August 10, 1997 – Sunday – 4:05 p.m.

Marisa turns 15 today.  I turn 21 in a week.

Dan has gone home.  The place feels empty.  This next week I will move to McAlister; I’ll have a smaller apartment with one less room than this one.

It just started to rain.

For the next hour and a half, I’ll exist quietly in these three rooms.  I will listen to slow and soothing music, and I will read and write.  At 5:30 p.m. I will go back to the box office to sell tickets and I’ll enjoy the show again tonight.

Jeanine will sleep in here tonight since her mom is visiting and will take her bed.

RD training begins on Monday and I will also check everyone out of Tennessee Dorm between Monday and Wednesday.

Children of Eden ends tomorrow.  Lindy and I began with three full ticket racks and now we are nearly empty.  Everyone has loved this show.

My final year of college is so close.  How different it will be.  My rounds will now include seven buildings instead of just two hallways.  I will tackle directing and horseback riding.

So my simple and relaxing summer will soon end and I will never live in these walls again.  What have these walls seen?  Jeni and I kissing.  Dan and I wondering.  Charlie crying over Kate.  And me watching Sherlive as she slept.

The summer of 1997.

Nothing ever stays the same.

Charlie and I went to see Conspiracy Theory last night.  I enjoyed it.  I helped Charlie in Junior Worship this morning and ate with Tracey and her family plus Lindy and Ann-Marie at the Banner Elk Cafe.

It’s difficult for me to remember who I was before Lees-McRae.  I almost feel like my senior year will be the last year of my life.  Leaving this place seems close to death.

But surely there are no real goodbyes among Christians.

It’s 4:45 p.m.

Am I still living in my youth?  Or are those days gone?

4:47 p.m.

And so…well…

Weird, huh?

 

July 29, 1997 – Tuesday – 10:30 p.m.

Tuesday.  Two days without Sherlive, but my thoughts have been filled with her.

I washed clothes this morning.  Worked, or rather laughed, with Lindy in the box office and then came back and washed dishes.  I read my Bible and a Max Lucado story this evening, then Dan, Vince, Charlie and I went to a nearby pastor’s house.  Dan had brought some chemical or something back from West Virginia and he wanted to make something called a potato gun.  He said the chemical was illegal in all the other states except for West Virginia.  But we didn’t have any potatoes, so the idea was to borrow some from this pastor with a nice garden.  Once we entered his house, his wife asked us if we wanted some dinner.  We said, “No, but we would like some vegetables from your garden.”  And they were more than happy to give us some.

They didn’t have any potatoes, but they had tons of zucchini they wanted to part with.  So, with our hands full of more zucchini than we could ever eat, we drove to the football field on campus and Dan got out this pipe and I don’t really understand what happened, but they stuffed one end with a zucchini, and the other end was full of this chemical, a bit of water and then Dan was holding a flame at the bottom.  Nothing was happening and we were all saying he was full of crap, but all of a sudden…BOOM!!!

We had just shot a zucchini halfway across Banner Elk!  It was a super loud explosion.  Dogs started barking all over town, lights were coming on in all the houses, and I’ve never been so scared in my life so I just immediately started running across the field to hide somewhere; I was sure the cops were coming to take us away for life.

But I had totally forgot that Dan had given me his keys for some reason and I had stranded them there since I ran off.  Luckily Dan had a spare key under his car in a magnet box, but it took them forever to retrieve it.

We finally met up and they kept making fun of how fast I ran away.  I guess it was pretty funny, but I was seriously terrified at the time.  I’ve already been arrested once in this town for trespassing.

. . .

I talked to Rachel tonight and I leave for Chrysalis Thursday morning.

While in the box office today, I called the church and asked for the number of a family that lives in TN, hoping they would have a phone book for that region.  They did and I asked them to look up Denny, Sherlive’s dad’s name.  They found it and I now have her phone number.  I haven’t called her yet, but I might if she doesn’t show up for church tomorrow night.

I see Sherlive and I getting close, but this is her freshman year and my senior year.  I’m kinda scared.

Truth:

This is not my home.

Sherlive is not mine.

She is God’s, as am I.

God comes first.

Otherwise, nothing else will work.

Heaven is in the end.

Heaven is a secret.

A secret allowed to be told.

I must tell that secret.

Secrets are secrets because they are true.

. . .

July is ending.

The month of change awaits.

Change is hiding under my bed.

Awaiting to take me in the night.

I will change rooms, age, and class.

Voices, eyes, smiles, they are killing me.

I fight, live, and die for them all.

They come and haunt me.

I feel Sherlive understands this loving pain.

And that is what burns inside of me.

I no longer know what to write.  I can’t write all of my thoughts for some of them are secrets.  Secrets like heaven and they too don’t have words.

July 23, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:40 a.m.

Jeanine, a girl down the hall, came and watched Wayne’s World with Dan and Allen and I last night.  She has just graduated from high school and is here to be summer nanny to a younger girl in the show.  She really has nothing to do.  I invited her to church tonight.  Hopefully she’ll come.

Marisa came and talked to me late last night.  We talked about Christianity.  She seem to listen more to me this time.  I pray that God finds a home in her heart.

A week from tomorrow I’ll be leaving for Chrysalis in Virginia.  I don’t know how I’m getting there though.  God will take care of it, I’m sure.

I love you Lord!

July 20, 1997 – Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

On Saturday, I worked a lot on my screenplay.  Did I mention that I bought a word processor on the fourth of July?  I’m really enjoying it.

New summer theater people moved in today.  There are kids on my hall from ages 12 to 18, two guys and two girls.  And a new girl from Sanford moved in downstairs.

Church was great today, both the morning and evening services.  I’m really enjoying Brent’s teaching.  This evening Sharon and Paul had a cookout.  All of us guys went over and so did Sherlive.  She is such a cool girl.  There are times when I see her and I don’t think she is that pretty, but then she smiles and I find her so amazingly beautiful.  Bless her God.

Life is moving along.

Marisa is back.  She came and saw me first thing; she knows who cares.  She sees that her well being is important to me.  I hope she sees God in me and longs to be around Him.

Love never fails.

I’m looking forward to Jessica coming back.  As well as Amber and Monica.  My final year  at Lees-McRae is approaching quickly.  This room in Tennessee Dorm will only be my home for a little more than three weeks.

I’m excited about the leaves changing in three months.  As well as the snow coming afterwards.

1998.

How quickly my college years have flown by.

And how quickly the rest of my life will too.

July 14, 1997 – Monday – 9:30 a.m.

Yesterday morning I led Sunday School.  The service was really great.  Brent, our new pastor, is hilarious.

We went grocery shopping after church, then headed to the park and had a cookout with two other youth groups from the area.

Jason was there with us.  We played Ultimate Frisbee and our team won.  It was a lot of fun.

Rebecca St. James is playing at Gardner Webb University tonight.  I called and reserved some tickets.  Dan, Allen, and possibly Kate are going with me.  I’m so excited!

Last night the youth group came over and we all watched That Thing You Do!

A girl named Sherlive also came over.  She will be a freshman in the fall.

I can’t wait until tonight!

July 7, 1997 – Monday – 1:25 a.m.

Wow, what a recent couple of days.

Thursday evening I hung out with Lindy, Ann-Marie, Tracey, and Jeni at the Mill Pond.  Jeni and I found sticks and pretended they were swords.  Then we started wrestling.  I had a good time, and right now I can’t remember what I did later that night.

Friday, the fourth of July, came and for the first half of the day I waited around for Vince, so he and I and Allen could do something.  But he went out to eat with Laura and never came back.  So, I just left with Tracey and Jeni.  We went to the Tweetsie Railroad parking lot just to see what was going on, then we went to The Farm House to see Derek and Dawn, and then we ended up at the dollar theater and watched Sling Blade.  Wow, a great film!

Saturday morning began with me trying to get a five foot snake out of one of my residents’ bed.  That is a story in and of itself, but we finally got it out.

Also, Vince confronted Laura about their physical issues.  She ran away from him on Saturday.  Then she returned and brought him a box full of everything he ever gave her.  Charlie came over and Vince, Allen, Charlie and myself had a big talk about relationships.  Vince and Laura got things worked out, but Charlie and Kate…oh boy!

After we talked for a while on Saturday, we went to Johnson City, TN and walked around the mall.  We ate pizza, saw Men in Black, a completely stupid movie, and Charlie stopped to look at engagement rings.  It was weird.  They’ve broken up, but he’s looking at engagement rings.  That stage of my life seems so far away from me right now.

Charlie is a mess, but Kate seems to love her newly found freedom away from him.

Sunday (today) was Homecoming Sunday.  Our new pastor was there.  His name is Brent.  Jim was also there.  There was a lot of food, so I ate a good lunch.

A girl, a visitor, caught my eye and we smiled at each other; so delightful when a new face comes along.

A lot of guys from the church made plans to play tennis that afternoon, and we did, but then Charlie came by with a hitchhiker and asked me to go with the two of them to Lenoir.

There is a very detailed story that I must explain, but I’ll do that in the morning hopefully.

Dan is back.  He looks like Jesus with his long hair and beard.  We’ve had so much fun already.  He’s staying with me.

More to tell, but I’m so sleepy.

June 25, 1997 – Wednesday – 11:00 p.m.

I rode to church with Vince and Laura tonight, but we stopped to get some Chinese food beforehand.  It did not sit well with my stomach and I had bad gas throughout the whole service.  I did my best to control it, but when we all got back in Vince’s car I let loose a “Silent but deadly.”  Allen, being Allen, immediately smelled it and decided to announce it to the whole world.  Laura instantly shouted, “Guys, I will have Vince stop this car and I’ll walk back to church and call my mom and have her take me home.  If you want to do that while you’re by yourselves, that’s fine, but you should never do that in the presence of a lady!  It’s rude and I won’t put up with it!!”

Wow.  I felt embarrassed for her.  Is she so uptight that she can’t handle a little toot; an act of nature?

I was thankful that I wasn’t like that and I was so thankful that Laura wasn’t my girl.