Friday, September 12, 2008

Diary: September 1996.



On the last weekend before Labor Day Mitch and I borrowed my parents car to go camping at Warren Dunes State Park. For five dollars that year, one could camp on the parking lot ("ash-fault" the way Mitch said it), and so we pitched a tiny-dome tent and joined a sort-of weird community of St. Josephians, Benton Harborites, neighborhing rednecks, and plenty of high schoolers who wanted a break from home but didn't have a budget to do is explosively. We both longed to make a break for Chicago for a day, but my parents said 'no,' and since the car was theirs I was very reluctant to try to slide something by. We did get pretty close to attempting this, though; on day we actually started driving south, and made it as far as the south suburbs, but visions of parking tickets, traffic tickets, and unexpected news coverage terrified me, so we turned back, and I ate half-a-tank of gas as penalty. I spent most of the time on the beach reading Slaughterhouse Five and desiring dune-girls from afar, but way to nervous to say anything about it. On the ride home I got a ticket for driving 81 in a 65; the trooper write the ticket for 70. My parents weren't thrilled by any of this. The theme of the trip was getting what I deserved, but it was worth it and I can't say that my regrets are that huge.

When I got back however, we went to a seminar for college Financial Aid at U of M - Flint, and the package we bought into ended up being a lemon, but it was a forceful sign that the college hunt was reaching a fever pitch. I work on my early application for the University of Chicago, and I hoped and hoped that they would accept me, because accepting any other school as the school I wanted would have been an uphill battle. I knew I should be accepted there; I was meant to go there. I wrote a short play for one of the essay questions and put the application in the mail.

Flint Youth Theatre did a staged reading of my play September and after it was over I pushed out a complete revision in one glorious night sitting at home in front of the 286 in the dining room, looking out over the Cottonwoods. Walter helped me enter the play in a couple contests. I was cast as an invisible puppeteer in their play Visions of Sugar Plums and almost immediately developed a crush on a girl there named Carrie. I started in on Pre-Algebra, the second-most advanced math class I could take in Flushing, and it seemed that I would not do horribly there. Ditto Physics. Everything was going according to plan...

At the end of the month, my friend Jessica and I went dinner at Luigi's on the Eastside (I think) and then I took her to Flushing's homecoming dance. We almost immediately ditched it to hang out with my friend Demetrius instead.

Where were you in September 1996?

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