November 29, 1995 – Wednesday – 4:15 p.m.

Recently, I’ve been tying up the loose ends of the semester.  Classes end the 8th of December; then exams come.

I did a scene with Melody today in Diction.  It went well.  Robert said I was more of a film actor than a theater actor.  I took that as a compliment.

The Performing Arts Christmas concert is this weekend.  I will be video-taping it.

In about three weeks I will be in Siler City.  I hope to see Jenna and Tenielle and Christi and Jason.  I believe that it may be time to visit that ancient place again.

While there I know I will be looking forward to the new semester that is to come.

November 25, 1995 – Saturday – 11:15 a.m.

The Phantom of the Opera was truly amazing.  My mother and aunt Patty dropped me off.  I was in jeans and a T-shirt while everyone else was in either an elaborate dress or three-piece-suit.  Everyone was staring at me, as though I didn’t belong.  But I sat on the fourth row from the stage, right next to all those suits enjoyed every second of it.

I saw a guy named Neil there.  He used to go to Lees-McRae.  He is the ex-boyfriend of Tamara, a dancer at Lees-McRae.

After the show, I called my mom who was visiting someone.  She and Patty left to pick me up, but they were several minutes away.  So, I left the theater alone, after watching a story about a lonely soul, with 2,400 other people.  Despite being surrounded by thousands, I was by myself.  I stood there on the sidewalk, the cool November Chesapeake Bay wind blowing through my hair.  It grew colder.  My nose began to run.  My mom finally arrived.

Norfolk is in the Virginia Beach area, and is home to Regent University.  It was so big and beautiful.  If I went there it would be such a difference from the little village of Banner Elk.

Christmas is a month from today.  I will probably be in this exact room a month from now.  I don’t want to be though.  I don’t like it here at my dad’s parents.  My dad complains all the time.  I don’t know if I know a more miserable human being than my own father.

I’m looking forward to going back home.  I will spend my next month there, working on my final exam projects and my Christmas show.  Around the 20th, I will go to Siler City, come up here for Christmas, and then back to Siler City.  On the seventh of January I will begin my second semester of my Sophomore year.  There is not a January mission trip this year like there was last year.

A lot of snow will come.  Perhaps Dan will take me skiing.

I will begin a skit group at Heaton Christian Church while making arrangements to spend my summer there in the area.

1995 will soon end.  I am glad, but at the same time sad.

Perhaps 1996 is a second chance.

Masquerade

Paper faces on parade

Masquerade

Hide your face, so the world will never find you.

November 23, 1995 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

For Thanksgiving lunch I ate with Mom, Henry, Nate, and my mom’s parents.  Kevin stayed back home.  He had to work.  It was good to be there I guess, but I missed Banner Elk.  By the time I was having dinner with my Dad’s family I wished I had stayed in Banner Elk and gone to Sharon’s instead for Thanksgiving.  I know that family would understand and practice the true meaning of Thanksgiving and not spend the entire evening complaining like my Dad did tonight.  That’s all they do!  Him, his brother, my grandparents, they only know how to complain, to find the negative side of everything.

Only one good thing happened tonight.  My uncle’s 3-year-old niece came up and kissed me on the cheek when she was saying goodbye to everyone.  So gentle.  How lonely I must be if the affection of a 3-year-old blesses me beyond measure.

I thought about what I was thankful for today.  And beyond a shadow of a doubt, I realized I was thankful for Lees-McRae, for Heaton Christian Church.  These two places are a part of me now.

Tomorrow night I am going to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera.  It’s been almost two years since I saw Les Miserables.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 22, 1995 – Wednesday – 4:40 p.m.

I’m in Lanexa, Virginia.  My ride here was very difficult spiritually.  The guys were listening to an Adam Sandler CD.  It was very sick.

Yesterday I got a letter from my mom in the mail.  She had put a brochure from Taylor University in there and there was a picture of Jason on it.  I was so happy and excited!  He was surrounded by so many different people.  He looked so happy!

When I arrived here I looked in the area’s newspaper and discovered that The Phantom of the Opera was playing in Norfolk starting tomorrow.  I called up the ticket place and reserved a ticket for myself on the front row of the orchestra for Friday night.

It cost me $71.50.  I put it on my credit card.  I must be crazy, I really don’t have the money, but I felt like doing something crazy.

I’m going alone.

Alone.

Which is exactly how I feel.

I rented While You Were Sleeping today.  It made me cry.  Tears ran down my face.  They were warm.

I remember how Jenna and Tenielle always used to ask me when the last time I cried was.  I thought of that the other day and then realized I couldn’t remember the last time I cried.

Now I know.

Like Lucy, I too feel alone.  I don’t have anybody.  I thought of Laura.  I thought of her eyes and her smile.  I thought of the words “I love you” and how I wish I could say them to someone and truly mean it.

I’ve often wondered if I ever really loved Veronica, Jeni, Emily or anybody. In my Book of Days it says that I did, but in my mind, my memory, my heart, it seems like I can’t ever remember if I did.

While You Were Sleeping was such a good movie.  So, I’m just going to pretend that my life is a movie that someone is watching.  I’m the star.  I’m playing the role of Jacob.

I wonder if my story will ever make someone cry.

It’s already made me cry.

November 20, 1995 – Monday – 2:35 p.m.

Tomorrow evening around 5:00 p.m. it seems that I’m going to ride with Jeff and a couple other guys to Virginia and be dropped off at my Grandma’s house.  I haven’t been there in nearly a year.  That’s a long time.  My mom, Henry, and Nate will be in that area as well.  I’m looking forward to it; although I have a lot of homework to do.

I’ve been thinking about my summer plans.  I want to stay here, but I’m not sure how.

Then, I began thinking…that by the time this life is over, I wonder if…hmmm… I don’t know how to word it.

The second half of this decade will soon be beginning.  Another year will soon be starting.

And I pray that I will soon have a new, different, fresh, and true story to tell.

I’m in a Reader’s Theater show tonight at 7:00 p.m.  We have rehearsal at 3:00 p.m.

I have said goodbye to so many on this journey, but Heaven will be here soon.

November 19, 1995 – Sunday – 8:05 p.m.

I believe it has begun again.  Perhaps my soul is ready for this.  Perhaps not.

A lot has happened this past week.  Scott called me and told me that John stepped down from being the youth minister at Abundant Life.  There was a gas leakage in McAlister and the whole dorm had to be evacuated at 2:00 a.m.  The snow melted.  I went to court for the trespassing incident.  I went sledding down some pretty steep hillsides at Sharon’s with Dan and Vince where Vince broke two bones in his hand.  Allen got baptized.  I saw Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls with Charlie and Kate.  I went to church and directed the Christmas show.  Derek and I performed a Thanksgiving skit in front of the whole church.  And something new, yet old at the same time, seemed to begin…

Tonight at church, we had a Thanksgiving meal after the service.  Laura came and talked to me.  There is so much to her.  So much in her eyes.  Such a mystery.  Such a longing.  I want to like her.  I want to need her.  I want to want her.  But at the same time, she seems so far away.

It is winter time.

Let me have the freedom to dream.

I don’t want this to be like all of the rest.  I want this to be different and special, or I don’t want it to be at all.