April 28, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

I decided this afternoon to spend $65.50 and spontaneously go see The Phantom of the Opera in downtown Norfolk.  I had an excellent seat, and I saw the world’s most perfect musical three and a half years after I saw it for the first time in the exact same place.

During those days, my thoughts endlessly dwelt on Laura; a beautiful girl whom I’ll see again in another week.  But I hear her love rests on a young man named David now.

Last night I spent some quality conversation with a girl named Cindy.  I also chatted a bit with Chris.  It was really nice to talk to other students.

I’m afraid I’m losing my romantic soul.  I’m afraid I’m losing my childhood dreams and wishes.  I only wish…oh…look, it’s nearly the 30th of April.

Remember the 30th of April?

Oh how life wants to live.  May my passion never grow dim.

Will a girl ever know me?

Can I ever tell her all these things I write in these books?

Someone must be looking for me.

I give all of this to you God.  Take care of her.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.

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April 15, 1999 – Thursday – 9:30 p.m.

Life is beautiful.

There are beautiful eternal instants happening all around me.  Moments of bike-riding with Kimberly and studying the photo albums of her youth with her under the amber light shade of her living room.

Mary Jo just left here.  We spent nearly an hour together just listening to good music, especially Caedmon’s Call’s Table for Two.  We have declared it our song.  Our conversation turned into a pillow fight.  She is so lovely to be around.

Kerstin came to visit me in the bookstore.  We seem to talk so much about relationships, despite the fact that neither of us are in one.  Oh how beautiful conversation is.

David and his brother and I are going to see The Matrix tonight.  They haven’t seen it yet. I called Vince last night, he said he saw it and he loves it.  He said he plans to spend the summer in Banner Elk, as does everyone else.

Everything looks better.  Everyone is beautiful.  Jesus has become my eyes.  To know him; that is the only reason why we are here.

Angela (from my South Africa trip) and I email each other regularly.  She is such a blessing.  She lives in Seattle.

I’m sure the air feels nice outside McAlister Hall right now, but I’d rather feel the air here.  How wild this thing is.  I don’t miss driving the hour back and forth between Siler City and Winston-Salem; I’m just glad to know I was once there.

I’m happy to know that I was a good undergraduate student and that I did it well.  Oh this life is not my own.  I’m so thankful for that; it’s easier to exist that way.  No burdens.  No fears.  I only task is to let go and love every minute freely and fully.  I job is to rest in his peace and salvation.

My beautiful Jesus.  You are perfection.  Thank you for the life you’ve breathed into me.  I love you.  I do, I do.

January 29, 1999 – Friday – 8:12 a.m.

I talked to Dan and Curtis over the phone.  I must make it back to Lees-McRae on May 9th to attend their graduation.  They both seem to be doing well.  Needless to say, I miss them.

Things are good here.  I have many assignments and papers ahead of me, so I’m headed to the library today.

February is almost here.  That only means a little over three months remain the in the semester.

Not long at all.

Then, I’ll only have a year left.

Time is moving faster than it ever has before.

Hmm.

I’ve just been sitting here for a while.  It’s funny how, during some moments, the world makes sense, and, in others, it doesn’t.

Money hardly exists anymore.  It used to be numbers on paper, but now it is only numbers on a screen, numbers on computers, numbers in cyberspace that seem to have no value whatsoever.  We drive around in our cars like robots, and all we are buying with these useless numbers are lies.

When I was in Africa playing underneath the Milky Way, I was away from all the lies.

When I would sit in the treehouse on Hemlock Hill during a midnight snowfall, I was away from it all.

I hope the Lord comes back this year.  I don’t want to live in a world after the year 2000.  I fear things are going to get ugly, and that humans might only become more robotic.

It pains me to know that I’m a part of it all.

December 28, 1998 – Monday – 8:17 a.m.

I went to see Emily yesterday.  She looked different; she looked like Cheryl.  We sat out by her lake and talked, we drove around to meet the rest of her family and talked, and we went to a park in Crestview where we sat on top of an A-frame jungle gym and did the only thing we know how to do… talk.

We live in two separate worlds.  She is sun and I moon.  She is a fish and I am a bird.  How can we ever be together?  As sad as it may sound, I believe I have only been in love with the idea of Emily these past five years, for who she is in my mind is more amazing than who she is in person.  It is my perception that makes her so special and beautiful.

We may go out to a movie tonight, I am not sure.

But I have found contentment in our relationship.  This mysterious gift God has given to me through her these past five years has helped me endure some rough days.  Perhaps in some way I have been the same thing for her.  Perhaps that is our destiny for each other, to learn how God sees everyone as perfect, even when we are not.

Oh, how life brings many joys.

These have been relaxing days.  I’ve just been playing Zelda on the 64 during most of my free time.  It’s called Ocarina of Time, and it is the most wonderful game I have ever played.  It has been fantastic to just be free of all other work and just play that game.

I am looking forward to seeing Christin again.  She is a joy to me.  Bless her tonight oh Lord.

December 16, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:09 p.m.

I called Sharon tonight and I spoke with her and Hannah.  Sharon’s dad died suddenly last Thursday.  She loves me so greatly, for even in her time of loss she gave me so much.  It overwhelms me to think that God loves me so much more than Sharon does.

You know… I have always thought that I had grand dreams and great goals, but I think that just this moment, after talking with Sharon and reliving memories with Hannah, those memories of our walks to Snowflake Inn and summer evenings of catching fireflies, I think I’ve already fulfilled the dreams I knew nothing of.  As I look back on myself now, it seems that little blonde-haired boy was always dreaming of the moment when I would run my hands over Christin’s hair, or touch Abigail’s face, or study the curves of Sarah’s cheeks, or laugh endlessly with Dan, Allen, Vince, Curtis, Charlie, Josh, and Justin.

It feels as though I have fulfilled all I was ever suppose to accomplish.

Oh, wouldn’t you agree, life is beautiful.

To hear Sharon talk of Laura tonight…she still remains one of, if not the most, beautiful and amazing girl I’ve ever come across.

I’m going to pray to my God now, because…life is beautiful!

December 14, 1998 – Monday – 8:47 a.m.

It’s nearing the middle of December.  Ten days until I fly to Florida.  Will time never stop?

I am trying to slow these days down.  I’ve put a lot of time into school, which is needed of course, but I feel I’m missing out on some of the better things of life.  I reserved the entire weekend to study, but I didn’t study a bit, I simply lived.

There is so much here to love.  There is so much here I have yet to discover.  An entire summer here will be nice.  I can’t wait to see how this land blooms in the spring.  My first autumn here as already flown by.

Oh God, I just want to be the me you meant for me to be.  I simply want to live and give it all away.  Thank you for teaching me all you have.

October 22, 1998 – Thursday – 10:00 p.m.

I talked with Sharon tonight. Snow was in the air over Avery County this morning.  I wasn’t there to see it. October 27th was the first snowfall of my last LMC winter.  I didn’t realize how true that statement was when I wrote it nearly a year ago.

I’ve realized when I write these words in these spiral-bound books that they will never go away.  All 13 books are in my sight at this moment.  They sit on a shelf in my closet in front of me.  They are a record of nearly the past six years of my life.

I put Christmas lights up in my room this evening, and it caused me to miss the wintery feel of Banner Elk so much.  So, another day is closing.  One of the final ones for Tammie and Jose in this land.

I turned in four copies of the first draft of “Eyebrows” to the school’s team of producers yesterday.  They said I was the first of the final four to turn it in.  They seemed pleased and impressed.

And so God moves me on.  My memories fight with the present moment every day.  My heart questions why we can’t go back, but it also longs to see what is ahead.

I have no one to really talk to here.  I miss Vince and our deep talks to Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After.”  We had a ritual.  We would start with track four, “Perfect Blue Buildings,” and play it through to the end.  We would turn off the lights and stare up at his glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, most of which were placed there by Laura, and we’d talk of God, love, and beauty until the midnight hour.

I miss Dan and I pondering over the questions of life while playing “Tetris 2” on the Super Nintendo.

I miss riding in Curtis’ car and staring out the window in deep thought.  He’s always ask me what was on my mind.  I’d always tell him.  I felt listened to.

I miss Allen disagreeing with my way of thinking.  He’d ask my advice and then go do the opposite.  But somehow it still made me feel loved by him.

And I miss Charlie, the one I’ve known the longest.

But God needs me elsewhere.  His breath is blowing me forward.  So, I continue and I do this not for me, for all I want is heaven, but God asks me to wait and spend more time with his creation first.

I cannot argue with that.  So that is what I will do.

But how can I live in today when I long for the past?  How can I make new friends when all I want are my old ones?  How can I help save others from a world I can’t admit I’m in?

Why did you make me this way God?  To find comfort in asking questions and not needing the answers.  Is that what faith is?  I don’t need the answers Lord, I just need to know you are listening.

I miss you.  I miss the eyes I’ve never seen.  You comfort me more than my memories and my Teddy Bear from Tenielle.  I want to hold you instead as I fall asleep.  Be with me tonight sweet Jesus, and take me to be with you.  I want to awake in heaven, but if I’m here tomorrow, I will laugh and play in your love.

Heaven feels closer tonight.

How perfect your grace is.