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Well, here it is, my big "first entry." I guess, to be honest, I'm a little nervous – maybe because, despite easily getting A's in English, my writing hasn't been all that great. Maybe there are a lot of other reasons. Well, the point is, I'm nervous. I hate to waste my first entry on a stupid introduction, but… "Hey, I'm Jonathan. I like to read. Johnny Bravo is probably my favorite cartoon character." I, as you will see if you continue to read my entries, have a bad habit of saying "probably" when there's no need for it at all.
I once discussed with my girlfriend a certain "downward spiral" – it applied to kissing her for the first time before, and now it applies to something else. When something between two people is going to happen, and it is mostly a matter of when, a dilemma occurs in my over-analytical mind. On one hand, I want to wait for the perfect time; however, if I wait too long, I become restless. The more restless I become, the more I want it to be perfect. The cycle continues. Is there a solution? Patience, probably, but that's not really my strongest suit.
Today two forgotten freshmen, probably wondering if they were still visible, were casually invited… to a youth group, a summer camp. To my surprise, they begged me for information. Maybe just by seeing them, talking to them, caring about them, I can change their lives. It's an exciting day – souls might be saved. But it's also a grim day… I see sheets of rain pounding an empty street, weak lights struggling to overcome the impending darkness. This is what I think about when I think of death. I am going to a funeral home. My prayers go out to you.
Well, I finally said it. Yeah, I said it in my typical Jonathan style – a slightly designed pattern of twisting and turning, following every tangent the conversation possibly presented to me, but I said it. You say my eye contact ratio was a mere 30%… I say two things to that: first of all, I would place it at 45%, at the very least, and secondly, compared to my usual 5% eye contact, I'd say thirty's not that bad. And, while through some freakish impossibility I didn't hear your response, I knew its truth. I've known for quite some time.
At a small Italian restaurant last night, a little kid was playing an arcade game. His father, a somewhat dirty and seemingly disreputable man, walked over to watch his son's racecar zoom ahead. The boy laughed gleefully. "Dad, look at this sweet move I can do!" The man shot me a glance, smiling. "Yeah, son, that is really sweet." The boy made his father happy; the boy made me happy, too, in a way: he helped teach me that having wealth and a good reputation are not necessary to feel joy. In fact, they're really not very important at all.
A middle-school romance scandal of epic proportions:
Marty tells Amy he will dump his girlfriend soon. Amy writes a note for Marty, gives it to Natalie, and Natalie delivers it. The note tells Marty that if he breaks up with his girlfriend, she would like to date him. Amy's friend Hannah then tells Marty she, Hannah, likes him. Marty inaccurately tells Hannah that Amy has been talking about her. Hannah gets mad at Amy. The next day Amy apologizes to Hannah, tells Marty he should go out with Hannah, and opts to begin dating Chris (where did he come from?)
Today was one of the worst of my life. You refused to talk to me. Technically, you're still my girlfriend, but I don't feel it. Maybe that's your intent. I still remain hopeful. I still want to be hopeful. I chased down your car after Big practice tonight. I called your cell a million times, to no avail. You know what's sad? Even when I'm staring at you and you refuse to make eye contact, and I should be furious, I'm not at all. I want to hold you. I want to ask you if you need a back rub.
"Big D" and "Lil' G". They're not my parents biologically, but they're like parents. They stay up so late to listen to my problems. They pray with me about anything at all. They love me. That's really awesome… I'm just their son's friend, but they shower me with love, patience, and advice. It's 2:20 in the morning right now, and they just went to bed… they refused to sleep because I was worried. Right now, when I feel like my life is a series of daunting partially differentiable calculus problems, they're here to hold my hands. It's something I need.
I have little to write about what happened, because (fortunately) I said everything I needed to say when it happened. Now I'm at a place… it's like looking around the skeleton of my house after an a-bomb has demolished its interior… like in Chelsea's old prose piece. No grief, just a sort of empty detachment. It's definitely not good, but it's better than grief. I told my mom that in my head, I knew we weren't right for each other, but that the rest of me disagreed. She said, "Just get to the place where they agree. You'll get there."
A change of mindset: I believe in one of my previous entries, I compared my life to a series of partially differentiable calculus problems (we haven't gotten to "partial derivatives" yet, it's a college-only thing, that's why I chose that kind of problem). First of all, no matter how difficult things are, they really don't resemble calculus. Even if they did, I wouldn't fret. I am blessed to have The Answerbook… its author is a close friend of mine. He happened to invent the problems, and He knows their answers. He's pretty good about answering my ever more frequent calls.
We discussed super heroes the other day. First we concluded that Superman is weak, because he's way too powerful. Fantastic Four were all crappy… sadly enough, Invisible Woman is probably the best one. Spiderman caused a debate… some think he's awesome, some think the web stuff is dumb. But the X-men. There's a unanimous decision. Awesome. They're all cool… my favorites have always been Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Cyclops. Some of the bad guys were conundrums, though… Apocalypse, Mr. Sinister? Sure, they were cool, but what did they do!? Mr. Sinister had "inexplicable mind powers", and Apocalypse was just freaking invincible.
Sadly, we're reading The Awakening in English class. I'm sure it's a great book, don't get me wrong. On the inside cover it says something like "… it will reach out and touch hearts of women everywhere who have fought for self-expression." First of all, I'm not a woman. Most importantly, and I'm typing this emphatically – I do not care about a wife discovering her lusts, desires, and sexual prowess. No offense, fans of The Awakening, but I feel like I'm about to embark on a foreign journey full of femininity and adventure… a journey I call "trashy romance novel".
As I walked behind him in the hall today, I finally realized the true breadth of his powers. Every girl walking his way would shyly giggle and noticeably blush. If he said, "Hey, what's up?" it could be a serious risk to the girls' cardiovascular health, because their excitement might overwhelm them and cause heart failure. I mean, I've had decent success with girls in the past, but this guy was making me feel like a transparent piece of broccoli. How does he do it? What's his secret? I mean, what do girls see in a thirty-year-old, married assistant principal?
I've never thought of myself as "a dancer" – but man, for some reason I'm good at Dance Dance Revolution. It's that game for Playstation 2 in which dancers stand on mats and dance out timed patterns. I was "getting my groove on" (it's sad how much I should never use that phrase) last night, and I was beating everyone (it is a competitive thing), and everyone was cheering. They were even taking pictures of me. Ha! So I was pretty sore today, and I had to get up at 8:30 for choreography practice… but I'd say it was worth it.
TV shows have either messed up society's idea of love, or have convinced us that it is unnecessary. All the reality shows deface marriage and commitment… are those entities even around anymore? And it's definitely not just TV's fault. In fact, TV is probably not even very much to blame – perhaps it's just a reflection of our nation's warped vision, not a catalyst. Maybe it's both. But when we see people purposely jeopardize relationships with irresistible temptations, marriages of total strangers set up by voters, and romances based solely on immense wealth, I'm sure it doesn't positively affect our standards.
There's nothing like a reunion of old friends. Especially when that reunion is a late-night law-defying secret rendezvous fiasco. That's right: at 9:30 PM, with naught but eerie moonlight and the headlights of a security vehicle to illuminate the scene, we sat motionless on the chained pendulum entertainment unit, not daring to speak, scarcely willing to breathe. We were irrefutably violating the "park closes at dark" rule, a regulation punishable by a stern scolding and immediate ejection from the park. And when the cops (the po') finally left, the Three Musketeers remained undiscovered. All for one and one for all.
Last night I coughed for 20 minutes straight. This morning I felt like a pack of knife-wielding worms had taken over my esophagus and lungs. For various reasons, it was an unmissable day of school, so I got up at 6:25 AM. All day I was running for the water fountain, needing those sweet hydrogen and oxygen molecules (plus a healthy fluoride fortification) to cool my burning throat. The play director made me stay for two totally unnecessary hours of practice after school. But, on the bright side, I may have set a record for most urinating in one day.
Today was Round 2 of the night coughing, fiery throat, water consuming… my battle against illness. Physically, I'd say I'm losing the battle hands down. No matter how much I drink, my throat is dry, and I just can't seem to get enough sleep. One problem is that I'm probably underestimating my opponent, who is most likely an upper respiratory infection. The day was not bad, though… I smiled and laughed a lot (rare these days), and they were really genuine smiles and laughs, not forced. And I think that is the real measure of the quality of a day.
I wish I had better ways of showing my affection for my guy friends. I'm lucky to have them in my life. There are two, particularly, to whom I feel I owe so much. Lately I've been somewhat sad, because of my parents, because of the end of my last relationship, because of my sickness… but they've been here for me continually with conversation, prayer, and fun times. What is awesome is my confidence that these friendships will not end, because they're rooted in Christ. To me, that's an invincible foundation. I guess I basically just want to say thanks.
Hypocrisy? You've got it down to an art. To say one set of things, then act a completely different way – that takes talent. You say it's about you, that you need to work out issues before you can be involved with anyone… seven short days later, you're holding hands with him in the hall. I don't know what you see in him behind his frosted tips and sparkling smile (and unintentional Beavis impersonations), but that's your deal. I really like the "Booze I've Consumed" section of his profile – underage drinking is something to be proud of. Hypocrisy? You're the Queen.
The "theme" of this entry is forgiveness and comfort, two things that obviously weren't on my mind for the March 20 writing, which I typed a few days ago. I just got back from a youth conference in Columbus, and I made some cool discoveries. For instance, not forgiving someone in your heart is a huge barrier between you and God; also, anger is Satan's foothold, so you have to let it go. So, I lay my problems at the foot of the cross. And I feel a lot better, which I guess is pretty expected, considering God's batting average.
Right now, in my basement, there's one rockin' sixth grade party goin' on! My little sister Amy is, in fact, having her first "boy-girl party." They were playing some music, and when a slow song came on, Amy and my cousin Jen (who was chaperoning the craziness) tried to convince some of the girls to dance with me. And, as I expected, they refused. But hey, I've been rejected by girls my age, so what's the big deal about being rejected by girls 7 years younger? By some stroke of luck, I escaped the fiasco with a relatively unscathed self-image.
Another state speech tournament, another state championship. It was pretty exciting. I did ok, placing in three events, but I could have probably done better. Overall, though, the trip was fun. It had its ups and downs – talking to my guy friends and the debate girls were the ups, seeing an awesome person get set up for a potential "de ja vu" (sp?) heartbreak, and going through a vomit-inducing bus ride, the downs. But the ups were way more important, since the sickness soon left me, and I don't pay very much attention to what that one girl does anymore.
A tumultuous scene this morning in a high school church meeting. As we were busting out our Bibles to study, someone busted out his satanic bible. When our leader told him to remove it, he didn't want to. She made him, so he left. He thought he was being judged. Well, if you light up a cigarette at a lung cancer recoverees' meeting, something happens – I wouldn't call it judgement… maybe "antithetical dismissal". The point is, you don't do that. I was angry, but I prayed for the kid… at least he believes in spiritual powers, maybe he'll turn around.
I sat down and wrote the whole song – music and lyrics – in what seemed like no time at all. When I was done, I really liked it and memorization took two seconds. Something weird happens whenever I write an essay, or story, or song… I churn it out at the speed of light and, truly, it deserves to be a piece of crap. But then I read it, or listen to it, and somehow it has the right blend of comedy and seriousness, and the bridge is just different enough from the verses and chorus. I'll play it 500 times.
Our English class: a war room. Lewis vs. Huxley, God vs. Satan, teacher vs. me, I'm sure there's a million more. Some people switch sides. Sometimes they don't even know it. The girl behind me (a whole different story) seems to constantly "switch sides" – I don't think she knows what side she's on anymore. At least my speech partner is there to brave the fights with me. He's awesome, just sitting silently and knowing exactly what I'm seeing, because he sees it too. The things said in that class are ludicrous: "Lewis had Jesus, Huxley had mescaline." I have Jesus.
Ah crap. I wonder how that one girl's going to find out about that one thing. I mean, we tossed around three ideas – I could tell her, that other girl could tell her, or we could let her find out through the group's casual conversation. Well, we ruled out my telling her (too weird and implicative), and we may rule out that other girl as well… but the group has a way of being weird about things. And that one girl, when she finds out, may have an emotionally dangerous reaction. She shouldn't, of course, but she very well may.
People say, "What a waste. You at WVU? You should be going to MIT, or Harvard, or Yale, or Carnegie Mellon. You're going to waste away in Morgantown. It'll suck the life out of you. You will get a lousy job, with a lousy wife, have lousy kids, and die a sad old man." I say, "No." I do not have any proof. I just know it's not going to happen. I'm going to work hard and make college an awesome experience no matter where I go. And when I accept my Nobel Prize, I'll be wearing a Mountaineers shirt.
I think the Pirates are going to be good this year. Our (I say it as if I'm on the team) is finally solid, from Benson through D'Amico, and that is the biggest factor. But what also helps is having a good offense – Lofton, Kendall, Giles, Ramirez, Sanders, Simon, Wilson, Reese – and the fact that our bullpen is probably the best in the National League. Not only did we revamp our already-good middle relief with Tavarez and others, but we still have Williams, a top-notch closer. Yeah, I say we're wildcard sleepers. Ah crap, I'll say it: World Series champions.
My life is back in busy mode. I guess in the back of my mind I thought that after state speech I would get some rest. But alas, I now must practice all the time for the musical. It is really okay with me, I like the activity, especially fun stuff like being in a musical. However, the summer, in which I can do what I want, is going to be sweet. (One thing I like about 100 words is that, as you may have noticed, I use many comma splices, and I don't even care, like I usually do)
Wow, this is the end of my first month on 100 words. It's been a really crazy month for me, but I can truthfully say I'm stronger and happier now, despite my moments of misery and weakness. If anyone out there has actually read all this (which I doubt) … thanks, I guess… for being interested in what I write. This will probably be the last time I "address the reader", because I think it's dumb, but I wanted to say thanks to anyone who cares.
I am looking forward to April. It will probably rain a lot.
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