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I wish I could scream myself awake

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March 24

5:37pm: It’s been five days and I can’t believe this is real. I changed your passwords today, because I don’t want anyone else messing around on your account, not even your mom. I still keep thinking that if someone had to go young, it was supposed to be me, not you. Not you.

April 19

8:07pm: This is crazy, but I miss you so much it hurts. I never believed that, when people said it, until Beth, but fuck it, this is worse. It feels like someone’s ripping something out of me, constantly, and writing here is probably dumb but no one else’s going to see it. I even made sure your email password was changed, so no one can get Facebook to email a password change.

 

8:09pm: I left Lima today. I told Coach Beiste I was going to join the Air Force. I’m not, there’s no way they’d let me fly planes and maybe she’s smart enough not to believe me, but if anyone asks, that’s what she’ll tell them. I’ve only got four people left in that town. I’m not really planning on long visits back there.

 

8:12pm: I should back up. Maybe you know. Everyone got together at McKinley, a memorial kind of thing, and I realized none of them really knew me. Anymore? Ever? I don’t know. I left, no forwarding address.

 

8:16pm: I sold most of my stuff in the last month. I kept my laptop. I bought a brand-new phone with a brand-new phone number. I gave the number to my mom and Nina and Jake. I’ve got clothes with me and some cold-weather clothes for next winter, but that’s all. I’m sitting in a Chipotle north of Cincinnati, and I’m going down I-75. I’ll find somewhere to clean pools. It’s warmer in Tennessee or Georgia, so I bet they keep their pools open longer. I’m telling you all of this like you need to know, like somehow you’re going to need this information because you’re going to try to call me, or come to Lima looking for me, or hell, maybe you’re going to follow me down the interstate.

 

8:21pm: Intestines, maybe, that are being ripped out. Or kidneys. It hurts like hell to take a blow to the kidneys, so I bet ripping them out hurts like this.

April 20

4:30pm: Did you know there’s an entire park in Kentucky about horses? It’s like a theme park but with lots of horses. Remember that girl that sat next to you in fourth grade? She would love this place. I stopped because why not. Paid the extra to take a trail ride, too.

April 22

3:18pm: I’m the newest seasonal employee of Quality Pools of Knoxville. They’ll have work for me until sometime in October, so I guess I’ll see how I like Tennessee, right? So far it doesn’t seem that different, just warmer.

April 23

10:30pm: I saw 42 today. You should see it, it’s pretty good.

April 26

1:15pm: I fell into a pool today. I haven’t done that since I was 15. Don’t laugh at this picture.

April 30

11:03pm: After a week of sleeping in the park and once inside a 24 hour Walmart, I convinced this guy Nate to ‘rent’ me his living room couch for the summer. He gets extra income and I get cheap rent, so it’s a win-win, right?

May 2

11:47am: This time Nate pushed me in. Don’t laugh this time, either. I know you did last time.

May 3

11:15pm: Iron Man 3 is awesome.

May 9

11:24pm: I had two days in a row off for the first time, and it was stupid. Too much time to think. It’s easier to pretend you’re reading these. It’s easier to pretend that I’m getting a response because you’ve said it outloud to me or something, that that’s the only reason they aren’t on this screen. Too much time off means I remember too many things. Remember the summer we learned to swim? And the summer we spent daring each other to go off the high dive, over and over? Double dog dare you.

May 18

2:35pm: I keep getting lost on the way to jobs, even when I use a map ahead of time. I think the developers in some of these neighborhoods need to learn to use a thesaurus or something.

May 23

9:38pm: I remember everything. Nate just came in here and asked me why I looked so angry. I couldn’t tell him.

May 24

10:42pm: I went to see Fast and Furious 6. Not as good as I was hoping, but it was still pretty damn awesome.

May 30

7:33pm: Remember that time your mom tried feeding us fried broccoli and cauliflower, because she was hoping we wouldn’t want cheese sauce on it that way? Epic fail, but I had broccoli cheddar soup for dinner tonight.

June 7

6:28pm: I got a raise today, which is pretty funny considering I’m just a seasonal worker, but apparently a lot of his seasonal workers quit, so I get a raise for not quitting. Go figure.

June 14

11:03pm: Man of Steel: not as good as Iron Man 3. Go for a matinee, don’t pay full price.

June 16

9:40am: Maybe instead of coffee, you should find some kind of tea you like, and you’ll sound all snobby about it, you know?

July 3

8:35am: Long weekend, so I’m heading over to check out the Grand Ol’ Opry and the rest of Nashville.

July 7

9:24pm: I liked Nashville better than I like Knoxville, but how was I supposed to know that?

 

11:36pm: Dammit, Finn, why? Why are you gone? This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I’m not supposed to be drunk in the middle of Tennessee wondering what the hell went wrong. Fuck you.

 

11:57pm: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it.

July 12

10:44pm: Okay, best movie of the summer: Pacific Rim. Go see it ASAP.

July 31

9:15pm: Worst movie of the summer: Smurfs 2.

August 7

11:35pm: Remember how your mom used to make the pancakes in the shapes every time I slept over? And how she tried to make them shaped like a dreidel that one time? They didn’t really, but we told her they did. It didn’t change how they tasted, anyway, and that was the important part, melting as much butter as possible and making the syrup lap against the edge. She always said we needed baths after we ate pancakes.

August 8

12:08am: She said that just a few months ago, even.

August 18

1:13pm: I’ve started trying to figure out where I’m going next. I don’t really want to stay down here, even if pool cleaning season lasts longer. I guess I’m a midwesterner after all, huh? But I don’t want to go back to Ohio.

August 19

7:56pm: I’ve been looking up jobs and applying for them. I don’t know that I want to build Hondas in Indiana or fire engines in Wisconsin, but they’re decent union jobs.

August 23

6:18pm: IDOT’s got seasonal jobs that lead to union jobs if they like you. I applied there, too.

September 4

7:40am: Labor Day weekend’s over. I didn’t see any movies, though.

September 6

12:32pm: I didn’t get the job at Honda, period. The fire engine job isn’t the one I wanted at the plant, but I got the IDOT job. I guess I’ll have to decide soon.

September 12

6:12pm: Mom wants me to come visit on the way to Illinois-or-Wisconsin. I don’t want to go back to Lima. You’re not there. Why aren’t you there? My sister’s there. My brother’s there. But you, you’re not there, and aren’t you more important?

September 14

4:40pm: It’s probably good we quit playing football after high school. We never had a chance to blow our ACLs or anything.

7:58pm: Fuck it, I’d blow out both ACLs and take yours out, too, if we were limping around Lima together.

September 15

12:45am: Maybe that’s what this feels like. ACL tear.

September 17

9:03am: I just took all my stuff out of Nate’s place. I’m stopping to see Mom and Nina and Jake after all on my way to Illinois. I told my boss I’d let him know about next summer, just to keep my options open, but I don’t think I want to come back south if I don’t have to.

September 20

11:06pm: Lima seems smaller and dirtier and darker now. I asked Jake not to mention to anyone that I was in town, and either he didn’t or anyone he told didn’t care. I don’t know who’s still in town. I don’t know who’s back in town. My mom’s fine. My sister’s fine, even, and Jake, he’s fine, so that’s all good, right? They’ll all turn out fine, better than me.

September 21

1:02am: I went to the park and sat on the swings and closed my eyes and I could feel you there. I sound crazy, right? It was like when we were kids again, old enough that our moms let us walk to the park alone and not so old that we thought we were too cool for the park. Why did we think we were too cool for the park? How much fucking time did we waste because we were trying to be cool or something? I wanted you to be there, swinging beside me at the park, pumping our legs and trying to get higher and higher before we jumped. I jumped, but it didn’t feel the same. I guess we’re just too tall now.

 

9:55am: I’m in Van Wert. I stopped on the edge of the road and yelled at Lima. It never gave me anything good, it just takes away.

September 26

5:45pm: I forgot to tell you about my job here in Illinois. Joliet’s where I found a room to rent. It’s more seasonal work, snow removal and stuff for IDOT, but they hire most of their seasonal workers as full-time union guys so hey, maybe I’ll keep doing it if I like it. “Like” it. Can stand it. Get paid enough to keep scraping by. Maybe even put a little more back in savings. Savings for what, I guess I don’t really know. I haven’t figure out what I want to do the way you have.

October 8

8:02pm: The guys on the crew are pretty cool so far. Work’s not easy, but it’s not really difficult, either. Even the non-union seasonal pay is pretty good. Illinois is different enough from Ohio, but familiar enough, not like the south. Maybe I’ll be someone else here. You always knew who I was.

October 18

10:45pm: I saw that new movie with the Harry Potter kid in it, Kill Your Darlings. It was… it was really good, actually. Maybe I’ll be someone who likes indie movies.

October 21

7:56am: I hope you haven’t forgotten to get a new pair of SmartWool socks for this winter.

October 25

5:30pm: Apparently my rent’s cheap because I live in a high-crime area. Luckily for me it was the apartment next to mine, not mine, that got broken into. Still, I think I’ll start locking up this laptop while I’m at work.

November 2

10:15pm: I hope you’re sitting down, because I have a confession: I haven’t really hooked up with anyone in months. There was a girl Nate knew, back in May, but then she wanted a bunch of dates and I wasn’t into that, and after that, Nate wouldn’t introduce me to anyone else. I almost hooked up the first week I was in Joliet, but nothing happened. Maybe that’s part of me being someone else here? I guess I’d better start trying to find someone to actually date then, if I ever want to have sex again, which I do. Maybe you can send someone my way.

November 8

11:05pm: Thor: The Dark World wasn’t as awesome as Iron Man 3, but still pretty damn awesome.

November 13

10:05pm: I’ve been checking a few people out today and yesterday. I’ve been checking out. I don’t know if I can type it, even to you.

 

11:45pm: I’ve been checking out people who look like

November 14

12:01am: I was checking out people that I thought looked

 

12:12am: Like you.

 

12:18am: If you’d ever offered, it would have been yes and done.

 

7:36am: I tried one of those pumpkin spice things this morning. I think I get why people look forward to them.

 

6:45pm: Yeah even I didn’t buy that attempt at changing the subject. I guess I have to stop pretending here for a few minutes or something. I cried last night and I realized I haven’t cried since I left Lima back in the spring. It was easier to be angry. Safer to be angry. I cried into my pillow, as quietly as I could, and I woke up this morning with my face still wet, and that’s why I tried one of those pumpkin spice lattes. I miss you. I miss everything. I even miss that stupid fight we had sophomore year when we were all rolling around in those wheelchairs.

November 15

3:03am: I guess it’s just all too late for all of this.

November 22

3:35pm: I’m going to go watch that Hunger Games movie tonight. I can remember so much, and I can’t remember if you read those books. I just can’t remember.

November 22

7:02pm: It would have been so easy. If I’d realized, if you’d wanted it. You know that? It would have been so easy and calm. The us part, anyway.

November 23

8:47pm: Now it’s Saturday and there’s no snow so I don’t have work until Monday and this is the worst possible time to have a weekend because all I can think about is you. I didn’t ask for this. All I asked for was my best friend. I don’t even have that.

November 25

2:15pm: Tom asked me about my plans for Thanksgiving this weekend. I told him I’d have a meal somewhere whatever day I ended up not working.

 

2:22pm: Really, I just don’t feel very thankful about anything at all.