Childhood Journals

Last week, I was going through some of my belongings in my childhood bedroom and I happened to stumble upon a journal from my youth. My curiosity piqued, I immediately sat down and read my childhood thoughts, expecting equal parts nostalgia and entertainment. The following are some of the most interesting excerpts I found during my journey back through childhood. These excerpts are word for word and have not been altered in any way.

November 4, 1987
Today I made everybody laugh when stinky Tommy Henderson walked in and I said "What's up, Poopie King?" Brad Taylor laughed so hard, he even peed his pants. Luckily, his mom doesn't think he's emotionally ready for real underpants and makes him wear a diaper, so there wasn't a big mess. I have a feeling that the diaper thing is going to be a source of some serious issues with Brad. Later, Zac, the fastest kid in school, said that I was "pretty cool." I'm going to see if he wants to come over to play G.I. Joe and be my best friend tomorrow.

November 5, 1987
Tommy Henderson punched me in the arm today and called me a "Poopie Head." What the hell is his problem? I never did anything to him. Jeez. And what's with that language? Poopie is such an immature word. Poopie. Haha. That's gold!

December 25, 1987
Today might just be the greatest day in my life. It was even better than the time Pop pop and me ate a bowl of ice cream before dinner and then he let me stay up until 9 p.m. while we watched Scooby Doo. It's Christmas and even though I don't remember last year or the one before that, I know this year is the best one. I got a new teddy bear and I'm going to call him Baby, because I'm not the baby anymore, he is. I feel kind of bad about getting rid of my old teddy bear, Teddy. But Baby is so cool. Teddy was falling apart anyway. His stuffing was coming out of his stomach and his left eye was always falling out and dangling by a thread. I don't want to look at that. Baby is shiny and so soft. I love Baby.

January 11, 1988
It's been a week since I lost Baby and I've haven't been this upset since the time I got yelled at for teaching my baby cousin how to fall down the steps. We only spent 10 days together, but they were wonderful. He would pretend to be an evil villain or my sidekick or whatever I wanted. I just feel so alone since Baby's gone. I guess now I know how Teddy felt. Maybe I shouldn't have thrown him away so carelessly. What am I doing? I can't just keep looking for happiness in the arms of a stuffed bear. I have to find the happiness inside of me before I can share it with another. I want my Baby back.

February 14, 1988
Today was the best day ever. Jamie Tomkins, the cutest girl in glass, kicked me in the shins today. I don't know how it happened. We were just sitting on the swings and all of a sudden she kissed me. Then she kicked me and ran away. The kiss was gross, but man, that girl can kick! I think I may end up marrying her. Next time we play kickball, I'm going to pick her first. Well, not first first, but first of the girls. I'm not picking a girl first. That's just crazy.

February 15, 1988
Today is the worst day ever. I went out to recess and walked over to Jamie to say hi. But she was punching Brad Taylor in the stomach. The diaper guy. What did I do wrong? Why wasn't I the one she was punching? Was it because I cried when she kicked me yesterday? I was just trying to show her my sensitive side. And where does she get off punching him in the stomach? That's second base! I only got kicked in the legs. What a tramp. I'm just so confused, I don't know what I'm feeling. I asked her best-friend-for-life, Jenny Simmons, to push me in the mud or spit on me or something to make Jamie jealous. But she said something about not being a whore and that she wouldn't be ready to be used like that until she was 17. Just my luck.

March 21, 1987
I think I failed my shapes test today. Who gives a damn what the difference between a circle and a rectangle is? I hate math. I want to be Superman when I grow up and Superman doesn't need math.

April 15, 1988
Today is my 6th birthday. God, I feel old. It seems like just yesterday I was 5. Where does the time go? We were playing tag at recess today and the whole time something was bothering me. I ran and ran and I just couldn't figure out what it was. At the end, Mrs. Clapper gave me a gold star for making it through the entire recess without being "it." Afterwards, I just stood in the schoolyard, staring at my reward. Then I realized what it was that had been bothering me. I'm six years old and I've practically made a career out of running away. What am I running from? My fears, I suppose. I decided then and there that I can't keep running away from my problems. I have to confront them head on and be in control. I must be the one who is "it." That's the only way I can get some direction back in my life. I decided to share my thoughts with my best friend Will Patterson. See, he was "it" for an entire recess period last week. He told me something I'll never forget:

"I'd never felt so helpless before that day. I ran and ran in every direction, but nothing I did mattered. I couldn't catch anybody, not even 'Diaper Boy Brad.' All of the other kids were just laughing at me. It made me stop and think. What is it that I'm chasing after anyway? False hopes? Empty dreams? I just keep going around and around aimlessly; without direction. Maybe I'm not really the one doing the chasing here. Maybe I'm really running away from something. It could be anything. The point is, I realized then and there that something had to change."

I immediately realized what a complete freak Will is. The kid really has problems. I can't be friends with some overly emotional, analytical jackass. Everybody was watching us as he said this, so I pushed him on the ground, stepped on his chest and proclaimed myself, "King of the Will." Everybody laughed like bastards. Then we went and played tag.

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