June 19, 1997 – Thursday – 11:37 p.m.

Vacation Bible School has both begun and ended since my last entry.  I was in charge of the dramatic elements.  I wrote a play and played the main character.  It went well.  The kids seemed to love it.  This evening Vince and I went over to Sharon’s.  Hannah and I played a lot of games.  Simple fun!

Four years ago on this historic day, I was saying goodbye to Emily at Deep Creek near Bryson City, NC.  There are some things in life that can’t be explained.  Emily is one of them.  She is my life’s great mystery.

June 2, 1997 – Monday – 4:35 p.m.

A was awakened this morning by an amazing thunderstorm.  It was so loud.  Lightning was all around.

Then, I checked my mail and discovered a postcard from Jessica:

“Jacob, this is a funny story.  I went to church on Wednesday, to the Bible Missionary Church.  I didn’t know what it was, but they had a nice log cabin.  It turned out to be the Gideons, I think.  I walked in 10 minutes late with wet hair, shirt untucked, hiking boots, and all the women and girls had their hair in buns and braids, dressed really conservatively.  They were staring at me.  They were really nice though; I think I’ll go back. You never know, I may turn out to be a decent wife someday.  And I’ve been cleaning all week!

Love,

Little Jessica Homemaker.”

Her postcard was so beautiful.  Man, I miss that little girl.

May 25, 1997 – Sunday – 3:40 p.m.

We discovered on Thursday night that there were preview screenings of The Lost World at 10:00 p.m., so Marcus, Mike, and I went.  It was a pretty intense movie, but the projection was slightly out of focus, which annoyed me greatly.

I’m now in my apartment in Tennessee Dorm at Lees-McRae.  This place is so nice.  I have three full size rooms to myself, plus my own bathroom.  Quite a step up from by single room and community shower from my last three years.  And outside these beautiful rooms is an amazing summer mountain landscape.

Mom and I went to a Black church service on Friday night.  We left on Saturday morning.  Allen and I went out with his mom and grandmother last night.  His grandmother is 100% Italian, partially deaf, but totally sweet and hilarious.

Church was so nice this morning.  I’m surrounded by wonderful people.  And we went to Stan and Marty’s house for lunch.  So yummy.

I heard that Josh recovered from his surgery.  I miss him.  Vince is in Wilson at his sister’s graduation.  I miss him too.

I have found the most beautiful, peaceful, friendly, and relaxing place on earth.  It is a step below heaven.  And I’m going to leave it in a year.  I must be crazy!

 

May 20, 1997 – Tuesday – 3:00 p.m.

Please, take a moment and close this book.  Walk outside and breathe in the air of your own lifetime.  Take a minute just to say thanks to God.

Why have you taken the time to read about my life?  Thanks for reading, but please do yourself a favor and write about your own.  I often thought I was writing to some future strangers or to my future self, but no, this is all for me; for me right now.  These notebooks simply help me see the magic, pain, and beauty all around me.

Tenielle came to church on Sunday night.  It was nice to see her, but she is different.  She pierced her bellybutton; doesn’t surprise me.  Marcus was there as well as Megan.  Megan is engaged to Brad, a guy I graduated with.  I told Megan and Marcus how good it was to see someone here from the original group.  They both agreed.

We had a little fellowship for a newly wed couple named Dorothy and Vernon.  I sat next to little Anita, an 11-year-old girl I’ve seen grow up from the age of 3.  Marcus and I drove home together.

I got my wisdom teeth pulled out on Monday.  I slept all afternoon, so I was unable to sleep last night.  I listened to the radio all night.  The female DJ invited anyone who wanted to call at 4:00 a.m. to feel free.  I did, simply to let her know that I was wide awake and had been listening to her all night long.  So, I was on the radio earlier this morning; cool, I guess.

I’m writing some Vacation Bible School skits for Heaton Christian Church this morning.  I called the church to get some information.  Jaime told me that the doctors found a tumor in Josh’s skull near a gland.  They believe this is what has stunted his growth all these years.  He had surgery yesterday to get it removed.  The surgery took 7-8 hours.  They said he was okay and Charlie went down to be with him.  I wonder if this means he’ll finally go through puberty.

Oh man, puberty around college girls?  That’s a recipe for disaster.

May 15, 1997 – Thursday – 10:15 p.m.

I am in Atlanta, Georgia.  Life sure is a funny thing.

We went to the revival in Pensacola at Brownsville Assembly last night, but for some reason they weren’t having a service on that Wednesday night, so I came back and watched a little TV.  I watched the series finale of Coach; it was very good.

We left this morning.  Ryan cried.  I don’t know what Curtis sees in that girl.  But I’m not sure I want to know.  Life is easier when you don’t understand everything.

The drive was hot and we passed by that bridge in Chambers County, Alabama where Marcus and I broke down in August of 1995.  I spent so many hours of hope and worry under that bridge.  Part of me will be trapped there forever.

Carla came over here tonight and we went out to eat.  She’s such a pretty girl.  I don’t know why Curtis treats her so badly.  Well, we had a nice talk.  We talked about city life versus country life.  I’m so glad I got to see her.

This trip has made me appreciate the home I have in Banner Elk.  It’s like I’m the king of the world there.  I can’t seem to go wrong there.  But I have only one year left.

I really miss Jessica.  She is just so simple.  She’s so fun and easy to get along with.  She makes so much sense to me.

I’ve grown too old.  I long to be young again.  I long to be childlike.  I want to find joy in simplicity.  I want to smile at each new step and each new second.

I am lying down on a foldout sofa in a home office on Cartsworth Circle in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.

How in the world did little me, a blonde baby boy who learned to crawl, walk, and talk in Germany, but learned of life and love in North Carolina, ever end up here?

April 27, 1997 – Sunday – 3:45 p.m.

A lovely day.

Last night, Jessica came over and we watched three different movies.  Josh joined in on the fun as well.

Church was great this morning.  Jessica has been coming with us all to Heaton.  She looked so amazing this morning.

In one week I’ll be preparing to go to Siler City.  In two weeks I’ll be in Ft. Walton, Florida, hopefully near Emily.  I tried to call her house today.  To my surprise I reached her sister. Her sister and her husband moved into that house, and Emily and her mom moved out to the lake house; that same lake house that I walked through with Emily back when it was a skeleton.  It’s finally finished now, and got the number to it and tried to call, but no one was home.

Here am I, nearly four years into the future from that night in 1993 when a beautiful Florida girl taught me how to play rummy, and I’m still in awe of her.  My life is still influenced and affected by her.  I thought she was 18-years-old back then, but she was 14.  She is 18 now, and I might actually get to see her again.

April 21, 1997 – Monday – 11:50 a.m.

Bowling was fun yesterday.  I drove with Dan and Allen.  We met our Sunday School class there.  Vince and Laura were there as well.

On the way there we heard the end of a song that I heard a couple of times when I was working on my stage design model last month.  All I knew was that it was from a group called Hanson.  It’s so fun.  I went to the mall and immediately bought the single.  The song’s called MMMBop.  It’s so much fun.  Allen and Dan and I had the best time dancing to it in the car.

Last night was college night at church.  I gave the message and spoke on how God is calling us to be perfect.  Charlie said he was moved and others asked me if I was going to be a pastor when I grew up.  I simply said no, that I wanted to work in theater and film.  After the service we all came back to school and played ping pong for hours.

Life is wonderful.  Life is short.  College is about learning.  I’m learning how to be perfect, how to live, how to dance, and how to say….

Mmmbop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du bop, ba duba dop
Ba du, yeah