July 15, 2000 – Saturday – 3:40 p.m.

I’m not doing too well.  I sent Lindy an email, just explaining the sad condition of my heart, all I wanted was to be understood, but her reply was just telling me to shut up and get over it.

I feel those still in Banner Elk just don’t understand.  No one has left yet.  They are still surrounded by all their friends and they don’t know what it is to be alone in their 20s.  My best friends here are teenage girls (Sterling, Kimberly, Christin), and I have two nice colleagues at work (Dan and Jean), and I get along with my roommate Dan, but I really miss all the Regent film students.  I wish I could see them everyday like I used to, but I just don’t have class anymore.  I feel after I attend Dan and Abigail’s wedding that I should just let Banner Elk be.  It only hurts to try and hold on to it.

I don’t seem to make sense to people at work.  They make fun of me a lot, especially those who work in sales or who work in the warehouse.  Most of them are non-Christians.  Oh well.  It’s never really been any different, so I don’t know why it surprises me when someone thinks I’m odd.  It would probably more weird if someone viewed me as just an average dude.

I wish it was winter.  I wish it was Sunday so I could visit Forefront.  I haven’t been to a regular church service in so long.  I miss God’s touch.

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.

December 17, 1996 – Tuesday – 5:00 p.m.

I went to the dentist yesterday.  I had the beginning of a cavity.  There is a such a thing as a white filling now.  Well, I got one and I was swollen up all afternoon, so I slept.

McDonald’s called me that evening.  I went into work for a couple of hours.  I worked this morning as well.  Then came home and watched Space Camp.  

I thought about Ryan yesterday while driving by her house.  Wouldn’t that be weird…oh, nevermind.

Everything is going well here.  I’m looking forward to Christmas and the new semester.  I want to make a difference, I want to worship God in all that I do.

Children of a Lesser God is such an opportunity for me.  This will be my fifth show at Lees-McRae.  Once Upon A Mattress, Antigone, Bear Claw, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, and now Children of a Lesser God.  But all of this began at Abundant Life Christian Center.  I must never forget that.  Even back to that one skit I did near the middle of 1990 at a summer camp.

It’s happening.

I have Him.

Several We’s.

But no Us.

Love me, it’s so easy to leave me alone with my memory.  If you’ll let me love you, you’ll know what happiness is.

Catch fireflies with me.  Build sandcastles with me.  Run barefoot with me.  Watch movies with me.  Dance in the dark with me.  Watch snow fall with me.  Eat every meal with me.

Tickle me until I cry.

Lay your head on my chest and let me breathe in your hair.

Tell me you love me with your eyes.

 

October 1, 1996 – Tuesday – 6:20 p.m.

Antigone ended one year ago today.  I feel sad right now.  Not sure why.  Guess I’m just lonely.  No special person is near.  I try and force myself to like somebody, but nothing happens.  I can’t.

We went to the guys’ soccer game today.  We lost.

I remember when all the trees outside my window were the same green.  Now they are different shades of brown, red, yellow, green, and gold.

Everything is changing.

It all stays the same.

I speak words no one hears.

I hear words no one speaks.

No one wants to try.

No one wants to take that chance.

Is it because I’m skinny?  Too tall?  My crooked chin?  Am I too pale?  Am I too nice?  Too serious?

Where is she?

Where am I?

How can I be complete without my other half?

December 24, 1995 – 8:16 p.m. – Sunday

I’m at my dad’s parent’s house; in the same room I was for Thanksgiving.  I am bored and lonely.  So, I took out my wallet and took out all the pictures and began looking at them one by one.  I very rarely ever clean my wallet out, so there were a lot of old pictures of people from long ago.

I will list the people on those pictures, some names will appear more than once.  As you read each one (they should be familiar to you if you have read these Books of Days) think about the times we’ve had together.

Jenna and Tenielle

Jeni

Christi

Vicky and Jonathan

Jenna

Tenielle

Emily

Veronica

Kate and Jonathan

Brandon

Amy

Tammy and Sherry

Nana

Misty

Tenielle

Ryan, Cheryl, Christi, and Amy

Jenna

Nate

Sherry

Lisa

Tammy

Haley

Tim and Tammy

Veronica

So many names.  A full page.

I bought a camera this summer.  It cost me $170.  I take a lot of pictures.  I usually get a roll of 36 and take pictures over months.  I’m almost through with a roll of 36.

Every time I take a picture, it is like I’m illustrating my own story.  Some pictures go in my Books of Days; others go in my photo albums.  Only one picture listed on the other side of this page came from Lees-McRae: Jeni.

All of the others are from my ancient world of Siler City and Sanford.

What about the names from Banner Elk?  How long would that list of pictures be if I had them?

Charlie

Kate

Vince

Dan

Allen

Jeff

Mike

Curtis

Derek

Tracey

Sharon, Bob, Melissa, Laura, Hannah

Leslie, Doug, Crystal, Clifton

Marty & Stan

Rachel

Becky

Rebecca

Suzanne

Pat, Gary, Meredith, Caroline, Megan

I could fill up this page with tons of other names.  I spent a whole year with some of these people, yet when Christmas comes around they are no where around me, and I feel like I’m surrounded by strangers.

It is as if the joys of Christmas come when I am with them and December 25th is no where to be found.

I remember when Christmas Eve meant a night of excitement and sleeplessness.  Now tonight; there is nothing.

Last night, I watched It’s a Wonderful Life.  I’ve seen it dozens of times, but while watching it last night, I cried for the first time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel incomplete.  I feel sad, lonely, and confused because I cannot find the other side of me.

 

October 14, 1995 – Saturday – 6:10 p.m.

Yesterday evening as I managed the house for Li’l Abner, I saw Jeni’s parents come through the door.

Jeni.

Remember her?

I often do not.

We talked.  Mostly about the rest of their family.  Jeni’s little cousin was there.  I asked her if she recognized me.  She nodded her head, but she did not look at me.

I do remember those days back in January and February of this year when Jeni and I were still together.  She would come into class and stare at me with a huge smile and I would look away.  I did not find her beautiful anymore.  On the outside or the inside.  That must have broken her heart.  To have someone promise you happiness for the rest of your life and then to take it all away…

I never see Jeni around other guys.  Her close friend Tracey is always with Derek.  I wonder if she is lonely.  I wonder if she is happy here.  She never looks very happy.  She does not go to Heaton Christian Church anymore.  Her facial features have changed.  Is this all because of me?  Am I responsible for the downfall of this girl?  Did I do this?

. . .

The leaves are changing colors.  They are falling off the trees.  They are turning the green grass into a golden carpet.

. . .

Things are good for me.

Dan, Jeff, Vince, Allen, Curtis, they all tell me that I am the “MacDaddy.”  They say that I have girls all over me and all around me.  They want to know how I do it.  But I don’t do anything.

Emily hasn’t written.

Syndi and I don’t talk much anymore.

Amy hangs around guys who aren’t Christians.

. . .

Soon, winter will come.

And snow will cover the golden carpet that will soon be raked away.

Moisture on my window will freeze, and soon, I will not be able to look out and see the trees that do not have any leaves on them.

July 27, 1995 – Thursday – 8:32 p.m.

Today at work, Toni had fun picking on me.  She kept saying that she wanted to have sex with me.  She said she was a lonely married woman who needed some excitement.  She kept saying things like that all day.  She did it to make others laugh.  I played along.

But there was a moment when it was just the two of us back in the drive-thru.  She wanted me to sit on her lap, but instead I just sat beside her.  The upper part of her leg was touching mine.  I read her some poetry I wrote off the top of my head a little earlier while business was slow.  She laughed.  And in that moment I knew all that joking was coming from a place of deep pain.  She saw me as everything that her husband wasn’t.  And I believed she really did want to run away with me.

I feel sorry for her.  I later found a piece of paper in the drive-thru with some doodling on it.  It was her name, her name before she got married.  Before she married a person she doesn’t even love or like.

How I wish I could take her pain away.

This evening after I took a 2-hour nap, I called Syndi.  Her sister answered the phone.  She asked who it was.  I told her my name.

“From North Carolina?!” she said.

“Yeah, how’d you know?” I asked.

“You’re famous down here.”  she said.

Then Syndi picked up on the other line.

It seems like everyone in Florida knows me.

It was good to talk to her.  I can’t wait to see her.  I can tell she will be an important person to me this Fall.

Well, I have one more week to wait.  Seven days.  I will call Emily on Wednesday night and then see her Friday afternoon.

This Sunday is my last Sunday at church.  There is a fellowship this Sunday, but that isn’t important because I hardly have anyone there to fellowship with.  I will try to go to High Falls that night.

Sixteen days of my summer here are all that remain.  Four of them will take place near the most beautiful girl in the world.

May 11, 1994 – Wednesday – 11:00 p.m.

It hurts already.

Seventeen days are left.

Part of me is glad.  The rest is sad.

Tonight at church I sang alone.  Marcus and Cheryl were there, but both were wearing shorts.  Pastor Steve won’t let you sing with the backup singers if you are wearing shorts.

Neither Jenna nor Tenielle were there.  I was lonely.  I missed their joyous presence.

The youth group is going to Danville on Friday for something Shurby is doing with a church up there.

Cheryl called me tonight after I got home from church.  We had a nice talk.  She said that she didn’t want me to go off to college and leave her there alone.  She told me that Christi was separating herself from anything that deals with church, including people.  She has been hurt.  She has been hurt big time.

I wrote a poem today to go on Tenielle’s picture that she wants me to draw for her.  I would put it in here, but now is not the right time.

Soon.