Reggie's Journal
Entry #7
Okay, I just got in from school. This has been a wild day. You have to understand
something, the class I’m in, we NEVER get into any trouble. The teacher can leave
the room for the entire period and we’ll sit quietly and do the work. I mean, we
NEVER get into any trouble. So when Abe called Sarah the ‘B’ word yesterday, it was
like a major event. It’s the first time anyone in our class has gotten into any trouble
since about the third grade when Kyle threw a snowball at Jennifer while we were at
recess. Even James who gets a little wild at times knows just how far to push a
teacher’s buttons before he backs off and acts like a normal person again. Of course
we voted in the 7th grade if he was normal, and we decided he wasn’t. hehe.
Anyway, first, Abe came to  Mr. Byrd’s class late. I think he was trying to avoid
talking to any of us, especially Sarah. He didn’t have a late pass, so Mr. Byrd sent
him to the office to get one. Normally, I don’t think he would have done it, but I
guess the word is out that Abe is some kind of a degenerate because he called Sarah
the ‘B’ word. Then when he returns to class with a late pass, he walked over and
threw it on Mr. Byrd’s desk. He didn’t lay it down, he threw it at him and stormed
over to his seat. You should have seen Mr. Byrd’s face turn red when he did it. So
he calls Abe up to the front of the class and tells him to apologize to him for his rude
behavior. Everyone looked at Abe to see what he would do. And he sat there. It  
didn’t help the situation when Sarah started giggling at him. I felt sorry for Abe
because it was obvious he didn’t know what to do. If it had been me, I probably
would have peed my pants with everyone staring at me. This went on for about a
minute, and to me it seemed like an hour. I’m sure to Abe it seemed like a century.
So Mr. Byrd asked Abe to go out into the hall and wait for him. Abe got up and when
he walked past me, I swear to God he looked like he was going to cry. I looked over
at Cory, and he seemed to be thinking the same thing. He gave me this sort of sad
frown. Mr. Byrd told us to get out our journals and spend the remaining time writing
in them.  I bet if I went around the room, everyone is writing about what just
happened just like me. They’ve been out of the room for about 10 minutes. Mr. Byrd
probably took him down to the office. By now Abe has probably been suspended.
That would be a big... Hold on Mr. Byrd just came in. Abe’s following him and it looks
like he’s been crying. The bell is going to ring in a couple of minutes, so I’ll try to find
out what happened.

Okay, I’m writing this before dinner. I’ve got too much homework tonight to do.
Besides finishing a report for my history class, Mrs. Reynolds gave us a geometry
assignment that’s going to take me most of the night to complete. Urgggggghhh!    
I’m starting to really hate school. And if that’s not enough, Elizabeth told me today
that the first training session for the crisis center is Wednesday at 6. She said it will
last about 2 ½ hours. Just great. That’s all I need to complicate my life even more.
Beside cutting into my homework time, I have to talk Dad or Mom into taking me and
picking me up. I haven’t mentioned the community service project to them yet, so I
guess I’ll have to do that at dinner.

Anyway, I wanted to write about Abe and Sarah while I have a few minutes. This has
been a really interesting day for our class. We finally had something to talk about
other than teachers and school work, and did we ever talk. Hehe. The pressure was
on me because I think I’m the only person who knew what was going on, unless
Sarah told Stephanie, which I’m sure she did. Do you know what it’s like to know
something that no one else knows and then listen to all the wild speculations? But I
promised Abe I wouldn’t tell anyone. Cory guessed around 3rd period I knew, but he
didn’t try to guilt me into telling him. So finally the rumor became either Abe or
Sarah was flirting with someone else. Most betted that it was Abe. Last week
someone saw him talking to an underclassman, so he probably cheated on Sarah
over the weekend and dated this new girl. I was kind of relieved because that was a
better reason than the real one.

At lunch Abe asked me to sit alone with him at a table away from our other friends.
James and Cory tried to join us, but Abe asked them politely if we could be alone.
They gave me a weird look and left. Naturally, they pestered me the rest of the day
to tell them what Abe talked about. I’ve got my own problems, but I’m glad I’m not
Abe. His are even worse. I guess over the weekend, Sarah told her mother what
they did. Her mother called Abe’s father and told him what they did. Abe is now
grounded until he’s like 50 years old. I’d die if my parents knew I was having sex
with someone, especially since I’m 15 going on 16. Abe and Sarah are already both
16, but I think it is probably still too young. I guess their actions prove that. Since
both of them regret what they did, they shouldn’t have done it to begin with. But    
it’s too late now. One thing I learned, once you give up the V, you can’t take it back.
That was Abe’s words, not mine. I still   don’t understand, though, is how they
cared enough for each other to do IT, but now they hate each other after they did
IT. He said he was going to try and make up with her, but then she told her mother
about IT. Now he hates her because his parents know. He said it may be years
before they trust him again. Now he can’t drive by himself unless one of his parents
or younger brother is with him. So I guess that’s why he called her the ‘B’ word. He
made me promise not to tell anyone, but I think some girls in our class already know
the story. On the bus home, Elizabeth called Abe a cad. When I asked her why, she
just said all boys are cads and wouldn’t explain. I also asked him what happened
when he and Mr. Byrd went out into the hall. He said he started crying and shaking
so bad that Mr. Byrd had to hold him up so he wouldn’t fall down. He said he kind of
told him what happened, and Mr. Byrd gave him some good advice. He also said he
couldn’t just let his rude actions pass without some sort of punishment. So when he
gets done serving detention with Mr. Bowers, he has to serve two more with Mr.
Byrd. Poor guy. So we kind of hung out for the rest of the day. By the end of 6th
period, I think some of our classmates were beginning to think that the reason he
broke up with Sarah was so he could date me. If they only knew. Hehe.   Mom’s
calling me down for dinner. I have to talk one of them into giving me a ride
Wednesday. Wish me luck.
                              
IF I’M NOT BACK IN FIVE MINUTES....
                                            WAIT LONGER.

Okay. I’m back. It’s Thursday night, and I’m drained. I’ve been so busy the past
couple of days I haven’t hardly had time to take a pee, much less write in this stupid
thing. I’m glad I’m a few days ahead, or I’d definitely be behind.

I think I’m going to hate doing that crisis thing- probably to about the 569th power.
I had to attend the first training session last night. Two and a half hours of pure
boredom. First, I had to sit down with one of the social workers and talk with her.
She was a middle-aged woman whose face would probably crack if she smiled. She
must have been at least 40, and she was extremely thin. She kind of looked like one
of the crack heads who wander around at the mall asking people for spare change.    
I’m not sure they are crack heads, but Cory told me they were. The first time he told
me that, I thought that he meant they had a head injury. I didn’t want to appear
dumb, so I waited until I got home to google it. Now I can’t understand how
someone would do something that is addictive and messes up their life. I guess I
better write about that later because I’m supposed to be talking about what
happened last night.

Anyway, she said her name was Mrs. Armstrong, and she was a psychologist with
the county. She wanted to know why I was interested in volunteering, and I told her
the truth- I had to. She really didn’t seem to like that answer. She said that
volunteers for the crisis center should be committed to helping others. At first, I
thought she was going to let me leave, but then we talked a little more. She liked the
fact that I was a boy. I think that’s the only reason she let me stay. She said all the
other volunteers are girls. She said they get quite a few calls from boys to the Teen
Line, but they hang up when they find out they can’t talk to a guy about their
problems. She thinks that they may be calling about girl problems, and they think
another girl will side with the girl he’s having problems with. She’s probably right. I
know that the girls in my class always stick together, even if they know that they are
wrong. Just last week Beverly told Clarise about a problem she was having with
Stanley. Wait a minute. I’m doing it again. Hold on. Let me go get something to
drink and then I’ll finish.

Okay. Back. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Anyway, Mrs. Armstrong started to like me
about 20 minutes into the interview. But it got really weird before that. She started
asking me questions about my sexuality. Things like if I have a girlfriend, if I date,
things like that. She said that most of the calls that come into the Teen Line deal
with boyfriend or girlfriend problems. She seemed disappointed that I didn’t date.
Then she asked me what I thought about gay people, and I guess I kind of blushed
and got all frustrated when I tried to tell her I thought gay people were all right. She
then kind of smiled and leaned forward and almost asked me in a whisper so that no
one could hear us even though no one else was in the room, “Are you gay?” I must
have turned about a hundred shades of red. I finally managed to ask her if she
should be asking me a question like that. I felt like it kind of violated my privacy. She
quickly apologized and then explained that recently they had had numerous calls
coming into the center by gay boys wanting to talk to someone. She said that the
standard procedure was that the girls on the phones were not to talk to the boy
since she didn’t feel they were properly prepared to handle such calls. She said that
those calls were forwarded to the supervisor on duty who handled calls that required
a more ‘delicate’ approach. I didn’t like the way she used the word, delicate, but I
didn’t say anything. She made it sound like their problem wasn’t normal, like it would
be with a straight boy. She asked me again if I was gay, and I literally told her that it
was ‘none of her business.’ Mom would kill me if she heard me say that to an adult,
but I was getting insulted. Did she ask Elizabeth and Caryn if they were straight?
She may have asked Elizabeth if she was gay, though. The verdict still isn’t out on
her yet.

Anyway, Mrs. Armstrong didn’t get mad or anything. I thought she might kick me
out of her office for being so rude to her, but she didn’t. She sat back in her chair
and gave me this big grin. Grin! I don’t even know why. She then wrote something
down in my folder. I tried to read what she was writing, but she covered it with her
hand. Now that I’ve given it some thought, I think she was happy with my answer
because she knew that I could be bold if I wanted to be. See, I’m really a timid
person, and I’m not very bold. But I guess by standing up to her, she probably
thought I could stand up to a caller if they became rude. And to be honest, I’m
pretty proud of myself, too. So anyway, she asked me a few more general
questions, and then I went into the hallway and waited with Caryn and Elizabeth
while Mrs. Armstrong interviewed another girl whose name was Tiffany. She isn’t
from our class. She said she called the Teen Line last year with a problem and now
this was her way of repaying the center for the help they offered her. She didn’t say
what her problem was, but she did say she had a daughter, so I figure since she
only looks like she’s about 18 that they probably helped her when she found out she
was pregnant. Now I’m worried because I don’t  know what I’d tell a girl who just
found out she was pregnant. Since it’s something I’ll never have to probably
experience in my life I don’t know what advice I could possibly offer. What if she
wants to have an abortion? I’m almost 16, I still don’t have an opinion on that yet.
Since I don’t go to church very often, I really don’t have a religious view of it. So I
don’t know. Maybe this is something else I can think about and then write in this
journal sometime.

Now to the training session. Elizabeth left because she had already received the
training. She told Mrs. Armstrong she’d do it again, but she wouldn’t let her. So it
was me, Caryn, Tiffany and another girl named Gina. Gina goes to our school, but
she isn’t in our class. She’s in Mrs.  Carter’s fifth period. I guess Gina may also be
inducted into the National Honor Society, so    she’s taking the hours for community
service just in case. She’s really pretty, but she’s kind of arrogant. Since I’m used to
my classmates, I guess I overlook that they can be snobbish at times. But seeing
someone else act all snotty just because they are pretty and smart was just a bit
annoying. I’m not sure what kind of advice she could give a girl with her holier than
thou attitude. I’m guessing she is probably pretty popular at school, so she’s
probably had a lot of experience dating. But then again, maybe not. She acts like she
might think she’s too good for most boys in our class. If she dates, I bet it’s with an
upper classman, probably the captain of the football team. I’m going to do a little
research when I get the time. Cory’s brother is popular and plays football. I’ll ask
Cory to ask his brother, Jayson, who Gina dates. He’d probably know, although him
and Cory   don’t get along very well. Cory says Jayson doesn’t pay him much
attention and is kind of embarrassed because he’s in what he calls ‘the smart class.’
But anyway, I’m getting off the subject again.

So we sit for an hour and a half listening to Mrs. Armstrong talk about personality
disorders. I don’t think she knows that we were taught most of the stuff in school.
They do offer psychology classes. She gave us handouts that she must have been
using for the past twenty years. They were faded and difficult to read. I know they
were old because I scanned one and saw the word retarded used once when talking
about someone with a low IQ. I started to raise my hand and ask her if that   
shouldn’t read, mentally challenged, but then I thought she might think I was being
sarcastic and making fun of the information she was giving us. So I circled it just in
case I wanted to mention it later. So I was bored, and I hope the other sessions
aren’t as boring.  Elizabeth asked me how I liked the class, and I was honest. She
agreed with me, but she said the next session will be more fun. It’s going to be on
Saturday afternoon. If I had a life,  I’d be upset, but at least now I’ll have something
to do instead of sitting in my room and doing homework. Anyway, she said it will
involve role playing. If Elizabeth enjoyed it, then I just know I’m going to hate it. She
is the only student who enjoyed acting out Hamlet in our English class in the 8th
grade. I played Claudius, and she played Gertrude. It was two of the longest weeks   
I’ve ever spent in a classroom.

I think I’m going downstairs and watch a little television with Mom and Dad. Now that
they know I’m gay and they accept me, I feel closer to them. I guess that doesn’t
make sense, and I can’t figure it out either, but right now I’m going to enjoy them
before I get too grown up.  
                              
WE NEVER REALLY GROW UP.
                          WE JUST LEARN HOW TO ACT IN PUBLIC.

Just a quick note. I wanted to write this down in my journal before I forget. I think
Mr. Byrd read that little thing I wrote the other day that said ‘Don’t knock it, at least
it’s with someone I love.’ I have a feeling he knew what I was talking about. He kind
of chuckled and patted me on my back when he walked away. Cory looked over and
gave me a weird look when he noticed how red my face was. I have to be more
careful. Mr. Byrd is going to think I’m some kind of a pervert, if he doesn’t already.

Sorry. It’s Monday night and I couldn’t be any more tired. I’m almost 16, and I
already feel like an 80 year old man, or at least what I think an 80 year old man feels
like. He might even feel better than me right now. I’m starting to really regret I
volunteered to work at the crisis center. I even asked Mrs. Carter after class if I could
change what I wanted to do. I had to endure a 3 minute lecture on accepting my
responsibilities. Most of it didn’t even make sense. I’m still trying to figure out what
not liking what you order at a restaurant and not being able to return it has to do
with changing my community service project. So when she finished, I just shrugged
my shoulders and left the room.

Let me explain what happened Saturday. There were four of us in the training class-
me, Caryn, Tiffany and Gina. Okay, I like Caryn. She and I have known each other
since the first grade.  She’s quiet and shy and pretty much lives in her own little
world. She’ll be perfect in case any space cadets call into the hotline. LOL. Last year
she started dressing really bizarre, wearing black dresses and painting her fingernails
black. We thought she was going to be an emo or goth or something, but she
changed again a few months later. Now she’s got her hair cut really short and she
has it tinted this hideous pink color. The class is waiting to see what she becomes
next week. Anyway, I like her okay. Tiffany is pretty cool. I was right about her
having a baby. She’s 17 and got pregnant when she was 15. She goes to school
while her mom takes care of the baby. She seems more mature than most girls her
age, but I guess that’s because she is a mother. I think she’s going to do really well
talking to kids over the phone. She’s probably experienced already what a lot of girls
may be going through. Now Gina. I’d call her a ‘B’ but  that’s not very nice. But she
really is a ‘B,’ though. She has this attitude that she thinks she’s better than anyone
else just because she’s pretty. She is pretty, but there are a LOT of girls that go to
our school who I think are prettier. Caryn tried to talk to her before the class, and
she looked at her like she was crazy and then had the nerve to roll her eyes at her.
Then she said all snotty, “Are YOU talking to me.” She stressed ‘you’ like Caryn was
trash or something. I think Caryn wanted to say something, but she’s not very good
at expressing herself, so she just walked away.

So later in the class we start to do some role playing. Mrs. Armstrong had us
pretend that that we are on the phone with someone who is experiencing a crisis.
Okay, now this is where I get really mad at Gina. I would have hit her, but Mrs.
Armstrong stopped me before I was able to raise my hand. So anyway, we are role
playing and I’m supposed to pretend like I’m a girl who just found out that she was
pregnant and Gina was supposed to counsel me. I don’t know why Mrs. Armstrong
didn’t ask Tiffany to do it. She’s the one with the experience. Anyway, I’m
pretending like I’m crying and upset. Gina keeps rolling her eyes at me as she tries
to give me advice. Finally, she slams her hand down on the desk, looks over at Mrs.
Armstrong and says,  “This is so stupid. How can a fag possibly know anything
about teen pregnancy?” Mrs. Armstrong lets out this gasp and grabs my hand
before I can slap Gina. The next ten minutes are chaotic. I’m screaming at Gina
because she called me a fag. Gina is screaming at Mrs. Armstrong because she has
told her to call her mother and have her come get her. Tiffany is trying to be the
peacemaker, but things have gotten so far out of control that peace isn’t even an
option. Caryn holds my arm because she’s afraid I’m going to try and hit Gina.
Finally, Mrs. Armstrong drags Gina from the room and tells the three of us to sit
down and be quiet. So anyway, after they leave I still rant for about five minutes
while Caryn and Tiffany try to calm me down. Then we started laughing. Tiffany
started it, and then Caryn. When Tiffany stood and pretended to be me when I tried
to slap Gina, I couldn’t help but laugh. What was funny was the way Tiffany did it, I
did look gay. Then Caryn made some remark about me being gay, and Tiffany
stopped laughing and asked, “Are you gay?” I wasn’t really prepared for that, so I
looked over at Caryn. She already knows it because she’s in my class. She kind of
nodded her head a little, so I told Tiffany I was. I didn’t know how she’d react, but I
already knew she was kind of open-minded about things. She said she thought it
was cool, because her best friend is a lesbian. In fact, she even suggested that the
three of us should get together and go out to a movie or something sometime.  I
told her I would, but I doubt I will.

So then Mrs. Armstrong comes back into the room and apologizes to me for Gina’s
behavior. I told her it was okay, but she was still worried about it. I think I impressed
her when I told her that I’d probably hear much worse by answering phones for the
crisis center, and what happened would be a valuable experience. She told us that
Gina’s mother picked her up, and after a lengthy conversation, they decided it was
best if Gina withdrew from the class. I kind of giggled to myself when she said she
didn’t think Gina had the right attitude to work in a crisis center. I could have told
her that before the class began and prevented all the drama that happened. We  
didn’t do anymore role playing. She spent the rest of the evening talking about some
of the challenging cases she’d dealt with in the past. I really, really wish I didn’t have
to do this. I don’t want to deal with girls who are like Gina. I’d write down what my
advice to them would be, but it wouldn’t be very nice.

Anyway, that was how I spent my Saturday night. We meet again Wednesday. Mrs.
Armstrong told us that there would be a couple of visitors, but she wouldn’t tell us
who. She tried to make it sound exciting, but if Wednesday is like the past two
classes, I’ll probably hate it. I’m going to bed now. I’ll probably write more after the
next class, unless something else really exciting happens.
                            IF ORANGES SMELL LIKE CHICKEN,
                                   WHY ARE TOMATOES BLUE?

It’s Wednesday afternoon and I’m in Mrs. Griffin’s class. We have a substitute again.
School just started and this is the 2nd sub. We’re supposed to be reading a short
story,  but the sub is young and inexperienced. After giving us the assignment, she
told us the work wouldn’t be due until Mrs. Griffin returns tomorrow. Now you don’t
tell a class that. It gives us two choices- spend the period reading a boring short
story that we can read at home later- or talk. Naturally, the class decided to talk.
Well, except for Lisa Derringer. She’s the class brown nose. While everyone else
talked, she made sure she reminded the sub to tell Mrs. Griffin that she was the only
one who read the class assignment. It was funny when James told her to put a sock
in it.  So anyway, since I guess  I’m Abe’s new best friend, he scooted his chair next
to mine and we talked quietly. Cory and James tried to join us, but again Abe asked
them if we could be alone. Cory gave me this weird look like he was asking me what
was going on. I shrugged my shoulders and he walked away. So Abe and I are
talking about nothing in particular when he comes out and asks me what it’s like to
be gay. I think I missed a couple of breaths when he asked that. After all, it was Abe
who outed me to the class, so I didn’t really want to talk about it with him. When he
saw I was upset, he kind of apologized, and said he was asking because he was
considering giving up on girls and he wanted to be gay. Okay, now I’m usually a very
serious person and I don’t laugh a lot at school, but when he said that, I fell out of
my chair and started laughing hysterically. When I started choking, the sub came
over and asked me if I was all right. I got back in my seat and tried to not laugh as I
told her I was okay. Abe kept looking at me like I was crazy or something. Finally,
after about five minutes, I was able to gain my composure enough to talk to him. I
told him you can’t just be gay because you had a bad experience with a girl. He tried
to convince me that you can, but I told him you couldn’t. We got into an argument,
but he stopped when I suddenly asked him if he could really do it with a guy. He
asked me, “Do what?” So I stammered around a minute before I leaned in and said,
“You know, take one up your booty.” His eyes got really big, and he started turning
really, really red. So I knew I had won our argument, but just to make him more
uncomfortable, I added, “So you would? You could really do it?” He turned even
redder and mumbled something about never considering having to do that. So I told
him he should reconsider being gay, and he said I was probably right. So I guess
Abe won’t be gay anytime soon, but I did get a good laugh. We’re both writing in
our journals, and I’d love to read what he’s writing. He’s probably writing about our
conversation like I am. Well, I’ll write more later. The bells getting ready to ring.
                             
HOW DO YOU TELL WHEN YOU RUN
                                   OUT OF INVISIBLE INK?

Okay. I’m on the bus home. Elizabeth is sitting next to me running her mouth a mile
a minute. I swear I’m going to take James’s comment to Lisa and literally shove a
sock in her mouth someday. Anyway, I counted the words to this stupid thing, and I
only need a few more words to hit 5000. Maybe I have enough. Let me count this
paragraph. Yippee! 5004.  I’m going to go. I’ll write later what happens tonight at
the meeting.
                             
I FAILED TO MAKE THE CHESS TEAM
                                    BECAUSE OF MY HEIGHT.

5029



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