LET’S GO F*CKING MENTAL!

The date is November 19th, 2007. It is 6:09pm. I have finished my last TEE exam, and now have… I can’t yet think about how much free time I have. The prospect of time without purpose is maddening, and I suspect I will create purpose now that my intensive study has finally ceased. However, I will tell you that the moment we were given leave from the hall, I let out an insane and maniacal laugh that would have landed me in the psych ward had it been heard in any other circumstance. Besides, I wasn’t the only one, so I was barely heard above the ruckus. I seized Ben Caddy and gave him a hug, wrapped my arm around Mum with a cry of "Quick step, double time!" (and she started a funny little jog to keep up with me) and then went nuts. I saw an oval next to the car park, so Mum held my bag while I tore around its perimeter in a victory lap. I did rolls and jumps and cartwheeled everywhere laughing all the while. Mental, I say.

Now all I need is something alcoholic and my celebrations could continue well into the night. Ah well, f all that, I’m finished. Tomorrow, I attain Guitar Hero, my bus ticket for leavers, and drop in to see the physio, who said I can’t train until next year (alas!). I’ll ask him about aikido later, which doesn’t require kicking at all (Y). Wednesday is a glitch in the matrix, Thursday is Adventure World, Friday is a blank, Saturday is The Party, Sunday is leavers. Hohoho, too many people, too little time. I love you all. Except you over there. No, not you, behind you. Yeah, you. Get a haircut, noob.

I’m off! I have mentos and diet coke to scull! Peace, love, and rock and roll.

~Xin

PS: This is the last "School" entry I will ever write. Damn that feels good.

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Ninja

For reasons I will not yet explain, these past 37 or so hours have been amongst the happiest of my life. Despite this, my parents frustrate me to no end for various reasons. Skimming over the details, I got very pissed off at Dad, who didn’t even realise how annoyed I was, and went for a jog. In summer. At 1:30 in the afternoon. Nice. (Y)

This isn’t a common thing for me- I barely know my way around two streets from the house. Strangely enough, I went for a jog last night as well, even though I didn’t know where I was going. I just said "Run", and I didn’t let myself stop. Today as I started off, I got a little over 100m when my heart started hurting (to those of you who didn’t know/forgot, I have a minor heart problem) so I ended up walking instead. I could have pushed my boundaries and all that, and I was angry enough to, but I didn’t want to die just when I found so much to live for; a certain person, a certain convention, a certain freedom, a certain game, a certain get-together… So I just found a park to crash in. I like parks.

When I eventually decided to go home before Mum got worried and went out to look for me (like she did last night- I caught her as she left the driveway so it’s all good), I wasn’t feeling much happier. Spontaneously, I decided it would be pretty funny if I broke into the house and had a shower without letting them know.
"Who is this stranger in our bathroom?!" they’d wonder. So, as I approached the house, I saw it as a game. 10 points if I could get inside, 50 points if I could have a shower, 1000 points if someone called the police.

Being a ninja, I got in without much hassle. Snuck past the windows, climbed the rather unstable fence, crunched through some horribly dry leaves and crept in through the laundry door. I knew it was unlocked because it’s a habit of mine to know the entry and exit points of a building at all times- a habit I picked up before I watched the Bourne Identity. I heard someone in the bathroom- just from the way she rinsed her mouth I could tell it was Mum- so I was in a predicament. The laundry is at one end of the hall, my room is at the other, the bathroom’s in-between. I slipped into the toilet, not fully closing the door (that would have been suspicious) and waited inside. Unfortunately, as luck would have it, Mum needed to go, so when she finally left the bathroom, she walked straight into me and had a cardiac arrest. Not really, but I scared her. Gave her a hug, had a cold shower, wrote a blog entry. So far, only 10 points, but there’s always the chance someone called the cops.

Just felt like throwing that out there. Have a good day, yo’.

He

I’m probably the only one who’s going to understand that title. Ah well, it makes me smile.

So the 5th of November came round again, and wouldn’t you know it, I’ve aged another year. 17’s a strange number, it doesn’t suit me yet. I’m no longer able to sing along to the Sound of Music, which is a major let-down, but it’s part of life- a part we must all come to accept. Seriously though, my 17th birthday was a memorable one, picked at the worst possible time of year.

Monday morning I met up with Richard to spend the whole day studying. Arrive at the state library 1000hrs, leave at 2000hrs, get some sleep before the Applicable Mathematics Tertiary Entrance Exam the next day. Or that was the plan, at least. Shirley and Alex, the two girls that spotted Richard and demanded to sit with us, were great company. Sure I didn’t get much done, but there were a lot of laughs, and I figured "It’s either attempt to study and have fun, or just go home and play Zelda. May as well try." When everyone (Jack + everyone else from Chisholm (yes, he’s one of them now)) took a break for lunch, I had to go out and buy mine. Richard came with me, but when we got back, everyone had moved to resume studying. So what do we do? We hit the streets for three hours to get us some bubble tea.

I didn’t actually get a whole lot of work done on Monday, but it was loads of fun. Enter present tense.

I glance at the clock, it’s 1800hrs. I grit my teeth, screw my hand to the desk, and start doing some maths. I get about half a question done and end up so sick of trying to study that I just don’t. I walk over to the balcony (the state library has a five stories open to the public, as well as mysterious staircases that go even further up) and feel guilty and sick for a while. Enter Jack. He walks up to me with all his books and he just nudges his head at the stairs and says "Come on, we’re going." I try protesting- the library’s open until 8, I still have time to study etc but he hears nothing of it. "Hurry up, let’s go." So, bewildered, I do the only thing I can do and grab my stuff. Jack calls Richard over and makes him pack up too. Alex has gone home. A Chisholm lad (Kevin) rocks up to keep Shirley company while Jack makes Richard and I leave. So I try a different approach, and ask him where he’s going. "You mean where we’re going." Right, where we’re going. "Just hurry the hell up!" And that’s all I get. I turn to Richard, who’s looking kinda lost but he’s going along with it so I figure I can too.

Tahlia- Jack’s sister- is parked outside. Guess that means Richard’s getting a lift home, but… I live half an hour away, so what I am doing here? I get in anyway. We head back to Jack’s place. As we arrive, Bethwyn gets out of her car. I blink and ask what she’s doing here. Nobody answers, so cautiously I approach the front door. I hold it open for Richard and Beth, but they refuse to go in before me. So I enter and walk tentatively to the lounge room. There’s a balloon in the floor and my breath catches as I step inside. I’m bombarded with Happy Birthday!s. Balloons, well-wishes, general warm fuzziness! Someone puts a party hat on my head. My God it’s beautiful.

There’s a parcel sitting on the table. Oh no, it’s been wrapped (kinda). This means it… it… I look around- it’s a joke, surely. Everyone’s grinning. I sit down and take a breath. I run my hand across the box and swallow my anticipation. It’s about four feet long and one foot wide, a couple of inches deep. I don’t want to open it- it’s too precious, too perfect. I struggle to get the sticky tape off- even with scissors I have trouble, yet no one helps me. In hindsight, I realise they couldn’t- the gift was for me.

I cut the tape but don’t open the lid. My heart is racing, pounding- it’s hard to breathe. I joke and feint cardiac arrest, but nervously I pry the lid off.

A scabbard. My first thought was "A broadsword. God, they got me a broadsword." I rip the styrofoam covering the hilt, and my heart stops for one split second. I know those quillons. There’s none other like them. From the box, with reverence, I lift the Blade of Evil’s Bane- the Master Sword. I unsheathe it and test its weight- Lord it’s heavy. Oil gleams on the blade- I finger its sharp edge and hold it up against the light. I grin at Jack. Time blurs.

I don’t remember the order of what happens next. Bethwyn vanishes shortly after giving me a strawberry lollipop. I go outside with Saxon and Jack to mess around with sticks and cameras. I sit down and eat party food- most of which I can’t touch because I’m a vegetarian. It’s delicious anyway. We listen to music, watch some Dragon Ball Z. As I sit on the couch, Tasoula (Jack’s Mum) walks in with a lighted cake. There are candles- I can’t count them- and everyone’s singing, even Richard. I can’t believe it, I really can’t. I… don’t know what to say, don’t know what to do. They tell me to make a wish and blow out the candles. I do, and the wish I am forbidden to repeat. May it come true anyway.

So that was my birthday. My only regret was the evening, when once again I flaunted my insensitivity. All in all though, it was a beautiful day. May you all experience the same! Thanks for reading.

Love,

John