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a blog filled with things that have been written, things for you to read.
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It was a pleasure to burn. - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

'Cause Sadie moved like water poured
The shapes she shaped had angels floored
She knew her walk turned wind to fire
A wink from Sadie turned brains to mire"
-Tim Seibles, The Ballad of Sadie LaBabe

Monday, December 19, 2005


I had just been with him a couple of hours ago. His parents were gone for the weekend and his older brother, a theater freak, had been staying with him. The three of us had gone to see a local production of "Oklahoma" that afternoon. The sky was dark and had a gloomy appearance that made me feel as if something bad was going to happen. I shrugged it off and tried to have fun anyway. I had just finished eating dinner with my family when the phone rang. Something bad had happened.

He had told me about his past. It was hard to believe that a freshman in high school had lived through all he had lived through. But I believed every word of it. Nathan wasn't the type to lie or make up stories. As a young boy, he had become interested in swords and took up fencing as a hobby. He was really good at it and won many tournaments. He was chosen to join an elite gang called The Blades, for his talent. This wasn't a gang like a club, but a true gang consisting mainly of high school kids, and he was only in third grade. During his time as a Blade, he had taken many oaths, and was given the name Strider for showing his loyalty. At some point, he lost one of his closest friends to a rival gang leader. He went after the other the leader and was about to kill him when he realized that fighting wouldn't solve anything. He eventually dropped fencing and picked up the sport of kickboxing. He also left the gang. A couple of weeks ago, one of the Blades that had moved away was killed. I don't know how, he didn't want to talk about it. Recently, he had received threats on his life in the mail and was sent a video of another friend being raped. He never got real upset over it, he took it all in stride. I guess that is why they called him Strider.

He had always been a good and loyal friend, well, for the couple of months that I knew him anyway. If you were down, he picked you back up. He never let you think a bad thought about yourself. He even tried out for the Christmas play with me just so I wouldn't be in it alone. Also gave you that feeling of safety, that he would never leave your side until you wanted him to. He was the ideal friend.

All of these thoughts crossed my mind when I got that phone call. All at the same time. Something bad had happened to him. When he had gotten home, he went upstairs to his room while his brother was in the kitchen making dinner. His brother heard a shot. And the thud of a body hit the floor. 9-1-1 was called, but it was too late. His life was slowly draining and his soul floating up to Heaven. He was rushed him to the hospital, but by the time they got there, he was gone.

I never got a chance to say goodbye to him, or to tell him how much I cared. I don't know that I could say I loved him, but I did. A fraternal love anyway. I'm glad I met him, he hanged my life. I don't know who I would be without him.

Nathan, wherever you are, good-bye. I miss you, and I'll never forget you.

posted by jessica at 2:45 PM -   0 comments Comments: Post a Comment

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i recommend

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. This is one of my absolute favorite stories. Focusing on prejudice, it demonstrates the silliness of segregating people based on categories (race, religion, gender, etc). The story's strength is that it shows just how arbitrary these categories are.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. In this classic story, a new mother suffering from what we might today call 'post-partum depression,' sinks into a still-deeper depression invisible to her husband, who believes he knows what is best for her. Alone in the yellow-wallpapered nursery of a rented house, she descends into madness.

Lies My Teacher Told Me (1995) - James Loewen

The Covert War Against Rock (2000) - Alex Constantine

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"Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?" He asked. "Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

(both quotes from Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," available in full-text here.)