August 3, 1997 – Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

I sit in Rachel’s house in Sterling, VA.  Chrysalis is over.

P.C. was my roommate for the weekend and he kinda reminded me of Vince.  A wonderful person with a wonderful life ahead of him.  He has a problem with his left arm.  A part of his upper bone is hollow and he has gone through several surgeries to fix it and has a huge scar because of it.  They’ve had to take bone out of his leg to try and fix it and because of this he can’t join the Navy like he’s always wanted to.  This was a hard time for him in his life, but he met a girl on the Internet named Lisa.  They began to email each other.  Then they wrote to each other.  Then they called each other.  And then they visited each other.  She’s in Iowa and he’s in Virginia.  They are now boyfriend and girlfriend and they will start school together out in Boulder, Colorado.  They’ll be freshman together.  After he showed me her picture, I was amazed.  She was so beautiful.  I didn’t know girls that pretty talked on computers.

Sean, always seated in a wheelchair, was never seen without a smile on his face.  Kay is soon to donate a kidney to her brother.  Colleen, a beautiful 25-year-old, who lost her little brother to a rare disease when she was 15.  Then she bore her own son as teenager, but then the father left them both.  She said the death of her brother tore her from God, but the eyes of her baby brought her back to him.

After hearing her talk of her brother, I wrote her a poem:

I said hello

I say goodbye

I saw you live

And now you die

But death is life

And life is love

Love is God

Eternal from above

So I’ll see you soon

There’s no need to cry

I too am changing

And to you I’ll fly

I found out later that the poem made her cry.  When I said goodbye to her today, she hugged me so tight.  Her lips said nothing, but her eyes shouted a desperate “thank you.”

And there was Vanny, who tried to commit suicide twice before, but now only smiles as bright as the sun.

And that was just a few.  There were so many stories full of death and tragedy.  But I don’t have those stories.  My tragedies are Bs on papers and mixed emotions.  I still have my family, my virginity, my sanity, my life, my legs, my health.

But there is one tragic story in my life.  I discovered this weekend that I am capable of so much more love.  I’ve been keeping it inside and only sharing it with a select few.  Now it’s time to give it to the world.

I spoke up at the gathering and told the group that each one of them was beautiful and I thanked God for allowing me to add their eyes and names to my collection.  Some came to me and said I seemed very Christlike.  They said they saw Jesus in me.  If so, then perhaps I am beginning to live a Christian life.

Rachel told me that others told her I seemed very creative.  People are so good to me.  God is so good to me.  So, here I am God.  I’m ready.  I don’t know everything, but I know you.

Here I am.

I’ve shown up.

 

June 10, 1997 – Tuesday – 12:45 a.m.

A new Tuesday.

Forty-five minutes have already vanished.

What to write?  What to remember?

I spent time with Samarah today.  She told me of her only guy friend Lee.  She said he bought her 100 white roses one time and never asked for anything in return.  She said he was the only guy that loved her for her and never tried to sleep with her.  I wondered then why she referred to him in past tense.  Finally she said he was killed by a drunk driver two years ago.

What am I doing?

I received a letter from Rachel today, simply thanking me for my visible walk with the Lord.

I used to be full of so many words, but now I’m speechless.

Sheltered from pain

Full of thought

I have lived among roses

Someone else chopped off the thorns.

Wrinkles from my smile

Proof of my constant grin

I glide down the curly hair of joy

Into the lap of loved ones.

My sorrow is not worth noting

My pain should not be considered

Others hurt worse than me

And I can’t take their pain.

I reach for the moon

Others only reach for their mirror

I live in grace

Others in the emptiness of their reflection.

Why me?

Why was I chosen?

Shirley someone else…

Yet me!

I am nothing

I am no better

I simply grew up in the truth

Others grew up in lies.

I’m seen as odd

But this faith is so normal

My sword is of live-giving pages

Theirs if of venom-dipped words.

The clock away is ticking

The water faucet is dripping

Each second is clicking

And I still have my grin.

Will others find that smile

And live in the eternal while

The sun has gone down today

Will come again tomorrow to stay

At least for a little while.

February 9, 1997 – Sunday – 3:20 p.m.

The mountains are capped in snow today.  So beautiful.

Tracey, Abigail, and Jeni came over last night.  We just talked.  Jeni tells me that David doesn’t treat her the way he should.  But she is still with him.  She said that she would marry him if he asked her.  David used to be gay, I mean really gay, but he has supposedly found the Lord.  I just hope she doesn’t get hurt.

Tracey and Abigail were very funny last night.  There are little things about Tracey that I’m so attracted to, but there’s also so much about her that I don’t know.  We had fun in church this morning.  I found a piece of candy on the floor, a little valentine heart that said “Cutie Pie.”  I gave it to Tracey and she smiled brightly and kept it.

I went to visit Tracey a couple of nights ago and we went through some old pictures of hers, pictures from over two years ago when Jeni and I were still together.

Why do we grow older?  Why do we learn?

Why don’t we find our moments of total happiness and refuse to move any further?

Tracey still hurts over Derek.  Is Jeni really happy?  She doesn’t look it.  Would she really marry someone who is currently making her miserable?

Hearts are broken every day.

People are being used.

Love doesn’t exist in many places.

What about me?  What am I doing?  What do others see when they look at me?

. . .

I am not a man

I do not have gray hair

And wrinkled skin

I am not old

But my eyes are not young

. . .

I am dying.  Everything around me is dying.

Don’t go mother.  Please hold me forever.  Who are these strangers?  Why can’t I stop growing up?

I was content in your arms.  You just let me be.  Now I’m being haunted.  Am I flying, or have these strangers clipped my wings?

Do I know what love is?

Or all we still just playing games?

Oh God, why did you die for me?

I still don’t know.

February 6, 1997 – Thursday – 10:40 a.m.

 

I am a boy

I have blonde hair

And a crooked chin

I am tall

But my patience is short

I like eagles

I like the color green

And to watch movies

I am skinny

But my memory is fat

I dream of flying

I dream of freedom in my soul

And of love

I write a lot

But I am the only one who reads them

I am an actor

I make good grades

And I like to read my Bible

I like to laugh

But I learn more from sadness

I keep a journal

I keep a Book of Days

And a collection of pictures

I want to tell stories

But I don’t even understand my own

 

August 17, 1996 – Saturday – 6:50 p.m.

New students arrived today.  Some anyway.  Beautiful faces.  Longing souls.

I was one of them.

Brand new.

Who are they?

Who am I?

Sharon invited me over this morning.  She baked me a pie and ordered Braveheart for me since it will soon be available to own on VHS; the greatest gift.

The evening is here.

I am 20 years old and alone.

Things are changing, but my room looks exactly the same as last year.

A thought passed my mind today while I was over at Sharon’s and it hasn’t left my mind.  What if, when I graduated from LMC, perhaps I was given a job, say in the Admissions office full time, and made enough to survive and be happy and make a good living, and was also given the opportunity to live at the Snowflake Inn on Sharon and Bob’s property, and be near to that family and slowly grow closer to Laura and become her lover forever and live so happily always next to that family and Heaton Christian Church,… would I take it?  Would I live that life, never having the opportunity to do theater, or to be a filmmaker and worship the Lord and minister to others through my art…would I?  Could I?

It’s raining now.  Millions of drops of nourishment pounding its way through the grass, into the ground, giving it life and meaning and purpose.

Giving it purpose.  Giving it meaning.

A destiny…of helping other flowers to grow.

Although I truly hate to say it.  The answer is no.  I wouldn’t be able to.  I don’t think I’ve ever loved anything deeper than I now love this land and it’s people, but there is a deeper fire within me; calling me elsewhere.

But in the meantime…I am here.  Oh God, and I’m afraid to admit that I know why.

But why me?

I am nothing.

. . .

When my appointment comes near,

The ticking clock should I fear,

Or loved ones left behind.

When the time comes near,

Whose voice will I hear,

Speaking of love so kind.

When life can no longer live,

And death longs to give

Its entrance to fulfilling eternity,

What words did I not say?

What debts did I not pay?

Whose lives did I not kiss?

Oh dear God, Oh dear God!

There is a world that needs to be saved.

No matter what it takes, use me.

Use me, for all of my days.

April 3, 1996 – Wednesday – 2:35 p.m.

The sun shone bright today

One may think winter’s gone away

But I know this land and it’s kin

It will no doubt grow cold again

The summer draws much closer

It will be different than the others were

I pray this land will be kind

And bring a woman who’s not blind

Wishful thinking I know

Looking for grass, but there’s only snow

All I have is a teddy bear

And it’s buyer seems not to care

Frost says Nothing Gold Stays

Truth in his understanding ways

Journeying through life hurts at times

On a stage, forgetting my lines

But I’ve learned of a love

It demands both my soul and love

He’s had a nail hammered through his hand

So he knows how it feels to live in this land

March 5, 1996 – Tuesday – 6:00 p.m.

I went to the doctor today.  What he did three weeks ago by resetting my finger and putting a cast on it didn’t work.  I have to go into surgery on Thursday.  They will put a pin into my finger.  This all came as a shock.  I figured I would just go into the hospital and get my cast off, but instead I had to pee in a cup, get a shot, etc.  I got a little bummed, but Vince was with me and he made it fun.

I will miss classes on Thursday.  That also disappointed me.

In my American Literature class today, all we did was read poetry by Robert Frost.  That’s what we were going to do Thursday as well.

One poem we read today really struck me.  It was called Nothing Gold Can Stay.

Nature’s first green is gold

Her hardest hue to hold

Her early leaf’s a flower

But only so an hour

Then leaf subsides to leaf

So Eden sank to grief

So dawn goes down today

Nothing gold can stay

Nature’s first growth is gold, but then turns to green.  The early leaf resembles a flower, but turns to a leaf shortly thereafter.  The gold is not there for long.  The leaf turns to a leaf of lower quality.  Eden was perfect, but sin came.  The sun came up but it always goes down.  Anything that is good, will eventually fade away.

$160 fine

20 hours of community service

a broken finger

surgery

Life has been difficult for me, but I can still smile.  At least I’m not bored.

I’ll soon be off to explore the west, and I’ll watch that golden sun descend in a desert valley.

A single day is a very good thing, but it can not stay.

Another one must come, so it too can play.