Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Diary: In July, 1996.

One of those times I tend to look at historically (as I've also been reading about the Roman Republic and Empire this month):

I was absorbing the changes and developments of the last year, and gearing up for the powerful effects of the year to come.

That is:

I was taking a trigonometry class as Mott Community College so that I'd qualify for Precalculus as a senior that year; it was the second most-advanced class my high school offered.

I was also playing "Friend Hare" in the Flint Youth Theatre production of Bambi, which was a lot of fun. It was a surreal, ephemeral, dark-tinged version of the story, compared to the Disney version that everyone is more familiar with. During this month I'd gotten over my relationship with She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (Swomunoben) and my crush on I-Can't-Tell-You to develop a new crush on a girl named Diana. She lived in Woodcroft, in a massive old house that once belonged to a General Motors CEO. Her parents were lawyers, I think. There were big Doric columns under the porch out front, and the halls were narrow, the ceilings fifteen or so feet high. I went over to visit with Demetrius and Perrico and Josh and the others, and we'd watch TV. Diana was never the slightest bit interested in me, and I was only broken up about it for a week at most. I started to notice a girl named Lori instead. I asked her out and she said "yes," though we only went out for a week. She was jealous of my friend Katie, which was silly, and by the time September rolled around, Lori disliked me enough to key my car.

July was also when I got the Admissions packet from the University of Chicago and read their propaganda book (Dreams and Choices ? – was that it?) while riding up to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp to visit my brother and sister. The book electrified me – it was the first collegiate sales pitch that defined study as a vocation, and a passionate vocation at that. All of the others had stressed their state-of-the-art facilities (Northwestern), progressive teaching philosophy (Sarah-Lawrence), study abroad (Kalamazoo), and career incentives (University of Michigan). For four years I'd had my heart set on Northwestern, but the book changed my mind in an afternoon. And I think anyone with a brain in their head would agree that the U of C was a better fit.

On the 4th Demetrius and I went to see the fireworks in downtown Flint, but we were almost set on fire when we jumped a fence by the river to take a shortcut through Riverbank park, not noticing that rows of sparklers had been strung up right over our head. I spent a lot of time driving around with Perrico and Demetrius and Josh, a lot of time at Paul's. We went to the mall to buy the Tonight, Tonight single and ran into Swomunoben in the food court. I was so startled that I walked off leaving my at the table Taco Bell. Back at Paul's house, we ate pizza pockets instead. Later that month we got into our first argument in about six years. A week later I went for a ride with Katie (was this the incident that made Lori so jealous?) and told her that I couldn't get over Swomunoben, and that I wished I'd never met her. Katie told me that this was silly, which surprised me. She had a strong dislike for Swomunoben and I thought she'd indulge in my admission. But she said it was the only real romanic event that had ever involved me, and so whatever I thought about the end of the thing, I ought to be grateful for the experience.

I had spent a year preparing and taking notes for Urbantasm, and I started the first draft sometime during the month. I wrote sixty pages, taking John Bridge up through the end of sixth grade.

It didn't seem like such a momentous month at the time, or even recently, but looking back on it now... I have to say...

Where were you in July, 2006?

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