HONORABLE MENTION 1: Dear Darkest Diary

By Geoff Schackert

Jan 28, 2009 at 6:00 am

March 20, 1980

Tomorrow is my 18th birthday. Tomorrow I become a “man.” Being a “man” doesn’t seem all that great. Most of the “men” I know always seem to be angry. When they aren’t angry they are stone silent. They sit staring off into the distance almost as if they are waiting for something or keeping a lookout. When they are like this they remind me of those sphinxes in Egypt I saw on TV.

March 21, 1980

Today is nearly over and I don’t feel any different on the inside or look any different on the outside than I did yesterday, but everyone seemed to look at me differently. Almost like they were done with me. My stupid ass big brother woke me up this morning singing that song, “You’re In the Army Now” because now I have to register for the draft. There isn’t even a war going on. At least not in America.

Nothing from dear old dad.

March 24, 1980

Dad’s card came today. Late as usual. It doesn’t bother me anymore that the word “belated” always comes before the word “birthday” on dad’s cards. Geez, when I remember now how pissed I was when I found out what that word meant it makes me laugh. He stuck a twenty inside almost like he is trying to hide the Hallmark sentiment pre-printed on the card. I guess he thinks I read them.

He signed it the same way he always does:

Son,

Sorry this is late. I wish it could be more.

         -- Dad.

 Today was the first time I didn’t say out loud after reading that, “So do I dad.”

 I still wish. I just keep it to myself.

 I guess I am a “man” now.