XVIII

July 12th 1994

Happy birthday dear Matthew. Today you are 18 years old–a man, at least legally. I can vote for the President and die for my country.

I can consume poisonous but perfectly legal substances I legally bought from my local convenience store and I can also legally buy a gun to rob said convenience store; and, being 18, I can legally go to prison for said armed robbery. If I was dissed up enough to kill the clerk during said armed robbery, I can legally get the chair.

I don`t feel any different. It`s not like I woke up this morning with a bunch of new chest hairs or anything. I woke just like the day before last, yesterday, and probably the same way I`ll wake up tomorrow. Basically the same guy.

I don`t really get the weird premium put on age anyway. It`s like specific ages are supposed to mean something. They`re just as arbitrary as anything else.

Anyway…

Mark got me up by grabbing the inside of my leg and screaming “WAKE UP, [expletive]!!!” right in my ear. I wanted to crucify him to the nearest pine tree but I was still kinda comatose so he was able to escape down the hall before I could even throw something at him. I yelled “[expletive]!!!” at him really loud and my Mom heard. It was really weird because it was totally accidental but it was also the first time I think my Mom has ever heard me cuss. She was pretty cool about it because it was a pretty weird situation.

We drove into to town and I dropped him and Chris off at Croteau-land where they are going to meet up with Tim and a few others before heading up to the weight room after a little while. We were pretty early, Clyde hadn`t even unlocked the place yet when I got there and there was still mist hovering over the field.

I worked on pass routes for a little while. My arm hurt like a [expletive] from yesterday but I kept throwing until it started to get really warm.

Clyde or one of the coaches unlocked the weight room without even saying anything to me. I don`t know if they saw me or not but I would`ve been hard to miss out there on the field running around throwing a football to nonexistant receivers.

I was finishing my workout as Mark, Tim and the others were getting there which was fine by me. I don`t really get into the Pantera-blasting and grunting and chest beating that goes on when the whole gang is there. I went and shot some hoops for a little while and then went to _____`s house for some breakfast. Her mom gave me a weird look when I got there but I didn`t really care—I wasn`t really there for her benefit anyways.

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I went to the field for a while and ran bleachers until my eyes started getting [expletive] up and went into the locker room to cool off and get some water. Clyde`s truck was parked by the gym but I didn`t see him anywhere. Coach Evans asked me if I`d seen _____ and then went into the office. I sat in the locker room smelling that locker room stink for a while before getting a little nauseous. I left to try and find Mark before heading back home.

Mark wasn`t at Croteau-land or AJ`s so I assumed he was taken care of in one way or another and then I headed home.

Dad had some [expletive] for me to do as usual and after I got done Mom needed me to get some stuff from Brookshires and pick-up Mark and Tim because he`s staying the night tonight. When I got back, I told Mom I wanted to go to Hastings and blow the $50 Nan sent me. She told me I should call Nan and thank her sometime today and I told her I would.

I got to _____`s house at around 1 or 2…

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When I got back we did the whole cake and gifts thing which is getting more and more uncomfortable with each year. I`m really hoping that this is the last one because I don`t know if I could handle it again–Cheese!

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By the time it started to get dark, I really wanted to go for a walk. I headed to the clearing and watched to sun go down. Lately things have been getting really difficult for me to talk or even write about. There are times when I`ll just sort of zone out and lose time. I don`t really know what`s going on with me– I`ll go from having it all figured out to being befuddled to being totally sure of everything. Sometimes it just all falls into to place and sometimes its just a big [expletive] mess.

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Well I don`t know what more I can say about today. Just another day. Everything lost and nothing gained I guess.

I woke the same as any other day except a voice was in my head – it said, `Seize the day, pull the trigger, drop the blade and watch the rolling heads…`

The day I tried to live, I stole a thousand beggar`s change and gave it to the rich – the day I tried to win, I dangled from the power lines, and let the martyrs stretch…

Singing, `One more time around – might do it – one more time around – might make it – one more time around – might do it – one more time around, the day I tried to live…`

Words you say, never seem to live up to the ones inside your head – the lives we make, never seem to ever get us anywhere but dead…

The day I tried to live, I wallowed in the blood and mud with all the other pigs – I woke the same as any other day you know, I should have stayed in bed – the day I tried to win, I wallowed in the blood and mud with all the other pigs…

And I learned that I was a liar – just like you…

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