October 31, 1995 – Tuesday – 10:55 p.m.

On September 14, 1994, a Wednesday, at 6:17 p.m., I wrote:

Something happened today.  I saw a girl.  I don’t know her name.  I don’t know her.  But she caught my eye like no one else has up here at Lees-McRae College: my new home.

I remember that girl to be Penny W.  She was at the carnival last night.  She smiled at me.  We talked a little bit.  I found myself thinking of her as I fell asleep last night.

I just got back from the concert.  I had such a good time.  Charlie, Kate, Dan, Vince, Mike, Michelle, Lisa, Miki, and Suzanne all came from the college.  We all praised the Lord together.

Laura was there.  We are going to go over to her house on Thursday to eat dinner and play Taboo.  Dan really likes Laura, but then again, I once did as well.  Hmm.  I probably still do.

And to add to the festivities, Kate was baptized in the river behind the church.

Everything is great.  But although I had wonderful friends and beautiful girls all around me tonight, there were times when I would look up from the midst of the crowd and still feel very lonely.

But as I look back in this section, I see so many little details that point toward the fact that I am not alone:  Discovering Regent University, being viewed as the best RA, bringing Allen to the Lord, Erica and Kristen.

What a wonderful life I’ve been given.

There is so much love all around me.

October 31, 1995 – Tuesday – 1:15 p.m.

Little Women was great; everyone did an awesome job!  Church was wonderful on Sunday as well.

Last night I ran the FCA table at the Halloween carnival.  Some people who were in Little Women were there and I talked with them.  Something else happened at the carnival, but I’ll tell you about that later.

We are going to the Brian White and Justice concert tonight.

Tracey turns 20-years-old today.

October is coming to a close.  And after almost 3 1/2 months, it seems that my 9th Book of Days will finally do the same.

October 28, 1995 – Saturday – 11:30 a.m.

I did backstage tech again on Thursday night for Tweetsie Railroad.  The girl who knows Matt was not there, even though she was supposed to be.  So I didn’t go to Salisbury Friday night like I thought I would.

However, on Thursday night I did meet a 22-year-old dance teacher who offered me free dance classes just so I could be a partner for her girls.  That’s cool, but I think I’d have to have my own car in order to really commit to it.

Since I didn’t go to Salisbury last night, Dan, Allen, Vince and I went to Boone instead.  We met up with Kristen and a bunch of her friends.  We all ate at Macado’s and went to see a movie called Powder.  I really liked it.  Powder was played by the guy who played Young Indiana Jones.

I saw Mr. Angel at the theater, as well as Lisa, Syndi, and Dr. Speer.  Ted, Tracey’s ex-boyfriend was part of Kristen’s gang.  It was good seeing him again.  We went to someone’s house afterwards and played Taboo.

My brother called me this morning.  He is seeing a hispanic girl.

. . .

I just got off the phone with Lisa.  She called me while I was writing and wanted to talk about praying and how to do it.  She’s so adorable.

I’m going to go see Little Women today at Avery High School.  Laura, Molly, and Crystal are in it.

Brian White and Justice are in concert on Halloween again.  Just like last year.

October is almost over.

1995 is almost over.

Tomorrow is here.

Something happened yesterday however that will stick with me forever.  I’m confident I’ll never forget it.

While at Macado’s, a party of four sat down at the table in front of us.  It was three girls and one guy.  When they sat down one girl looked at me and then a look of amazement filled her face.  Her eyes widened and she took a deep breath.  Her three other friends then turned and looked at me and had the same reaction.  The whole night they kept looking at me, smiling, and then whispering to each other.

Then finally, as we were getting ready to leave, the guy from the group came up to me and said, “Excuse me, do you go to Lees-McRae?”

“Yes.”  I said.

“Were you in Antigone?”

“Yeah.”

“As the Messenger?!”

“Yes.”

His face lit up.  All of the girls’ faces lit up and he just shouted, “We thought that was you!  You did the greatest job man!  It was so funny!”  He went on and on singing my praises.  I didn’t know what else to do, but to simply say thank you.

Needless to say, I left Macado’s with huge smile on my face.  I felt famous.  And it felt like that wasn’t going to be the last time I would feel that way.

For that moment, I was an actor.  And I had left an impression.

My dream had come true.

October 25, 1995 – Wednesday – 11:45 p.m.

I am so happy!

First let me tell you that I got a letter from Emily.  Hurricane Opal destroyed Crestview.  Her house is okay, but some of her friends are homeless.  She is still here with me on this planet and that alone makes everything okay.  She is special.  She is my pen pal.

Her last line read like this, “After all, what good we do for each other, will reward our paper hearts.”

I called Kristen tonight, she is Erica’s friend, whom I met at the concert this past summer.  We are going to try and meet sometime soon.

FCA was so wonderful tonight.  The Lord gave me a wonderful devotion.  Jars of Clay sings a song called World’s Apart.  I used it tonight along with Matthew 7: 21-24.  I can’t repeat everything I said, but everyone was so still and silent as I spoke.  So many people talked to me afterwards.  Allen accepted Jesus as his savior.  I’m so excited!  You just don’t know!

Thanks God!  Thanks for these dear friends.  And for this beautiful place where we get to share our friendship.

I simply can’t believe how wonderful everything is!

October 24, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:27 a.m.

Yesterday was pretty cool.  I went to the Tweetsie Railroad Ghost Train and did some volunteer work.  I was the back stage technician for a show.  It runs six times a night and has a three person cast.  Mindy, a girl who I drove with from Lees-McRae, was in the cast.  The other two cast members were an older man and a beautiful 21-year-old girl.  This girl and I began talking and I asked her where she went to school.  She said, “Catawba.”

“Catawba!”  I said.  “Isn’t that in Salisbury?”

“Yeah.”

“I know someone there.”

“Oh really, who?”

“Matthew F.”

Her face lit up so bright!  It turns out that Matt is one of her greatest friends.  In case you don’t know who Matt is, he is Jason and Christi’s brother.  We talked about their whole family and how she knew everyone.  I told her how important Jason and Christi were to me.

She said that Matt was in a play that starts this week.  She said she might go see it and asked if I wanted to come along.

I said yes!  I hope we do go.  And what if the rest of the Matt’s family was there too!

Wow!

What if I see Christi?!

October 22, 1995 – Sunday – 2:10 p.m.

Fall Break is over.  I had a peaceful time at Crystal and Clifton’s house.

Allen went to church with me and Charlie this morning.  He is considering becoming a Christian.  I praise God for that.

Dan L. brought a girl to church this morning.  We all went to Subway.  I don’t know her name, but she was interesting.  I told her I write a lot and she wanted to know my major themes.  I told her about “my collection,” how I view life as a collection of “hellos” and “goodbyes” and the love we share in-between.  She said it was pessimistic.  But I think it’s a good outlook.  Realizing all things come to an end only makes us appreciate them more.

In about 50 minutes I’m going to leave for Johnson City, TN.  I have been asked to pick up a girl named Jenny at the Tri-City Airport.  I don’t know her, but she is a student here.  They are giving me a van and paying me.  We will say “hello” and another name will be added to my collection.

It is a beautiful day outside.

Church was so amazing this morning.

Jesus is the greatest!

October 18, 1995 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

I’m at Crystal and Clifton’s house now.  I got here around 5 o’clock p.m.  It was only Crystal and I for a while.  We just talked for two hours then went to church.  She is a good friend; almost like a sister.  Church was fun tonight.  I went to the youth group and we took a little trip to Wildcat Lake.

Tonight, Crystal, Clifton, and their mom Leslie and I watched a movie called Bye Bye Love.  It was so wonderful.  It was about divorce and I have been there.  I could understand those people.

I am from a divorced family.  It isn’t easy.  It’s very hard.  If my marriage is going to end in divorce, then I would rather not get married.

For some reason I sometimes think that once a career begins, life will be over because I will have established a routine, a permanent lifestyle.  But that movie proved me wrong.  Nothing ever stops.  These days will never end.

They will change, but they will not end.

Millions of little things have happened the first half of this first semester of my Sophomore year.

But as for now, I am sitting on a couch in the living room on the side of a mountain in Heaton, North Carolina.

And very few people realize I am actually here.