Journaled on 01/23/1990

Operation Dessert Storm is a week old. [Sic.]

I gave Kev a lift home. He lives on the Fort. Driving into and through the Fort is normally a piece of cake. But this time, at the gate, a guard with an M16 around his shoulder pointed to the parking lot ten feet away. That was as far as I could go. Kev told me about a Chevy that went further. It was a small Chevy and it blew past the gate. Three guards opened fire until it stopped. Somehow, the driver was not injured, but the Chevy was riddled. Does Allstate cover a military assault?

I couldn’t solve the last four problems of my algebra final, so I looked up from my desk and gazed over the gym—the structure of it, the rows of desks, the risers, the scoreboard, the banners, the painted sports figures on the wall, the large chart of record breaking track and field athletes. A voice in my head kept saying, “This is your school. Make of it what you want.” But I feel like I’ve failed my school—and myself. Anyway, I’ve never felt the sense that I belonged in this place, or in this town, or in this state, or in this country, or even in this hemisphere, or on this planet, or in this galaxy, or in this time, or in this reality. I’m all wrong for all of it. Either I’m a hundred years too late or a hundred years too early. Or a thousand years too early. Or a hundred thousand years too early. But not more than a hundred years too late. 

One more final to go. I want to write a play about Laser Tag. So I quit studying Environmental Science and started reading KoL’s twenty-paged paper on the “L.T. Wars.” I don’t know how the play would begin or how to make it interesting, or even comprehensible to an audience. I do know how it would sound, though.  

Dinner at Arby’s with Matt. I’m one bite into my Beef ‘n Cheddar when he starts in on what it’s like to suck a girl’s breasts. They get hard, he tells me. I lose my appetite. I never want to eat with him again. Arby’s is like a temple to me. It’s a sacred place. 

This was the night we ran out of popcorn and Diet Coke, and the CO2 compressor broke (translation: no fizz for any of the soft drinks). Then Fred left a batch of popcorn in the popper to burn. This stunk the whole place up, not just the lobby. At least 30 people came out to ask what was on fire. One guy wanted me, or somebody, to go stand in front of the screen—right in the middle of the movie—and yell out that everything was OK. Instead, Big D. cracked all of the exit doors open. People complained about the cold. So Big D. closed the doors. The entire building still smelled of charred popcorn the next day, so we propped open every door before we opened for business. I ripped tickets with my coat, hat, and gloves on—which was a challenge (with the gloves).  

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