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Nothing's the Same

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Journal, 15 September 1961
If you must know, I ended up graduating from some crumby school in New York my parents sent me to after I flunked out of Pencey. I didn’t like it a goddam bit, to tell ya the truth—too many goddam phonies. My grades weren’t as low as they were at Pencey, but I didn’t even try. I just stopped caring about everything after my depression set in.
I didn’t go to college. I wasn’t interested in going to school anymore, and I barely scraped by my senior year of high school, so I don’t think any college would be willing to take me anyway after all that’s happened since that winter.
After I graduated, I ended up getting sent back to that hospital, which is where I still am now. I’ve spent nine goddam years in this place, and I still hate every goddam person here, even the cute girl who brings me dinner on Tuesday and Fridays.
Everyone thinks I’m insane because I’m here. I’m not, honestly. My parents sent me back here because they thought I still needed help after I didn’t apply myself in my last year of school.
My “friends” from Pencey come to visit me every once in a while. Old Stradlater came in last week to “check up on me,” says he was worried that I wouldn’t get out of this place. It kills me, but I have to agree with him; I hate this place so goddam much.
Everyone hates hospitals, but of everyone, I think I hate them the most.
My parents think sending me to some crumby mental institution will help me “get better.” There’s no “getting better” when you don’t care about anything anymore. I’m just here to satisfy them; this goddam place isn’t helping me one bit. My doctor’s even having me keep this journal to “keep an eye on my thoughts.” I don’t understand how this will “help” me.

Journal, 16 September 1961
I miss Allie, I really do. I haven’t been the same since he died. Society never had the chance to corrupt him like it did to me. I’m really jealous of him for that.
Everybody’s going off to war and fighting with each other. It disgusts me, really. We don’t need to be killing each other over this trivial shit that everyone worries about. It could be settled with a simple, civilized debate. People are out there dying for all this phony stuff, and there isn’t a way to avoid that? I wouldn’t believe you if you said that.
It’s like the time I saw “Fuck you” written on that wall in that gradeschool. It still drives me crazy to this goddam day. What goddam crazy idea popped into that kid’s head when he wrote that? I still wonder about that when I’m lying in bed at night and I can’t sleep.
I might have been able to rub “Fuck you” off of the wall, but I can’t rub it away when people say it to each other. It makes me sick to my stomach, really. This is what’s led me to depression; all of the verbal and physical abuse people do to each other.
It’s okay to hate something, but once ya say or write it somewhere, it’s permanent; ya can’t change that. Everyone knows now. Nothing’s the same after that.

Journal, 17 September 1961
Society has to stop trying to control everyone. I’ve been drinking and smoking since I could remember, and people rarely stopped me because I look so much older than I actually am. I’ve been ordering scotch and soda since I was sixteen, and no one really asked for my ID like they did to everyone else my age. Those phony bartenders never seemed to give a damn.
I don’t care about my age, really. I can’t really pass for any older than thirty anymore, but I don’t need to anymore because I can legally drink and smoke now, but not in the hospital, which drives me damn near crazy. I just need to kick back with a smoke and a drink sometimes, ya know? But they never let me do that, so I have to go outside. They only let me out twice a day: in the morning and in the evening, right before dinner.
The kids I went to Pencey with are all married now, but I’m not. I’ve been stuck up in this crumby hospital since I was nineteen; I haven’t had the time, or sanity, for that matter, to meet someone I didn’t hate, well, at least hated little enough to put up with on a daily basis.
That’s the thing: no one would be willing to marry me, to tell ya the truth. Who would even want to, anyway? I’ve been in a mental hospital for nine goddam years, so I must be damn near insane, right? I’m starting to think that now because I’m still here.
I wish I could get back out in the real world and meet people that give me different reasons to hate damn near everything on the planet.
I still don’t hate Allie, though. I don’t think I ever will, either. I miss him too goddam much to hate him. I even think I love him, as much as I hate to say it. I wish he was here now; I wouldn’t be depressed if he was still around. But I fear that he’d be as phony as everybody else.

Journal, 18 September 1961
The doctors say I don’t have to write these journals every day anymore, just when I feel really bad about something and need to “vent my feelings” to something.
I don’t think I even needed to write these in the first place. I’m not crazy; society just makes everyone think that I am because I don’t think the same way as everybody else.
I’m not depressed, I just hate everything. I have a different view of the world than everyone else does. Does that make me crazy? I don’t think so, really.

Journal, 23 September 1961
I still wonder where the ducks go in the winter. No one ever answered me when I asked. I’ve been asking people since before I could remember, but everyone’s been brushing me off. Why is that? Yeah, I’m 28 years old, and I still wonder about the ducks. Big fucking deal.
I think that’s my last strand of innocence left, if I ever had any to begin with. I mean, I’ve been acting like an adult since I was 16, but I still wonder and worry about the ducks.
Why is it only me? Why is it always me?
This is my last journal entry. This was a crumby idea to begin with. Why write down my feelings when I can just tell someone? These people are all phonies, every last one of them.
Stradlater came by yesterday. Sometimes I think he’s my last sliver of hope, my last connection to the outside world. My parents and Phoebe never come around anymore. It gets lonely in here, just myself and a television to keep me entertained sane.
That’s why I want to leave everything behind. I could meet Allie, up in Heaven, if it even exists. I think it’s all just a hoax, a way to make us think there is some kind of almighty higher power that judges us all in the end. But there is still a bit of hope for me left.
Doctors, when you find this, don’t show my family, they’re nothing to me now. Show Old Stradlater next time he drops by to visit me. Don’t have a funeral in my honor, no one will show. It was only ever him. He’s the only one who matters to me anymore.
Allie, I’ll see you soon. I miss you. We all do.