October 22, 1994 – Saturday – 7:30 a.m.

I’m still in Cincinnati, Ohio, and boy have I got a lot to tell.

After meeting Kenny, Jeni’s dad, Missy, Jeni’s sister, Paul, Missy’s boyfriend, and one of Jeni’s grandmothers on Wednesday night, I went to bed.

Kenny is really funny and neat.  I like him and he seems to like me.  Missy is around 23 I think.  She lives at home and commutes to a university nearby.  Her boyfriend Paul was visiting and he seemed like a great guy as well.

Oh Thursday morning I met one of the neighbors.  She is an old lady named Skip and her husband is Gill.  She is so sweet.  She told us about her grandsons Chip and Joey.  Chip is diabetic and Joey is, well, he wasn’t formed completely when he was born.  Chip wrote a paper about his brother for school.  Skip showed it to us and Jeni and I read it together.  I have so much to be thankful for and yet I still sometimes complain.  It really hurts me knowing that I do that.

A little later Jeni and I went for a walk to her church.  It’s a Presbyterian Church.  It looks very modern.  I met her youth pastor, Craig.  He’s really cool and you can see Jesus in his face.  I can see now why Jeni always talks about him.  Tonight, Saturday, we are going to go visit them at their house.  We spent about two hours talking to Craig, he’s only 23 and yet it seems like he’s been everywhere.  He plays the guitar and writes songs.  He was in a band, but not anymore.

I met the pastor of her church as well.  I also met Jeni’s old dance teacher Candice.  She is really tiny and she has played about three different cats in the musical CATS over in Germany.  She was so wonderful and easy to get along with.  But she is not a Christian and it hurts Jeni very much because she can’t imagine heaven without her.  She was crying about it on our way home.  I held her hand.

Last night we rented Last of the Mohicans and Searching for Bobby Fisher.  They were both great!

Each night Jeni would come into my room (the guest room) and we would cuddle for a while.  Last night she was in here until about 3 or 4 in the morning.  She was in her pajamas and she was cold so I let her get under the covers and I stayed on top of the covers next to her.  We just held each other, kissed each other, and complemented each other.

Last night however I also met three of her guy friends: Joe, John, and Shawn.  We went out to downtown Cincinnati.

I have never been so amazed about anything in my life.  I have been so isolated.  This city is so huge.  There are so many people here.  There are around 100 high schools just in the Cincinnati area.  And there were only three in the county I grew up in.  They took me to rich parts of town and bad parts as well.  I saw homeless people and 4-year-olds walking around by themselves.  I thought I had seen so much in life.  But last night as we were on top of a lookout, I could see so far.  I saw city lights go forever and it seemed as though I was looking down upon the stars.  The moon was full and the color of blood.  As I stood there next to Jeni, it all hit me:

Throughout my life I will go many new places and different people and different things will take me there.

Jeni is one of those persons.  As we held each other last night for so long, a few words poured helplessly out of my mouth, “I’m falling in love with you Jeni.”

And she simply said, “Thank you.”

September 14, 1994 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

What a wonderful evening!  That girl that I mentioned above, she goes to Heaton Christian Church.  Hopefully I’ll get to know her.

But rehearsal was great tonight.  I didn’t have to stay that long, so I went to FCA for about 30 minutes, but then I went back to the theater to lay out the dance floor.

In Mattress there are a lot of girls who only play Spanish Dancers.  One girl has been looking at me a lot for the past two nights.  Her eyes are just…it’s like they are drawing you in.  She had me.

Tonight as we laid the dance floor, the two of us began talking and then we began talking about Christian music, and then we started singing Christian music together.  It was great!  She has the most beautiful and graceful legs I have ever seen.  A pretty smile, everything.  She acts a little air-headed sometimes, but that actually makes her really fun to be around.  We talked for about 30 minutes and then it was time to go.  We walked up together with another girl, then we split up to go to our different dorms.  She said “bye.”

All of this and I don’t even know her name.

September 14, 1994 – Wednesday – 6:17 p.m.

I got a letter from Emily today and I sent Veronica a birthday card.  Tonight I have to help lay the dance floor after my Mattress rehearsal.

Kristin called me this morning; just to talk.  She’s doing great.  My Alpha class meets today, so that only leaves me about two hours for all of the homework I have to do.  Each day seems to pass so quickly.

My roommate left this past Friday afternoon for a court date.  He was supposed to be back Monday night.  It is now Wednesday evening.  Some guys on the hall say he is in jail, something about a fake I.D. underage drinking situation back home.  There was even a warrant for his arrest.  It looks like I may have a single room after all.

I’m getting ready to go to a study session and then to rehearsal.

Something happened today.  I saw a girl.  I don’t know her name and I don’t know her, but she caught my eye like no one else has since I arrived here at Lees-McRae College: my new home.

September 13, 1994 – Tuesday – 11:05 p.m.

Today a guy on my hall asked for a dollar bill so he could tighten up a joint.  I didn’t know this when I gave it to him though.  I told Charlie.  He’s my RA and I feel like his second set of eyes around here sometimes.  He says that they will keep his eye on him and my name won’t be brought up at all.

Rehearsals were weird tonight.  I’m no longer 2nd Knight, instead they actually gave me a name:  Sir Long.  I guess you can figure out why.  There’s a lot of sexual innuendo in this musical.  I’m still working out the unique characteristics of my character, so maybe I’ll explain it later.

Goodnight.

September 6, 1994 – Tuesday – 2:12 p.m.

Classes went well today.  I got a letter from Cheryl.  She told me how much she misses me and she said that there were a lot of things she wanted to say to me, but never did.  The main one was that she had a crush on me from the moment she met me.  Wow!  But I guess I’m not that surprised.  It’s what happens when people spend a lot of time together, they grow close together.

My first real rehearsal is tonight.  The first of many, not only for this play but for many plays to come.  I claim it in the name of Jesus!

All of this is simply for experience.  If I ever do become an actor, then praise God, but more importantly I want to be directed, directed by Jesus.

I am becoming the me he wants me to be.

 

September 1, 1994 – Thursday – 2:00 p.m.

The auditions for Once Upon A Mattress went great last night.  I should at least have a part in the chorus.  That’s all I really want anyway.  I’m not a singer.

I have to go back again today at 4:00 p.m.

I only went to two classes today.  That’s all I had.

In my Alpha class we have to keep a journal, so I’m just going to turn this one in.  Mrs. McGinnis is my teacher, so Mrs. McGinnis I’m not going to hold back on my writing just because I know you’re reading this.  I’ve kept a journal since November 14, 1992.  Some things will not make since to you, because you haven’t read my first six Books of Days.

Anyway, this weekend I will have time to write and catch you up on everything and possibly go into detail.

Last night, after James and I went to see I Do, I Do, (the last production of the school’s summer theater) with a girl named Cheris, we walked over to The Pantry to buy something to drink.  Well, James bought a Mystic and I bought a Gatorade.  A cop passed us and stopped us because he thought we both bought beer.  All three of us had a good laugh.

Something scared me though after we left The Pantry.  James asked me where we were headed and I said, “Back home.”

I called this place home.

I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.

August 29, 1994 – Monday – 2:55 p.m.

It’s getting better.  I’ve met some people, some beautiful girls.  One girl named Eliana is going to help me on my Once Upon A Mattress audition.  

All of this is actually fun.

I’m in an Alpha class.  It’s like a college orientation class.  We’ve done a lot and I met many new freshmen.

My roommate’s name is Mike.  He is the opposite of me in beliefs, but we get along.  Across the hall is my RA.  His name is Charlie.  He is an awesome Christian and I’m going to go to church with him, the same church I visited yesterday.

I’ve met some theater people and even talked to the music director of Once Upon a Mattress.  I just wanted him to know my name and face.  The phone lines aren’t ready so I haven’t called any one back home yet.

But I am feeling a little sick.  Not home sick.  Just sick.

August 17, 1994 – Wednesday – 10:40 a.m.

Today is my birthday.

At 5:00 p.m. I will be exactly 18-years-old.

A year ago today I wen to the zoo, and to Fayetteville to see Aladdin.

Last night I went walking on the railroad tracks near my house to pray.  I realized that I’ve been trying to do this on my own.  I’ve been trying to live this life by myself.

And it’s not working.

I gave it back to God last night, and I don’t want it anymore.  It’s too much trouble.  All of this acting and film stuff that I’m going into, I must be crazy to think I could do all of that on my own.  I’m yours God.  I don’t want any of this anymore.  Take me and put me in your will.  That is the safest place for me anyway.  Use me up in Banner Elk, Lord.  There’s no way I can survive up there without you.  You’ve kept me safe for 18 years and you’ve put up with me for 18 years.  You must want me for something, so here I am, take me.

Use me to do your will.  I’ve never auditioned for a musical before, but if you want me in a play, then I’ll do whatever you want of me.

I can’t live without you Lord.  This world is too chaotic.  You are the only absolute.  You are all that matters.

Thank you Lord for teaching me all I need to know.  Thank you Lord for sending your Holy Spirit to teach me.

Do with me what you want.  I’m sick of trying to do it my way.

So here I am Lord.

Here I am.

Send me where I am suppose to be.

Send me to Lees-McRae.

December 1, 1993 – Wednesday – 10:25 p.m.

Dude!

Everything has been normal since my last entry.

It’s December.  Wow!

Tonight I saw Cheryl and Ryan; they are back from Ohio.  It snowed while they were up there.  It was so good to see them.  If things go as planned, I’ll be able to see The Sound of Music with Ryan and her family tomorrow.  Christi is in it.  Please God, may everything go as planned.

Things have changed in the past year.  Much has happened.  All of it wonderful.

Next year at this time I’m sure things will be even more different.

I don’t want to leave.

I can’t believe how close we are to 1994.

What?  1994?  Impossible!

November 20, 1993 – Saturday – 8:02 p.m.

TRIPLE PHAT DOPE!!

Les Miserables was awesome.  When we got to the theater, I bought a T-shirt and Tim brought a souvenir book for me.  Tim and I switched tickets.  I was out in the center and he was off to the side with Nana and Jonathan.  I gave Nana $40.00 and she bought a 32.50 ticket when she was supposed to buy at $37.50 ticket.  Oh well, it was still wonderful.  Both Eponine and Cosette were beautiful.  Everything was just perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

Jean Valjean gave up his life for other people.  He was a righteous man of commitment.  It’s a story about hope, love, and death in a time when life was a bit harsher than it is today.  It’s a story about the people who loved Cosette and the people who affected their lives.  I couldn’t ask for a better experience.

Today I went to Lees-McRae and auditioned for an acting scholarship.  It was me, Marcus, Henry, and Nate.  I did pretty good.  Robert, the professor judging me, said I was great, but that I needed to work on being more articulate and increasing my volume.  He said they would work with me though; that’s what they are there for.

So there it is.

In about nine months it will all begin.  I want to work with film and theater.  I want to marry and have a family.  I want to write and to create.  I want to live for Jesus until he comes to take his good and faithful servant home to be free.

My dream.

It’s beginning now.  You’re reading about it.  I’m writing about it.  It may take a while and I’m sure a lot of people will affect me along the way.  A lot already have.

This is not a winter dream.  There are dreams that cannot be, but mine is not one of them.

Life will not kill this dream I dream.

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