12/31/2004

04-Last Week

Week 1;Week 2;Week 3
Back to today

28: out of jail

Okay, Mom's out of jail. I found out "bail" is spelled like "jail", but with a "b". It's money somebody pays to get you out of jail, in case you run away. If you run off, they get to keep the money. It's amazing how much I'm learning!

I wonder who paid for Mom to get out? I thought it was Marion's mom first, but she said no, she wouldn't have done that even if she could afford to. She sounded really mad that Mom got out of jail, so I believe her.

I don't have to go back and live with Mom, either. The policewoman came and talked to Marion's mom and dad late yesterday, and asked if they would still take care of me. They said yes!

Best news of all—I get to bring Lop over here. According to the policewoman, I can't go home even to feed the kitty, so we have to go collect Lop together. Marion's dad said we can sleep together in the guest room.

So I went with the policewoman to pick up my kitty and my clothes before Mom gets there. It's funny, whenever she mentions my Mom, this cop seems much tougher than the two men who arrested Mom.

Got to run. Marion still doesn't know about you.

29: last day

I have decided to start a new count tomorrow, because this year has been too sad. I will let the old year slide away tonight at midnight, and begin again tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, I will say goodbye to Granpa, goodbye to Nick, who died this year. Also I will say goodbye to my old Mom and Dad. They didn't die, just changed into people I couldn't recognize.

Tomorrow is a whole new year. I hope I'm ready.

last day

Week 1; Week 2; Week 3; Day 28

Day 28

I have decided to start a new count tomorrow, because this year has been too sad. I will let the old year slide away tonight at midnight, and begin again tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, I will say goodbye to Granpa, goodbye to Nick, who died this year. Also I will say goodbye to my old Mom and Dad. They didn't die, just changed into people I couldn't recognize.

Tomorrow is a whole new year. I hope I'm ready.

12/30/2004

out on bail

Week 1; Week 2; Week 3

Day 22

Okay, Mom's out of jail. I found out "bail" is spelled like "jail", but with a "b". It's money somebody pays to get you out of jail, in case you run away. If you run off, they get to keep the money. It's amazing how much I'm learning!

I wonder who paid for Mom to get out? I thought it was Marion's mom first, but she said no, she wouldn't have done that even if she could afford to. She sounded really mad that Mom got out of jail, so I believe her.

I don't have to go back and live with Mom, either. The policewoman came and talked to Marion's mom and dad late yesterday, and asked if they would still take care of me. They said yes!

Best news of all—I get to bring Lop over here. According to the policewoman, I can't go home even to feed the kitty, so we have to go collect Lop together. Marion's dad said we can sleep together in the guest room.

So I went with the policewoman to pick up my kitty and my clothes before Mom gets there. It's funny, whenever she mentions my Mom, this cop seems much tougher than the two men who arrested Mom.

Got to run. Marion still doesn't know about you.

12/29/2004

Week 3

Week 1;Week 2
Back to today

15: almost excited

I learned today that Dad may be here for Christmas Eve dinner. Mom said the doctor had called Dad while Mom was in the hospital. Anyway he didn't promise to be here, but he might be.

I have to decide if I want to show him Lop.

If I show Dad, and Mom finds out, I might have to give up my kitten. But if I don't show him, I have to keep my biggest secret from Dad, and I'm not sure I'm strong enough.

I want to have a Dad again so bad, I sometimes think I will do almost anything to get one.

Oh, Mom said I can go with Jack and Meg to their church Christmas party. That's almost like a present in itself—she usually won't let me go anywhere near a church function!

Meg said she probably wants some time to herself.


16: i want to sing in a choir

Last night was amazing. The church party was a choir recital, then all kinds of Christmas goodies in the church hall.

There must have been 300 people there! I didn't know there were so many people who would leave their families to get together at church on Christmas Eve eve.

Meg said, "Don't be silly, their families are here too."

Jack sings in the church choir, and he said he can get me a try-out next year. I don't have to belong to the church, though he said most of the choir singers do.

Things are starting to turn around for me, I can feel it.

It's almost like Thanksgiving again, and I can list all the things making me happy now: Lop, my friends, Marion's parents, my Dad coming to visit, Mom being okay, and now maybe singing in a choir.

And you. It's been very important to me to have you to talk to.

16 part 2: no dad, no dinner

Dad didn't come. Mom is downstairs crying on the sofa again.

I wanted to cry, but I came upstairs to play with Lop instead. I crushed my cat so hard, I got a scratch on my arm!

Lop doesn't like tears in her fur.

17: christmas

Mom sounded very strange again this morning while I made breakfast.

I used the turkey roll from last night, and some cheese and eggs to make a fancy omelet, and served it with some cranberry jelly. Mom took one bite, set her plate down, and didn't pick it up again.

It was a good omelet, too. I learned how to make them from Mrs. Armeer who used to live next door.

I gave Mom her present, and she started crying again. It was a weird kind of crying, too, like she didn't really have enough tears or energy any more. It was a little bit scary.

She just held the package on her lap, and let her tears fall onto the wrapping paper.

Finally I reached over and tore the end off the package, and pulled out the gloves. I put them in her lap and went into the kitchen, got some turkey for Lop and came up here.

It feels like I don't have any parents any more. Merry Christmas.

18: tragedy big and small

Mom was washing dishes when I came downstairs this morning. I was so surprised, I just stood there for a long time. She had made hot cereal for herself and was out the pot.

When I said "Hi, Mom!" she just smiled at me and said I had some cereal if I wanted it, in a bowl by the microwave.

She told me she had seen on TV that a giant wave had crashed into India or Vietnam or something, and lots of people were dead. "Right after Christmas!" she said, like it was against the law to have a tidal wave so close to the holiday.

I made an excuse to go over to Jack's and see what he got for Christmas, and left.

On my way, I passed the Jack's church where the party was. Wow, I can hardly believe it was only two nights ago. There was a police car pulled up in front of the church, and two policemen outside, near one side of the church steps.

Nick was sitting on the ground in the corner of the steps and the wall. His skin looked kind of blue, the same color as the plastic packets he had the other day.

I realized he was dead before the cops saw me there.

I kept walking toward Jack's house, wondering if he knew about the dead body.

No one was home at Jack's house. Now where do I go? Anywhere but home, where Mom is so happy even with all those dead people on the TV.

I'll spend the day at the mall.

19: even weirder

I stayed out almost all day yesterday. Today was even stranger.

Mom got on the phone this morning with someone, I'm not sure who. She kept saying, "But you know who did this," and "We'll see some changes now."

I thought she was talking about the sunamee (I'm not sure how to spell that). She talked to another person, then made a third call. Suddenly she was all energy and calls kept coming in.

I asked if she wanted me to get anything from the store, but I don't think she heard me. I'm going to spend another day at the mall.

It's just so creepy that she's happy when all those people are dead.

20: talking to the police

First, it's tsunami. I saw it on a newspaper someone left at the mall.

Second, Mom had some friends over to dinner last night, and gave me cash to go to Mickey D's. (She never does that, so I knew it must be real important to get me out of the house.)

They were still there, drinking and talking, when I came back. I just went to my room to play with Lop.

I can't stand the smell of the cigarettes they smoke, anyway.

This morning there was a pile of beer bottles in the trash, and they had eaten all the left-over turkey roll and cranberry. Mom was still in bed, so I made myself a plain omelet and sat down to eat it in front of the TV.

There was a knock, so I looked through the door and saw two policemen outside. I opened the door, and one said, "Can we come in and talk to your mother?" (He was really nice, he could have called me "kid," but he didn't.)

I said Mom was still asleep, but they could come in and I would go wake her up.

The nice cop said they wanted to talk to me anyway. The other one didn't say anything, just looked like he smelled something bad. He went into the kitchen, and the nice said, "I want to talk to you about Nick Samenthos." I never knew Nick's last name, but I knew who he meant.

I said okay, what did they want to ask?

The nice cop said they were investigating some drug that Nick had, and someone had seen me talking to him just before he died. What could I tell him about that?

I told him about the blue plastic packets and about Nick's whiffing that got him fired from his first job after high school.

Then the other cop came out of the kitchen with a big baggie full of something, and the nice cop went quiet too. Finally he asked me to have Mom come downstairs.

When she did, they arrested her.

So I sat in the police station for most of the morning. Finally they let me come home "to take care of my pets." There is a policewoman downstairs watching TV while I type this.

I don't know where I will be tomorrow.

21: rescued

That was close! I thought I was going to have to give up my kitty and go stay at a home last while Mom was in jail. I talked them into letting me come home to feed Lop, and while I was there, I called everybody I could think of.

Marion's home! When she heard about Mom, she asked her folks, and they came over to talk to the policewoman.

So I can stay with Marion again. It's neat that her mom and dad didn't even ask about Mom, they just wanted to make sure I didn't have to go live in a home somewhere.

I didn't tell them about Lop, I'll just come home every day to feed my kitty.

Marion's mom asked if Mom had "made bale". I told her I didn't know what that was, but she had a party at the house after the tsunami, and the police came the next day to arrest her. Marion's mom just looked at her dad and didn't say anything else.

Anyway, Marion got a couple of neat video games for Christmas, so we went to play them on the computer. I got killed a couple of times, so I went out to the kitchen while Marion played. Her mom was on the phone talking to someone about Mom, so I just hung around to listen.

She said Mom had no way to make bale, and would be in jail over the holiday, and meanwhile I would get to live with them again.

I felt kind of like what Lop must have felt when I found a certain cold, hungry kitty in a garage.

Rescued.

rescued

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15; Day 16; Day 16 part 2; Day 17; Day 18; Day 19; Day 20

Day 21

That was close! I thought I was going to have to give up my kitty and go stay at a home last while Mom was in jail. I talked them into letting me come home to feed Lop, and while I was there, I called everybody I could think of.

Marion's home! When she heard about Mom, she asked her folks, and they came over to talk to the policewoman.

So I can stay with Marion again. It's neat that her mom and dad didn't even ask about Mom, they just wanted to make sure I didn't have to go live in a home somewhere.

I didn't tell them about Lop, I'll just come home every day to feed my kitty.

Marion's mom asked if Mom had "made bale". I told her I didn't know what that was, but she had a party at the house after the tsunami, and the police came the next day to arrest her. Marion's mom just looked at her dad and didn't say anything else.

Anyway, Marion got a couple of neat video games for Christmas, so we went to play them on the computer. I got killed a couple of times, so I went out to the kitchen while Marion played. Her mom was on the phone talking to someone about Mom, so I just hung around to listen.

She said Mom had no way to make bale, and would be in jail over the holiday, and meanwhile I would get to live with them again.

I felt kind of like what Lop must have felt when I found a certain cold, hungry kitty in a garage.

Rescued.

12/28/2004

talking to the police

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15; Day 16; Day 16 part 2; Day 17; Day 18; Day 19

Day 20

First, it's tsunami. I saw it on a newspaper someone left at the mall.

Second, Mom had some friends over to dinner last night, and gave me cash to go to Mickey D's. (She never does that, so I knew it must be real important to get me out of the house.)

They were still there, drinking and talking, when I came back. I just went to my room to play with Lop.

I can't stand the smell of the cigarettes they smoke, anyway.

This morning there was a pile of beer bottles in the trash, and they had eaten all the left-over turkey roll and cranberry. Mom was still in bed, so I made myself a plain omelet and sat down to eat it in front of the TV.

There was a knock, so I looked through the door and saw two policemen outside. I opened the door, and one said, "Can we come in and talk to your mother?" (He was really nice, he could have called me "kid," but he didn't.)

I said Mom was still asleep, but they could come in and I would go wake her up.

The nice cop said they wanted to talk to me anyway. The other one didn't say anything, just looked like he smelled something bad. He went into the kitchen, and the nice said, "I want to talk to you about Nick Samenthos." I never knew Nick's last name, but I knew who he meant.

I said okay, what did they want to ask?

The nice cop said they were investigating some drug that Nick had, and someone had seen me talking to him just before he died. What could I tell him about that?

I told him about the blue plastic packets and about Nick's whiffing that got him fired from his first job after high school.

Then the other cop came out of the kitchen with a big baggie full of something, and the nice cop went quiet too. Finally he asked me to have Mom come downstairs.

When she did, they arrested her.

So I sat in the police station for most of the morning. Finally they let me come home "to take care of my pets." There is a policewoman downstairs watching TV while I type this.

I don't know where I will be tomorrow.

12/27/2004

even weirder

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15; Day 16; Day 16 part 2; Day 17; Day 18

Day 19

I stayed out almost all day yesterday. Today was even stranger.

Mom got on the phone this morning with someone, I'm not sure who. She kept saying, "But you know who did this," and "We'll see some changes now."

I thought she was talking about the sunamee (I'm not sure how to spell that). She talked to another person, then made a third call. Suddenly she was all energy and calls kept coming in.

I asked if she wanted me to get anything from the store, but I don't think she heard me. I'm going to spend another day at the mall.

It's just so creepy that she's happy when all those people are dead.

12/26/2004

tragedy big and small

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15; Day 16; Day 16 part 2; Day 17

Day 18

Mom was washing dishes when I came downstairs this morning. I was so surprised, I just stood there for a long time. She had made hot cereal for herself and was out the pot.

When I said "Hi, Mom!" she just smiled at me and said I had some cereal if I wanted it, in a bowl by the microwave.

She told me she had seen on TV that a giant wave had crashed into India or Vietnam or something, and lots of people were dead. "Right after Christmas!" she said, like it was against the law to have a tidal wave so close to the holiday.

I made an excuse to go over to Jack's and see what he got for Christmas, and left.

On my way, I passed the Jack's church where the party was. Wow, I can hardly believe it was only two nights ago. There was a police car pulled up in front of the church, and two policemen outside, near one side of the church steps.

Nick was sitting on the ground in the corner of the steps and the wall. His skin looked kind of blue, the same color as the plastic packets he had the other day.

I realized he was dead before the cops saw me there.

I kept walking toward Jack's house, wondering if he knew about the dead body.

No one was home at Jack's house. Now where do I go? Anywhere but home, where Mom is so happy even with all those dead people on the TV.

I'll spend the day at the mall.

12/25/2004

christmas

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15; Day 16; Day 16 part 2

Day 17

Mom sounded very strange again this morning while I made breakfast.

I used the turkey roll from last night, and some cheese and eggs to make a fancy omelet, and served it with some cranberry jelly. Mom took one bite, set her plate down, and didn't pick it up again.

It was a good omelet, too. I learned how to make them from Mrs. Armeer who used to live next door.

I gave Mom her present, and she started crying again. It was a weird kind of crying, too, like she didn't really have enough tears or energy any more. It was a little bit scary.

She just held the package on her lap, and let her tears fall onto the wrapping paper.

Finally I reached over and tore the end off the package, and pulled out the gloves. I put them in her lap and went into the kitchen, got some turkey for Lop and came up here.

It feels like I don't have any parents any more. Merry Christmas.

12/24/2004

no dad, no dinner

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15; Day 16

Day 16 part 2

Dad didn't come. Mom is downstairs crying on the sofa again.

I wanted to cry, but I came upstairs to play with Lop instead. I crushed my cat so hard, I got a scratch on my arm!

Lop doesn't like tears in her fur.

i want to sing in a choir

Week 1; Week 2; Day 15

16

Last night was amazing. The church party was a choir recital, then all kinds of Christmas goodies in the church hall.

There must have been 300 people there! I didn't know there were so many people who would leave their families to get together at church on Christmas Eve eve.

Meg said, "Don't be silly, their families are here too."

Jack sings in the church choir, and he said he can get me a try-out next year. I don't have to belong to the church, though he said most of the choir singers do.

Things are starting to turn around for me, I can feel it.

It's almost like Thanksgiving again, and I can list all the things making me happy now: Lop, my friends, Marion's parents, my Dad coming to visit, Mom being okay, and now maybe singing in a choir.

And you. It's been very important to me to have you to talk to.

12/23/2004

almost excited

Week 1; Week 2

Day 15

I learned today that Dad may be here for Christmas Eve dinner. Mom said the doctor had called Dad while Mom was in the hospital. Anyway he didn't promise to be here, but he might be.

I have to decide if I want to show him Lop.

If I show Dad, and Mom finds out, I might have to give up my kitten. But if I don't show him, I have to keep my biggest secret from Dad, and I'm not sure I'm strong enough.

I want to have a Dad again so bad, I sometimes think I will do almost anything to get one.

Oh, Mom said I can go with Jack and Meg to their church Christmas party. That's almost like a present in itself—she usually won't let me go anywhere near a church function!

Meg said she probably wants some time to herself.

Week 2

Week 1
Back to today


8: two times blue

There isn't a color for what I feel today. I heard Marcus has gone to live in Ohio with his cousins. Nobody seems to know what happened to his folks. Marion said she heard they had a big fight about moving somewhere, Marcus' mom threw a plate at his dad, and then they both walked out and left Marcus at home with his sister overnight.

I don't know how Marion finds out this stuff. I used to think it came from her folks, but since I've been living there, I haven't heard either of them say anything about Marcus or his parents.

My Mom is still in the hospital, but I think she might come home tomorrow. But what if she doesn't? Or what if she moves away like Marcus' folks, and I have to go live with my Dad?

I used to think I was safe at home, that whatever else happened in the world there was Mom and me, and it wouldn't change anything inside our house. But now I keep seeing all these outside events making big waves in my life, in Marcus's, even in Marion's.

I don't know anything I can do about it.

9: at home and in trouble

Mom is home from the hospital again, but now she's kind of mad at me because I asked if I could stay with Marion for a few more days. Mom doesn't seem like she's well yet.

When I got to Marion's this afternoon, her mom said Mom was at our house, and I could gather up my things and go home. It was nicer than that, it wasn't like "Get out!" So I called Mom and asked if I could stay one more night.

Mom's voice was really weird, sort of flat and "whatever".

I said I wanted to finish a jigsaw puzzle with Marion, although truthfully it was that I just didn't want to go home. Marion's folks may talk about oddball things at dinner, but they're really nice. I feel safe here.

So I went over to our house, but I left my extra clothes and my books at Marion's so I'd have an excuse to go back. Mom was sitting in front of the TV, just kind of staring into space. The TV wasn't on.

She wouldn't make a decision about dinner, and she looked so strange when I said I left my books over at Marion's that I just said goodnight and walked out of the room. Instead of going to my bedroom, I went out the hall window and down the fire escape.

Marion's mom thinks Mom knows I'm here. I guess I'll be in trouble when Mom notices I'm gone. But who knows when that will happen? I just want to stay somewhere where people don't go off into crying jags and then do things that hurt the people around them.

I'll probably go home tomorrow.

10: word on the street

I saw Nick this afternoon, and remembered how he had lost his job. I wanted ask him what the guy on the TV had to do with it, but he was doing some kind of deal with a really hard guy named PD or Petey.

Marion kept tugging me away from him, so I just waved and went on by.

Mom is still vegged out in the living room. I don't think she ever went to bed last night, so she didn't realize I never slept at home. Tonight I can ask to "sleep-over" with Marion, and maybe she'll say yes.

If not, I'll just slip out again.

This can't last forever, even if it feels like it now. Maybe I'll get used to Mom being so flat and not there. Maybe Dad will call the school and I can go live with him. Maybe Mom will win the lottery.

Maybe I'll quit wishing for the moon.

11: my kitten

I found a kitten today in the carport next door. I'm pretty sure it's a stray. It only has one ear—the other is torn completely off. It makes the kitten look a little evil.

It acted really hungry, so I took some lunchmeat from our fridge and fed it. It only bit my hand twice.

I'm going to call it Lop. I snuck it into my bedroom, and I'll feed it twice a day, once in the morning and once after I get home from school. As long as Mom is busy staring at the ceiling, she'll never notice. Even if she does find out, I can always say, but I've had this kitten for a long time. Don't you remember?

Only problem with this plan is, now I have to live at home. No more sneaking out to stay over at Marion's. Still, with a kitten, I won't mind it so much.

12: shopping for presents

No school this week, we're on "session break". Mom won't let me put up Christmas decorations, and I don't think she's been out of the house to get presents. I got my present early (Lop, my kitten). So I decided to shop for something to cheer her up.

I called Marion, but she didn't answer. I think her family might have gone to visit someone out of state. Anyway, I can go by myself.

It's hard to figure out what to buy for Mom. She doesn't need clothes, and I can't afford anything very expensive. She doesn't read much, so a book won't work. No sense getting her something for the kitchen. Besides, I don't think that will help her get out of the dumps.

What she really needs is a boyfriend, I guess.

I'll find something for Lop while I'm shopping too. Kittens are easier - they love shoestrings and paper bags, and play with dust bunnies. Lop makes this my best Christmas ever!

13: quiet afternoon

Lop is so funny, woke me up this morning chasing a fly in the window. The fly was between the glass and the screen, and couldn't escape, and Lop couldn't reach it. So much buzzing and mewing, and Lop's claws on the glass.

It made me think of the way I felt the other night when I was wishing so hard for something magic or miraculous to save me.

I found out who the man on the TV was that night. He's the President, George Bush. I feel really stupid that I didn't know that, but I didn't. I knew who Scott was that set Mom off, though. I'm not totally ignorant.

I got Mom a new pair of gloves for Christmas, really nice ones with leather on the palm. They're supposed to be driving gloves, but Mom will like them anyway. She can't drive anymore, and we don't have a car anyway. I took off the tag that said "driving gloves" when I took the price tag off.

I got Lop a new shoe-string and a big paper bag from the grocery store on the corner by school. This kitty has a HUGE thing for shoestrings! I can hardly get my shoes tied when Lop is around.

I'll wrap Mom's present for Christmas morning, but I won't make Lop wait. Kitties don't understand waiting or Christmas—and the longer it is until Mom finds out about Lop, the better.

Oh, I got some kitty food at the grocery too, so the bag will smell just right to Lop.

14: downtown blues

I forgot to tell you what happened yesterday when I went shopping. I saw Nick again. He looked really sick, leaning against a wall downtown, and Marion wasn't with me. So I went up to talk to him.

"Are you all right?" I asked him. He had some kind of blue stuff in his hand, and he just sort of slid down the wall til he was sitting on the sidewalk.

I got scared that he was really sick, but then he started giggling. "I got a Christmas present." He showed me the blue plastic packets he was holding.

I guess Marion was right. He's not anybody I want to talk to.

12/22/2004

downtown blues

Week 1; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10; Day 11; Day 12; Day 13

Day 14

I forgot to tell you what happened yesterday when I went shopping. I saw Nick again. He looked really sick, leaning against a wall downtown, and Marion wasn't with me. So I went up to talk to him.

"Are you all right?" I asked him. He had some kind of blue stuff in his hand, and he just sort of slid down the wall til he was sitting on the sidewalk.

I got scared that he was really sick, but then he started giggling. "I got a Christmas present." He showed me the blue plastic packets he was holding.

I guess Marion was right. He's not anybody I want to talk to.

12/21/2004

quiet afternoon

Week 1; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10; Day 11; Day 12

Day 13

Lop is so funny, woke me up this morning chasing a fly in the window. The fly was between the glass and the screen, and couldn't escape, and Lop couldn't reach it. So much buzzing and mewing, and Lop's claws on the glass.

It made me think of the way I felt the other night when I was wishing so hard for something magic or miraculous to save me.

I found out who the man on the TV was that night. He's the President, George Bush. I feel really stupid that I didn't know that, but I didn't. I knew who Scott was that set Mom off, though. I'm not totally ignorant.

I got Mom a new pair of gloves for Christmas, really nice ones with leather on the palm. They're supposed to be driving gloves, but Mom will like them anyway. She can't drive anymore, and we don't have a car anyway. I took off the tag that said "driving gloves" when I took the price tag off.

I got Lop a new shoe-string and a big paper bag from the grocery store on the corner by school. This kitty has a HUGE thing for shoestrings! I can hardly get my shoes tied when Lop is around.

I'll wrap Mom's present for Christmas morning, but I won't make Lop wait. Kitties don't understand waiting or Christmas—and the longer it is until Mom finds out about Lop, the better.

Oh, I got some kitty food at the grocery too, so the bag will smell just right to Lop.

12/20/2004

shopping for presents

Week 1; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10; Day 11

Day 12

No school this week, we're on "session break". Mom won't let me put up Christmas decorations, and I don't think she's been out of the house to get presents. I got my present early (Lop, my kitten). So I decided to shop for something to cheer her up.

I called Marion, but she didn't answer. I think her family might have gone to visit someone out of state. Anyway, I can go by myself.

It's hard to figure out what to buy for Mom. She doesn't need clothes, and I can't afford anything very expensive. She doesn't read much, so a book won't work. No sense getting her something for the kitchen. Besides, I don't think that will help her get out of the dumps.

What she really needs is a boyfriend, I guess.

I'll find something for Lop while I'm shopping too. Kittens are easier - they love shoestrings and paper bags, and play with dust bunnies. Lop makes this my best Christmas ever!

12/19/2004

my kitten

Week 1; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10

Day 11

I found a kitten today in the carport next door. I'm pretty sure it's a stray. It only has one ear—the other is torn completely off. It makes the kitten look a little evil.

It acted really hungry, so I took some lunchmeat from our fridge and fed it. It only bit my hand twice.

I'm going to call it Lop. I snuck it into my bedroom, and I'll feed it twice a day, once in the morning and once after I get home from school. As long as Mom is busy staring at the ceiling, she'll never notice. Even if she does find out, I can always say, but I've had this kitten for a long time. Don't you remember?

Only problem with this plan is, now I have to live at home. No more sneaking out to stay over at Marion's. Still, with a kitten, I won't mind it so much.

12/18/2004

word on the street

Week 1; Day 8; Day 9

Day 10

I saw Nick this afternoon, and remembered how he had lost his job. I wanted ask him what the guy on the TV had to do with it, but he was doing some kind of deal with a really hard guy named PD or Petey.

Marion kept tugging me away from him, so I just waved and went on by.

Mom is still vegged out in the living room. I don't think she ever went to bed last night, so she didn't realize I never slept at home. Tonight I can ask to "sleep-over" with Marion, and maybe she'll say yes.

If not, I'll just slip out again.

This can't last forever, even if it feels like it now. Maybe I'll get used to Mom being so flat and not there. Maybe Dad will call the school and I can go live with him. Maybe Mom will win the lottery.

Maybe I'll quit wishing for the moon.

12/17/2004

at home and in trouble

Week 1; Day 8

Day 9

Mom is home from the hospital again, but now she's kind of mad at me because I asked if I could stay with Marion for a few more days. Mom doesn't seem like she's well yet.

When I got to Marion's this afternoon, her mom said Mom was at our house, and I could gather up my things and go home. It was nicer than that, it wasn't like "Get out!" So I called Mom and asked if I could stay one more night.

Mom's voice was really weird, sort of flat and "whatever".

I said I wanted to finish a jigsaw puzzle with Marion, although truthfully it was that I just didn't want to go home. Marion's folks may talk about oddball things at dinner, but they're really nice. I feel safe here.

So I went over to our house, but I left my extra clothes and my books at Marion's so I'd have an excuse to go back. Mom was sitting in front of the TV, just kind of staring into space. The TV wasn't on.

She wouldn't make a decision about dinner, and she looked so strange when I said I left my books over at Marion's that I just said goodnight and walked out of the room. Instead of going to my bedroom, I went out the hall window and down the fire escape.

Marion's mom thinks Mom knows I'm here. I guess I'll be in trouble when Mom notices I'm gone. But who knows when that will happen? I just want to stay somewhere where people don't go off into crying jags and then do things that hurt the people around them.

I'll probably go home tomorrow.

12/16/2004

two times blue

Week 1

Day 8

There isn't a color for what I feel today. I heard Marcus has gone to live in Ohio with his cousins. Nobody seems to know what happened to his folks. Marion said she heard they had a big fight about moving somewhere, Marcus' mom threw a plate at his dad, and then they both walked out and left Marcus at home with his sister overnight.

I don't know how Marion finds out this stuff. I used to think it came from her folks, but since I've been living there, I haven't heard either of them say anything about Marcus or his parents.

My Mom is still in the hospital, but I think she might come home tomorrow. But what if she doesn't? Or what if she moves away like Marcus' folks, and I have to go live with my Dad?

I used to think I was safe at home, that whatever else happened in the world there was Mom and me, and it wouldn't change anything inside our house. But now I keep seeing all these outside events making big waves in my life, in Marcus's, even in Marion's.

I don't know anything I can do about it.

Week 1

Back to today

1: what I see doesn't match what I learn

There's a really nice looking man on the TV tonight. Mom says he's evil. The TV 'caster says he's letting "our guys" die. George down the block says his brother Nick lost his job and his girlfriend because of him.

I don't know about our guys or evil, but I know the girl Nick was hangin' with last year in school, she's a real skank and he's better off without her. Not sure about his job, though. Maybe it had something to do with his beer-and-a-whiff habit.

The man on the TV looks like I wish my Dad looked when he was here.

I go to school most days, when I can't think of anything better to do. Mom says I'll never amount to anything without graduating, but then I see the hard boys in their hard cars, and I know that isn't true. It all depends on what you're willin' to do. For now, I'm willin' to go to school. Most days.

I talked to a guy on the Web last night, all huffed to think he was connected with a hot chickie who could take him somewhere. I wish it was true.

As long as Mom doesn't care what I do, I'm just gonna throw the question out there. Is there anything real? Maybe we just wish our way into the good stuff, wish really hard and sharp with all the might there is. If I knew how, what would I really want to be true?

I'd like to be safe in bed somewhere else, somewhere outside the maze. Maybe the beloved daughter of that nice man on the TV.

I'm wishing.

2: wiping the board with my sleeve

Okay, today wasn't too bad. Until lunchtime anyway. I had my assignments done for once, and my first-hour teacher (science) let me skip the whole 50-minute hour because I told her my religion didn't allow me to dissect frogs. I'll be okay until she talks to my Mom and finds out we're officially atheists.

Hey, Marion said we could even sue the school for letting me out of something due to religion, like it's not supposed to make any difference. Marion knows all kind of things because she went to Hawaii once and hung out with a lot of older surfer chickies. I listen really close when Marion talks, maybe I'll learn something.

Lunchtime was gudawful, though. First the monitors said I had to take off my hat in the lunchroom, and I didn't know the whole back of my hair was sticking straight up like I got jacked into the wall or somethin'. Then I had to listen to this table of guys from my first-hour talk about their frogs. Like I could even handle that at lunch.

Then it got quiet, because Marcus started crying all of a sudden, just sobbing right there at the table. His buds tried to find out what was wrong, but he just started hitting at them, and finally the monitors took him away.

I asked Marion what's that about, and she said I dunno, and we tried to eat our food, but it just didn't taste right any more.

I wonder if Marcus will be in school tomorrow?

3: cell phone scamming for dirty old men

Went to the mall food court today with Jack, Marion and Meg for a round of ear surfing. Nothing good going on—we changed tables three times and didn't hear anything better than the results of Survivor and some guy talking about his spam problems. Nothing like that day we overheard the lady telling her teenie daughter how to have sex without getting pregnant. That was a classic!

Marion thought there would be more people talking about the election, she keeps going on about red state/blue state until I'm crazy with it. She says Hawaii is blue, so it must be the coolest way to vote. I listened as long as I could stand, then told her my Mom didn't even vote. It isn't because she couldn't, either, I told her. Nobody stopped her or anything, she just didn't figure one little vote would make any difference.

I think Mom just didn't want to spend the time. I mean, this is someone who every other day turns her panties inside out to save the two seconds it would take to get a clean pair out of the drawer. Really!

Instead of starting Marion off on a tirade, though, she got all quiet when a guy sat down next to us and whipped out his cell phone. Marion whispers, Can we move to another table? So, okay, we moved, but when she sat down again, she doesn't want us to listen to anyone else.

She says, I gotta tell you guys what happened to me last night. I went to the big grocery store just down the hill from my house, right? And I was checking out the cheap DVDs they have when I hear this guy saying, You're really beautiful, you're really hot. I look and it's this nasty old guy standing right behind me, close-close. But he's talkin' on his cell phone.

I think, He's saying that to whoever's on the phone with him. But he looks me right in the eye, licks his old dry lips and covers the phone with his fingers, and says it again. Meantime he's bumping his hip against his cart, gradually getting it curved around so it's touching the DVD stand in front of me, and he's kinda like pinning me against the stand.

Marion looks really mad, and I wonder what she did to blow this guy away. But she surprised me - she said she figured there was no way to protest. If she called the manager on him, he could just claim she misunderstood what he said to the girl who was on the phone. Meanwhile, he was playing one girl against another in his mind, probably all over the store.

Jack said maybe she could get an air-horn and blow it really loud next to his other ear. I say I think that might get her in more trouble than the guy. We all sympathized, but no one really has an answer.

4: six feet below sad

I just learned my Granpa is dead. It turns out he actually died several weeks ago, but nobody thought I would need to know. Why!?

I don't mean why did he die—he was 95 or something, according to Mom. I mean why didn't they think I would want to know. He was my Dad's dad, and we don't speak to them any more says Mom. For one thing she says, he was an ornery old man who kept her from being happy with Dad. For another, he didn't leave us anything.

I can't find the words to say how angry I am at her and Dad. Didn't leave us anything? HE LEFT ME ALONE!

Mom never knew, I guess, that I used to call Granpa every year just before Christmas. I was trying to call Dad, the first year, but Granpa answered the phone. I don't even remember what we said, but we talked for almost half an hour. At the end of the call he said, don't ever forget I love you Born. You're my granddaughter.

Sometimes I would have a bad day at school, or an argument with Mom, and I would think, Granpa loves me. I'm part of his family. It made me happy.

I wish I had met him in person. I could have told him that before he died.

5: thinking of happier things

I came home from school today and found Mom in tears with the TV set on. They're gonna kill him, she said. Who? That Scott, she said, the guy who killed his wife.

I think, so why are you crying, Mom? Do you know him? Did you know the wife he killed? But I don't ask her, because suddenly I know why she's crying. It's because when Dad left, it was like she died. So in a way she feels like Scott and Dad are the same.

Mom's not clear on a lot of things that are real, but unpleasant.

I went up to my room to read. I checked out a nice book from the school library today, The Menace from Earth. So while Mom was crying, I was thinking about flying on the Moon.

6: why I can't go home again

I came downstairs this morning and found Mom passed out on the floor. I called 911 and went to school. In second hour, they had me come to the office to say, your Mom will be in the hospital for a few days, do you have any family you can stay with?

I explained that my Granpa is dead, and I don't know how to get ahold of my Dad.

So tonight I'm staying with Marion. I had to wait until she was totally asleep before I could write this post. I'm afraid I will wind up a foster child. I'm worried about Mom because they won't let me visit her in ICU.

Marion's Mom and Dad are interesting, though. They talk about all kinds of things at night, now I know where Marion gets it. Tonight they were talking about election fraud and the way the yuro is beating the dollar. I was too shy to ask about it, and Marion kept trying to change the subject to Mom and Marcus. Marcus didn't come back to school yet.

She told me after we went to bed that she thinks Mom and Marcus have the same problem. I don't know. They did start by crying a lot, though.

Why am I not crying? I must be missing something.

7: more than tears in this

I got to see Mom at the hospital tonight. They moved her from ICU, but they still are watching her pretty close because they said she tried to kill herself.

She was mostly asleep while I was there. She woke up for a minute and saw me and started crying again, so the nurse came in and gave her a shot, and she went back to sleep.

I stayed for another hour, but she never woke up again while I was there.

They're trying to get hold of my Dad because they said I should be staying with my own family right now. I hope they don't find his number—Marion's house feels a lot safer to me than my own house ever did. Maybe it's her Mom and Dad, they just don't seem as crazy to me.

Marion says I should wait and see, her folks are just as goofy as anyone's.

12/15/2004

more than tears in this

Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4; Day 5; Day 6

Day 7

I got to see Mom at the hospital tonight. They moved her from ICU, but they still are watching her pretty close because they said she tried to kill herself.

She was mostly asleep while I was there. She woke up for a minute and saw me and started crying again, so the nurse came in and gave her a shot, and she went back to sleep.

I stayed for another hour, but she never woke up again while I was there.

They're trying to get hold of my Dad because they said I should be staying with my own family right now. I hope they don't find his number—Marion's house feels a lot safer to me than my own house ever did. Maybe it's her Mom and Dad, they just don't seem as crazy to me.

Marion says I should wait and see, her folks are just as goofy as anyone's.

12/14/2004

why I can't go home again

Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4; Day 5

Day 6

I came downstairs this morning and found Mom passed out on the floor. I called 911 and went to school. In second hour, they had me come to the office to say, your Mom will be in the hospital for a few days, do you have any family you can stay with?

I explained that my Granda is dead, and I don't know how to get ahold of my Dad.

So tonight I'm staying with Marion. I had to wait until she was totally asleep before I could write this post. I'm afraid I will wind up a foster child. I'm worried about Mom because they won't let me visit her in ICU.

Marion's Mom and Dad are interesting, though. They talk about all kinds of things at night, now I know where Marion gets it. Tonight they were talking about election fraud and the way the yuro is beating the dollar. I was too shy to ask about it, and Marion kept trying to change the subject to Mom and Marcus. Marcus didn't come back to school yet.

She told me after we went to bed that she thinks Mom and Marcus have the same problem. I don't know. They did start by crying a lot, though.

Why am I not crying? I must be missing something.

12/13/2004

thinking of happier things

Day 1; Day 2; Day 3; Day 4

Day 5

I came home from school today and found Mom in tears with the TV set on. They're gonna kill him, she said. Who? That Scott, she said, the guy who killed his wife.

I think, so why are you crying, Mom? Do you know him? Did you know the wife he killed? But I don't ask her, because suddenly I know why she's crying. It's because when Dad left, she died. So in a way she feels like Scott and Dad are the same.

Mom's not clear on a lot of things that are real, but unpleasant.

I went up to my room to read. I checked out a nice book from the school library today, The Menace from Earth. So while Mom was crying, I was thinking about flying on the Moon.

12/12/2004

six feet below sad

Day 1; Day 2; Day 3

Day 4

I just learned my Granpa is dead. It turns out he actually died several weeks ago, but nobody thought I would need to know. Why!?

I don't mean why did he die—he was 95 or something, according to Mom. I mean why didn't they think I would want to know. He was my Dad's dad, and we don't speak to them any more says Mom. For one thing she says, he was an ornery old man who kept her from being happy with Dad. For another, he didn't leave us anything.

I can't find the words to say how angry I am at her and Dad. Didn't leave us anything? HE LEFT ME ALONE!

Mom never knew, I guess, that I used to call Granpa every year just before Christmas. I was trying to call Dad, the first year, but Granpa answered the phone. I don't even remember what we said, but we talked for almost half an hour. At the end of the call he said, don't every forget I love you Born. You're my granddaughter.

Sometimes I would have a bad day at school, or an argument with Mom, and I would think, Granpa loves me. I'm part of his family. It made me happy.

I wish I had met him in person. I could have told him that before he died.

12/11/2004

cell phone scamming for dirty old men

Day 1; Day 2

Day 3

Went to the mall food court today with Jack, Marion and Meg for a round of ear surfing. Nothing good going on—we changed tables three times and didn't hear anything better than the results of Survivor and some guy talking about his spam problems. Nothing like that day we overheard the lady telling her teenie daughter how to have sex without getting pregnant. That was a classic!

Marion thought there would be more people talking about the election, she keeps going on about red state/blue state until I'm crazy with it. She says Hawaii is blue, so it must be the coolest way to vote. I listened as long as I could stand, then told her my Mom didn't even vote. It isn't because she couldn't, either, I told her. Nobody stopped her or anything, she just didn't figure one little vote would make any difference.

I think Mom just didn't want to spend the time. I mean, this is someone who every other day turns her panties inside out to save the two seconds it would take to get a clean pair out of the drawer. Really!

Instead of starting Marion off on a tirade, though, she got all quiet when a guy sat down next to us and whipped out his cell phone. Marion whispers, Can we move to another table? So, okay, we moved, but when she sat down again, she doesn't want us to listen to anyone else.

She says, I gotta tell you guys what happened to me last night. I went to the big grocery store just down the hill from my house, right? And I was checking out the cheap DVDs they have when I hear this guy saying, You're really beautiful, you're really hot. I look and it's this nasty old guy standing right behind me, close-close. But he's talkin' on his cell phone.

I think, He's saying that to whoever's on the phone with him. But he looks me right in the eye, licks his old dry lips and covers the phone with his fingers, and says it again. Meantime he's bumping his hip against his cart, gradually getting it curved around so it's touching the DVD stand in front of me, and he's kinda like pinning me against the stand.

Marion looks really mad, and I wonder what she did to blow this guy away. But she surprised me - she said she figured there was no way to protest. If she called the manager on him, he could just claim she misunderstood what he said to the girl who was on the phone. Meanwhile, he was playing one girl against another in his mind, probably all over the store.

Jack said maybe she could get an air-horn and blow it really loud next to his other ear. I say I think that might get her in more trouble than the guy. We all sympathized, but no one really has an answer.

12/10/2004

wiping the board with my sleeve

Day 1

Day 2

Okay, today wasn't too bad. Until lunchtime anyway. I had my assignments done for once, and my first-hour teacher (science) let me skip the whole 50-minute hour because I told her my religion didn't allow me to dissect frogs. I'll be okay until she talks to my Mom and finds out we're officially atheists.

Hey, Marion said we could even sue the school for letting me out of something due to religion, like it's not supposed to make any difference. Marion knows all kind of things because she went to Hawaii once and hung out with a lot of older surfer chickies. I listen really close when Marion talks, maybe I'll learn something.

Lunchtime was gudawful, though. First the monitors said I had to take off my hat in the lunchroom, and I didn't know the whole back of my hair was sticking straight up like I got jacked into the wall or somethin'. Then I had to listen to this table of guys from my first-hour talk about their frogs. Like I could even handle that at lunch.

Then it got quiet, because Marcus started crying all of a sudden, just sobbing right there at the table. His buds tried to find out what was wrong, but he just started hitting at them, and finally the monitors took him away.

I asked Marion what's that about, and she said I dunno, and we tried to eat our food, but it just didn't taste right any more.

I wonder if Marcus will be in school tomorrow?

12/09/2004

what I see doesn't match what I learn

Day 1

There's a really nice looking man on the TV tonight. Mom says he's evil. The TV 'caster says he's letting "our guys" die. George down the block says his brother Nick lost his job and his girlfriend because of him.

I don't know about our guys or evil, but I know the girl Nick was hangin' with last year in school, she's a real skank and he's better off without her. Not sure about his job, though. Maybe it had something to do with his beer-and-a-whiff habit.

The man on the TV looks like I wish my Dad looked when he was here.

I go to school most days, when I can't think of anything better to do. Mom says I'll never amount to anything without graduating, but then I see the hard boys in their hard cars, and I know that isn't true. It all depends on what you're willin' to do. For now, I'm willin' to go to school. Most days.

I talked to a guy on the Web last night, all huffed to think he was connected with a hot chickie who could take him somewhere. I wish it was true.

As long as Mom doesn't care what I do, I'm just gonna throw the question out there. Is there anything real? Maybe we just wish our way into the good stuff, wish really hard and sharp with all the might there is. If I knew how, what would I really want to be true?

I'd like to be safe in bed somewhere else, somewhere outside the maze. Maybe the beloved daughter of that nice man on the TV.

I'm wishing.