. I’m glad I didn’t show her any of my work this year, so maybe I won’t have to do anything embarrassing. I had to work at the crisis center tonight, but Mrs. Armstrong let me and Caryn leave early since it was a holiday. Besides, the phones were dead most of the night which I thought was unusual because I would have thought that they would be busier during the holiday. I was worried since it was Thanksgiving that a lot of kids would call because they weren’t very thankful for much, but I guess I was wrong. I’m glad she let me leave because I spent most of the night worrying that Jayson might call again. It was easier talking to him when I didn’t know who he is, but now that I do, I’m not sure I can talk to him without sounding all nervous. Mavis didn’t help because she kept talking about it and kind of prepping me what to say if he did call. I was afraid if he called, she would want to listen to our conversation. I still don’t think it is right that our calls are monitored, but I can understand why they are. But anyway, he didn’t call so I was kind of glad about that. I talked to Perry tonight, or I should say I chatted with him. When I turned on my computer, I looked to see if he was online and he was. So I gave him a big smiley face when we started chatting. He returned an emoticon that waved at me. I started laughing when I saw it. Then he asked me if I was upset about him not being in school and I told him I really missed seeing him. He said he was sorry and he’d give me a big kiss to make it up to me. I LOL and told him that he was going to wake up Little Reggie and he LOL and said that Little Perry was already awake. So that really woke up Little Reggie. Perry said he missed me and I kind of got an ache in my chest but I didn’t tell him that. So I asked him about tomorrow and if he was doing anything special. He said his Mom bakes a turkey and they eat early so his dad can watch the football games. I told him about how we spend Thanksgiving and I said I wished there was a way we could spend it together. So he told me to wait a minute and he stopped chatting for a few minutes while I just waited for him to come back. When he did, he asked me if I wanted to come to his house for Thanksgiving. He said he went and asked his mother if he could invite me and she said yes. I hear the phone ringing downstairs and he tells me his mother is going to call my mother and see if I can. A few minutes later, my Mom called me downstairs and asked me if I wanted to go to the Morgan’s for Thanksgiving and I said “I don’t know.” I was afraid to act excited because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. I mean Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays you’re supposed to want to spend with your family, right? So if I acted excited, she might think that I don’t want to be with her and Dad, but I’m 16 and a really cute boy likes me and even kissed me and he wants me to spend it with him. So I wouldn’t be too selfish if I did want to be with him rather than my parents, right? Anyway, she said I could and I said thanks. I waited until I got to my room before I got all excited. When I told Perry that she said I could, he got excited too. He said he’d show me his room and maybe even kiss me again if I wanted to do that, and I told him I did. So Thanksgiving is going to be fun. I hope we get a chance to be alone, so I can give him a really really big kiss. I’ll write more when I get back tomorrow night. IF YOU MUST PICK BETWEEN TWO EVILS, CHOOSE THE ONE YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE I’m back. It’s Friday night and I’ve just spent one of the best holidays ever! I guess I should feel a little bit guilty saying that, but I have to keep it real as Cory would say. I mean I love my parents, but yesterday I spent it with my boyfriend. Yes, I said boyfriend! Perry and I officially became boyfriends today. Okay. Let me explain how that happened. Dad took me over yesterday to Perry’s house around 11. He didn’t seem too disappointed that I wasn’t going to spend Thanksgiving with them. And to be honest, I kind of suspect that maybe they liked it. After Mom told me that I could spend it with Perry and his family, she decided it would be a waste to spend all morning baking a turkey for just her and dad since my aunt was feeling sick and she and my uncle couldn’t make it. Dad called a nice restaurant and made reservations for him and Mom for Thanksgiving dinner. They invited my grandmother to join them, but she said she’d just like to spend it alone. I guess the holidays aren’t the same anymore since Granddaddy died. Anyway, Mom said it felt like she and Dad were going on a date. Dad asked me on the way to Perry’s if he thought he should buy Mom flowers, and I told him it would be a good idea. I was surprised when we went by a florist and they were open on Thanksgiving Day. The clerk said that a lot of people like to decorate their dinner table with floral centerpieces so that is why they were open. Dad bought Mom a blue corsage. I know she liked it because she was still wearing it when I got home. Sorry. I got side tracked again. So Dad dropped me off at Perry’s and he was waiting outside for me. He lives in a really nice house. It’s not as big as ours, but it’s still nice. He’s also lucky because the yard isn’t as big as ours and there isn’t a lot of trees. I guess it doesn’t take him long to mow or rake it. Since his parents and little brother, Chris, were at our house for dinner last week, I wasn’t worried about having to meet them. When I entered the house, it smelled really good. I love the smell of Thanksgiving. My stomach always starts growling whenever I smell the aroma of a turkey baking in the oven. It also smelled like his mother was baking a pumpkin pie. I followed Perry into the kitchen and his mother is running around with an apron on that has cute little turkeys on it. I was surprised when she handed an apron to Perry and he put it on. She told him to hurry up and check on the turkey. I couldn’t believe he was actually helping his mother cook. My mother never lets me in the kitchen when she’s preparing a meal. She tells me to get out if I even go in to get a soda out of the refrigerator. But Perry opened the oven and stuck a meat thermometer into the turkey and then told his mom it was almost done. Then he went over to the counter and started peeling potatoes. I walked up beside him and asked him if he wanted me to help but he said no. So I watched his sexy fingers as he peeled about 10 potatoes. Chris came in and said hi to me. He’s cute too, but he doesn’t look like Perry. In fact, none of his family looks like Perry. They all have brown hair and blue eyes. Perry has blonde hair and brown eyes. I asked him last week why he looks different and he said he looks like the mail man. I didn’t know what he meant and he almost feel out of his bus seat when I stupidly asked him who his mail man was. He then told me it was a joke. He says that is what his mother says when people ask her why he doesn’t look like the rest of the family. After he peeled the potatoes and put them in a big pot, his mother told him that he should show me his room. He got really nervous and started stuttering. He told her he could show me after we eat, but she removed his apron and pushed him from the kitchen. I followed him as we walked through the living room and headed down a long hallway. His room was the last room on the left. It looked like what a boy’s room should look like, not all neat like mine. It looked like he had hurriedly cleaned it up for me. Shoes were sticking out from under the full size bed. His closet door was open and shoes and dirty clothes were laying on the floor. When he saw me look in it, he walked over and quickly closed the door. The cover on the bed looked like he had given it a quick toss because it was lumpy, not smooth like mine. Posters of bands and skateboarders were on the wall. Two skateboards were resting against a corner of the room. I walked over to his computer desk and looked at the numerous games that were scattered about. When Perry walked over and sat down on the side of his bed, I went over and sat down beside him. He looked at me and smiled nervously. “Well,” he stuttered, “How do you like it?” I told him I liked his room. We sat quietly for a minute as Perry’s legs bounced nervously against the bed. I finally asked him if he was okay, and he stammered out that he was. I kind of giggled and told him he seemed to be nervous and he said he was. So I asked him why, and he shrugged his shoulders. Then I suggested that we play a video game until we had to eat, and he said okay. When we stood, he looked at me and then moved toward me and wrapped his arms around me. I thought it was cute when he let out a little sigh. “I’m glad you’re here.” He had trouble saying here, so I told him to take his time. He nodded, and then said it. I gave him another hug. As I pulled away, Perry closed his eyes and leaned in and kissed me. This wasn’t like the kiss he gave me in my room. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me passionately. My knees started to buckle when he pushed his tongue into my mouth. It kind of surprised me when he did it, but I liked it. So did Little Reggie because he started to wake up. I moaned into Perry’s mouth when he pressed a very awake Little Perry against me. Suddenly, the door opened and Perry’s little brother came barging in. We quickly jumped apart, but not before he saw us kissing. He shouted, “I’m going to go tell Mommy!” as he ran from the room. Perry walked over and plopped down on the side of his bed. I stood in the middle of the room. I didn’t know if he wanted me to stay or go back downstairs. I asked him if he was okay and he said he was. I hesitated before sitting beside him. I asked him if we were going to be in trouble and he kind of laughed nervously. He started stuttering when he explained that it was all right. I took his hand and held it as he told me his mother and father were trying to keep his brother from finding out he was gay, at least until he was old enough to understand. Now he was afraid his mother might be upset because she would have to discuss it with him. I told him I was sorry, but he said I didn’t have to be. He said he’d been waiting all morning to kiss me. That was why he had been so nervous earlier because he was worried I might not want to kiss him again. I giggled and told him he could kiss me anytime he wanted because I really liked it. He said he did too. We both wanted to kiss again, but Perry kept looking at the door. I’m glad we didn’t because his father appeared and came into the room. At first I was scared, but his father didn’t seem angry. He got a chair from Perry’s desk and came over and sat down in front of us. His father looked down when Perry reached out and held my hand tightly, but he didn’t say anything. His father then told us we’d have to be more careful around his little brother. He said he was still too young to understand what was going on. Perry and I nodded, but we didn’t say anything. His father said that Perry’s mother was downstairs having a talk with Chris. He told Perry that he might have some questions about what he witnessed earlier. He instructed Perry to try and keep things simple and not to go into too much detail about being gay. We hung our heads when he said he wished we had been more careful. Perry stuttered terribly when he told his father the door had been closed, but Chris came rushing in. He started to cry and asked his father if he was mad at him. Mr. Morgan reached out and gave him a big hug and assured him that he nor his mother were upset. He warned us again to be more careful. He then got up and left the room. Perry let out a deep sigh when he was gone. I asked him if he was okay, and he smiled and said he was. Just then his mother hollered down the hall and told us dinner was ready. As we walked to the door, Perry closed it and locked it. He grinned and said, “We gotta be more careful.” I giggled as he stepped toward me and kissed me again. It wasn’t as big a kiss as the one he’d given me earlier, but it was still a nice kiss. He then unlocked the door and I followed him down the hall to the dining room. We sat down and Perry’s dad asked Chris to say grace. He muttered something really quickly because he was in a hurry to eat. I can’t blame him. My mom is a good cook, but Perry’s mom is even better. The turkey seemed like it melted in my mouth. I ate so much, my stomach was hurting when I finished. Perry didn’t look like he was feeling too good either. We moaned when Mrs. Morgan asked if we still had room for pumpkin pie. Perry asked her if we could eat it later and she said it would be all right. His brother told her he wanted a piece- a big piece. I don’t know where he put it, though. Even though he’s rather small, he ate almost as much as me. Perry got up from the table and I followed him out the back door. As soon as I stepped out onto the patio, a huge golden retriever came running up to me. Perry told me that was Sampson and even though he was big, he was as gentle as a kitten. I found that out quickly enough when Sampson jumped up and started licking me in my face. Perry picked up a ball and tossed it out into the back yard. Sampson ran after it and brought it back for me to toss. We played with him for about 20 minutes before he finally grew too tired to run anymore. I’m going to go downstairs and get a soda and a bag of chips. BRB. BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS, YOU’VE ALREADY READ IT Sorry. It’s Saturday afternoon and I didn’t get back last night to write any more. I guess my parents felt guilty that we didn’t spend Thanksgiving together, so Mom suggested that we go somewhere and get ice cream. It’s November and she wants ice cream. But I didn’t complain when she said I could drive. We ended up at Coldstone’s on the day after Thanksgiving on a cold November night. The place was empty and I think even the girl behind the counter was surprised to see someone come in. I think the only reason Mom suggested going was because she wanted to get me out of the house so she could ask me about Perry. She wanted to know if I had fun at his house on Thursday and I told her I did. She asked me how good the food was, so I lied and told her it wasn’t as good as hers which made her happy. When we finished, she let me drive around town for a little while. I did good until a car in front of me stopped suddenly and I almost hit it. Then I had to listen to a 10 minute lecture from Dad about following another car an assured clear distance. I was going to tell him I already learned it, but I was afraid he would think I was getting smart and he wouldn’t let me drive again. But other than that, I did pretty good. Let me reread what I wrote last night. I think I was talking about something. Oh, right. I was going to tell how I became Perry’s boyfriend. I like the sound of that- Perry’s boyfriend. Okay, here’s what happened. Hold on. Mom just told me Mrs. Armstrong is on the phone and wants to talk to me. I have to go. Jayson has been calling the Talk Line all afternoon and he says he’ll only talk to me. It’s only 4 and I’m not supposed to be there until 6, but she asked me if I could come in early in case he called back. She says he sounds really desperate. I’m kind of scared. I think I’ll let Dad drive me because if I drive, I’ll probably have a wreck. I’ll write more when I can. NEVER ACT UNTIL YOU HAVE CLEARLY ANSWERED THE QUESTION: “WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOTHING?” It’s Sunday afternoon and I just got out of bed. I didn’t get in bed until around 6 this morning because I was at the hospital all night. Okay. I guess I should explain what happened. I’m still really tired, so I hope this makes sense. Mrs. Armstrong called me and told me Jayson wanted to talk to only me, so I went in early to the crisis center. Mavis was there, but she was crying and really worried about Jayson. I guess Jayson had called about 15 minutes earlier and she answered the phone. He disguised his voice like he always does, but she knew it was him and asked him what was wrong. The thing is, though, she called him Jayson when she said it. He hung up without saying anything. She called his cell phone several times but he wouldn’t answer. She said she tried calling his parents, and then Cory but no one was answering their phones. So to say she was frantic when I got there would definitely be an understatement. Anyway, I sat around waiting for him to call back while the others answered the phones. They were really busy. I guess a lot of kids were depressed because of the holiday. A couple of girls called in to talk about their boyfriends getting drunk and hitting them. Mrs. Armstrong said that usually calls do pick up around the holiday because people drink more, and it also makes some people more depressed. So the phones were pretty busy. Mrs. Armstrong didn’t want me to take any other calls because she wanted me to be available in case Jayson called back. I think she was really worried about him. She scared me because she said that Jayson was exhibiting all the signs of someone who was considering suicide. She said when he had called earlier in the day he had made some comments about life not being worth living and he thought people would be happier if he wasn’t around. I still couldn’t understand it because he seems like such a popular person at school. I know Cory hates him, but he’s treated like a big celebrity because he does so well in football and basketball. When I told Mrs. Armstrong about that, she said that sometimes we really don’t know what’s going on inside someone’s head. When I asked her if he could be gay and maybe that’s why he’s acting like he is, she said she hadn’t considered that, but it did seem to be a possibility. She said I just might have hit upon something, so we discussed how we should go about approaching that subject. It made me feel good because I seemed to know more about it than she did. Okay. I guess I’m taking too long to get to how I spent the night in the hospital. I know someday I’m going to sit down and reread all this and it’s going to bring back a lot of bad memories. Anyway, about 9:40 my phone lights up. I look over at Mrs. Armstrong’s office and she’s motioning for me to pick up the phone, so I know it’s Jayson calling. My hand starts shaking as I pick up the receiver. So I say hello and he starts speaking but he’s slurring his words so bad I can hardly understand what he’s saying. So I say, “Robert, what’s wrong?” and he doesn’t say anything for a few seconds. Then he starts singing softly but I don’t know what he’s singing. So I ask him if he’s all right and he doesn’t answer. Then I ask him where he is and he says, “Heaven.” Okay, now I’m getting scared, and I look over at Mrs. Armstrong and she’s listening and she’s looking really worried. So I ask him if he’s okay again, and he says, “Yeah, Reggie. I’ve never felt better.” Only he was slurring his words so bad I could hardly make out what he said. Then Mrs. Armstrong rushes out of her room and whispers in my ear to ask him if he’s taken any pills. So I ask him and he says, “Yeah. Cool, huh?” Now I’m starting to panic because I know things have become really serious. So I ask him again where he is, and he again says, “Heaven. Dude, I’m seeing angels.” So I scream into the phone, “Jayson, where are you?” So he doesn’t say anything right away. I’m afraid he’s going to hang up because I called him by his real name. Then he starts crying. Well, actually he started sobbing really loudly. Then he cries that he really don’t want to do this. So I ask him what he doesn’t want to do, and he says, “Die.” Okay, now chills go down my back when he says this. Mrs. Armstrong tells me to ask him where he is again. So I ask him and he says he’s in his car. So I try to stay calm while I try to get him to tell me where he is. So I ask him where his car is. He says, “Let me look around.” Only now he is almost whispering and talking really sluggish, so I know that we may be running out of time. So I ask him again where he is and he says he doesn’t know. So now I start to panic. I realize he’s somewhere in his car and he may be dying. Then it hit me where he might be. He went to the stadium last weekend when he was depressed. So I put my hand over the phone and tell Mrs. Armstrong to send the EMS to the parking lot of the school stadium. She rushes into her office and gets on the phone. I try to keep Jayson talking because I know as long as he’s talking he’s not dead. Okay, I’m starting to cry now because this is so emotional. Hold on. I’m going to take a little break. Okay. I’m back. I called Perry and his mother brought him over and he was with me for about an hour while I broke down and cried really hard. I was lying on my bed when he got here and he just curled up and held me. We didn’t talk or anything, he just held me. I’m really glad he was here because this is something I couldn’t handle by myself. I’m going to try to finish. I think I’ll be okay now. I try to keep Jayson talking but he doesn’t respond to anything I say. I know he hasn’t hung up because I can hear his car radio playing. So I start screaming his name and Mavis rushes over and asks me what has happened. I tell her I think Jayson is dead, and she grabs the phone and starts yelling at him too. When he doesn’t say anything, she becomes hysterical. Caryn comes over and tries to comfort her while I take the phone back. I yell out his name several more times but he doesn’t answer. Then I can hear a siren, and it gets louder and louder. So I start saying a prayer that they have reached him in time. Finally, I hear his car door open and several voices are talking. Then the phone went dead. So now I start to panic because I don’t know what is going on. I look at the clock and it is 10:17. Mavis came back over and wraps her arms around me and starts sobbing. Since she is rather large, she almost pulled us both to the ground. Mrs. Armstrong comes out of her office and tries to console her by telling her that they were taking Jayson by helicopter to the hospital. I felt a little bit relieved because they wouldn’t be taking him to the hospital if he was dead. But then again, they wouldn’t be taking him by helicopter unless he was in critical condition. Mavis asked if she could leave and go to the hospital and Mrs. Armstrong told her she could. Mavis then told me to get my coat because I was going with her because she didn’t want to drive alone. I called my Dad and told him what had happened and he told me he’d meet me at the hospital. I was worried we would never get to the hospital because Mavis kept running red lights. Well, not really running them, but she’d slow down and look both ways and if no one was coming, she’d go through it. I’m going to ask my driver’s education teacher Tuesday if you can do that if you’re going to the hospital because of an emergency. I bet he tells me no. Anyway, we finally get to the emergency room and Mavis goes up to the woman at the desk and asks her about Jayson. She looks at her computer monitor and says that a Jayson Williams hasn’t been admitted. Mavis starts insisting that he is there and she wants to go back and see him. A security guard comes in and asks what’s wrong, so Mavis explains to him what has happened. He was polite and asked us to have a seat while he goes back and checks to see if Jayson has been brought in. We sit down but Mavis is still crying. She holds my hand so tight she’s cutting off the circulation. About 10 minutes later the security guard comes back out and calls us over to the corner of the emergency room. I hold my breath because I’m afraid he’s going to tell us that Jayson is dead. I think Mavis does too because she’s almost hysterical again. So he tells us that Jayson has been brought in. Mavis asks how he is but the guard says he can’t tell her because a doctor has to talk to us about that. But he says really softly, “I will tell you that he’s alive.” Then Mavis lets out a loud scream and falls down on the ground. She’s still got a hold of my hand, so I fall down too. She’s crying and then I start to kind of cry a little because Jayson isn’t dead. The guard manages to get Mavis up and helps her to a seat. I look around the room and there are about 8 people in there and they are all watching us. Finally, she settles down a little so the guard tells us that he hopes Jayson will be okay and he leaves. So Mavis and I sit there while she holds my hand tightly. She gets up about every 10 minutes to ask the woman behind the desk if there is any news about Jayson. Of course she won’t tell her anything, so we just wait. Dad showed up and I told him what was happening. He walked over and talked to the receptionist. I heard him tell her he was Dr. Ferguson, but Dad looks like a college professor, so I don’t think she believed he was a medical doctor. Anyway, she told him the same thing she told Mavis. Dad sat around with us for about 15 minutes and it’s now almost midnight. He asked me if I was ready to go home, but I told him I’d like to stay with Mavis. She assured him she’d bring me home after we found out how Jayson was. He agreed and left. I was kind of surprised that he let me stay, but it made me feel good to know that he felt I was old enough to be left alone at a hospital with a person he didn’t even know. This is getting long, but I want to finish telling what happens. I’m still really really tired and it’s almost 4. Mom looked in and saw me writing. I guess she thought I’d still be asleep. She asked me if I was hungry and I had to think a few seconds until I realized I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch yesterday. I told her I was and she’s downstairs now fixing an early dinner. So I may have to leave in a minute to go eat. So anyway, about 12:30 last night Cory and his parents came rushing into the emergency room. Mavis immediately started crying again as she hugged them. Cory gave me the weirdest look like why was I sitting with his cousin in the waiting room. Cory’s parents went over to the receptionist to see how Jayson was. Mavis and I didn’t know how they knew that Jayson had been taken to the hospital since she couldn’t get them on their phone. Cory told her that they had attended a play downtown and had turned their phones off. They didn’t know anything had happened until they got home and their home phone was flashing. The hospital had called and informed them that Jayson was at the hospital and that they should get there right away. He looked at me and asked me why I was there and I explained to him about volunteering at the crisis center and how Jayson had been talking to me. Just then his parents came up to us and asked if we knew what was going on because the receptionist wouldn’t tell them anything and she told them a doctor would be out shortly to talk to them. Mavis told them about Jayson calling the crisis center and how she thought that maybe he had taken some pills. I tried to assure them that he would be okay because the ambulance had arrived and taken him by helicopter to the hospital. Cory’s mom sat down and started crying really hard and Mavis sat beside her and they both sobbed pretty loud. Everyone was looking at them. Even Cory seemed visibly upset and had to wipe tears from his eyes a few times. I sat beside him and kept telling him everything was going to be all right, but I wasn’t sure it would be because I thought that he might be dead since no one was telling them anything. Finally, a nurse came through a door and asked for Jayson’s parents. They got up and followed her through the door. Mavis and Cory wanted to go, but the nurse told them they couldn’t, only his parents could go back. So we waited around for about fifteen minutes until Cory’s dad came back out. Cory’s dad is really really tall and he doesn’t show any emotion. He never even cried after I told everyone what had happened. And it was Mavis who comforted Cory’s mother when she was upset. He sat in a chair and remained motionless which I thought was really strange since Jayson could be dead. So anyway, we stand as he walks over and Mavis becomes frantic again, asking if Jayson is dead. I held my breath waiting for him to tell him he was, but he didn’t. He said Jayson was alive. Mavis starting wailing and you would have thought that she was just told that Jayson had died. I waited for Cory’s dad to comfort her, but he didn’t. So Cory and I gave her a hug and told her everything was okay. When she settled down, Cory’s dad told us what happened, but he seemed really angry about it, not sad like I thought he should be. He said that Jayson had tried to kill himself. He was really mad when he said it. He said the doctor told them that they had gotten Jayson to the hospital in time and had pumped out his stomach and given him medication to reverse the effects of the drug he had taken. He didn’t say what it was. He said he was awake, but he wouldn’t talk to anyone about what happened. Again, he seemed really mad about what Jayson had done. I thought he’d be happy that Jayson was alive, but if he was, he didn’t show it. He then told Cory he was going home and asked if he’d like to go with him. Cory told him that he’d rather stay, so he left by himself. It really surprised me, but Cory and Mavis didn’t seem upset that he had left. Cory even made a comment about that was what he expected his father to do. So we sat back down and I’m trying to figure out why he would leave his son in a hospital bed and go home and act as if he didn’t even care that he had almost died a few hours earlier. After about a half hour, Cory’s mom finally comes out into the waiting room. She tells us pretty much the same thing that his father had told us. She didn’t seem surprised that he had gone home either. So she sits down and tells us that Jayson would be all right. She said the doctor told her that if help hadn’t arrived when it did, then she might be planning Jayson’s funeral. They told her how a boy at the crisis center had alerted them to where he was. Of course, Mavis had to get upset again and tell Cory’s mom that I was the boy who they were talking about. Cory’s mom started crying and hugged me so hard I almost couldn’t breathe. She kept calling me Jayson’s guardian angel, which I didn’t think I was. Cory kept staring at me like he couldn’t believe what was going on, and I honestly didn’t know either. So after a few minutes, his mother got up and said she’d find out when Jayson would be released. If they were going to hold him overnight, then Mavis could take me and Cory home. By then I was getting really sleepy. I think all the adrenaline had drained from my body and I was feeling really really tired. About 15 minutes later she came back out and said that Jayson would be released in about 2 hours. I looked at the clock at it was already almost 1:30. She asked if we’d mind waiting and we said we would. Since Mavis was 18, she told Mavis she could go back and see Jayson. I wasn’t sure that was a good idea since Mavis tends to get really emotional, but she left with Cory’s mom. Cory and I sat down together on a hard love seat. Cory looked over and said, “Thanks.” I know he said it because he thought I’d saved his brother’s life. So I nodded and said, “Okay.” A few minutes later we both closed our eyes and fell asleep. I was awakened when I felt him lean into me and his head rested on my shoulder. I was too tired to say anything, so I fell back asleep. The next thing I knew I was being awakened by Mavis. She was jiggling my shoulder. When I became more awake, I suddenly realized that Cory had fallen asleep with his head in my lap and my arm was sort of cradling him as he slept. He awoke and sprang up quickly when he saw the position he was in. He kind of looked at me and muttered, “Sorry.” I was a little disappointed because I had been asleep the whole time and didn’t realize I had been holding Cory like that. So anyway, Mavis told us that Jayson was being released and they should be out shortly. I looked at the clock and it was almost 4:45. About 15 minutes later, Jayson and his mother came out into the waiting area. Jayson looked really bad. I guess bad isn’t the right word. He looked really really sad. I almost wanted to cry when I saw the expression on his face. He kept his head down and only looked up once. He gave me a puzzled look because he probably was wondering who I was. When we left, I followed behind everyone. His shoulders were drooped and he acted like he didn’t even want to go to the car. Mavis grabbed his hand and almost had to pull him. When we got in the car, I sat beside him. He looked again at me and his eyes looked empty. There was no expression on his face. It was as if he was lifeless. It kind of scared me. No one said anything as they took me home. When I got out, Cory said, “Thanks again, Reggie.” I looked at Jayson as he raised his head and just stared blankly at me. I think it was the first time he realized I was the Reggie who had saved his life. Mom was up when I entered the house. She was dressed in her nightgown and drinking a cup of coffee in the kitchen. She asked me if Jayson was okay and I told her he was, but the look on his face made me think that maybe he wasn’t. She asked me if I was hungry, and after thinking about it, I told her I was. She made me a breakfast of eggs, sausage and toast. After eating, I went to my room, toed off my shoes and crawled into bed without even taking my clothes off. It’s almost 8, so I’m going to call Perry and thank him for being with me earlier. I think I’m falling in love with him. No, I know I’m in love with him. I wasn’t sure until what happened today when he came over when I really needed him to be here. He just held me for an hour and once in a while gently kissed my neck and told me everything would be all right. So yeah, I know I’m in love with him. I hope he’s in love with me. SUICIDE IS A PERMANENT SOLUTION TO A TEMPORARY PROBLEM It’s Wednesday night, and I didn’t go to the crisis center. I couldn’t, not after what happened on Saturday. I’ve seen Cory, but he isn’t talking about his brother. I’ve asked him a few times and he kind of brushes me off by saying he’s okay. I haven’t seen Jayson in school. Usually he eats across the cafeteria with his football buddies, but he hasn’t been there all week. I wish Cory would talk to me about it. He’s just acting really strange. He’s hardly talking to anyone which is unusual for Cory because he’s always talking to someone. I’m just going to have to get him alone and make him tell me what’s going on. I at least deserve that much. I’m having trouble sleeping at night. Every time I fall asleep, I wake up when I start having nightmares about Jayson killing himself. I don’t know why he did it. I mean if you could just see him. He’s really good looking and popular. If just last week someone would have asked me who would be the person least likely to do something like that, he probably would have been at the top of my list, even though I don’t know him very well, except what Cory has told me. So I’m really really confused by the whole thing. I’m glad I was there to save his life last Saturday. I keep having this weird feeling that maybe I was meant to be there Saturday. Maybe that is why Elizabeth forced me to volunteer at the crisis center. It’s just really strange. But I know one thing, I need to talk to Jayson, even though I doubt he will talk to me. I want to know why he did it so I can move on past this thing. It’s kind of eating away at me right now. I’m going to finish my homework now and then call Perry later. We chatted earlier but I need to hear his voice. He has a way of making me feel better. I wish he could come over tonight and hold me again like he did Sunday. It just felt right, you know? CAN A PERSON MAKE LOVE TO YOUR HEART WITHOUT TOUCHING YOU PHYSICALLY? 7397 I just saw how many words I wrote this week. Mr. Byrd, if you’re reading this, maybe you should give me some extra credit?
  3. It’s Friday night and I’m going to bed soon, but I wanted to write some things down first. It’s going to be a busy week, so I might as well get some of it out of the way early so I won’t have to do it all Thursday night. What’s really weird is when I started keeping this thing, I couldn’t think of enough things to write about. Now I could probably write a book in one week. My life is really changing and that’s a good thing- I guess. I’ve met Perry, and that is definitely a good thing. I see him every day. We sit together on the bus on the way to school and on the way home. Elizabeth is a little jealous because I used to sit with her a lot and we’d talk about school. Perry and I talk about things other than school. He’s even gotten me interested in the kind of music he likes. Mom actually hollered up the stairs last night and told me to turn the volume down on my computer. I was listening to a band that Perry said is his favorite. I kind of like it now. He also had me open up a chat account so we can chat at night. It’s so cool. I know it’s a lot easier for Perry to talk to me like that because we can chat without him worrying about stuttering. He even mentioned it the other day, but I told him it doesn’t bother me. I even confessed that I thought it was kind of cute. I’m glad we were chatting because I got really really embarrassed when I told him that. He told me he thought it was cute the way I look at the curl that falls down across his forehead and it looks like I want to push it back. We giggled and I told him I really do want to. He told me I could, so coming home from school tonight I actually did it. We both got embarrassed when Elizabeth hollered out and told us to ‘get a room.’ It’s a good thing that the other kids on the bus didn’t have a clue what she was talking about. I’m excited about Perry coming here Sunday, but I’m still worried that Mom and Mrs. Morgan are going to embarrass us. It’s a good thing Dad is staying out of it. I think he’s more upset that we’re having company and he won’t be able to work on his book on Sunday like he usually does. It’s not uncommon for him to get up at 6 in the morning and stay in his office past midnight. It’s about the only time he really has time. He said something about it last night at the dinner table but Mom told him he was being selfish and he should be more interested in his son. I kind of felt bad when she said it because he really is a good father. Maybe we don’t have a close father-son relationship, but I always know that he’s there if I really need him. He’s never ever raised his voice to me and I can’t remember a time we argued about anything- well except me getting my license, but even then I more or less whine while he pretends to ignore me. So if I get a chance, I’m going to tell him that Mom was wrong saying what she said. Okay, so where was I? Let me reread what I wrote. Okay. Like I said, I’m excited about Perry coming Sunday. I think he is too. I also think he’s a lot like me. He told me on the phone that he doesn’t have a lot of friends which is kind of strange since he’s really cute. But Beverly told me he’s self -conscious about stuttering so he doesn’t really talk to a lot of people and stays by himself most of the time. She also told me that I’m the first person she’s ever seen him really get close to. I guess he’s talked to her a lot about me, but she won’t tell me what he says. When I ask, she just tells me I’ll have to ask Perry. But I can’t because I know he won’t tell me either. I know he’s gay and that he likes me, but I’m trying to find out if he really likes me and would want to us to be boyfriends. I can’t believe I’m talking about having a boyfriend. It’s been my big dream for several years, but it’s just been that- a dream. It’s hard for me to really believe that my dream can actually become a reality. Then when I think about it, I get worried. But I said I wasn’t going to do that anymore, but I can’t help it. What if I really fall in love with Perry and then find out he doesn’t feel the same way about me? I can’t believe I just wrote the word love. I meant what if I like him a lot and he doesn’t like me a lot. Okay. Now I said I wasn’t going to do this. But what if I fall in love with him and he doesn’t love me back? There I said it. Like Cory is always saying, I’m keeping it real. I thought that it sounds corny when he says it, but now I understand. Keeping it real. Facing the truth, right? So I’m only sixteen, but I can fall in love, right? I mean, is there an age where you are too young to fall in love? Do you just like someone until you’re 18, and then you can fall in love with them? Okay. I’m getting really really confused by all this talk about love. I always wanted a boyfriend, but I never thought about the love part. I just thought we’d be good friends and maybe after a while we might do something. Okay. Right now I’m not even go there. But the more time I spend with Perry, I feel this thing inside me. It’s like a little pain in my heart because I want more than just friendship. And I’m not talking about doing IT. Although, I’m not ruling that out. But when we’re together, I just want to touch him, like I do when I put my hand on his leg when he starts to stutter when we’re at the lunch table. And this may sound really really strange, but I want to hold his hand. Sometimes when we’re on the bus and we’re working on his homework and I’m looking at his hand, I want to reach out and hold it. I was going to the other day, but I chickened out. What if I grab it and he pulls it away? I don’t even know how I would react to that. I just don’t know what to do. If I only had some experience in this, but I don’t. So everything I do is like for the first time. I wish I could talk to someone about this, but I’d feel stupid being 16 and not knowing what to do. So I’m a little bit scared because I really don’t want to get hurt, I guess. For the first time in my life, I’m beginning to actually realize that life does exist. I guess I’m getting older and I’m experiencing things that someday I was supposed to experience. This is going to sound really stupid, but it’s like someone opened a door and let me see what is behind it. I just don’t want to go back to sitting at my bedroom window and waiting for deer to appear in the backyard any more. I’m going to bed now. I’ve kind of gotten depressed a little bit. I was excited about Perry coming here Sunday. Now I’m worried about it because what if it doesn’t turn out like I want it to? I don’t really know what I expect, but I was hoping that we could get to know each other better. But maybe I’m hoping too much. I don’t know. BEHIND MY SMILE IS EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND It’s after 2 in the morning Saturday night, or I guess I should say Sunday morning. I came home from the crisis center and went to bed, but I tossed and turned so much I thought I’d get up a while and write what happened since I can’t sleep anyways. Robert called and I think I know who he is. At least Mavis is pretty sure who he is but I don’t know if I should say anything to Cory. Okay. I need to slow down because I’m tired but I can’t sleep because of what I know. Let me just say it first, then I’ll go back and explain. Mavis thinks that Robert is her cousin Jayson, who is also Cory’s older brother. I can’t even begin to explain what I’m feeling. It’s like I’ve gotten caught up in this really really big mess. I was afraid this would happen when I started volunteering at the crisis center. I just knew something bad was going to happen, and it did tonight. Let me explain what happened. I get to the crisis center and Mrs. Armstrong has me working with Mavis again. It was kind of a slow night until about 10:30. I had been helping her again with a government assignment and we were getting ready to pack up to go home when the phone rings. It’s Melissa again and she’s having trouble with her mother. It was something about the outfit she was going to wear to the mall. Her mother thought it made her look like a slut and told her to change her clothes. Wait a minute. This isn’t important. Well, I guess it was to Melissa, but it’s gotten me off track. So anyway, Mavis is talking to Melissa and my phone lights up. I pick it up and no one speaks at first, so I think it’s probably Robert since that’s the way he always calls. He waits a few seconds to make sure it’s me he’s talking to. Anyway, tonight he’s kind of crying and talking all crazy. I immediately realize he’s been drinking because he’s slurry his words really bad. So I ask him if he’s okay, and he tells me he isn’t. He cries and tells me he’s tired of living. Okay. Now red warning lights go off in my head and I motion for Mrs. Armstrong to listen to the call, but she already is. So I ask him where he is because that’s what we’re supposed to do in case we have to call the cops or an ambulance in case he tries to hurt himself. I get this feeling that he really wants to talk tonight. Even though the training sessions were boring, we were told that sometimes people who want to commit suicide will want to talk about it first to someone. I don’t expect him to tell me anything, but suddenly he starts making this wailing sound like an animal that has been hit by a car. So I start to panic and I ask him if he’s okay, and he screams at me and says, “No dammit, I’m not okay!” So I ask him what’s wrong and he says, “You wouldn’t understand.” So I start to tell him I would, but then Mavis pushes on my shoulder and almost knocks me off my seat. She has her hand over her mouth and she has a really surprised look on her face. I guess she had finished talking to Melissa so she was monitoring my call. So I cover the phone and ask her what’s wrong and she whispers that I’m talking to Jayson. So I ask her who Jayson is and she whispers back, “My cousin, Jayson.” So I sit there and it takes about ten seconds for it to sink in that Mavis is Cory’s cousin, so that means that Jayson is Cory’s big brother. Then Robert, or Jayson, asks me if I’m still there. I tell Mavis to take the call because she’s his cousin, but she shakes her head and tells me to keep talking to him. By now Mrs. Armstrong has come out of her office to see what is going on. Mavis gets up and they move across the room so they can talk without Robert, or Jayson, hearing them. So I tell him I’m still here and he says he thought I’d hung up on him. I told him no, and I ask him again what is wrong. By now Mavis is sitting beside me listening and Mrs. Armstrong is back in her office listening. So anyway, he kind of laughs and asks me if I have an hour. I look at the clock and it’s 11:47. I was going to tell him I had 13 minutes before I had to leave, but I didn’t. I guess if he wanted to talk, then whoever was picking me up would wait. Mavis writes on a piece of paper to ask him again where he is. I think she wanted to know so she could go be with him. At first he pauses, and I can hear him taking a drink. Then he laughs and says, “Let me see.” Then he says, “Oh, yeah. I’m at the stadium. I’m sitting on the bleachers.” Then he laughs and says, “Hold on, I gotta take a piss.” So a few seconds later I can hear it hitting the ground. So while he’s doing that, Mavis is telling me she can’t believe I’m talking to her cousin. She’s been crying and it’s obvious she’s very worried about him. I ask her what should I do, but before she can tell me, Jayson is back on the phone asking me if I was still there. So I tell him I am, and I ask him again what is wrong. So he starts to ramble about going out on a date tonight but he didn’t have fun. Then something about the girl wanting to have sex but he didn’t want to. Then it got really strange because he started talking about a guy named Jeffrey. He talks about how good a receiver he is, and he wanted Jayson to go out with him tonight, but Paula the girl I guess he finally went out with wanted him to go out with her. So I remembered what I thought last week about Robert. He might be gay because he said some things that I could identify with about people not being able to understand. Then it kind of all came together. I looked over at Mavis and I didn’t know if I should start asking him questions that might make him say he is. I’m thinking he wanted to go out with Jeffrey tonight, but Paula forced him to go with her. She wanted to have sex, but he didn’t, probably because he is gay. That made him rambling about Jeffrey make sense. He would rather have gone out with Jeffrey and probably have sex with him. But if I started asking him questions about it, then I’d out him to his cousin and I felt that would be the wrong thing to do. If he wanted to come out to me because he trusted me, then that was fine. But it was wrong that Mavis was listening and he didn’t know it. So I reached over and yanked her earplug from her head. She looked surprised and asked me, “What?” I quickly jotted down that she shouldn’t be listening to this. And she mouthed, “Why?” So I wrote down, ‘trust me, okay?’ I think she kind of got the idea what I was talking about, so she nodded her head and sat back and crossed her arms. I stared at her until she got up and moved across the room to sit beside Elizabeth. She kept staring at me because she really wanted to know what was going on, but I think she trusted me enough by now to know that I should talk to Jayson alone, even though Mrs. Armstrong was still monitoring the call. So I asked him to tell me more about Jeffrey. Mrs. Armstrong tapped lightly on the window and held up a piece of paper that read, ‘What are you doing?’ I turned my head and ignored her. A few seconds later, Jayson sighed and said, “You wouldn’t understand.” So I said, “Yes, I do.” And I think at that moment he maybe realized that I was gay. So he says, “Okay. Maybe you do, but I gotta get home now.” I try to keep him talking, but he says it’s getting late and he’ll get punished if he comes home after curfew. So I’m relieved that he’s talking about going home instead of hurting himself until I realize he’s been drinking and he’s probably going to drive home alone. I look at the clock and it’s after 11, so I tell him I can come get him if he wants to tell me where he is. He laughs and says, “Reggie, you’ve done more tonight than you realize. Thanks, anyway.” And he hung up. Then Mavis got up and rushed over to me. She was kind of acting hysterical, but I don’t know why though because she told me once she didn’t like Jayson. Then Mrs. Armstrong comes out and we talk about what has happened. As we talk, everyone else leaves because it is after 11. Mavis said she was going to go right over to Jayson’s house to make sure he’s all right, but Mrs. Armstrong and I convince her that she shouldn’t. She reminded Mavis that all calls are confidential and she’d be breaking a trust to talk about something like this. So reluctantly, Mavis agreed but she said she didn’t like it. I guess right now she’s like me, worried about Jayson. This is probably about the biggest thing that has ever happened to me. It’s like I know this really HUGE secret and I can’t tell anyone what I know. I mean when people found out I was gay, that was bad enough but it involved me, so I could handle that. But this is about Jayson, my friend’s brother. I don’t even know how I’m going to be able to look at him Monday knowing what I know. And he’ll wonder what is wrong if I try to avoid him at school. And I can’t even imagine what Jayson is going through. He’s like this really really hot athlete. Guys like him aren’t gay. Guys like me are gay, right? He’s a star football and basketball player. I’ve never seen him play, but I’ve heard others talk about him. Pictures of him are always in the school newspaper. He was even voted king of the Homecoming Dance. Cory told me his family made him go and he hated it because Jayson was so arrogant about being king. He even joked about Cory calling him Sire at home. I won’t say what Cory said he wanted to call him, but it wasn’t a very nice word. So now it’s almost 3:30 and I’m wide awake. I still don’t know what to do. I mean, should I just walk up to Jayson in school and tell him I’m the Reggie he talked to on the phone? He might just hit me. But he sounds really desperate to talk to someone and I think he likes talking to me. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Wednesday to see if he calls back. By then Mavis may have said something to him and he’ll never talk to me again. I knew something like this was going to happen when I volunteered to do this. Things were going good and now this happens. I’m going back to bed, but I know I won’t get any sleep. And Perry and his family are coming for lunch tomorrow. I’M THE AUTHOR OF MY LIFE. UNFORTUNATELY, I’M WRITING WITH A PEN SO I CAN’T ERASE MY MISTAKES Perry kissed me!!!!!!!!! I’m twirling around my bedroom and pretending like I’m dancing with him. Okay. That sounds kind of girlish, doesn’t it? But he did kiss me. Let me explain if I can. I’m so excited so this might sound crazy. Perry kissed me!!!!!!! He and his parents get here around 12:30. I like his mother a lot. She’s really nice. You can tell she’s an elementary teacher because she’s always talking to you like she’d talk to a child, kind of like my mother talks to me sometimes which can be annoying. I haven’t decided if I like his dad yet, but I probably will. I know Dad didn’t care too much for him. He’s a car salesman, and I’ve heard Dad mention that there’s nothing worse than politicians and car salesmen. Besides, Dad spent most of the afternoon upset that he couldn’t go into his office and work on his book. So at lunch, Mom and Perry’s mom did most of the talking. I was glad because I was afraid Dad might mention his theory on politicians and car salesmen. The meal was really good. She fixed lasagna, fresh green beans and homemade bread. Well, not actually homemade. She bought it at a bakery, but it still said it was homemade. Perry’s mother embarrassed him by telling stories about when he was a little boy. I laughed so hard when she told about him getting one of her bras out of her dresser on a winter day and going outside with them on his head thinking they were earmuffs. I could tell he wanted to get up from the table and run out the door. Mom tried to tell some funny stories about me, but there really aren’t too many. I guess I had a normal childhood. I got embarrassed when she started talking about how smart I am and the grades I make in school. Normally, it wouldn’t have bothered me, but it did when she said it in front of Perry. I don’t want him to think I’m this really geeky kid. I mean it’s okay if he knows I’m smart. I just don’t want him to know I’m really smart. I don’t usually think of myself that way because I’ve always been isolated from other students since the first grade. But hearing Mom talk about me, I kind of wished I was just a normal kid. After we ate, Mom told me to show Perry my room. She kind of wiggled her eyebrows which embarrassed me. I looked to see if Perry saw her do it, but he didn’t. So we go up to my room and when I open the door I kind of stopped and thought about not having him go in. You have to understand, my room doesn’t look like a typical teenage boy’s room. It’s not cluttered with dirty underwear on the floor and pictures of skate boarders on the wall. It’s neat. I make my bed every morning and I put dirty clothes in the laundry room downstairs. I have a giant bookshelf that covers up one side of the room, and all the books are arranged alphabetically, like in a library. My computer desk is neat. Above my desk is a picture of The Scream by Edvard Munch. I saw a copy in an art gallery at the mall and begged my parents for it for Christmas two years ago. It was kind of like how I felt then, but not so much anymore. I may take it down and put something else in its place. So anyway, Perry walks around the room and keeps saying ‘Cool,’ at things. I don’t really think he thought things were cool, but he was being polite. Then he saw a video game my parents bought me two years ago on the bookshelf, so he asks me if I want to play. So I say okay, and we start playing it. I was having fun because it was the first time I’d actually played the game with someone else instead of just by myself. Perry is really good, so I think he knew I wasn’t and he kind of didn’t play his best. I could tell he was really struggling not to do too good, and I really liked him for that. We played for about a half hour and it was the best time I’d ever had. Then I can tell he’s starting to get bored, so I asked him if he brought any homework with him so we could work on it. He said he had to write a report in his literature class and he asked me if I would help him. I told him I would, so he said it was in the car and he’d have to go get it. He leaves and I go over to the window so I can watch him as he gets it from his car. By now I’m really excited because we had just had a good time together and I want it to last. He comes back to my room and his face is all flushed from running up the stairs. He looked really cute with his cheeks all red. So I asked him if he needed to use my computer, but he says he’s already done the work and written a rough draft, but he wanted me to read it and help him with his mistakes. So I go over to the bed and sit down, and he sits down beside me. I start to read what he wrote and I can tell by the way he’s kind of bouncing his leg he’s nervous about me reading it. It wasn’t written like I would write it, but it was okay for someone in a normal class. Okay, I guess that sounded kind of condescending, didn’t it? But that’s not what I want to write about. So I’m reading it and he says his back is starting to hurt a little, and he asks if he can lay down across my bed. It’s only a twin bed, so if he lays across it, there won’t be much room for me, but I tell him okay. So he toes off his shoes and lays across the bed and lets out a really cute sigh. So I continue reading and he’s watching me. After about five minutes, he asked me if I’d be more comfortable if I laid down beside him. So I say sure, and I toe off my shoes and lay down beside him. So he presses his body next to mine and suddenly I can’t concentrate on what I’m reading anymore. Then Little Reggie starts to wake up and I’m becoming even more uncomfortable because he’s poking into the bed and if I try to fix him, Perry will definitely notice. So I pretend like I’m reading his report, and he’s pretending to read his report. Then he asks me if he misspelled a word and he reaches across and points to the word. When he does, I turn my head toward him and his is just inches from mine. Then he closed his eyes, and he kissed me!!!!!!!!!! He just leaned in and gave me the cutest sweetest kiss. His lips were so soft. I hope he thought my lips were soft too. Then he asked me if I was upset because he kissed me and I told him no, that I liked it. So he kissed me again!!!!!!! This time it was longer and Little Reggie definitely woke up. I kind of had to raise up a little to release the pressure he was causing. Perry saw me do it and he started giggling and raised up too. He said he had the same problem, so we both laughed. Just then Mom hollered up the stairs that it was time for Perry to go home. So we rolled over and I fixed Little Reggie and he fixed Little Perry, although it didn’t look like it was too little. We got up and by the time he put his papers in his book bag, I think Little Reggie and Little Perry were going back to sleep. Before he left the room, he gave me another quick kiss before opening the door. I walked him to his car and told him I’d see him tomorrow. When his dad backed the car out of the driveway, he gave me a cute little wave. So right now I’m really really excited because Perry kissed me, not once but three times. So I guess this means he really likes me because I really really like him. I’m kind of glad I’m writing all this down, because years from now when I’m old, like 35 or 40, I’m going to reread this and remember what I felt like when I got my first kiss from a boy. So now I’m going to go take a shower. I HATE IT WHEN I WISH ON A STAR ONLY TO FIND OUT LATER I WISHED ON AN AIRPLANE It’s Tuesday night and I have enough words for this week, but since Thursday is Thanksgiving we have to show Mr. Byrd our journals tomorrow. Okay, this is a really big event. I got my learner’s permit today!!!! It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was about 10. My driver’s instructor took three of us to take our exam. I was really worried, but I don’t know why. I knew the material because I’d read the driver’s manual about a hundred times. But after I took the test, I knew I had passed. The woman who gave me my permit said I scored 100% on it. I was hoping that Mr. Dunham, my driver’s teacher, would let me drive back to the driving school, but he let Wanda drive. I think he let her drive because she’s cute and he’s been kind of flirting with her for the past few weeks. She’s 22 and he’s old, like around 35. I was surprised when Dad picked me up and handed me the keys when I showed him my permit. I didn’t even have to beg him. He said I did really well for my first time. I almost slipped and told him Grandmother had already let me drive her car, but I caught myself before I said it. Now all I have to do is get enough experience so I can take my driver’s test and get my real license. I figure with the time I’ll be driving with my instructor, and if Dad or Mom takes me out to drive a few hours on the weekends, then I should have my license early next year. Then I can start working on Dad to let me buy a car. I know he’ll tell me I need more money, which means I may have to find a part-time job after school. Abe’s uncle owns two grocery stores, so I’m going to ask Abe if he thinks his uncle will hire me as a bag boy. I won’t make much money, but it will at least show Dad I’m being responsible. Perry wasn’t on the bus this morning so I was worried about him. I asked Beverly at lunch where is was and she giggled and asked me why. My face turned red and I think she knows about Perry kissing me Sunday. She told me once that he talks to her a lot. She later told me in Ms. Neuman’s class that he had a morning appointment with his speech therapist and his mother didn’t see any sense in bringing him to school when he would miss his first four periods. I’ve been waiting for him to call me, but he hasn’t yet. It’s still early. If he doesn’t call by 8, then I’ll call him and see if he’s okay. It’s been really awkward being around Cory all week. Every time I see him which is like every ten minutes, I think about his brother Jayson. I want to tell him that his brother is having personal problems, but I’m not sure he’d care very much. Cory knows I’m gay and it doesn’t bother him. I don’t think he’d hate his brother either, and he could actually help him since one of his friends is gay. But he dislikes Jayson so much, he might even be happy to see him suffering. I can’t say I blame him, though. I’ve seen how Jayson treats him in the hallway sometimes. And Cory says he can really be cruel at home. I guess he’s a real jerk sometimes. I was walking behind Jayson yesterday in the hall and he kind of looked sad. He was by himself, and then a few of his friends walked up beside him and he didn’t even say anything to them. I wonder if I am the only person in the world who knows what’s going on. I want to walk up to him and tell him I’m Reggie, the guy at the crisis center. But I’m really afraid he might hit me if I did since I’m the only one who knows his secret. I volunteer tomorrow night, so I have to think what I’m going to say to him if he does call. There really should be a book that tries to help people deal with this sort of thing. IT’S SO SIMPLE TO BE WISE. JUST THINK OF SOMETHING STUPID TO SAY AND SAY THE OPPOSITE. 5748
  4. It’s Friday morning, and I’m sitting in Mrs. Reynold’s geometry class. We have a substitute, and she’ll probably be here for a week or more. She told us Mrs. Reynold’s sister died. I guess she lived in California and Mrs. Reynold’s and her family are flying there for the funeral. We felt really bad when Ms. Cooperfield told us. Beverly said she was going to Hallmark after school and get a big card for our class to sign Monday. So right now everyone is kind of sitting all sad looking and doing the assignment. Ms. Cooperfield seems nice, but she said her degree is in English, not math, so she warned us that we’d have to be patient while she attempts to teach us. We all groaned when Elizabeth told her not to worry because we’d be willing to help her, and then suggested that we could take turns teaching the class since we know the material anyway. Ms. Cooperfield thought it was a great idea, so she asked Elizabeth if she’d like to teach Monday. Naturally, Elizabeth said yes. Then Ms. Cooperfield asked who else would like to be teacher for a day. Elizabeth tried to get me to volunteer but I’ve already got too much to do. Besides, why would I want to volunteer to do a teacher’s job when they get paid for it and not me? But anyway, enough students volunteered for next week. Now if Mrs. Reynolds is out the following week, Elizabeth will try to get me to volunteer again. I can’t wait until Thursday. James is going to be the teacher. That should be fun. He’ll probably have us doing handstands in the hallway and then have someone determine what degree we’re leaning. Since I’ve finished the assignment and I have a few minutes, I’ll write about Perry. I know I’m becoming obsessed with him, but I can’t help it. I’ve been sitting beside him all week on the bus. He gets the cutest smile on his face when I get on the bus. Once I had to look behind me just to make sure he was smiling at me. I haven’t told him I’m gay yet because I’m afraid he will not be my friend anymore if I do. I kind of suspect he’s gay, but I don’t want to take a chance just in case he isn’t. But I think he is. Like yesterday, I got on the bus and was walking toward him and he looked down at Little Reggie. Fortunately, he was asleep. But I think it kind of embarrassed Perry because I saw him staring at me. He looked up into my face and his turned a really bright red. When I sat down beside him I was going to ask him if he saw anything he liked, but I chickened out. But anyway, we are starting to walk each other to our classes when we have rooms that are nearby. He’s been walking me to Mr. Byrd’s 1st period. We don’t see each other 2nd, but he meets me after my class and I walk him to Mr. Byrd’s 3rd period. I think Mr. Byrd is starting to think we’re boyfriends. I wish we were, but I’m still not sure he’d want me for a boyfriend, even if he is gay. He’s too cute and could have anyone he wants. I know I’m not all that bad looking, but I’m not like him. Anyway, we eat lunch together, usually with Beverly, Caryn, Abe, Cory and James. James has started acting normal, well as normal as James can be, and he doesn’t make Perry talk just so he can laugh at him. I’m not sure, but I think Cory may have threatened him if he did it again. Abe asked me yesterday in 5th period if Perry and I were having sex. He said he thought we were because Perry is always pressed up against me at lunch. I must have turned about 50 shades of red, and I told him no. He doesn’t believe me and he kind of got mad because he reminded me that I promised him I’d tell him because he told me about him and Sarah. I finally made him believe that Perry was only a friend, but I’d definitely let him know if I did have sex with him. When I told Abe that, Little Reggie woke up but I don’t think Abe saw him. Anyway, after lunch I walk Perry to his 4th period, then he walks me to my 5th. We don’t see each other again until we ride home on the bus. Yesterday he pulled out his geometry book and wanted me to help him with a problem. I wanted to invite him home so we could work on it there, but I chickened out. I’m trying to get up the courage to ask him tonight if he wants to go to my house to do his homework, but I probably won’t. It’s one thing to be with him at school when other people are around. I don’t know how it would be if we were alone together. I’d probably be too afraid to talk, and Perry definitely won’t talk if I don’t. We’d look stupid just sitting together and looking at each other. I wouldn’t mind, but he might since I’m not all that much to look at. Anyway, the bell is getting ready to ring and I have to meet Perry to walk him to Mr. Byrd’s class. FRIENDSHIP IS LIKE PEEING ON YOURSELF. EVERYONE CAN SEE IT, BUT ONLY YOU CAN FEEL ITS WARMTH. It’s Friday night and I’m sitting in my room, but I don’t feel so alone. In fact, I haven’t gone to the window to watch for deer once this week. I can’t stop thinking about Perry. I know I’m acting like a little 12 year old girl who has her first crush on a boy, but in a way, I guess that’s what I’m doing. I’ve never really had a boy to be interested in before, so this is like a whole new experience for me. I just hope I don’t ruin it by acting too immature. I know I’m 16 now, so I guess there’s a certain way I’m supposed to be acting, but when I’m around Perry I do act like a little 12 year old girl. Like on the bus coming home from school, he grinned when I sat down beside him, and I started blushing. I don’t know why, but I did. He asked me if I would help him with a chemistry problem, but I just wanted us to talk. At first I think I hurt his feelings when I told him I didn’t want to, but then he started smiling when I told him it was Friday afternoon and we should forget about school for a while. We sat quietly for a minute. I was hoping he’d say something, but Perry never starts a conversation. So I had to think of something. One thing I know we have in common is Mr. Byrd, so I asked him how he liked him as a teacher. He started to stutter, but I put my hand on his thigh and gave it a slight squeeze and told him to take his time. He looked down at my hand, so I quickly removed it. At first I thought I’d made him feel uncomfortable, but he looked up at me and kind of smiled. He then told me that Mr. Byrd was his favorite teacher. I told him I thought he was mine too. Perry then asked me what was my favorite subject, but he had trouble saying subject, so I put my hand on his thigh and squeezed it again, only this time I didn’t remove it. He finally asked me, and I told him I liked literature because I enjoy reading. He said he did too, so we started to talk about our favorite authors. After several minutes, I was aware that my hand was still on his thigh and he hadn’t said anything or even looked down at I. When the bus arrived at my stop, I got up and told Perry I’d see him Monday, but he told me to wait a second. He then reached into his pocket and took out a small piece of paper and handed it to me. When I got off the bus, I turned and waved goodbye to him. He smiled and waved back. As I walked up the driveway to my house, I opened the paper to see what it said. He had given me his phone number. He had written his name and put a smiley face beside it. So I guess he wants me to call him. Now I’m unsure when I should do it. I want to call him tonight, but it may be too soon. He may think I’m desperate or something. I guess I am desperate, but I don’t want him to know it. Right now I’m beginning to think he really likes me, especially since he gave me his phone number without me even asking for it. I don’t want it to seem like I’m rushing things. But then again, why would he give me his phone number if he didn’t expect me to call him? Okay, I’m beginning to feel uncertain, and that’s something I said I was going to work on. I don’t like feeling uncertain. So I have to make a decision. Okay. I’m going to do it. I’ve got Perry’s number in my hand and I’m going to go get my phone and call him. Wish me luck. IF 4 OUT OF 5 PEOPLE SUFFER FROM DIARRHEA, DOES THAT MEAN THAT ONE PERSON ENJOYS IT? I’m back, and I just spent the best hour of my life! I called Perry and I asked him if he was busy, and he said he was playing a video game. I thought I had interrupted him and told him I’d call him later, but he hollered, “No” so loud into the phone it almost burst my eardrum. Not really, but it was really cute because I guess he thought I was going to hang up. We started talking about video games at first. I like playing them, but I usually get bored after a while because it’s really not very much fun to play by yourself. After about 15 minutes something strange hit me- Perry wasn’t stuttering so much when he talks on the phone as he does when we’re actually together. He still had some trouble, but it wasn’t as bad as when he tries to talk at lunch. Then we started talking about what kind of music we like. I had to think really hard because I don’t listen to a lot of music. My parents usually play classical music when we eat dinner, so that is the kind I’m most familiar with, but it would make me sound like a real nerd if I told him I like Chopin or Wagner. He likes the kind of music Caryn likes. She let me listen to her Ipod one day and there was some band playing. I guess it was music, but it sounded more like a bad car accident and people screaming. I didn’t want to appear too stupid, so I told him I liked some of the bands he liked. When I get through writing tonight, I’m going to get on the computer and go to Youtube and see if I can find some of the bands he named. Maybe the next time I can talk more about the kind of music he likes. The only trouble is, I know I won’t like it, but I can’t tell him that. After all, I’m now 16, so I guess I should be listening to the kind of music that makes Mom yell up the stairs and tell me to turn down. Hehe. So we talked for a while. He asked me about school and I felt embarrassed when I told him about the classes I took and the grades I make. He sounds more like an average student. He said he failed algebra last year and had to take it over in summer school. He’s really having trouble in Algebra II, so I volunteered to help him. And I actually kind of suggested that he could come here to study after school if he wanted. He giggled a little bit and then said, “Okay.” Of course, Little Reggie had to wake up when Perry sounded like he was excited about coming to my room to study. I don’t know what I’ll do if he ever does. And I’m really, really starting to think he’s gay. He didn’t exactly say it, but he kind of hinted around about it. I was going to tell him I was gay, but I chickened out. Anyway, we eventually started talking about dating, and I asked him if he had a girlfriend. It was the first time all night he started to stutter really bad. He laughed at first and then finally told me he didn’t have one. So naturally, I was becoming interested to find out if he was gay, so I asked him if he was interested in any girl. Again, he laughed, and then he stuttered a lot as he asked me why I was getting so personal. So I had to make up something so he wouldn’t think I was too nosy, so I told him I just thought that is what guys do- talk about girls. When he stuttered out that he didn’t like talking about girls, I was going to ask him why, but I decided I better not. So now I’m wondering if he is gay. I think I’m going to tell him I am and see how he reacts. Of course, it’s possible that he already knows because Beverly may have said something to him. If he does know, then I don’t know why he doesn’t tell me. So anyway, we talked a little bit more. He has a golden retriever named Sampson, and a cat named Whiskers. I told him I don’t have any pets so he told me I could play with Sampson sometime if I wanted. It took us about 10 minutes to say goodbye. It was like neither of us wanted to stop talking. When we did finish, I had the biggest smile on my face. It was the first time I’d actually talked to someone that long on the phone. I’m not sure I’ll be able to fall asleep tonight because I’m so excited. But I have to because I’ve got to volunteer tomorrow at the crisis center. Robert said he was going to call and talk to me. Maybe he’ll finally tell me what’s bothering him. I’ll write more later about it if he does. SAVE YOUR BREATH. YOU’LL NEED IT LATER TO BLOW UP YOUR DATE. Okay. I’m really laughing now. You should see how red my face is. I can’t wait until next Friday to see if Mr. Byrd reads this one. It’s late Saturday night, and Mom just peeked in my room and told me to go to bed. It’s after midnight and I can’t sleep because of what happened tonight on the Talk Line. Okay. Let me explain. I got there at 6 and sat around talking to Mavis, Elizabeth and Caryn. For a Saturday, it was kind of a slow night. Then around 9 the phones began to ring. I don’t know why, but it seems like everyone waits until it gets dark outside to call. Maybe they are just too busy to call when it’s daylight. So anyway, Mavis and Caryn are talking on the phone when mine lights up. I kind of got nervous because I thought it might be Robert. Mrs. Armstrong pounded on the window and motioned for me to answer the phone. So I did, and it’s him. Like he always does, he disguised his voice until he knew it was me. I feel kind of guilty because he isn’t aware that Mrs. Armstrong is also listening to the call. He thinks it’s just us, and it seems like I’m violating his privacy. There should be a warning when someone calls that their call may be monitored. I guess because we are teenagers we don’t have the same rights as adults. Anyway, I’m getting off the subject again. So Robert and I start talking, or I guess I start talking. He doesn’t say much, so like I do with Perry, I have to think of things to say. So I ask him things like if he goes to school or does he like to play sports, things like that. Mrs. Armstrong keeps motioning for me to keep talking because I think she thinks he’s going to hang up. So finally, I just ask him why he’s calling the Talk Line if he isn’t going to talk. Mrs. Armstrong frowned, but it seemed to help. He started saying that he was unhappy with his life and he had no one to talk to about it. So I told him I’d try to help if he’d only tell me what is wrong. So he said his life is all (he used the ‘F’ word) up. I ask him why, and he just repeats that his life is all (F word) up. So I ask him again why, and he says it just is. Now I began to feel like I was playing a little game with him. It was like he wanted to tell me, but he wanted me to force him to tell me. So I ask him if he was having a problem with his girlfriend and he kind of laughed and told me no. Then I asked him if he had a problem with drugs and he told me no again. Okay, so he doesn’t have a problem with a girlfriend or drugs, so I’m beginning to run out of questions. I asked him if he is having trouble with his parents and he tells me I wouldn’t understand. Now I feel like I’m getting somewhere. At least he didn’t say no. Mrs. Armstrong starts tapping on her window and holds up a sign that says ask him if he is being abused at home. So I ask him and he starts laughing. “Dude,” he says. “If you could see how built I am, you wouldn’t ask me that.” Okay, now it’s starting to get interesting. I’m envisioning that Robert is this really hot guy, and Little Reggie is starting to wake up. I look over at Mrs. Armstrong to see if she has any more suggestions, but she just shrugs her shoulders. We sit for a minute in silence, but it seemed more like an hour. Finally, he asked me if I was still on the phone and I told him I was. He asked me why I’m not talking, and I told him I don’t know what to say because he isn’t helping me very much to understand why he called to talk. So I asked him if he’d like to talk to someone else since I noticed that Mavis and Caryn weren’t on the phone, but he told me he wanted to talk to me. But I reminded him that we really weren’t talking since he isn’t saying very much. Then he asked me what school I go to, and I told him I go to Fairhaven. And he hung up! Mrs. Armstrong came out of her office and we talked about the call and some of the things he said. She thought he hung up because he probably goes to my school and he’s afraid I may know him. So now I’m going over the conversation to see if he gave me any clues as to who he might be. He said he was built, so he may be an athlete. Of course, that could be half of the male population at our school. Okay, I probably shouldn’t say this because it doesn’t seem right, but he has a really sexy voice. It’s kind of deep, sort of like how Cory talks. If he looks anything like Cory, I can’t imagine what his problem would be. I thought maybe he has a girl pregnant, but he said he didn’t have a problem with a girlfriend. In fact, he kind of laughed when I asked him, so it can’t be that. Anyway, I don’t know now if he’ll call back to the Teen Line. He may be too scared that I might find out who he is. But now I’m trying to think why he would be scared and only one thing keeps coming to my mind. It’s the same thing that bothered me for a couple of years. Maybe he’s gay. Maybe that’s what is wrong with him. Maybe that’s why he says his life is (F word) up and no one understands. I know I felt like that for a while a couple of years ago. But he seems older. In fact, he kind of sounds like a man, not a teenager. Okay. I’m going to go to bed and try to get some sleep. I’ll probably lay awake and think about every athlete in our school and wonder if he is Robert. YOU’RE SO DUMB, YOU ONCE PLANTED A DOGWOOD TREE AND WAITED FOR IT TO GROW A LITTER OF PUPPIES Okay. I’m so excited I can hardly write this. It’s Wednesday and I’m in Mr. Archer’s chemistry class. We’re supposed to be working on an experiment, but Abe is doing it so I’ll just copy his paper when he’s through. I hope he doesn’t try to read this. Now why I’m so excited- Perry is gay!!!! Okay, let me explain what happened last period. We were in Mrs. Reynolds class last period and Julie was the teacher for the day. Anyway, after we finished the assignment, we still had about 15 minutes left, so she told us to talk quietly. We all looked at Ms. Cooperfield to see if it was all right if we did, and she nodded her head. So anyway, Beverly scooted up beside me and started talking to me, real quiet like. So she asks me if I like Perry, and I told her I did. So then she asks me if I really like him. I looked at her and said I did really like him. She kind of giggled, so I asked her why she was asking me that. And she said because he likes me too! Then she leans in real close to me and whispers real soft that Perry could never tell me, but he wanted her to tell me that he’s gay! So I just sit there with my mouth all open and she goes on to ask me if I remembered the night she called after Abe outed me and she told me I could talk to her because she knew someone who was gay and he talked to her about it. I nodded, and she said that someone was Perry. She said he told her about 2 years ago and they talk about it sometimes. So I ask her if she told him that I was gay, and she kind of smiled and asked if I’d be mad at her if she had told him. I let out a sigh of relief and tell her I wouldn’t be mad, and then she told me she told him last week. So he has known for a week that I was gay and he wouldn’t tell me he was. I asked Beverly why he wouldn’t tell me and she said he just couldn’t. She said he was afraid I wouldn’t like him because of the way he stutters and he didn’t want to be hurt. I told her that I’m not bothered by the way he talks and she gave me a little kiss on the cheek. Of course, Cory had to see her do that, so he asked me if I was coming over to the dark side. I giggled and turned really red. So Perry is gay and he likes me! Wait a minute. Abe is finished with the experiment and I have to copy it down before the end of class. I’ll write more later. I’m so excited!!!!!!!! Okay, I’m back. It’s Wednesday night and I am really sleepy. I just got back from the crisis center. We mainly just sat around tonight. We had only 2 calls all night. I answered one of them, but it was a girl who wanted to talk to Elizabeth. I kept waiting for Robert to call but he didn’t. Now I’m worried about him. I knew this was going to happen when I volunteered. I’d become too emotionally involved. Even though I don’t know anything about him, I still care and I hope he’s all right. At least he didn’t mention hurting himself or I’d be reading the morning obituaries to see if a guy about my age named Robert died. Okay, this is better news. I sat with Perry on the bus after school and I think Beverly told him she told me that he was gay. When I walked back to the seat, he looked up and his face turned a little red when he saw me. He looked down and then looked back up at me and kind of made a little smile. It was so cute. Neither of us said anything, though. I helped him a little with an algebra problem. Before I arrived home, I got up the nerve to finally ask him if he’d like to come to my house Saturday morning so I can help him with his homework. He said he couldn’t Saturday because he had to go with his mother to visit a sick aunt, but he would have her drop him off Sunday after he went to church. We came to my stop before we had a chance to discuss it, so I’ll talk to him more about it tonight. I’m kind of nervous, but excited. Now that I know he’s gay, I’ll feel a little more comfortable around him without having to worry if he’ll get upset if he finds out I am. I’m still confused why he’s known I was for a week and didn’t say anything. I’m going downstairs to get something to drink and I’ll be right back. I only need about 500 more words and I’ll be done with this week’s entry. I might as well finish it tonight because I have to work on a research paper for history tomorrow. I’ve been putting it off and it’s due Friday. It’s something stupid about the Industrial Revolution. I hope I can stay awake long enough to write it. WHEN IT RAINS, WHY DON’T SHEEP SHRINK? Okay, I’m back, and I made a BIG mistake when I went downstairs. I went into the family room where Mom was watching television and grading some papers. I sat down and watched it with her until a commercial came on, and then I happened to mention to her that Perry was coming over Sunday morning so I could help him with his homework. So she gets excited and turns off the television, and then she goes into Mom Mode and begins asking me all kinds of questions about Perry. I tried to tell her he was just a friend, but she could tell by the way I was blushing that he was more than that. It sounded kind of weird when she asked me if he was my boyfriend. I mean she was so casual about it. I always thought there would be some kind of uneasy tension when I mentioned bringing a boyfriend home. Of course, I’m assuming way too much to even consider Perry a boyfriend. But Mom didn’t seem bothered by it at all. In fact, she got all excited and asked me what time he got out of church so she could have a nice lunch prepared. I tried to talk her out of it, but she insisted. She asked me for Perry’s home phone number so she can call his mother. When I told her I don’t have it, only Perry’s cell phone number, she told me to call Perry and get his home phone. So I did, and now I’m in my room while she calls his house. Hold on. Mom just hollered up the stairs and wants to see me. I’m in big doo doo. This couldn’t get any worse. Mom knows Perry’s mom! She’s a 2nd grade teacher at the school my mom teachers at! They are best friends at school! I’ve heard my mother mention Mrs. Morgan a hundred times, but it never occurred to me that she could be Perry’s mother. Mom says Mrs. Morgan talks about Perry all the time. She even knows he stutters, and he’s had trouble making friends because of it. So now Mom is all excited because she thinks that Perry is my boyfriend. She even said that Mrs. Morgan is as thrilled as she is. I guess by the way she talked, Perry’s parents know he’s gay too. So instead of Perry coming over for me to help him with his homework on Sunday, Mom has invited his parents and little brother for Sunday lunch. I tried to talk her out of it and told her she was making too big a deal of all this, but she sounded really excited to have Perry and his family come to our house Sunday. When I left, she was in the kitchen making a list of things she’d have to buy. She’s going to make lasagna. Mom makes the best lasagna I’ve ever eaten. Now I’m afraid that what turned out to be just me and Perry being alone to work on his homework is going to turn into something bigger. I think Mom and Mrs. Morgan will try to become matchmakers, which is really, really weird. In fact, it seems kind of absurd that Perry and I just became friends and our own mothers are going to try to make it even more than that. I wonder if our state allows gay marriage because probably by the end of lunch, they’ll be suggesting it. I guess I’ll call Perry back and see if his mother talked to him yet about Sunday. I hope they don’t ruin our friendship by trying to push us too hard. AT WHAT POINT IN MAN’S EVOLUTION DID HE START WIPING HIS BUTT? I’m going to see if Mr. Byrd laughs when he reads this one. I wonder if I can find the answer if I google it? Hehe. 5159
  5. It’s Friday night and I’m relaxing. When I got home from school, I immediately changed my clothes, went to the garage and got out the rake. I spent the next two hours raking leaves. I should have worn gloves because I have a big blister on my left hand. At least it’s not my right hand because that’s the... never mind. I’m glad I caught myself before I wrote what I was going to write. I’m still trying to talk Dad into helping me buy a car. I showed him the bank card my grandmother gave me, but he said I’d need a lot more than a $1000 if I wanted a dependable car. I really don’t care if it’s dependable. I will take anything at the moment, even his old one. The driver’s ed classes after school are going well. All we’ve done so far is more book work. It seems like I’m just taking a 7th period on Tuesdays. The instructor says we have to pass the written test before we can go out driving. I know I’ll do well because I’ve read the driver’s manual about a thousand times. Mr. Casey, my instructor, says we have to have at least 50 hours of driving practice before we can take our driver’s license skill test. That means I have to talk my parents into letting me drive their car while they are with me. I know my grandmother will do it because she’s already let me drive her car. Of course, she’ll probably say something funny which will cause me to run off the road and wreck. Then I’ll never get a driver’s license. While I was raking, I needed something to think about to make the time go by quicker since we have a big yard and it gets really boring raking leaves. Anyway, I started thinking about how much my life is changing. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older and maybe it’s supposed to change this fast. When school started, I was really lonely and I felt that I had no one to talk to. I still kind of feel that way, but I think things are getting better. I mean, Mom, Dad and my grandmother know all about me now. So if I need some advice, I can go to them. It might be embarrassing because I’m not sure what problems could arise, like maybe I’ll find a boyfriend and need some advice on dating. I guess it’s not any different when two boys or two girls date as it is when a boy and girl date, right? The talk line has helped me understand that. When I listen to Elizabeth or Caryn give a girl advice about a boy, I think that they could probably give me the same advice. It’s not like I’d be dating some kind of a monster. I mean he’d just be a normal boy. Well, anyway I hope he’s normal. LOL. I’ll probably get jealous if he looks at another boy too. I know I’m not all that cute, so I’ll probably feel insecure, especially if he is really cute. I’d really be jealous if he looks like Cory or Perry. I’ve kind of given up on Perry, though. I thought after my birthday party that he might like me, but I don’t think he does. He still keeps his book bag in the seat beside him, and I’ve never gotten up the nerve to ask him if I can sit down beside him again. Besides, he’s almost too cute for me. I’m sure that someday he’ll find someone who is much better looking than me. But I really think I’m growing up. I know I’ve got a long way to go, but I think that things are changing. I’m changing. I look in the mirror and I’m starting to see someone different looking back. I’m not that little boy anymore. I guess I should be scared, but I’m not. I never really liked being a little kid. I guess I’m really independent and I want to do things for myself. I want to make my own decisions. So far, Mom and Dad are kind of letting me do that. They are letting me work at the teen center and take driver’s education classes. They’ve let me go to the mall with my friends, and they helped with my birthday party without getting involved in it. I think I’m getting closer to Dad to letting me get a car which would be a BIG step toward me growing up. I know that takes a lot of responsibility and he hasn’t lectured me once in the past two weeks about it, so maybe he thinks I’m a responsible person. So I guess I’m growing up and I like it. And I guess since I’m in the mood, I’m going to answer the prompt. As soon as Mr. Byrd wrote it on the board, the answer came to me right away. What would you regret not fully doing, having or being in your life. This one is easy for me to say. I would regret not having someone to love in my life. I know I’m only 16, but I’ve given this a lot of thought. Ever since I realized that I was gay I’ve wanted to find that right somebody. Okay, I said ever since I realized I was gay. Let me explain if I can. I can’t really say when I first realized I was gay. I didn’t just wake up one morning and realize I was different than other boys. I don’t even like writing that- different than other boys. I’m not different than other boys. I think and feel like all boys. I laugh, hurt and cry like all boys. There is nothing different about me. Being gay is something that I just grew up knowing. I guess unless a person is gay they could never, ever understand. It’s like as you grow up, you just know. And by knowing, it seems normal, not different. I’m sure that Abe or Cory couldn’t say when they first realized they liked girls. So then why do people seem curious about when I first knew I was gay? I don’t know, okay? It’s just always kind of been there and it’s normal to me. I don’t know why people don’t understand that. I’m not a freak or an abomination or anything like that. I’m gay, okay? And to me being gay is normal. I’m not different, okay? Sorry. Focus, Reggie. I’m going downstairs for a minute. I’m kind of upset at the moment. FOR EVERY MINUTE YOU ARE ANGRY, YOU LOSE 60 SECONDS OF HAPPINESS I’m back. I watched television with my parents for a little while, or I should say I watched it with Mom. Dad slept most of the time. She was watching some show about a guy who goes into a house and redecorates a room for them. I have to admit it was kind of interesting how he took an old shabby room and made it look different. I bet in a few months, though, the room will be all shabby again. Okay. Now I have to reread what I was writing about. Okay. Regret. I said I’d regret not having someone to love. I don’t know. When I think about life, it just seems like it should be something a person would want to share with someone else. I mean, who wants to go to dinner and eat by themselves? And what fun would it be to go to someplace like Paris or Rome and go alone? I guess someone could do it with a friend, and that would be all right. But I want someone that I’m really, really close to, and I want to share my life with them completely. I guess that sounds stupid coming from someone my age, right? But I’ve watched Mom and Dad when they are together. They can sit at the table while Dad reads the paper and Mom drinks coffee, but there is still a connection. I can’t explain it, it’s like they are together or something. Sometimes I get up and leave because I’m not a part of it. And I watched my grandfather and grandmother together before my grandfather died. One would talk and the other would finish their sentence for them. Even after my grandfather died, my grandmother would stop before she got to the end of a sentence. I think she was waiting for my grandfather to finish what she was saying. She doesn’t do it as often anymore because I think she’s starting to get used to him not being there. So that’s what I want. I want someone who knows me so well that they can finish my sentences for me. I want to find that one someone special who I can sit across from the table in the morning and just feel comfortable in knowing they are there. I want someone who will go to Rome and Paris with me, not as a friend but as someone closer, someone who will make it a romantic getaway and not just a sightseeing tour. And you know what? I know I’ll find that person someday. It may not be tomorrow, or next week or even next year. But I’ll find them because I know that stars collide in the sky, and my soul will collide with someone and create a huge explosion and me, Reggie Faulkner, will fall in love- forever. Wow! Did I just write all that? This journal is starting to really make me think big. Just weeks ago I was writing about do IT. Now I’m writing about falling in love and taking romantic trips to Rome and Paris. I think at the end of the year, I’m going to make Mr. Byrd a really nice thank you card. It will just say that he’s a good teacher. I won’t thank him for making me write this stupid journal. He’ll probably say to me, “See, Reggie. I told you so.” YOU MUST HAVE JUMPED INTO THE GENE POOL WHEN THE LIFEGUARD WASN’T LOOKING. It’s Monday night and I circled this date on my calendar. Something really special happened today and I don’t know if I can explain it. I think when I look back on my life, this day is going to be really important. I don’t know why, but I just think it is. Okay, let me try to write down what happened. After getting all philosophical last night, I woke up feeling better about things. Mom, Dad and I actually talked at breakfast, which we hardly ever do. Dad usually reads the paper and Mom yawns a lot as she tries to wake up. Anyway, it seems they want to take a vacation this Christmas. They actually asked me where I want to go instead of telling me where they want to go. Of course I immediately thought of going to Disney World because that is where every teenager dreams of going, right? But then I got a grown-up thought that maybe that wouldn’t be fun for Mom and Dad to walk around a hot park all day while I rode rides. So as they waited for me to answer them, I had to think of where they might like to go. After all, it might be the last time we’ll ever take a vacation together since I’ll be graduating in a few years and going off to college. I look at Dad and I knew where he’d want to go if it was his decision. So I timidly asked, “Do we have enough money to go to London?” You should have seen the happy look on his face when I said that. He laughed and said money was no problem, but then he asked me why I wanted to go to London. I had to think quick because I didn’t want him to feel guilty because I wanted to go there because I knew he did. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I’ve just always wanted to fly and London seems like a neat place to visit.” Okay. I lied about the flying part, because I think I’m going to be really scared on a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean. So anyway, Dad looked at Mom and asked excitedly if she wanted to go to London. She smiled and said she did. So I guess I’ll be spending Christmas in London with my parents. I’m already getting kind of excited about it. But anyway, that is special, but I got distracted again. That’s not the really special thing that happened. When I went out to get on the bus, I was really happy about the trip to London. When I got on the bus, I saw Perry in his usual seat about four rows back. When I got to him I stopped and asked him if the seat next to him was being saved. I knew it wasn’t because he always sits alone, but I asked anyway. He looked up and gave me a weird look, like he couldn’t believe I wanted to sit beside him again, but then he moved his book bag and placed it on the floor. So I sat down and thanked him for letting me sit beside him. He didn’t say anything to me because he had his notebook in his lap and he was working on a geometry problem. I watched him as he attempted to work out the problem. He has really soft hands. I don’t know why I noticed his hands, but his fingers are long and thin. His nails are this really pretty pink color. I don’t why, but I kept staring at his fingers. I know that sounds kind of kinky, but I’ve really never noticed anyone’s fingers like that before. So I’m watching him work the problem as I stare at his fingers. He seemed to be having a really hard time figuring out the answer, so I asked him if he needed help. I told him I was taking geometry too, but I didn’t tell him I was in the advanced class. He looked over at me with his brown eyes and kind of nodded. He is so cute. I see him every day, and I talked to him at my birthday party, but sitting just inches from him is different. He’s really super cute. He has these really brown eyes and long blonde hair that falls down over his forehead. He had one strand that kept falling into his eyes and it was so cute the way he pushed it out of his eyes. It was like one really quick motion and it was back on his head again. But then when he put his head down, it fell back over his eyes again. It was kind of sexy like. A couple of times I wanted to push it back, but I didn’t. He would have thought I was a real perv if I did that. And he smells really, really good. I don’t know if it was the soap or shampoo, but he smelled like a big, juicy lemon. I took a couple of really deep breaths and held it just so I could enjoy his scent. Okay, how sick is that? It didn’t seem weird at the time, but writing about it makes me seem like some kind of a pervert. I asked him what he didn’t understand about the problem, and he looked at me but didn’t say anything. So I asked him if he was having trouble understanding angles, and he nodded. Then I pulled his notebook over so that it was on both our legs so I could see the problem better. When I did this, our legs kind of touched. Then I took his pencil out of his hand and worked the problem for him while he watched me do it. When I finished I asked him if he understood what I did, and he nodded. I handed him the pencil and told him to do the next one. He hesitated a minute, and then tried to do it but he was having trouble. I asked him again what he didn’t understand because to me the problem was really easy. He started to say something, but then stopped. So I looked at him and asked him, “What?” because I didn’t understand why he was having trouble. Then he kind of muttered softly, “I hate math.” But when he said it, he kind of stuttered and had trouble saying it. I ask “Why?” He gets this really frustrated look on his face and stutters, “I just do.” Okay, now I’m not a rocket scientist, but I know that he’s probably taken a big step by talking to me. I mean we’ve always just looked at each other without saying anything. He wouldn’t even talk to me at the birthday party, and thinking back, he really never talked to anyone. So I think this is a big moment for him to let me know he has trouble talking to someone. I try to act all normal, like I understand, which I think I did. Why should him having trouble talking to me be a problem anyway? I laugh and tell him that everyone hates math. He looks over and kind of smiles. So I reach out my hand to shake his, and I tell him my name is Reggie. He smiles and shakes my hand and attempts to tell me his name, but he starts stuttering so bad he stops and frowns. So I tell him it’s okay, and not to worry about it and take his time. He frowns and then slowly tells me his name is Perry Morgan. He smiles when I tell him I’ve been wanting to sit beside him since school began. I don’t know why I said it, but I did. He smiled and kind of giggled. It was so cute. So I told him I was good at geometry and if he needed me to help him, then I would. He nodded his head and pointed to the next problem. We worked it while our legs kind of touched a little bit. Then it had to happen- Little Reggie woke up while Perry’s leg rested against mine. Okay, here’s the situation I’m in. Perry’s notebook was opened between our legs. His homework assignment is on my half, and the edge of the notebook is just inches from where Little Reggie is waking up. Perry can’t look at the homework sheet without noticing that Little Reggie is stretching out, like he’s yawning or something. There was nothing I could do. If I tried to push him back down, Perry would definitely have noticed. I’m not a very religious person, but I start praying that Little Reggie won’t wake up all the way, but he does. So now he’s poking against the material of my pants and I know that Perry can’t help but see him. The only thing I could do was place my elbow over him, but that only made him wake up even more. Then I look at Perry and he’s looking at Little Reggie poking against my pants. By then we were heading into the school parking lot, so Perry took his notebook and put it in his book bag while I used my elbow to try and push Little Reggie upward so it’s not so obvious he’s awake. My face must have turned 50 shades of red when I quickly looked over and saw Perry watching me do it. So I think, just great. My first chance to really talk to Perry and Little Reggie has to mess it up. Now he probably thinks I’m some kind of a pervert or something. When the bus stopped and the driver opened the door, Perry stood and waited for me to exit so he could leave. He giggled when I put my book bag in front of me and got off the bus. I thought he’d walk away thinking that I was some kind of a sex maniac, but he hurried to catch up with me as I headed toward the building. He stuttered a ‘thank you for helping me with my homework.’ He started to get frustrated when he couldn’t say homework, but I told him to slow down, that it was okay. He kind of smiled and nodded and then said it. As we walked down the hall he kind of pressed his shoulder next to mine as we walked. So I guess he didn’t think I was some kind of sex maniac after all. Before I realized what I was doing, I’d walked him to his locker. I stood and watched as he got out the books he’d need for his classes. I was surprised when he pulled out a creative writing book. I asked him if he had Mr. Byrd, and he nodded and told me he had him 3rd period. He giggled when I asked if his class had to write a journal. He reached into his book bag and pulled out his journal. Mine is just a regular black binder, but Perry’s is really cool. It looks like a kaleidoscope with different designs and patterns. He had written Perry’s Journal in a really neat script on the front. When I reached to see it better, he quickly pulled it away and stuck it back into his book bag. I guess he was afraid I was going to try and read some of the things he’d written. After he closed his locker, he told me he had to get to class, so I hurried to my locker to get my books or I’d be late. I didn’t think I’d see him again until after school, but when I was heading to my 3rd period class, I saw him heading down the hall to Mr. Byrd’s room. I hurried to catch up with him. He kind of jumped when I grabbed his arm, but then he started smiling. Since he seemed to like me a little, I decided to ask him if he wanted to eat lunch together. He hesitated a minute before nodding his head. I told him cool, and that I’d meet him outside Mr. Byrd’s room when the bell rang. Mr. Byrd was standing in the hall greeting students as they entered his room and he gave us a kind of strange look when he saw me and Perry walking together. I hope he doesn’t think Perry is gay because I’m talking to him. I don’t know if he is, but I hope he is. If he isn’t, that is okay too. I just don’t want people to think he is because he’s walking with me. Hold on. I’m going to go downstairs and get a snack and soda. This is taking me way too long to write. I’ll be brb. Okay, I’m back. Mom was in the kitchen and ask me why I was smiling so much. I guess I was still thinking about Perry, but let me explain first what happened at lunch. Okay, now I go by Mr. Byrd’s room and Perry is waiting outside the door. He’s talking to Mr. Byrd. He seems to be stuttering, because I hear Mr. Byrd tell him to relax and slow down. Perry nods and then he smiles really big when he sees me. It made me feel good, but then I got worried when I saw Mr. Byrd see him smile and then look at me. When I walk up, Mr. Byrd says hello and keeps looking at me and Perry. So I think he thinks we are boyfriends or something. So anyway, we say goodbye and then walk to the cafeteria. Now I’m worried about where we are going to eat. I’ve been eating with Abe, Cory, James, Caryn and Beverly. I can’t just walk up with Perry and sit down because they are going to wonder why I’m with him. So I decide that after we get our lunch, we’ll try and go sit by ourselves at a table on the other side of the cafeteria where no one will see us. But that didn’t happen. Cory gets behind us in line and starts talking. I’m surprised when he says hello to Perry, but then I remember he met him at my birthday party. When we get our lunch, Cory invites Perry to sit with us which was a big relief because now he can sit with us because Cory asked him to and not me. Beverly was already at the table and she gave us a really weird look when we sat down. She wanted Perry to sit beside her, but instead he sat beside me which made me feel really good. Of course we started talking about school and James asked Perry what grade he was in and Beverly immediately answered for him. Then Cory asked him who he had for literature, and again Beverly answered. I guess she was trying to talk for Perry since she’s his cousin and she knows he stutters. Then James asked him how he liked my birthday party. Perry quickly looked over at Beverly, but she shrugged her shoulders. I guess she couldn’t answer that question for him. He slowly said he had fun, but he stuttered when he said it. James started to giggle, but I kicked his leg under the table so he stopped. We continued to talk for a few more minutes about school, until James decided he’d ask Perry if he liked playing video games. I know he did it to be cruel, and I gave him a really angry look. When Perry started to say he liked playing video games, he started stuttering again. Beverly seemed really sad that he couldn’t get out what he was trying to say, and James started to giggle again until Cory elbowed him in his side really hard. Cory then leaned across the table and told Perry it was okay, and to take his time. I really liked Cory for doing that. He started having trouble telling James what games he liked, so I kind of put my hand on his leg to let him know it was okay. He slowed down and mentioned several games he like playing, like Mortal Kombat. James is a big game player, so they started talking about a new game that had recently come out. Perry struggled to speak, but he managed to do all right. Several times I put my hand on his leg to let him know he was doing well. I think Beverly noticed, but James and Cory didn’t. So when the bell rang, I walked with him to his class. After school, he waited for me to get on the bus and then he removed his book bag for me to sit down beside him. He gave me the biggest smile when I asked him how his day had gone. He said it was a really good day. I asked him if he had any geometry homework he needed help with, so he pulled out a homework assignment and we worked on it until I had to get off at my stop. When I was getting off the bus, I turned and looked back at him and he waved goodbye to me. As the bus pulled off, I stood on the curb and waved back at him as he gave me a big grin. So something really special happened today. I know I may be hoping too much, but I have this really good feeling that Perry is going to be a good friend. I can’t describe how I’m feeling right now. But things kind of feel right. I don’t know when I’m going to get a chance to finish this entry. I have driver’s ed tomorrow and then I’m volunteering at the Crisis Center on Wednesday. Let me count how many words I have. Hold on. Okay. I only need about 400 more. I’ll try and do that on Thursday. TO THE WORLD YOU MAY BE ONE PERSON, BUT TO ONE PERSON YOU MAY BE THE WORLD It’s Thursday night and I just finished all my homework. With reports, translations, geometry homework and a chemistry paper that is due next week, I can hardly keep up with it. Now I’m taking a driver’s ed class and working on the Talk Line. It just seems like a lot of pressure for a 16 year old. I need a vacation, but it’s still 6 weeks away until we go to London. At least I’ll get a few days of rest in a couple of weeks during Thanksgiving. Yeah, right. All that means is teachers will give us 4 homework assignments instead of one. I don’t have a lot of time to write since I’m exhausted, but I still need 400 more words. Wait, let me check what it is now. 4799. Okay, let me write what happened last night when I was at the crisis center. I sat around most of the night and did nothing. I guess that’s good because that means that there’s no problems. I suppose there is, but no one wants to call and talk about it. So I take the opportunity to get some work done. Since we sit at a computer, I managed to do some research for a history assignment. I checked with Mrs. Armstrong and she said it was all right if I did. So anyway, around 8:45, I start to put things away and get ready for Mom to come get me at 9. Mavis and Elizabeth had already gone home since it was a slow night. It was just me and Caryn. I’m putting my books in my book bag and the phone rings. Caryn answers it, but then she tells me the caller wants to speak to me. So I answer it and it’s Robert. He was disguising his voice until he knew I was on the line. I don’t know why he does that, it’s not like anyone here knows him. He said he wanted to thank me for talking to him Saturday night, and he asked if I could just talk to him for a little while. I look at the clock and realize I have to leave in 10 minutes, so I told him I couldn’t. I looked over at Mrs. Armstrong to see what she wanted me to do, but she had stepped out of her office. He said it was okay, that maybe he’d talk to me later. I told him I’d be working at the Talk Line on Saturday night. He said he’d talk to me then and hung up. So I haven’t really figured out his problem or why he keeps calling the Talk Line, but he seems to trust me. I was going to ask Mrs. Armstrong what I should do, but I think I’ll wait. Robert’s problem doesn’t seem to be too bad, so maybe I can handle it on my own. I think he’s maybe just lonely. At least that’s something I can talk about with someone. Okay. I’m really tired and I’m going to bed. Little Reggie is just going to have to wait until morning. YOU’RE SO UGLY THAT YOU HAVE LITTLE BRUISES ALL OVER YOUR BODY FROM PEOPLE TOUCHING YOU WITH A TEN FOOT POLE. 5286
  6. I had to google it, but yes, Rndmrunner, catastrophizing is a word, and it is appropriate to Reggie's dilemma. Catastrophizing is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is.
  7. Happy Birthday Puppilull Hope you had a wonderful day.
  8. Okay, it’s Sunday afternoon, my birthday. I have so much to write about I don’t even begin to know where to begin. Okay, yes I do. I have to talk about Perry first because it’s the only thing I can think of right now and if I don’t talk about him I’ll be waiting until I do. OMG, I’m so excited! He was at the Halloween party last night! He’s even cuter up close than he is on the bus when I sit several seats behind him and stare at the back of his head. I know that sounds kind of pathetic. Anyway, I saw him as soon as we walked into Beverly’s house. I don’t know, but it seemed like he was kind of waiting for me to arrive. Maybe I’m just making that up because I hoped he was. He was standing by the window and looking out when we entered. He turned and gave me the biggest smile when he saw me. Then he looked down at the floor and walked into the kitchen. I was kind of disappointed, but I didn’t have time to really think much about it. Everyone came into the living room and greeted me and wished me a happy birthday. They even told me they liked my costume. So I guess I’m not going to have to kill Mom after all. I guess since I was going to be sixteen and not six, my costume was kind of cool. She said I was going to go as some guy named James Dean, whoever he is. Anyway, I had on a tight white tee shirt and some cool jeans she’d picked up last week at the store. I guess that is what was in the bag she took to her room. She spent about a half hour combing my hair back so it looked all slick and kind of peaked at the top. The coolest thing was she had bought a pack of cigarettes and folded them under the sleeve of my tee shirt. She warned me, though, that I wasn’t to open them. She also bought me a pair of cool Converse shoes. I was surprised when I looked at myself in the mirror. She made this big thing about me closing my eyes and waiting until she said to open them. When I did, I didn’t even recognize the boy looking back. He looked really hot. Hehe. I guess I should say I looked really hot. I didn’t look like the dorky guy I usually look like. Even Cory and Abe were surprised when they saw me. Abe asked my mother if she could make him look like me, but she laughed and told him that there wasn’t enough time to find him an outfit like mine. Corey looked really cute as a pirate, even if he could only see out of one eye and had to keep turning to look at me all night. I felt kind of special because I didn’t have to wear some stupid looking clown suit. That was my biggest nightmare- that my mother would make me a costume with some big rainbow colored wig and big red shoes. But she didn’t. So I didn’t spend the night worried about looking stupid. In fact, several girls even commented on how hot I was. And believe me, hot and Reggie Faulkner usually don’t go together in the same sentence. I have to admit, I had a really, really good time. It was more a grown up party than a kid’s party. We didn’t play stupid games or anything. Instead, Beverly’s brother acted as a DJ and played music downstairs in the family room. Beverly’s parents had removed most of the big furniture, so we could have a place to dance. And there was also a LOT of food. My mother had paid a caterer to provide these small little sandwiches. Everyone loved them. Cory ate about a dozen. There was also potato salad and a lot of different snacks like potato chips, pretzels and various dips. Beverly’s mother provided the drinks, and she warned us that she’d be checking to make sure that we didn’t add anything to them. She didn’t, but it kind of made us feel like we were normal kids by suggesting that we might spike our drinks. Hold on. Mom wants me to come downstairs for a minute. I think she and Dad have a birthday gift for me since they didn’t give me anything at breakfast this morning. OMG! I can’t believe it. Dad is going to let me get my driver’s license and I didn’t even have to beg him a million times! Okay, I guess I should explain. So when I went downstairs, they were in the dining room. There was a small chocolate cake with 16 candles on it. Mom had even baked it herself instead of going to the store and buying one. They had me sit down and I ceremoniously blew out the candles. She cut the cake and gave each of us a scoop of butter pecan ice cream- my favorite. So while I’m sitting there eating my cake and ice cream, I keep looking around for my present. Usually, it is on the table and I unwrap it and pretend to be excited even though I know what it is because I’ve told them what I want. After eating and waiting around a few minutes, I start to get up. Dad looks over at Mom and then asks me if I’m forgetting something. Of course, I respond with a “like what?” I already assumed they hadn’t gotten me anything because I figured paying for the caterer at the party was my birthday gift. So then Mom pulls a card from her lap and hands it to me. I stupidly ask, “What’s this?” as I open it. It’s a birthday card that says “Happy 16th Birthday, Son,” on the front. Then I open it up and its says, “It’s been a joy watching you grow.” So by now my eyes are starting to mist up a little, then I realize that something else is in the envelope. I pull out a folded sheet of paper and then again stupidly ask, “What’s this.” When I opened it up, it was a registration form for a driver’s education class! Everything was filled out except for my signature. So Dad grins as he hands me a pen. As I sign it I have to endure a short lecture on how I need to be a responsible driver. I nod and assure him I will be. So starting next Tuesday, I’ll be taking a driver’s education class after school for four weeks! And after signing it, I kind of did this little dance and then gave my parents a really big hug. I had to take a little break because I was getting really, really excited. I think I’ve read the registration form about a zillion times. Now I have to figure out a way to talk my parents into buying me a car. I don’t want to wait until I graduate to get one. Borrowing Mom’s is out of the question. She’s always going somewhere in hers. Dad’s car is my best bet. He comes home from the university and disappears into his office and rarely goes anywhere. The only problem is it’s an old Chevy Cavalier. I won’t look very cool in it, but I guess it doesn’t matter as long as I have a car to drive. Besides, it’s not like I have many places to go. But at least I’ll be able to drive to the crisis center on Wednesdays without asking Mom or Dad to take me. I’M GOING TO GET MY DRIVER’S LICENSE!!!!! Okay. Now I had to reread what I started to write because I forgot. Right. I was talking about the party last night. I think everyone had a really, really good time. Many of my friends said it was the best one they’d ever attended, but that isn’t saying too much because most of our parties have been at school. It was really funny when Cory, Abe and James came up to me and grabbed me. They said I had to get my birthday ‘whacks.’ I pretended to try and pull away while some of the girls paddled me. They were only supposed to give me 16, but I think it ended up being about 60. But it was fun and everyone got a big laugh out of it. Even Perry whacked me a couple of times. Oh yeah, let me write some more about Perry. I already told you that he smiled at me when I entered the house. Then I kept noticing that he kept looking at me. Of course, he didn’t want me to notice that he was watching me so he’d look away when I’d look over at him. I also couldn’t figure out why he was at the party since all the rest were in my class and he wasn’t. So I was downstairs listening to the music and watching Abe dancing with Anna. Abe has absolutely NO rhythm and looked like a chimpanzee dancing, but he was having fun. Cory was having fun too. He could really dance and just about every girl wanted to dance with him. A couple of times, he danced with three girls because none of the other boys would dance with them. They tried to get me to dance, but I refused. If Abe looks like a chimpanzee, then I look like a gorilla. I’ve danced in front of the mirror in my room a few times and I have even less rhythm than Abe. I had no desire to make a complete fool out of myself at my birthday party. Okay. I kind of got off topic again. I was talking about Perry. I was watching Abe and Anna dancing when Beverly walked over holding Perry’s hand. Beverly was dressed like Cinderella, and he was dressed kind of like Prince Charming with a puffy shirt and a hat with a big feather in it. At first I thought he was her boyfriend since they were holding hands. But then she introduced us and said Perry was her cousin and she wanted us to meet each other. So we shook hands and we kind of stared into each other’s eyes as we did. I looked over when Beverly started giggling. She then said she’d leave us alone and she walked away. He didn’t say anything and neither did I, but we kept glancing at each other and smiling. God, he is soooooo cute. So finally, I thought we looked stupid standing side by side and not talking, so I asked him if he was having a good time. He grinned and nodded. We watched some of the others dance a while. I gasped a little when he kind of pressed his shoulder against mine. I was too afraid to move because I didn’t want him to think that I didn’t like it, so I stood quiet and kind of pushed back. Then little Reggie started to wake up, so I didn’t want to get all embarrassed in front of my friends since I had on really tight pants and Little Reggie would definitely be poking out, so I told Perry it was nice to meet him and walked away. When I looked back, he seemed a little disappointed. Now I’m kind of trying to figure out if he’s gay or not. I think he may be, but I’m not sure. He didn’t talk to any of the girls like Cory and James. A couple of girls even asked him to dance but he would shake his head. It seemed like the only person he was interested in most of the night was me, but I could be imagining that. But it seemed like every time I looked at him, he was watching me. But why would he watch me? Cory and James are a lot cuter than me, but he never watched them. So maybe one day next week I’ll sit beside him on the bus. We probably won’t talk, but it would still be nice to sit beside him and hopefully press our shoulders together again. Maybe I won’t even put my book bag in my lap if Little Reggie wakes up. LOL. Okay. I’ve got some homework to finish, so I guess I’ll stop. It’s been an exciting weekend, maybe one of the best I’ve ever had. So I guess turning 16 is a good thing. At least some day when someone asks me how I spent it, I won’t have to tell them I spent it in my bedroom waiting for deer to show up in the backyard. IN JUST TWO DAYS, TOMORROW WILL BE YESTERDAY I’m back. I never did do my homework, so I can’t write long. I just wanted to jot this down since it just happened. I was lying on my bed working on a chemistry problem when Mom called up the stairs and told me that my grandmother was on the phone. I had completely forgotten that it was my birthday and that she wished me a happy birthday. Anyway, it’s been kind of our tradition to go out together, just the two of us, to get banana splits at Dairy Queen. We’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Mom and Dad never go. So when she called, she asked me if I was ready and that she’d be by to get me in about 15 minutes. I quickly dressed and was waiting for her on the porch when she arrived. I looked into the backseat for my gift because that is where she usually puts it, but I didn’t see anything. So all the way to Dairy Queen I’m wondering what she got me. We get there and we each order our traditional banana split with extra whipped topping. So we’re eating and she’s asking me how school is going and I tell her it’s going fine. Then she asks me how everything else is going and I ask her what does she mean. Now my grandmother is not one to bite her tongue. If something is on her mind, she’ll just blurt it out. So she asks, “Jesus, Reggie. Are you dating a boy yet?” I started choking on a big piece of banana that I’d just swallowed. I think everyone in the restaurant became concerned when I started making this little gasping sound as I tried to catch my breath. The guy in the table beside us got up and asked my grandmother if he should do the Heimlich Maneuver on me. I waved him off and told him I’d be all right. So when I managed to speak again, I looked at her and asked, “What?” She reached over and pushed the hair from my forehead and said that a cute boy like me should have a boyfriend. Now I’m sitting there and I don’t have a clue what to say. It’s obvious my grandmother knows I’m gay or she wouldn’t keep saying boyfriend. So I’m trying to figure out how she knows and just how to respond to what she’s saying. So I kind of hung my head and shook my head. She gently patted my hand and assured me that I’d probably find one soon enough. So I nodded and decided that I’d wait for another time to ask her how she knew I was gay. But I figured Mom or Dad told her and she was trying to act like it was a normal thing, which to me I guess it is. So anyway, I had to go to the bathroom before I started crying. I love my grandmother and she’s one of the most important people in my life besides my parents. I knew she wouldn’t have a problem with me being gay when she found out, I just wasn’t expecting her to be so accepting. So I cried a little bit when I went into the bathroom. I tried to wait until my eyes didn’t look so red and puffy, but I think she knew I’d been crying when I came back to the table. She reached into her purse and pulled out a birthday card. It was funny and said something about me now being over the hill. There was also a bank card in the envelop. When I asked her what it was, she said she had opened up a savings account for me at her bank. She then handed me a bank statement. It said there was $1000 in the account! When I asked her what was going on, she told me that that was my birthday gift. It was the start of my savings for a car when I buy one in a few years. I started to tell her I wanted on now, but I didn’t. Instead, I got up and gave her the biggest hug. She even let out a little grunt when I did it. So when we left, I held her hand all the way out to the car. I HAVE THE COOLEST GRANDMOTHER IN THE WHOLE WORLD! I’ve got to go now and finish my homework. It’s already after 9 and I have to finish a report for Mrs. Carter, do a chemistry assignment, translate a page of French phrases and do a writing assignment for Mr. Byrd. He makes us do this journal AND write papers for him. There should be some law against that. More later. A TYPICAL CLASS IN HIGH SCHOOL: SHOW UP, GET RID OF HOMEWORK, GET NEW HOMEWORK, LEAVE. Okay. I’ve just got to write this down. I’m in Mrs. Reynolds’s geometry class. We had a small test, and then she gave us an assignment, but I’ll do it tonight because this can’t wait. I did it! I actually did it! When I got on the bus this morning, I immediately looked for Perry. He always sits in the same seat, so I knew where to look. Anyway, as usual, he was sitting by himself. His book bag was beside him so it would prevent someone from sitting down. Anyway, as I passed I kind of hesitated then stopped and asked him if the seat was being saved for someone. I knew it wasn’t because since school started, no one has sat beside him. So he looked up at me. He didn’t smile or frown, he just looked up and then he took his book bag and placed it in his lap. So I sat down. I was really, really nervous and I was afraid to say anything more to him because I was afraid my voice would crack like it did when I was 12. So we rode all the way to school together. Well, I guess we weren’t really together or anything, but it was nice to sit beside him. When Elizabeth got on, she kind of did a double take. I guess she couldn’t believe we were sitting together. I know at lunch she’s going to ask me about it. Hold on. Mrs. Reynolds just got up and she’s walking around the room. I have to look busy. Okay, I’m back. I’m in my room and I’ve finished all my homework. I don’t know if I’ll be able to write for a few days. I’ve got to take my first driver’s ed class tomorrow, then I have to work at the teen center Wednesday. I guess I don’t really work since I volunteer, but I’ll just say I work there. My classmates were even more excited about my birthday party after it was over than they were last week. I guess it’s kind of pathetic that one party is the extent of our social life. Anyway, everyone said they had a lot of fun. At lunch we talked about all the different costumes we had on. James was voted the most unusual. He dressed up like the Joker in the Batman movie that came out when we were about 13. He looked really cool. His face was painted white and his mother had smeared his mouth with bright red lipstick. Several of my friends had taken pictures of him on their cell phones, so we passed the phones around. We laughed at some of the other costumes too. Cory’s pirate outfit was everyone’s favorite. I think because he had danced with every girl at the party, they said it to make him feel good. If we had voted on the sexiest, he would definitely have won, although I’m sure the girls wouldn’t have let me vote. Hehe. About half way through lunch they decided we should do it again next year. I’ll only be 17, so it’s not like it’s a major turning point in my life, but if it gives us an excuse to have a good time, then I guess I can go along with it. I chickened out after school and didn’t sit with Perry. I kind of slowed down as I passed his seat, but again his book bag was there. I thought he might move it, but he didn’t so I sat with Elizabeth. She made some kind of a remark about me and my boyfriend having a fight, but I just rolled my eyes at her and put my head back and pretended to sleep. Occasionally, I kind of peeked up to where Perry was sitting. His face was pressed up against the window. I think he may have been asleep too, but I’m not sure since I couldn’t really see his face. When I got off the bus at my stop, he kind of looked up at me. I thought he was going to smile, but he didn’t. Oh, well. I tried I guess. It took a lot for me to sit beside him this morning. At least I did it. Maybe another morning I’ll do it again and try to not be so nervous so I can talk to him. I’m going to bed now. I’ll write more later. I DON’T FOLLOW MY DREAMS. I ASK THEM WHERE THEY ARE GOING AND THEN TRY TO FIND THEM LATER. It’s Wednesday night and I just got back from the teen center. Something really strange happened again with that guy who called in last Saturday night. You ever feel like you know someone and you’ve never met them? That’s kind of how I feel and it is really weirding me out. Okay, let me explain what I mean. Mavis wasn’t there tonight, but Elizabeth and another girl named Cheryl was. I’d never met her before tonight. She’s older than me and Elizabeth, probably about 20. I really didn’t get a chance to talk to her too much because Mrs. Armstrong had me sit by myself since Mavis wasn’t there. Okay, I’m rambling again. Anyway, I get there at 5 and the phones are dead until about 7. Then Cheryl gets a call and starts talking to a girl. The phone rings again and I wait for Elizabeth to answer it because I’m still not ready to take any calls, and I’m kind of scared because Mavis isn’t there to help me. So while they are on the phone, we get another call. I look through the window at Mrs. Armstrong hoping she’ll take it but I guess she’s busy with the girl Elizabeth is talking to. So I pick up the phone and it’s him, the guy who called that Saturday night. He’s disguising his voice again, but I don’t know why since I don’t know who I’m talking to. So I said hello and he just sits there for a few seconds. I think he’s hung up, but I can hear him breathing kind of nervously. So I ask him if he’s okay, and he doesn’t say anything. Now I’m starting to get scared, so I motion for Mrs. Armstrong to take the call, but she puts up her finger and tells me to wait while she’s still on the phone with Elizabeth’s caller. So then he starts kind of crying a little bit and I don’t know what to do. So I ask him again if he’s all right and he says, “No one understands.” So I ask him what don’t they understand and he just says, “Me.” He took his hand away so I could hear him really good. He was really, really sad sounding and it almost made me want to cry. So I asked him what no one understood, and he told me I wouldn’t understand. So I told him how could I not understand when he wouldn’t even tell me what I’m not supposed to understand. By now the whole thing was starting to sound silly, but when I looked over at Mrs. Armstrong, she gave me a thumbs up and motioned for me to continue talking to him. I guess she was now monitoring my call. So anyway, he just sort of opened up and it seemed like a dam broke. He started talking about how his life was a mess and he didn’t know what to do. He was being kind of vague, so I didn’t know what to say, but I tried to sound positive and tell him things would get better when I really wasn’t sure if they would by the tone of his voice. So then he told me I was the first person he felt he could trust to talk to and he asked me my name. Mrs. Armstrong shook her head and tried to tell me not to give out that information, but I told him anyway that my name was Reggie. She kind of rolled her eyes when I did. Then I asked him his name, which I knew we weren’t supposed to do, but I did it anyway since he asked me mine. He said his name was Robert, but he kind of hesitated before he said it, so I think he may have made it up, but it really doesn’t matter because now I had a name to call him. So we talked for about 10 minutes. He still wouldn’t tell me why he was so sad, but I did find out some things about him. He’s two older than me, but he wouldn’t tell me what school he goes to. He has a brother and a sister, and his father hates him, but he wouldn’t tell me why. I kind of figured out that he may be kind of popular because he kept saying he couldn’t talk to any of his friends about what was bothering him. He said he’d really be ‘dissed’ if they found out. I’m not sure what that means, so I’ll google it later. I heard some noise in the background like someone had come into his room, so he thanked me for listening and he said he had to go. He asked me when I’d be here again and I told him Saturday. He said, ‘cool,’ and then hung up. Mrs. Armstrong came out of her office and gave me a big hug. She said I did really good even though I did tell Robert my name. She told me she’d sit down with me on Saturday and go over some things I should say to Robert if he does call me back. I feel kind of good about what happened. I wonder if you can fall for someone over the phone? Okay, I shouldn’t be thinking like this. I’m supposed to be helping him, right? But there was just something in his voice that really made me kind of, um, never mind. Okay, I had to run to the mirror and look at my face. Let me count how many words I have. I hope I have enough because I don’t feel like writing anymore this week. Crap. I still have about 300 words to go. I guess I’ll write a little more tomorrow. I’m going to bed now. ONE BY ONE THE PENGUINS ARE STEALING MY SANITY I’m on the bus so this may be difficult to read. I was going to try and sit with Perry, but I have to come up with 300 more words. I think he may have Mr. Byrd too because I noticed what looked like a journal in his lap and he was writing something in it when I got on. Anyway, I’ve been wanting to write about this all week but things have really gotten busy. I haven’t even written about my driver’s ed class on Tuesday. For someone who had absolutely nothing to do, now I am doing too much. Okay, I wanted to write about this week’s prompt. I can’t remember exactly what it was but it said something about the journal being half over and have we learned anything better about ourselves yet. I scanned what I’ve written so far last night and I think I have learned something important. I realized I worry a lot about things before they happen, but then find out they really don’t turn out that bad. I was afraid how my parents and grandmother would react to me being gay, and that turned out okay. Then I worried about my classmates, but we’re actually closer than ever and I feel kind of free around them because they know I’m gay. Then I worried about volunteering at the teen center but I’m starting to like it. I know I’ve only talked to one person so far, but I really think I can help Robert if he ever trusts me enough to tell me what his problem is. I also worried about my birthday party, and it turned out to be fun. So I guess I’ve learned not to worry so much about things. I know it won’t happen all the time, but most things really aren’t worth worrying over. I’m going to try really hard not to be afraid of things that happen in the future, especially things I don’t have any control over. So I guess writing in this journal is helping me better understand myself, but I’d never, ever admit it to Mr. Byrd. He’d just smile and say, “I told you so.” There’s nothing worse than a grown up telling you they were right. YOU’RE SO STUPID THAT YOU SHAKE YOUR COMPUTER TO GET THE COOKIES OUT 5105
  9. It’s Saturday morning and I’m lying across my bed trying to get some sleep before I have to go to the crisis center. I can’t sleep, though. I’ve closed my eyes about a hundred times, but I can’t relax. Besides worrying about what I have to do tonight, another major problem popped up yesterday. For most teenagers, it would be a really big event, but for me it’s going to be a disaster, I just know it. Okay. My 16th birthday is next Saturday. Normally, Mom bakes me a cake, usually chocolate since it’s my favorite. She buys butter pecan ice cream because it’s my favorite. Then after dinner while eating cake and ice cream, they’ll give me my gift. Last year it was a video game I wanted real bad. After playing it several times, it became boring and I haven’t played it since. Anyway, my birthday is next Saturday, and for some reason Cory remembered it. I’m born on October 30th, the day before Halloween. When we were in elementary school some of my teachers used my birthday as an excuse to have a Halloween party. So he asked me what I was going to do special for my birthday since I would be turning 16. I was too embarrassed to tell him I’d probably be doing nothing special, but then Beverly interrupted and said that she was going to have a Halloween party next Saturday and she was going to invite everyone. So then she came up with this stupid idea that we could celebrate my 16th birthday too. Everyone started getting all excited about it and Elizabeth jumped in and said she’d be happy to help her. When I reminded her that we had to volunteer at the crisis center, she said that she’d talk to Mrs. Armstrong and make sure that she could get someone else to cover for her, Caryn and me. Then I tried to make an excuse that my parents had something big planned and they accepted that until Abe told them later in the day that he called my mother at her school. She told him that she thought a birthday party for me was an excellent idea and she would be happy to pay for a birthday cake and ice cream. So now I’m out of excuses, and unless it floods our town next week, I’m stuck having a birthday party that I would rather have my fingernails pulled out with a pair of pliers than attend. By the end of the day the whole class knew about it. Beverly thought it would be a good idea to combine my birthday and a Halloween party, so now we have to wear a costume too. Get out the pliers and pull my toenails. I think I’m going to go to the mall and get up into anybody’s face who even remotely looks like they are sick with the flu. Maybe I’ll get sick and then I won’t have to go to my own birthday party. I know it sounds stupid to not want a 16th birthday party. Most kids can’t wait until that special day. But not me. I just wanted to spend it quietly at home and then beg Dad into letting me get my driver’s permit. That was MY plan. Now I have to go to a stupid party, wear a stupid costume and listen to people sing me that stupid Happy Birthday song. I’m going to try and rest again before I have to leave for the crisis center. JUST BEFORE SOMEONE GETS NERVOUS, DO THEY EXPERIENCE COCOONS IN THEIR STOMACH? I’m back from the crisis center. It’s after midnight and I’d go to sleep but I’m too tired to go to sleep. I tried, so I got up and decided to write a little bit to see if that helps. I’m not sure how I feel about tonight. I think I like it but I don’t really want to admit it. It’s kind of like keeping this journal. I hate doing it, but then again, it has really been like a friend to me the past couple of months. So I guess I’ll just have to wait a few more weeks to see how I really feel about volunteering. Last Wednesday, Mrs. Armstrong told us we’d just sit next to another experienced volunteer and observe them. Elizabeth wanted me to join her, but Mrs. Armstrong paired her with Tiffany. I think she thought that since Caryn and I go to school with Elizabeth, it would be better if we worked with someone else. So anyway, she had me sit beside Mavis and observe her. Mavis is a big African American girl. She’s a senior at our school and I’ve seen her involved in some of the activities they do in the cafeteria during lunch. She’s on the pep squad and usually gets people cheering the day of a football game. I was scared at first to sit beside her because I found her rather intimidating. She has this really gruff voice and a sharp attitude. But after sitting with her for about 15 minutes, I felt I’d known her all my life. When I asked her if she knew Cory, she sat back, stared at me and said, “Get outta here.” I thought I’d upset her, so I stood to leave. She started laughing and grabbed my arm and assured me it was just an expression she uses sometime. Anyway, she’s Cory’s cousin. When I told her that Cory was one of my best friends at school, we instantly became good friends. I think I’m really going to like Mavis. So anyway, I sit beside her and we just talk until she gets a call. The girl asked for her because she’s talked to her before. Mavis hands me a pair of earphones and whispers to me to listen to their conversation. The girl’s name is Michelle and I can tell instantly that she has very low self-esteem. She complains that no one likes her. She’s fighting with her mother and step-father, and she’s left the house and is calling the center from a pay phone at a corner convenience store. Mavis is excellent at getting information from her. I learned in the training session it is very important early on in the conversation to try and find out the location of the caller in case emergency personnel are needed later. I can tell that the girl really trusts Mavis. She tells her details of her life, none of which sounded too bad to me. Most of it was ordinary problems that teens have with their parents. Tonight she got into an argument over her curfew time. She wanted to go out with a friend and come home at midnight. Her mother insisted that she come home at 11. Mavis listened to her without interrupting and then tried to give her advice. She made her understand that since she’s only 14, she is technically too young to be out so late, and that her parents could get into serious trouble if they permit her to stay out after our town’s curfew laws. Each cubicle has a computer with information on how to handle calls. I watched as Mavis searched and found that teenagers under 16 in our city had to be under an adult’s supervision past 11 at night on a weekend. I wasn’t even aware of that. I guess it was something I just didn’t need to know. After explaining this to Michelle, Mavis made her promise to return home and to call her when she got there. Michelle agreed and thanked Mavis for being there for her. When she hung up, Mavis turned to me and asked me if I had any questions on what happened. We talked about the call and what I might have said. I felt kind of nervous because Mavis was so good at it, and I’m sure I could never be as confident as she is. Anyway, Michelle called back about 20 minutes later and told Mavis she was safe in her bedroom and that her mother didn’t fight with her for going out. Then Mrs. Armstrong came out of her office and asked me if I had any further questions. I guess she’d been listening to the conversation also. I told her I didn’t and confessed my nervousness about taking calls. She patted me on my shoulder and assured me I’d be okay when the time came. While I sat there, Mavis got two more calls. They were from girls just like Michelle. None of them threatened to hurt themselves, which I was glad. They just wanted someone to talk to that was their age. So I kind of liked the experience tonight. I really liked Mavis. I am feeling better about working at the center because I now see how important it can be. I still think I’m going to screw up colossally, and probably cause someone to jump off a building. However, tonight I realized it may not be as bad as I think it will be. I’m scheduled to work Wednesday night, but I’ll have to really talk my parents into letting me since it’s a school night. Mrs. Armstrong said I can leave at 9 instead of 11, so it may not be a problem. I’m going to bed now and try to sleep. I’m still kind of excited about what happened tonight. I’ll try and write more tomorrow, but I’ll probably spend the day doing homework since I didn’t work on it today. HECK IS FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN GOSH Does anybody else in the world have birthdays? Geez. You’d think I’m the only one to have one. I’m in Mrs. Griffin’s lit class. She gave us some time at the end of the period to do some silent reading, but as I look around the room, I don’t think anyone is. Cory is reading a X-Men comic book. I wonder if he’ll let me read it 6th period. Okay, back to my birthday. Everyone is talking about the party Saturday. Beverly has invited everyone in our class, and she said she’s also invited a few other people since it is a combined birthday-Halloween party. I’d try to get out of it, but if I did, no one would talk to me the rest of the year. So I guess I’m trapped. She wants everyone...hold on. Cory just put his hands inside his pants. Oh, man! It is really big! He’s looking around to see if anyone is watching, so I have to be careful. I don’t think he’d care if I saw him, though, since I’ve seen it get hard before. Hold on, let me watch for a minute. Okay I’m back. He caught me looking at him. You should see how red my face is. I’m sure Cory is blushing too, but because of his dark complexion it’s kind of hard to tell. Anyway, he put his hand back inside his pants and I saw the head peek out over his boxers. He looked over and saw me staring at it. I couldn’t look away, so he caught me. He frowned and rolled his eyes, then he started giggling. I think he was embarrassed because I saw it. I think it went down now because he isn’t messing with it anymore. The bell is getting ready to ring in a few minutes, so I’ll wait until he gets up and see if he covers himself with his book bag. LOL. I’m on the bus going home and I just wanted to jot this down. Ever since I wrote about Perry, I’m kind of obsessing over him now. I saw him at school in the hall and I even went the wrong way to my classroom just so I could watch him. He had a big book bag over his shoulder and he kept pulling it up because it looked really weighted down with books. I don’t know why he carries all his books with him anyway. I go to my locker 3 times a day- before 1st period so I can get my books for my first 3 classes. Then after third before I go to the cafeteria for lunch to get my books for the last 3. Then I go after school and get the books I need for homework, which usually is about ALL of them. I look like Perry after school trying to carry 100 pounds of books in a thin book bag. Anyway, he has a cute walk. He kind of bounces on his toes when he walks. It’s almost like he doesn’t put his heel down on the floor. It gives him a boyish look, although he’s taller than me. I thought about walking up beside him and saying ‘hi,’ but I decided against it. He’d probably think I was some kind of a weirdo or something. He’s noticed me looking at him on the bus, so I don’t want him to think I’m stalking him at school. He was wearing shorts, and he has a lot of hair on his legs. It was kind of sexy. Oh, God. I can’t believe I just wrote that word. Now I know what I have to do as soon as I get home. Okay, here’s my stop. WHY DOES YOUR NOSE RUN AND YOUR FEET SMELL? Crap. I can say crap can’t I since no one is reading this? Okay, so crap again. Mom is really excited about the birthday party. She even called Beverly this evening to get more details. Beverly, of course, had to tell her it was a costume party. I really wasn’t planning on dressing up. I have a cool Mexican sombrero and I was just going to wear it. But now Mom is going to make me a costume. I’m dead. Since she teaches in an elementary school, Halloween is like a big holiday. She plans for weeks how she’s going to decorate her room. On Halloween day she usually dresses as a witch, and since she makes her own costumes, she adds to it each year. I have to admit, she does look kind of cool. She paints her face green and puts on really dark lipstick. I bet she’s scared a few kids over the years. So anyway, Mom is now downstairs ‘designing’ my costume. She won’t tell me what it is, probably because she knows I’ll object to anything she makes me. The party Saturday starts at 6 so she’ll probably spring it on me about 5:30, right before I have to leave and won’t be able to refuse to wear it. I’m going to try and sneak a peak at it later this week before she comes in from school. I just know I’m going to hate it. Abe called earlier and he’s all excited about it too. He asked Anna Adler to go with him. She’s Jewish too. He said his father at first objected, but since Anna is the daughter of his mother’s best friend, he finally relented and is going to let him date her. It should be interesting because Sarah and Anna are good friends. They may end up scratching each other’s eyes out before the party. Abe also said his father almost didn’t let him go when he found out it was a Halloween party, but he was able to convince him that he was only going because it was my birthday party. He can’t dress up though. We both laughed when he said he’d wear his kippah and get his grandfather’s pipe and go as an old Jewish man. It was so funny when he started talking like him. Okay, hold on. Cory is calling me. BRB Back. I think the whole world is excited about this party but me. Cory can’t wait for Saturday. He said he’s dressing up as a pirate. He even borrowed one of his mother’s dangling earrings to wear. She got mad when he ripped up one of his good dress shirts to make it look like a pirate shirt. He said he has an uncle who is blind in one eye and wears a patch, so he’s going to ask him if he can wear it for the party. So now I’m picturing this poor guy walking around with a hole in his face where his eye should be just so Cory can wear his patch. That’s kind of gross, actually. He also mentioned his ‘problem’ in class today, and we had a good laugh. We both admitted we get hard about a 1000 times a day. So naturally, we spent the next 10 minutes telling about our most embarrassing times. It was cool to be able to talk to another guy about something like that. I just wish Cory wasn’t so straight. I know he is because when he talked about getting hard, he always wondered if any girl in our class ever noticed it. He said a couple of times he’s stood up in front of a girl just so she could see it, but she never looked down. He seemed kind of disappointed. I was going to tell him that if he ever wanted someone to look at it, I’d be happy to volunteer, but then I realized that might be a little too gay for Cory. We’re becoming good friends and I don’t want to ruin it by him thinking I want to have sex with him- which I think I do. No. Scratch that. I didn’t mean that. I’m not even 16 yet. I don’t want to have sex with anyone. But I guess looking doesn’t hurt, does it? Okay. I have to go. I have a big project in chemistry which is going to take me the rest of the night to finish. I’ll write more after my volunteer work at the center on Wednesday. IF ALIENS ARE LOOKING FOR INTELLIGENT LIFE, THEN WHY ARE YOU SO SCARED? It’s Wednesday night and I just got in bed. I’m writing with my back against the headboard, and the journal is in my lap but keeps sliding. So if you can’t read this, I’m sorry. Hold on. Mom just peeked her head in the door. Okay, back. That was close. She noticed the journal and came over and sat down on the side of the bed. She reached for it and asked me what I was writing, but I pulled it away. She gave me a really funny look, but I told her it was kind of private. Dad knows about the journal because of what happened earlier, but I never told her, I don’t think. So I explained what it was and told her that I was writing things in it that I didn’t want anyone else to read. She said she understood, but by the way she kept looking down at it, I have a feeling she’s going to sneak in my room and try to read it. I know my parents respect my privacy and all, but I think the temptation to see what is going on in my life is just too much for her. She asked me if I’d tell her if something was really wrong, and it took about 5 minutes to convince her that nothing was bothering me and I was only keeping the journal because it was required for a grade. So now I’m going to start putting it under my mattress when I go to sleep at night. I don’t want her creeping in later and reading it. Now back to tonight. Dad took me and he really seemed interested in what I was doing. He said that the university provides a similar service for students. He said he was proud of me for doing it. I kind of had to hold back some tears because it was the first time he really said he was proud of me. I know he is, but it was still nice to hear him actually say it. I sat with Mavis again. Mrs. Armstrong was going to match me with another girl, Amanda, but Mavis insisted that I work with her. It made me feel good that she likes me. I guess she feels like I’m her friend since I told her that Cory is my best friend at school. She said they are more like brother and sister than cousins. She has three sisters, but no brothers, so Cory is I guess her surrogate brother. I asked her about Cory’s brother, Jayson, but she wrinkled her nose and said he’s too stuck on himself. I already knew that because Cory said the same thing once. Jayson is really athletic which Cory and Mavis aren’t. Cory could be, but I never understood why he never went out for sports. I asked him once, but he said team sports never interested him. He’d rather read a book than play basketball. I guess I can understand that because I feel the same way. But then again, I never had a brother who wanted me to play sports with him. I think I’d have a major crush on Jayson, though, if he wasn’t Cory’s older brother. He is really a hottie. God, that sounded really, really gay. But he is though. I’ve watched him in the cafeteria when he’s sitting with his friends. He’s always the center of attention. When he walks down the hall, he’s usually surrounded by other athletes or pretty girls. Sometimes both. Cory says he’s shallow though, so I probably would be disappointed if I ever did get a chance to know him. But I can still dream though. Now where was I before I started fantasizing about Cory’s brother? Oh, right. Tonight at the crisis center. I sat with Mavis and we just talked for about the first hour. She had a homework assignment in government, so helped her do it. It was about the 4th amendment to the Constitution. I thought it was fairly easy, but she had trouble understanding it. So for a little while, I felt like I was tutoring someone rather than manning a phone at a crisis center. We also listened to Elizabeth while she talked to some girl who was having boy trouble, or I should say boys trouble. She was dating 3 guys and she was afraid they were going to find out. I kind of hoped they would because it sounded kind of deceitful. I guess I’m sort of old-fashioned, but I still think that if you’re dating one person, then you shouldn’t be interested in someone else. Around 6:30, Mavis got a call and motioned for me to listen in. It was a boy, and it was obvious he was trying to disguise his voice. It sounded muted like he was holding his hand over the mouthpiece. I had a little trouble understanding him. Mavis motioned for Mrs. Armstrong to listen in as well. I guess they felt that it might be kind of an urgent call. He just kept saying that he was really depressed and he didn’t think he could take it much more. Mavis tried to get him to explain what his problem was, but that was all he kept saying. He sounded really sad. Mavis covered her mouthpiece and whispered for me to talk to him. I shook my head no, but she kept insisting. Finally, she told the boy that she was going to put someone else on the phone. I froze for a minute, and then said ‘hello.’ And he hung up. Mavis said that was really strange, and then Mrs. Armstrong came out of her office. She said that the boy was calling from an unlisted number, so she couldn’t return his call to see if he was all right. Mavis kept saying there was something strange about this voice, but since he was obviously covering up the mouthpiece, it was difficult to understand him. Mrs. Armstrong told me that if he called back, I was to answer the phone and see if he would talk to me. She seemed very concerned about him because he kept saying he couldn’t take it anymore. I think she thought he was going to do something to himself. So I kept hoping he wouldn’t call back because I was afraid that I might just say the wrong thing. But that isn’t the right attitude to take, is it? I mean, I’m supposed to help people, not be afraid to talk to them. So I finally managed to convince myself that I would talk to him if he called back, but he never did. Now I’m worried about him. I’m going to ask Dad if I can read his paper in the morning to see if someone killed themselves tonight. I think this crisis thing carries to much responsibility. I mean, I’m going to be 16 this weekend. I’m too young to worry about such serious things as life and death. I’m going to try and go to sleep now, but I know I won’t get any sleep. WE CAN’T ALL BE HEROES BECAUSE SOMEONE HAS TO SIT ON THE CURB AND CLAP Okay, it’s Thursday night and I still have about 800 words to go for this week. This won’t be hard, though, because I have so much to say. I’m still thinking about that guy that called the crisis center Wednesday. I scanned Dad’s newspaper yesterday and I didn’t see anything about someone killing themselves. I even looked at the obituary page this morning. I know that sounds sick, but I am worried. If all calls affect me like this one did, then I’m going to quit my volunteer work at the crisis center. It may mean I won’t get inducted into the National Honor Society next spring, but I don’t care. I even called Mrs. Armstrong tonight and asked her if he had called back, but she said he didn’t. She tried to assure me that it was probably just a boy who was experiencing a minor setback and he was over it by now. She said that wasn’t unusual. But I still can’t forget how sad his voice sounded. Thank goodness, I don’t have to go this Saturday. But I wish I did have to volunteer. This party Saturday is worrying me too. I’m going to be edgy all day tomorrow at school. I’d pretend to be sick again, but I don’t think I could ever stick my finger down my throat and make myself puke again. Everybody has their costume but me. I mean, I have mine but Mom won’t show it to me. I’ve begged her several times to let me know what it is, but she just giggles and tells me, “You’ll see.” I swear, if she makes me go as a ballerina or something stupid like that, I won’t go, no matter if it is my birthday party. She went out to Walmart after school on Tuesday and returned with a bag. I know it was for my costume because she laughed as she hurried to her room to hide it. Whatever it is, she’s locking it up inside a cedar chest in her room. I looked in the closet and under the bed when I got home tonight, but I couldn’t find anything, so that’s the only place it can be. She better not do anything to embarrass me in front of my friends. I have to go to school 3 more years with them. I don’t want to listen to Cory or Abe tease me about the time I wore a tutu to my birthday party. Cory, Abe and James are going to pick me up at 5:45, and we’re going together to the party. Cory is going to drive since Abe’s dad won’t let him borrow the car anymore. He said Anna’s mother is going to take her and a couple of other girls, so he’s supposed to meet her there. James has a late birthday like me and won’t turn 16 until January. I still haven’t talked to Dad about letting me get my driver’s permit. I mean that is the goal of every teen since the age of 10, to turn 16 and drive. I mean it’s probably about the only thing that’s really, really important right now in my life. Well, maybe finding a boyfriend, but I think driving is more important. I can always find a boyfriend. Driving a car for the first time only comes around once. My grandmother let me drive hers last year, but I was sworn to secrecy never, ever to tell Mom. We had just gotten ice cream and as we were driving home, I told her I couldn’t wait to drive. She looked over and asked me if I’d ever driven. I sadly shook my head. The next thing I know, we were heading out of town. She turned down a country road and stopped. After making sure that no one was coming, she got out and came over to the passenger’s side. I didn’t know what was going on. She told me to get out and drive. I told her no. Actually, I think I kind of screamed it. I’d never considered driving without taking a driver’s education class first. It’s totally against the law to drive without a license. However, she opened the door, grabbed my arm and pulled me from the car. As I resisted, she got in the passenger’s side and locked the door. I looked stupid standing on the side of the road looking down at her, so I walked around the car and got behind the wheel. She has a big SUV Ford Explorer, so it really felt strange to be behind the wheel. She told me to adjust the seat and rearview mirror to my height, since she’s shorter than me. After I did that, she told me to drive. My hands were shaking as I put the car into drive and slowly crept down the road. She started laughing and told me I was driving like someone’s old grandmother. We laughed, and I sped up a little bit more. It was so cool. I couldn’t believe I was actually driving a car! She let me drive down back roads for about a half hour. I think I did pretty good. At least I didn’t hit any mailboxes. She told me I did good for my first time and laughed about how slowly I drove. So I know I’m going to be a really good driver. I’m really glad she let me do it because now I won’t be too nervous the first time I have to drive with an instructor. I’m going to go now. I probably won’t write anything more since I’ve got enough words for this week. But I’ll be back and let you know what happens at the party. I AM WEIRD, BUT I’M SAVING UP TO BE ECCENTRIC 5186
  10. Thank you, droughtquake, for your comments concerning suicide. I would also like to recommend The Trevor Project and the important resources they provide.
  11. It’s Friday and I’m in 1st period. Mr. Byrd just checked our journals and then gave us a busy work assignment. We recognize those immediately. They’re usually a handout with a puzzle or some kind of brain teasers. They don’t really count for anything. Teachers use them when they don’t feel like teaching. He gave us a crossword puzzle on synonyms and antonyms. It was 3rd grade work, but no one complained. Most of us did it in about 10 minutes, so everyone is working on other class work. I decided I’d write a little bit in this thing. I still think he’s reading mine even though he said he wouldn’t. He seems to spend longer at my desk than he does everyone else’s. I’ve even kind of slowed down turning the pages because I like hearing him make this silent little chuckle as he reads my larger comments. I think he looks forward to it each week. He’s back at his desk now and looks at me occasionally. I think he’s still trying to figure out that chicken and orange comment. Hehe. I hope he doesn’t ask me what it means. I saw it on a building that had a lot of graffiti on it a few months ago. I still don’t get it. Anyway, Mr. Byrd is a really cool teacher even though he makes us keep this weekly journal. Yesterday, he toed off his shoes and walked around the room in his socks. I’ve never seen a teacher do that before. He said the shoes were new and they were hurting his feet. Naturally, James had to ask him if he could take his off and Mr. Byrd said it was a free world. When he did, everyone in the room held their nose and yelled at him to put his shoes back on. It was so funny. Hold on, I’m going to take mine off just to see if anyone says anything. Cory’s looking at me and grinning. I’m wiggling my toes and making my big toe stand straight up. Cory is an idiot. He took his shoe off and we toe wrestled in the aisle until Mr. Byrd started laughing and told us that he’d seen enough. Yeah, I like Mr. Byrd. Okay, the bell is getting ready to ring, so I’m going to put things away. I still have to write about what happened at the meeting Wednesday, but I need more time. IF A TURTLE DOESN’T HAVE A SHELL, IS HE HOMELESS OR NAKED? I’m back. I had a nice dinner with Mom and Dad. They finally brought up the subject of me being gay. Mom was kind of discreet about it and started asking me questions about school. I know she already knows how I’m doing because she’s constantly calling my teachers to check up on me. It’s not because I’m a bad student or anything. They just have set these really high goals for me and I guess they think if I make anything less than an ‘A’ in a class, then I’ll be doomed to live the life of someone who has to make a living by doing manual labor. Not that there’s anything wrong with doing manual labor for a living. Sometimes when I’m mowing the yard I wonder what it would be like to be a professional landscaper or something like that. It’s fun to be outside, but then again, it gets too hot sometimes. So maybe I’ll do a manual labor job that is indoors where there is air conditioning. Okay, I got way off the subject again. Back to dinner. Mom was asking me about school and my classes, then it turned to other students in my class. I could tell she was going to ask me something personal because she started hesitating about asking me things. Then she asked who I ate with at school. I told her I usually eat with Abe, Cory and James. She knows Abe because she’s talked to him on the phone a few times when he’s called here. Then she started questioning me about Cory and James. She’s seen them many times when she used to visit my classes when I was in the earlier grades. Then she looked over at my father, cleared her throat and asked me if any of them were ‘special.’ So I made a snide comment about all the students in my classes were special. So her face reddened a little, and then she asked me if any of them were more special than the others. Okay, sometimes I’m slow, but by now I’m beginning to realize what she’s asking me. She wants to know if one of them is my boyfriend. So I told her again that they were all special. By now, my father is starting to chuckle because he is beginning to understand what is going on, which is rare for him because he usually doesn’t understand anything that is going on. So then she asks me if I like any of them. I replied that I liked them all. My father started to laugh harder. Finally, she threw her napkin down on the table and asked, “Come on, Reggie. Do you have a boyfriend?” Okay, now this was really weird. I’m sitting with my parents at the dinner table and we’ve never discussed the ‘gay’ thing. They know I’m gay, but we haven’t even talked about it. So now my face is getting red because I’m not sure how much I really really want to talk to my parents about this. But then suddenly, I felt good about it, because she was asking me if I had a boyfriend like probably Elizabeth’s mother asks her if she has a boyfriend. It seemed so ‘normal,’ which my parents usually aren’t. So I got up and walked over and gave her a big hug. When I sat back down I told her I wasn’t interested in anyone and it might be a long time before I really was. Let’s face it, my social calendar isn’t filled with dates and parties. The only guys I know are in my class and they are all straight. I’d be interested in Cory, but he’s got half the girls in the class liking him. So I figure I may have to wait until I go off to college because the probability of me finding a boyfriend in high school is astronomical. But I’m okay with that. After watching Abe the past week, I’ve decided I wanted to wait a while before doing anything with anyone. But it still felt good knowing that my parents were interested in me that involved something other than school work. Maybe now will be a good time to bring up getting my driving permit when I turn 16 in a few weeks. It doesn’t hurt to try. I just have to come up with some kind of plan. Okay, I’m going to finish a chemistry assignment and then maybe I’ll write more. I still haven’t written about what happened Wednesday night yet. BIRTHDAYS ARE GOOD. STATISTICS SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE MOST LIVE LONGER Sorry. I’m back. It’s Sunday afternoon and I didn’t feel like writing last night. Okay, I’m not going to like doing this teen crisis thing, but I may not hate it so much. The last two sessions have been better than the first two. I felt they were a big waste of my time, especially that incident with Gina. I’m starting to like Mrs. Armstrong a little bit better too. At first, I thought she was a space cadet like Caryn, but the more she talks, the more I realize she really knows how people’s minds work. So I guess hers works okay too. Hehe. I’ve come to realize that she is probably a lot like Dad. Her mind is probably about six miles ahead of what is actually going on in real life. You can almost hear her gears going when she’s just sitting quietly and not even talking. Last night’s session was better than Wednesdays, but I’ll talk about it first since it happened first. Oh man, I hope no one ever reads this. They are going to think I’m some kind of an illiterate or something because of my grammar. But since no one will read this (fingers crossed) then I’m not really writing it like I would for something that was going to be read by someone. YOU BETTER NOT BE READING THIS MR BYRD. IF YOU ARE, I’M NOT A DUMMY Can I say dummy? Is that a bad word like retarded? If it is then I guess I shouldn’t use it. Maybe I’ll goggle it later and see if it’s bad. Anyway, where was I? Now I have to go back and reread what I wrote. Hang on. Okay. Wednesday night. I guess since they figured out that Caryn, Tiffany and I are pretty smart, they have eliminated a lot of the learning sessions. I’m glad because I’m not sure how long I could have kept my mouth shut if Mrs. Armstrong handed out any more of those ancient handouts. So the past two sessions have been more interactive. Wednesday, she had several guest speakers come in and talk to us. I think she also used them to help her evaluate us to see if we could work with other teens. One of the guests was a DARE officer with the police department. Her name was Lieutenant Shavers. She was young and very attractive. Normally, I don’t find older women too pretty, but she was. She was really cool. She brought samples of drugs! I even asked her if it was illegal for her to have things like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, meth and crack in her possession. She laughed and assured me since she is a police officer, it was okay. Other than an aspirin, I’d never seen any other drugs. My dad takes blood pressure pills, but they are so tiny I can’t see what good they would do. Anyway, she showed us the drugs and explained how each was used. She said that some of the kids calling us might be high, so we should be able to recognize the effects it might have on their behavior. I was afraid the police would come in and arrest her when she took some of the marijuana and cocaine and rolled what she called a blunt. Then I remembered she was a police officer, so I quit watching the door for the SWAT team to come barging in. She showed us some pills like ecstasy. She also explained how bath salts were becoming a new way for kids to become high. One thing I learned, though, was that all these drugs can kill you. She warned us that if we even remotely suspected that the caller may be under the influence of a drug, then we should immediately report it to Mr. Armstrong or whoever else was supervising us that night. I learned a lot from Lieutenant Shavers. I also learned that drugs were something I never ever wanted to mess with in my life. The next guest kind of scared me. He said his name was Carl, but for some reason I didn’t think that was his real name. He was 24 and looked really rough looking. He wasn’t particularly big, but he still seemed intimidating. He had shaggy brown hair and a little scruffy beard. Anyway, Carl said he tried to commit suicide when he was 19. He was wearing a long sleeved shirt, and when he said he tried to kill himself, he pulled up his sleeve and showed a really bad scar on his wrist. I looked over at Tiffany, and it looked like she wanted to cry. Anyway, he told us about how he tried to slit his wrist one night after drinking really heavily. He never said why he wanted to die, and I was too scared to ask him. But anyway, he told us the warning signs that people who do want to kill themselves sometimes exhibit. The whole time he talked, he kept his scar visible so we could see it. I kept staring at it. I almost peed my pants when he suddenly stopped talking and looked over at me and asked me if I’d ever thought about doing that to myself. Somehow, I managed to squeak out ‘no.’ I was kind of glad when he got up and left. Next Mrs. Armstrong had a young girl talk to us. She had called the crisis center last year, and she told us how helpful the person on the phone had been. She had broken up with her boyfriend who had gotten her involved in smoking meth. She said she didn’t want to live anymore, but she kept calling the center and the girl on the phone finally convinced her to get help. She told us how she had turned her life around. She got into drug counseling and was now back in school and making good grades. I don’t know if she goes to our school, she never said. But I’ll be looking to see if I can spot her sometime walking down the hall. We ended the night listening to a good friend of Mrs. Armstrong. He was a psychologist and his name was Dr. Gollings. I could understand why he was a good friend. He was almost as boring as Mrs. Armstrong. As he discussed different problems we might encounter, I had to keep my eyes wide open so I wouldn’t fall asleep. He probably thought I looked like some kind of moron or something. Again, most of what he told us was things we learned in psychology. He was able to relate it to specific people he had counseled over the years. It was still boring though. So that was Wednesday night. The DARE cop and the girl were pretty interesting. Not so much the suicide guy and the old doctor. Okay, I’m going to take a break. Maybe I’ll write about last night later tonight. HEY MR BYRD- YOU KNOW YOU’RE GETTING OLD WHEN YOU CAN PINCH AN INCH ON YOUR FOREHEAD I’m on the bus going to school. I had to write this down because it’s kind of important and I want to write it while it’s still fresh in my head. I was going to do it last night but I didn’t get off the phone until after midnight. Okay, let me explain. Abe called me around 8:30 last night on my cell phone. He was really, really upset because he’d just had a big fight with his father. He asked to borrow the car to go to the mall to see a movie with Justin, one of our classmates. His Dad brought up the incident with Sarah, and asked him if he was going to meet a girl. Abe told him no and he even asked his father if he wanted to talk to Justin himself, but his father said that could just be a trick. Anyway, he hung the phone up and they really got into a big fight. I know it was big because Abe started crying. He said his father said he was untrustworthy and a liar, and I guess Abe kind of lost his temper and told his father to kiss his ‘Jewish a**. He said his father started to hit him, but didn’t. So Abe went to his room and locked the door and called me. I don’t know why he called me. He could have called Justin because they seem like better friends than us. Anyway, I’m getting some early practice for this crisis thing. Abe started crying and telling me he didn’t want to live anymore. He felt his parents would never ever trust him again, so he didn’t want to live. Now I’m trying to think of something to say- anything- that will make him stop thinking the thoughts he was having. So I started talking about school, particularly the early years. We talked about when we first met and the things we’d grown up doing in school since I don’t see him too much outside of school. Pretty soon I had him laughing about some of the pranks we’d pulled in 7th and 8th grade. I then got around to talking about how much everyone liked him, and I even used Cory’s analogy about our class being like one big happy family. I told him we loved him, I actually used that word which made both of us cry a little, and that we would really miss him if he did something to himself because he was so much a part of our family. So he started to cheer up a little and he didn’t talk anymore about wanting to kill himself. So now I can’t wait to see him in school to let him know I meant what I said. I’m going to tell Cory, James and Justin to kind of reinforce what I said about him being a part of our family. I hope it works because I don’t know what I’d do if someone called me and told me Abe had killed himself. I’d call his Dad, but it would probably only make matters worse. IN THE BOOK OF LIFE, THE ANSWERS AREN’T IN THE BACK It’s 2nd period and I want to write this down. I’ve snuck my journal out while Mrs. Reynolds explains a geometry problem that Caryn had trouble with last night. I understand it, so I’ll do this now. Abe is okay. We talked a little before Mr. Byrd’s class. He said he’s still mad at his dad, but he promised me he wouldn’t do anything to hurt himself. Besides, he says his religion absolutely forbids it. He’s going to talk to his rabbi after school and see if he’ll talk to his dad. I sure hope it works. Gotta go. Mrs. Reynolds asked me what I was doing and I told her nothing. Now everyone is staring at me. It’s me. I’m back. It’s late Thursday night and I still have a lot of homework to finish. I thought I’d take a break by writing in this. Besides, It is due tomorrow and I still have 2000 words I need to write. So here goes. I forgot I didn’t write about last Saturday’s session. I have to report this Saturday night at 5 for my first real active training session. Last Saturday we had to go in and listen to Mrs. Armstrong talk about the do’s and don’ts. She had 4 pages of things we shouldn’t say to someone who calls in. For one, we’re not allowed to ask them their name. If they give it to us, that’s okay. And she made a big issue about not taking sides when we talk to someone. We’re supposed to listen to the person, and give them constructive advice. I’m still not sure I can really do that since I don’t have a lot of experience in these things. I’m almost 16, I have to take a side. Mrs. Armstrong treats us like we’re some kind of an adult or something. If a girl tells me about an abusive boyfriend, shouldn’t I tell her to go into the kitchen, get a skillet and hit him over the head with it? Sometimes it doesn’t seem like there should be mediation, just action. Hit him once, you don’t want to kill him and go to jail. There. That is my advice. I bet I don’t last a week at this. So after listening for an hour and a half about things we should and shouldn’t do, we next went into the room where they actually take the calls. There were three girls in there, Elizabeth was one. One girl was talking to someone, but the other was doing her nails. Elizabeth was reading a book for our literature class. She put it down quickly and shuffled around some papers on her cubicle to make me think she was busy working. Mrs. Armstrong had Elizabeth demonstrate how we are to answer the phone. I guess she thought we’ve never talked to anyone before. Mrs. Armstrong’s office was next door and there is a big picture window where she can monitor what is going on. She also told us that she can listen in at any time to the conversation going on to make sure we are handling the call properly. She thought I was being smart when I asked her if that is a violation of someone’s right to privacy. She then spent the next 15 minutes telling how important the work we are doing is. She said that research found that young people tended to talk more openly with someone their own age rather than an adult. She said she only intervenes only if she thinks it is necessary. Most callers just wanted to vent to a stranger and then hang up. Only in a few incidences does she really think that her intervention is necessary. Tiffany asked her if the center had really saved any lives. Mrs. Armstrong became really quiet for a minute before she talked. She told us that about 36 young people had seriously contemplated suicide. Her voice kind of quivered when she said that 2 had actually followed through with it. Now I’m really not sure I want to do this. I think I would freak if someone I tried to talk out of killing themselves did do it. And what if they did it while I was on the phone with them? It could leave me with nightmares for the rest of my life. I’d always feel guilty that I could have done more. Mrs. Armstrong tried to assure us that what we are doing is really a valuable service, and we are very heroic in volunteering our times, but I think Caryn and Tiffany were thinking the same things I was. I swear I’ll kill Elizabeth if she causes me to have nightmares the rest of my life. So next Saturday night I begin my actual community service. Mrs. Armstrong says she’ll monitor Caryn, Tiffany and me carefully for about 3 weeks before she lets us handle calls on our own. Right now I’m hoping that I can be like Elizabeth and just sit and read my literature assignment. I get really, really nervous when I think about answering the phone and actually having to talk to someone. THINGS ARE GOING TO GET A LOT WORSE BEFORE THEY GET WORSE Okay, deep doo doo. It’s late, I’m tired and I still have 1200 more words to write. So I guess I’ll write about this week’s prompt, although it might be a little difficult to do. I knew when Mr. Byrd wrote it on the board it might be difficult, and I decided I wouldn’t do it, but now I’m desperate, and desperate times call for desperate measures. Okay, he wrote, Tell about the saddest moment in your life. Many things entered my mind as I tried to think of something else to write about, but they wouldn’t be the truth, and I guess that’s what this journal is all about, being honest with our feelings. Okay, my saddest moment was when my granddaddy died. There, I admitted it. I think I already mentioned that I love my grandmother very much. I still haven’t told her I’m gay yet, but I think Mom may have. I’m not sure. She may be waiting for me to do it. Anyway, Granddaddy died three years ago when I had just turned 13. He was really young acting like my grandmother. He jogged 3 miles every morning before going to work. He was an executive in an advertising agency, I think. I never really did understand what he did. I just remember him dressing up really nice every morning and going to work in a business suit. I used to spend some of my summer with him and grandmother. He’d always come back from jogging, shower, get dressed and then read the newspaper before going to work. I always tried to get out of bed early enough so I could talk to him before he left. When I was younger, he tried to get me interested in playing sports, but gave up when he realized I just wasn’t interested. I did enjoy going with him when he played golf. Sometimes he’d let me drive the golf cart around the course. I guess since my dad was so busy lecturing and writing books, he more or less took over for him. Okay, now it’s getting hard to write because I’m starting to cry a little bit. I’ve kind of pushed this to the back of my mind for a while, but now it’s starting to hurt. I’m going to take a little break, okay? I’m back. I went over to the window and sat and watched out back for a little while. It’s too dark to spot any deer, but the moon was almost full. It kind of made this really neat glare across the backyard. Okay, now where was I. Oh yeah, I was going to talk about my saddest moment. I’d just turned 13 and I came home from school. Mom was in the living room crying and Dad was holding her. He was kind of crying too. I knew something bad had happened, so I ran to my room and slammed the door shut. I was thinking that maybe if they didn’t tell me, then maybe whatever bad had happened would just go away. Then Mom came to my room and had me sit beside her on the bed. She held my hand as she told me that Granddaddy had died of a heart attack while he was at work. He died right away and there was nothing anyone could do for him. So that’s the saddest moment of my life. Things kind of changed after that. Grandmother didn’t laugh like she used to do. For almost a year I was afraid to be around her because I didn’t know how to act. If I acted sad, she’d be sad. If I acted happy, then I felt guilty because it didn’t seem right to be happy when Granddaddy was dead. So I kind of avoided her and then felt guilty for doing that. Mom was sad for a while, but I didn’t feel so uncomfortable around her. I don’t know if there is a certain way a person is supposed to act when someone they love has died. And what do you say to the people they left behind? I watched Grandmother all through the funeral service she had for Granddaddy. She held her head up and didn’t cry once. I thought his death didn’t bother her. Then I spent a few days with her and I’d see her sitting on her bed clutching his picture in her arms and crying. I’d watch for a minute and feel guilty because I felt I was observing something that was supposed to be a private moment. I wanted to go into her room and tell her everything would be all right, but that would sound stupid coming from a kid. For a year I watched her grow old, and she stopped laughing. Then last year she started to laugh once again. She comes by in the evening sometimes and we go to Dairy Queen for a banana split. She loves banana splits. So she laughs more now, and I can have fun with her again. One of these days I’m going to tell her I’m gay when we go get a banana split. I’m going to bed now. I have to count the words to see if I have enough. I should have because this took a lot of time to write. But I’m going to wait until morning because I’m kind of sad right now. I miss Granddaddy something awful. IT IS SAD WHEN SOMEONE YOU KNOW BECOMES SOMEONE YOU KNEW Oh man! I’m on the bus and I just counted the words in this week’s entry. I’m still 300 short. I think Elizabeth is short too because she’s writing something in her journal. It may be about me because she keeps looking back and smiling. Let me see, what can I write about that will be short but long enough to fill up my journal? Okay, I’m going to tell you about Perry. He’s the boy who is sitting about three seats in front of me. If I could have the perfect boyfriend, it would have to be him. I’ve had a secret crush on him since he moved into our neighborhood two years ago. He’s in the same grade as me, but I never see him at school. But then again, I never see anyone in school except those in my class. Anyway, Perry has to be about the cutest boy in our school, but I honestly don’t think he knows it. He’s really really shy. He never speaks to anyone on the bus, and I think about every girl has at one time or another has tried to sit beside him. I’ve watched him when they do, and he gets all nervous acting. It’s really cute, but I already wrote that. He has long blond hair that falls down onto his eyes. He’s always pushing it back, but it just falls again onto his face. I’ve never figured out if his eyes are a light brown or gray. I’m afraid to make eye contact with him because, well, because he’s Perry. Last year after several weeks of trying to get up the courage to sit down beside him, I decided on a Monday I would just do it. When I got on the bus, he had his book bag next to him, so I decided to go to another empty seat. It would have looked obvious if I had asked him if I could sit beside him. Maybe I’ll try again soon. At least talking about him filled up the rest of the journal for this week. I CAN’T DIAL 911, THERE’S NO 11 ON MY PHONE 5057
  12. Okay, I just got in from school. This has been a wild day. You have to understand something, the class I’m in, we NEVER get into any trouble. The teacher can leave the room for the entire period and we’ll sit quietly and do the work. I mean, we NEVER get into any trouble. So when Abe called Sarah the ‘B’ word yesterday, it was like a major event. It’s the first time anyone in our class has gotten into any trouble since about the third grade when Kyle threw a snowball at Jennifer while we were at recess. Even James who gets a little wild at times knows just how far to push a teacher’s buttons before he backs off and acts like a normal person again. Of course we voted in the 7th grade if he was normal, and we decided he wasn’t. hehe. Anyway, first, Abe came to Mr. Byrd’s class late. I think he was trying to avoid talking to any of us, especially Sarah. He didn’t have a late pass, so Mr. Byrd sent him to the office to get one. Normally, I don’t think he would have done it, but I guess the word is out that Abe is some kind of a degenerate because he called Sarah the ‘B’ word. Then when he returns to class with a late pass, he walked over and threw it on Mr. Byrd’s desk. He didn’t lay it down, he threw it at him and stormed over to his seat. You should have seen Mr. Byrd’s face turn red when he did it. So he calls Abe up to the front of the class and tells him to apologize to him for his rude behavior. Everyone looked at Abe to see what he would do. And he sat there. It didn’t help the situation when Sarah started giggling at him. I felt sorry for Abe because it was obvious he didn’t know what to do. If it had been me, I probably would have peed my pants with everyone staring at me. This went on for about a minute, and to me it seemed like an hour. I’m sure to Abe it seemed like a century. So Mr. Byrd asked Abe to go out into the hall and wait for him. Abe got up and when he walked past me, I swear to God he looked like he was going to cry. I looked over at Cory, and he seemed to be thinking the same thing. He gave me this sort of sad frown. Mr. Byrd told us to get out our journals and spend the remaining time writing in them. I bet if I went around the room, everyone is writing about what just happened just like me. They’ve been out of the room for about 10 minutes. Mr. Byrd probably took him down to the office. By now Abe has probably been suspended. That would be a big... Hold on Mr. Byrd just came in. Abe’s following him and it looks like he’s been crying. The bell is going to ring in a couple of minutes, so I’ll try to find out what happened. Okay, I’m writing this before dinner. I’ve got too much homework tonight to do. Besides finishing a report for my history class, Mrs. Reynolds gave us a geometry assignment that’s going to take me most of the night to complete. Urgggggghhh! I’m starting to really hate school. And if that’s not enough, Elizabeth told me today that the first training session for the crisis center is Wednesday at 6. She said it will last about 2 ½ hours. Just great. That’s all I need to complicate my life even more. Beside cutting into my homework time, I have to talk Dad or Mom into taking me and picking me up. I haven’t mentioned the community service project to them yet, so I guess I’ll have to do that at dinner. Anyway, I wanted to write about Abe and Sarah while I have a few minutes. This has been a really interesting day for our class. We finally had something to talk about other than teachers and school work, and did we ever talk. Hehe. The pressure was on me because I think I’m the only person who knew what was going on, unless Sarah told Stephanie, which I’m sure she did. Do you know what it’s like to know something that no one else knows and then listen to all the wild speculations? But I promised Abe I wouldn’t tell anyone. Cory guessed around 3rd period I knew, but he didn’t try to guilt me into telling him. So finally the rumor became either Abe or Sarah was flirting with someone else. Most betted that it was Abe. Last week someone saw him talking to an underclassman, so he probably cheated on Sarah over the weekend and dated this new girl. I was kind of relieved because that was a better reason than the real one. At lunch Abe asked me to sit alone with him at a table away from our other friends. James and Cory tried to join us, but Abe asked them politely if we could be alone. They gave me a weird look and left. Naturally, they pestered me the rest of the day to tell them what Abe talked about. I’ve got my own problems, but I’m glad I’m not Abe. His are even worse. I guess over the weekend, Sarah told her mother what they did. Her mother called Abe’s father and told him what they did. Abe is now grounded until he’s like 50 years old. I’d die if my parents knew I was having sex with someone, especially since I’m 15 going on 16. Abe and Sarah are already both 16, but I think it is probably still too young. I guess their actions prove that. Since both of them regret what they did, they shouldn’t have done it to begin with. But it’s too late now. One thing I learned, once you give up the V, you can’t take it back. That was Abe’s words, not mine. I still don’t understand, though, is how they cared enough for each other to do IT, but now they hate each other after they did IT. He said he was going to try and make up with her, but then she told her mother about IT. Now he hates her because his parents know. He said it may be years before they trust him again. Now he can’t drive by himself unless one of his parents or younger brother is with him. So I guess that’s why he called her the ‘B’ word. He made me promise not to tell anyone, but I think some girls in our class already know the story. On the bus home, Elizabeth called Abe a cad. When I asked her why, she just said all boys are cads and wouldn’t explain. I also asked him what happened when he and Mr. Byrd went out into the hall. He said he started crying and shaking so bad that Mr. Byrd had to hold him up so he wouldn’t fall down. He said he kind of told him what happened, and Mr. Byrd gave him some good advice. He also said he couldn’t just let his rude actions pass without some sort of punishment. So when he gets done serving detention with Mr. Bowers, he has to serve two more with Mr. Byrd. Poor guy. So we kind of hung out for the rest of the day. By the end of 6th period, I think some of our classmates were beginning to think that the reason he broke up with Sarah was so he could date me. If they only knew. Hehe. Mom’s calling me down for dinner. I have to talk one of them into giving me a ride Wednesday. Wish me luck. IF I’M NOT BACK IN FIVE MINUTES....WAIT LONGER Okay. I’m back. It’s Thursday night, and I’m drained. I’ve been so busy the past couple of days I haven’t hardly had time to take a pee, much less write in this stupid thing. I’m glad I’m a few days ahead, or I’d definitely be behind. I think I’m going to hate doing that crisis thing- probably to about the 569th power. I had to attend the first training session last night. Two and a half hours of pure boredom. First, I had to sit down with one of the social workers and talk with her. She was a middle-aged woman whose face would probably crack if she smiled. She must have been at least 40, and she was extremely thin. She kind of looked like one of the crack heads who wander around at the mall asking people for spare change. I’m not sure they are crack heads, but Cory told me they were. The first time he told me that, I thought that he meant they had a head injury. I didn’t want to appear dumb, so I waited until I got home to google it. Now I can’t understand how someone would do something that is addictive and messes up their life. I guess I better write about that later because I’m supposed to be talking about what happened last night. Anyway, she said her name was Mrs. Armstrong, and she was a psychologist with the county. She wanted to know why I was interested in volunteering, and I told her the truth- I had to. She really didn’t seem to like that answer. She said that volunteers for the crisis center should be committed to helping others. At first, I thought she was going to let me leave, but then we talked a little more. She liked the fact that I was a boy. I think that’s the only reason she let me stay. She said all the other volunteers are girls. She said they get quite a few calls from boys to the Teen Line, but they hang up when they find out they can’t talk to a guy about their problems. She thinks that they may be calling about girl problems, and they think another girl will side with the girl he’s having problems with. She’s probably right. I know that the girls in my class always stick together, even if they know that they are wrong. Just last week Beverly told Clarise about a problem she was having with Stanley. Wait a minute. I’m doing it again. Hold on. Let me go get something to drink and then I’ll finish. Okay. Back. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Anyway, Mrs. Armstrong started to like me about 20 minutes into the interview. But it got really weird before that. She started asking me questions about my sexuality. Things like if I have a girlfriend, if I date, things like that. She said that most of the calls that come into the Teen Line deal with boyfriend/girlfriend problems. She seemed disappointed that I didn’t date. Then she asked me what I thought about gay people, and I guess I kind of blushed and got all frustrated when I tried to tell her I thought gay people were all right. She then kind of smiled and leaned forward and almost asked me in a whisper so that no one could hear us even though no one else was in the room, “Are you gay?” I must have turned about a hundred shades of red. I finally managed to ask her if she should be asking me a question like that. I felt like it kind of violated my privacy. She quickly apologized and then explained that recently they had had numerous calls coming into the center by gay boys wanting to talk to someone. She said that the standard procedure was that the girls on the phones were not to talk to the boy since she didn’t feel they were properly prepared to handle such calls. She said that those calls were forwarded to the supervisor on duty who handled calls that required a more ‘delicate’ approach. I didn’t like the way she used the word, delicate, but I didn’t say anything. She made it sound like their problem wasn’t normal, like it would be with a straight boy. She asked me again if I was gay, and I literally told her that it was ‘none of her business.’ Mom would kill me if she heard me say that to an adult, but I was getting insulted. Did she ask Elizabeth and Caryn if they were straight? She may have asked Elizabeth if she was gay, though. The verdict still isn’t out on her yet. Anyway, Mrs. Armstrong didn’t get mad or anything. I thought she might kick me out of her office for being so rude to her, but she didn’t. She sat back in her chair and gave me this big grin. Grin! I don’t even know why. She then wrote something down in my folder. I tried to read what she was writing, but she covered it with her hand. Now that I’ve given it some thought, I think she was happy with my answer because she knew that I could be bold if I wanted to be. See, I’m really a timid person, and I’m not very bold. But I guess by standing up to her, she probably thought I could stand up to a caller if they became rude. And to be honest, I’m pretty proud of myself, too. So anyway, she asked me a few more general questions, and then I went into the hallway and waited with Caryn and Elizabeth while Mrs. Armstrong interviewed another girl whose name was Tiffany. She isn’t from our class. She said she called the Teen Line last year with a problem and now this was her way of repaying the center for the help they offered her. She didn’t say what her problem was, but she did say she had a daughter, so I figure since she only looks like she’s about 18 that they probably helped her when she found out she was pregnant. Now I’m worried because I don’t know what I’d tell a girl who just found out she was pregnant. Since it’s something I’ll never have to probably experience in my life I don’t know what advice I could possibly offer. What if she wants to have an abortion? I’m almost 16, I still don’t have an opinion on that yet. Since I don’t go to church very often, I really don’t have a religious view of it. So I don’t know. Maybe this is something else I can think about and then write in this journal sometime. Now to the training session. Elizabeth left because she had already received the training. She told Mrs. Armstrong she’d do it again, but she wouldn’t let her. So it was me, Caryn, Tiffany and another girl named Gina. Gina goes to our school, but she isn’t in our class. She’s in Mrs. Carter’s fifth period. I guess Gina may also be inducted into the National Honor Society, so she’s taking the hours for community service just in case. She’s really pretty, but she’s kind of arrogant. Since I’m used to my classmates, I guess I overlook that they can be snobbish at times. But seeing someone else act all snotty just because they are pretty and smart was just a bit annoying. I’m not sure what kind of advice she could give a girl with her holier than thou attitude. I’m guessing she is probably pretty popular at school, so she’s probably had a lot of experience dating. But then again, maybe not. She acts like she might think she’s too good for most boys in our class. If she dates, I bet it’s with an upper classman, probably the captain of the football team. I’m going to do a little research when I get the time. Cory’s brother is popular and plays football. I’ll ask Cory to ask his brother, Jayson, who Gina dates. He’d probably know, although him and Cory don’t get along very well. Cory says Jayson doesn’t pay him much attention and is kind of embarrassed because he’s in what he calls ‘the smart class.’ But I’m getting off the subject again. So anyway, we sit for an hour and a half listening to Mrs. Armstrong talk about personality disorders. I don’t think she knows that we were taught most of the stuff in school. They do offer psychology classes. She gave us handouts that she must have been using for the past twenty years. They were faded and difficult to read. I know they were old because I scanned one and saw the word retarded used once when talking about someone with a low IQ. I started to raise my hand and ask her if that shouldn’t read, mentally challenged, but then I thought she might think I was being sarcastic and making fun of the information she was giving us. So I circled it just in case I wanted to mention it later. So I was bored, and I hope the other sessions aren’t as boring. Elizabeth asked me how I liked the class, and I was honest. She agreed with me, but she said the next session will be more fun. It’s going to be on Saturday afternoon. If I had a life, I’d be upset, but at least now I’ll have something to do instead of sitting in my room and doing homework. Anyway, she said it will involve role playing. If Elizabeth enjoyed it, then I just know I’m going to hate it. She is the only student who enjoyed acting out Hamlet in our English class in the 8th grade. I played Claudius, and she played Gertrude. It was two of the longest weeks I’ve ever spent in a classroom. I think I’m going downstairs and watch a little television with Mom and Dad. Now that they know I’m gay and they accept me, I feel closer to them. I guess that doesn’t make sense, and I can’t figure it out either, but right now I’m going to enjoy them before I get too grown up. WE NEVER REALLY GROW UP. WE JUST LEARN HOW TO ACT IN PUBLIC Just a quick note. I wanted to write this down in my journal before I forget. I think Mr. Byrd read that little thing I wrote the other day that said ‘Don’t knock it, at least it’s with someone I love.’ I have a feeling he knew what I was talking about. He kind of chuckled and patted me on my back when he walked away. Cory looked over and gave me a weird look when he noticed how red my face was. I have to be more careful. Mr. Byrd is going to think I’m some kind of a pervert- if he doesn’t already. Sorry. It’s Monday night and I couldn’t be any more tired. I’m almost 16, and I already feel like an 80 year old man, or at least what I think an 80 year old man feels like. He might even feel better than me right now. I’m starting to really regret I volunteered to work at the crisis center. I even asked Mrs. Carter after class if I could change what I wanted to do. I had to endure a 3 minute lecture on accepting my responsibilities. Most of it didn’t even make sense. I’m still trying to figure out what not liking what you order at a restaurant and not being able to return it has to do with changing my community service project. So when she finished, I just shrugged my shoulders and left the room. Let me explain what happened Saturday. There were four of us in the training class- me, Caryn, Tiffany and Gina. Okay, I like Caryn. She and I have known each other since the first grade. She’s quiet and shy and pretty much lives in her own little world. She’ll be perfect in case any space cadets call into the hotline. LOL. Last year she started dressing really bizarre, wearing black dresses and painting her fingernails black. We thought she was going to be an emo or goth or something, but she changed again a few months later. Now she’s got her hair cut really short and she has it tinted this hideous pink color. The class is waiting to see what she becomes next week. Anyway, I like her okay. Tiffany is pretty cool. I was right about her having a baby. She’s 17 and got pregnant when she was 15. She goes to school while her mom takes care of the baby. She seems more mature than most girls her age, but I guess that’s because she is a mother. I think she’s going to do really well talking to kids over the phone. She’s probably experienced already what a lot of girls may be going through. Now Gina. I’d call her a ‘B’ but that’s not very nice. But she really is a ‘B,’ though. She has this attitude that she thinks she’s better than anyone else just because she’s pretty. She is pretty, but there are a LOT of girls that go to our school who I think are prettier. Caryn tried to talk to her before the class, and she looked at her like she was crazy and then had the nerve to roll her eyes at her. Then she said all snotty, “Are YOU talking to me.” She stressed ‘you’ like Caryn was trash or something. I think Caryn wanted to say something, but she’s not very good at expressing herself, so she just walked away. So later in the class we start to do some role playing. Mrs. Armstrong had us pretend that that we are on the phone with someone who is experiencing a crisis. Okay, now this is where I get really mad at Gina. I would have hit her, but Mrs. Armstrong stopped me before I was able to raise my hand. So anyway, we are role playing and I’m supposed to pretend like I’m a girl who just found out that she was pregnant and Gina was supposed to counsel me. I don’t know why Mrs. Armstrong didn’t ask Tiffany to do it. She’s the one with the experience. Anyway, I’m pretending like I’m crying and upset. Gina keeps rolling her eyes at me as she tries to give me advice. Finally, she slams her hand down on the desk, looks over at Mrs. Armstrong and says, “This is so stupid. How can a fag possibly know anything about teen pregnancy?” Mrs. Armstrong lets out this gasp and grabs my hand before I can slap Gina. The next ten minutes are chaotic. I’m screaming at Gina because she called me a fag. Gina is screaming at Mrs. Armstrong because she has told her to call her mother and have her come get her. Tiffany is trying to be the peacemaker, but things have gotten so far out of control that peace isn’t even an option. Caryn holds my arm because she’s afraid I’m going to try and hit Gina. Finally, Mrs. Armstrong drags Gina from the room and tells the three of us to sit down and be quiet. So anyway, after they leave I still rant for about five minutes while Caryn and Tiffany try to calm me down. Then we started laughing. Tiffany started it, and then Caryn. When Tiffany stood and pretended to be me when I tried to slap Gina, I couldn’t help but laugh. What was funny was the way Tiffany did it, I did look gay. Then Caryn made some remark about me being gay, and Tiffany stopped laughing and asked, “Are you gay?” I wasn’t really prepared for that, so I looked over at Caryn. She already knows it because she’s in my class. She kind of nodded her head a little, so I told Tiffany I was. I didn’t know how she’d react, but I already knew she was kind of open-minded about things. She said she thought it was cool, because her best friend is a lesbian. In fact, she even suggested that the three of us should get together and go out to a movie or something sometime. I told her I would, but I doubt I will. So then Mrs. Armstrong comes back into the room and apologizes to me for Gina’s behavior. I told her it was okay, but she was still worried about it. I think I impressed her when I told her that I’d probably hear much worse by answering phones for the crisis center, and what happened would be a valuable experience. She told us that Gina’s mother picked her up, and after a lengthy conversation, they decided it was best if Gina withdrew from the class. I kind of giggled to myself when she said she didn’t think Gina had the right attitude to work in a crisis center. I could have told her that before the class began and prevented all the drama that happened. We didn’t do any more role playing. She spent the rest of the evening talking about some of the challenging cases she’d dealt with in the past. I really, really wish I didn’t have to do this. I don’t want to deal with girls who are like Gina. I’d write down what my advice to them would be, but it wouldn’t be very nice. Anyway, that was how I spent my Saturday night. We meet again Wednesday. Mrs. Armstrong told us that there would be a couple of visitors, but she wouldn’t tell us who. She tried to make it sound exciting, but if Wednesday is like the past two classes, I’ll probably hate it. I’m going to bed now. I’ll probably write more after the next class, unless something else really exciting happens. IF ORANGES SMELL LIKE CHICKEN, WHY ARE TOMATOES BLUE? It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m in Mrs. Griffin’s class. We have a substitute again. School just started and this is the 2nd sub. We’re supposed to be reading a short story, but the sub is young and inexperienced. After giving us the assignment, she told us the work wouldn’t be due until Mrs. Griffin returns tomorrow. Now you don’t tell a class that. It gives us two choices- spend the period reading a boring short story that we can read at home later- or talk. Naturally, the class decided to talk. Well, except for Lisa Derringer. She’s the class brown nose. While everyone else talked, she made sure she reminded the sub to tell Mrs. Griffin that she was the only one who read the class assignment. It was funny when James told her to put a sock in it. So anyway, since I guess I’m Abe’s new best friend, he scooted his chair next to mine and we talked quietly. Cory and James tried to join us, but again Abe asked them if we could be alone. Cory gave me this weird look like he was asking me what was going on. I shrugged my shoulders and he walked away. So Abe and I are talking about nothing in particular when he comes out and asks me what it’s like to be gay. I think I missed a couple of breaths when he asked that. After all, it was Abe who outed me to the class, so I didn’t really want to talk about it with him. When he saw I was upset, he kind of apologized, and said he was asking because he was considering giving up on girls and he wanted to be gay. Okay, now I’m usually a very serious person and I don’t laugh a lot at school, but when he said that, I fell out of my chair and started laughing hysterically. When I started choking, the sub came over and asked me if I was all right. I got back in my seat and tried to not laugh as I told her I was okay. Abe kept looking at me like I was crazy or something. Finally, after about five minutes, I was able to gain my composure enough to talk to him. I told him you can’t just be gay because you had a bad experience with a girl. He tried to convince me that you can, but I told him you couldn’t. We got into an argument, but he stopped when I suddenly asked him if he could really do it with a guy. He asked me, “Do what?” So I stammered around a minute before I leaned in and whispered, “You know, take one in your booty.” His eyes got really big, and he started turning really, really red. So I knew I had won our argument, but just to make him more uncomfortable, I added, “So you would? You could really do it?” He turned even redder and mumbled something about never considering having to do that. I told him he should reconsider being gay, and he said I was probably right. So I guess Abe won’t be gay anytime soon, but I did get a good laugh. We’re both writing in our journals, and I’d love to read what he’s writing. He’s probably writing about our conversation like I am. Well, I’ll write more later. The bells getting ready to ring. HOW DO YOU TELL WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF INVISIBLE INK? Okay. I’m on the bus home. Elizabeth is sitting next to me running her mouth a mile a minute. I swear I’m going to take James’s comment to Lisa and literally shove a sock in her mouth someday. Anyway, I counted the words to this stupid thing, and I only need a few more words to hit 5000. Maybe I have enough. Let me count this paragraph. Yippee! 5004. I’m going to go. I’ll write later what happens tonight at the meeting. I FAILED TO MAKE THE CHESS TEAM BECAUSE OF MY HEIGHT 5029
  13. Ron waves back!
  14. The article said it would be at the Observatory- North Park in San Diego. It is an independent film that I believe is being shown only in independent theaters for a limited engagement. When I attended, it was for only one showing, and the theater was sold out. It was being shown to kick off our Pride weekend here.
  15. I attended a one-night showing of Handsome Devil last night. It takes place in an all-male boarding school in Ireland. San Diego Gay and Lesbian News calls it the gay feel-good movie of the year. If it comes to a theater in your area, I would highly recommend it.