The Facts:

I was born 9-11-1979 in Cincinatti, Ohio.
I have one older brother, Jim, and an older sister, Charity. Charity is six years older than I am, and Jim is six years older than Charity.
I currently live in Lafayette, Indiana where I attend Purdue University, with a major in anthropology and a minor in history.


But Enough Boring Facts...

After I was born, I went home to my grandparents' house, as my parents were in the middle of selling their old house and building a new one, just down the road from my grandparents.
On February 14, 1981, we moved into this house. It's the only home I've ever known. I love that house, with its wonderful colors. I grew up with plywood floors and insulation walls, which I slowly watched turn to hardwood, drywall, board, and stone.
Walking into my home to this day gives me a wonderful feeling.

Early Childhood:


I have a lot of early childhood memories. Most of them were happy. My grandparents have a 300 acre farm, most of which is hilly forest land. I grew up playing in these woods. In fact, our house is built in them. Across the dusty gravel road was Laughery Creek, where I liked to play on hot summer days. I enjoyed listening to my records, playing with my mother, and make-believing. From an early age, I learned that Mommy was my protector. Daddy would get mad at me for any reason, if I just did something incorrectly or disagreed with him, or didn't understand what he said. But I'd only be punished if Mommy agreed that I had been bad. I knew that.
But childhood was good. I enjoyed learning. I loved dogs--no--I was obcessed with dogs. I was constantly making up songs and singing them. I had a black cat named Baby who I carried around all the time, and my sister had a dog named Goober, a dalmation. We had an appalosa horse named Caroline.
Then, one day when I was four, my mother decided I needed to go to pre-school. After all, I had never really had much social interaction with people my own age....

Kindergarten:


Pre-school was stupid. My mother had already taught me more than we learned there, so I was bored. So I started Kindergarten when I was four. I learned something in Kindergarten. I learned how to spell Something. And Elephant. Besides that, I really only learned one other thing:
I'm not normal. I'm not OK. There is something wrong with me. Everyone makes fun of me, and I don't know why. They make fun of my songs, they make fun of my name. They make fun of my clothes. They make fun of my games. One kid punched me in the nose for no reason, and it bled everywhere. The teacher swatted me because I refused to do something that made no sense. I never accepted, "Because I said so," as an answer. I was raised to think for myself. I was raised not to follow the croud. I was immune to peer pressure.

Elementary School:


First grade was better. I had a different teacher, who actually liked me. But that was first grade. That was the year I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, and put on Ritalin.
Second grade was OK, at first. I had a best friend, B.J. At the beginning of the school year, we were assigned to grade each others' papers. But by the end of the year, he wanted someone else to grade his. I felt so betrayed. I felt so many playground balls knock me to the ground. I felt so many kicks, I was tripped so many times. And no one believed me. A group of three or four fifth grades were following me around kicking me at recess. No one even believed me that they existed. This was when I became a "bad kid."
Third grade was OK. My teacher thought I was being sexually molested. She was too blind to open her eyes to what went on at recess and in the hall every day.
Fourth grade was better, as far as the teacher went. I was seated with the poor kids who smelled bad. They kicked me under the table, and called me a retard.
My mom was fed up. "You're not going to that school any more," she said. I was home-schooled after that, for half the school day. I simply could not learn in such a hostile environment. The kids missed me. I missed my few friends.
Fifth grade was better, actually. I remember one day on our field trip, I made up a song and they were all singing it. I had such hope in my heart that day.
But it was so fleeting. For the next day, I gave something a little try. We were writing stories about winter, and mine was a science fiction piece involving global warming and the Exon-Valdiz oil spill that had recently occured. The setting was Goliath, Alaska. David was the new kid on the block, and he had moved there to get ahead. I watched. I watched so carefully as I recited the line, "David was the new kid on the block, and he had not wanted to move." Now, I knew very well that it hadn't worked when I wore the neon shorts or the Guess jeans with zippers on the legs. But I had so much hope...maybe...but they all knew I listened to obscure music they had never heard of, like R.E.M. and U2 and classical music and Celtic music, and old music like The Beatles.
My heart sank when I saw their reaction. I remember the stupid Valentine's Day dance that year. I sat there the entire time, just sitting there, thinking, "Why is this mandatory? Why don't you at least play some descent music? I cannot stand these New Kids. AAARRGG!!" And then, it ended. I was so surprised when I spent the entire recess in the bathroom crying. I didn't know I cared.

Junior High


Junior High was Hell. No, that's not true. You don't get out of Hell. It was Purgatory.
I'd been kicked before. I'd been hit before. I'd been called names before, I'd even had lewd sexual comments made to me before, but nothing prepared me for what was in store.

"This is just the way it is in the real world. Some people are the underdogs. Some people get stepped on. If that's the way it's going to be, she may as well get used to it."

Social Darwinism.

Sixth grade was The Year Of The Spit Wad. Every day after school I picked hundreds--yes, literally hundreds--of spit wads out of my hair. One day in History class, one even landed in my mouth as I answered a question.
Seventh grade was its own little Hell.
I recieved several death threat notes, threats to kill my entire family,
"I killed your dog and she's in your mailbox,"
"I'm gonna kill you. And your mother. And your father. And your sister."
I knew they weren't for real. But how does a 12-year-old react when some guy who has been beating her up since second grade askes her to have sex with him?
She freaks out, and tells her mother, who has her wear a tape recorder for several months.
The principal heard these tapes. Finally, I wasn't the bad kid any more. I was the victom. And being told, "It's not your fault," it's hard to explain it. It's like a miracle.
"Mrs. Webber, Sam just kicked me."
"Don't lie, Susannah. You have a detention for lying."
Great, so it's detention AND a bruise!
I remember nervous breakdowns. I remember every day during history running to the bathroom with blood pouring out of my nose. It was a stress-induced nose bleed.
I remember going to the emergency room because my nose had been bleeding for 4 hours and nothing could stop it.
I remember the day when the doctor told me I had arthritis, and that's why my joints hurt so.
I remember it all, memories I cannot block out, and I am reminded of it constantly. Every time I move, I feel the arthritis it caused.
But I was a lucky one. I survived. Many do not.
Eigth grade...I entered eighth grade with survival on my mind. Every school picture of me was one of a scared child. Until eigth grade. I looked in this picture full of defiance. I WILL SURVIVE," the picture seemed to shout.
One more year, you can take one more year of beatings. One more year, and you'll be in the unimaginable paradise of high school. Oh, high school, great wonder, great paradise. Land of the open-minded of Aurora, Moores Hill, Manchester, Saint Mary's, and Saint John's. You'll never associate with these Dillsboroians again!
One more year? Hold on to your sanity for one more day. One more hour, and it will be recess. During recess, you can go to Chess Club where no one will hurt you. Go to Math Club and you'll be safe.
I hated math, and I was no good at chess. But it was escape. At least none of those people ever called me names, or hurt me. Only atheletes do that.
I remember eigth grade graduation. I felt so triumphant. I walked across the gym floor and got my certificate. Hallelujah! Thank you, God! I made it!

Unrelated To School...


When I was about four, my parents went to an auction. They bought two things at that auction, and these two things changed my life.
The first was a set of 1943 encyclopedias. They would come into play later, as I wanted to know about other civilizations. They told all about Greek myths and Viking sagas. I loved them. They were more art and culture encyclopedias than science. I wrote paper after paper from their insights. And I often just read them for fun.
The second was a small organ. Three octaves, the kind that was the forerunner of the electric keyboard. I loved it. My mother taped A B C D E F G on the keys, and I began to play from a book, as well as compose simply melodies. It broke my heart when it stopped working and my parents threw it away. I wanted to keep it forever, even though it was useless. All I have of it now are one picture and my memories.
Seeing how much I missed the little organ, my parents bought a piano. My sister started taking lessons. Since I kept going through her books and playing, they started me on lessons a month later. I almost stopped writing then. I hardly wrote at all for the next year. And then, I wrote the first piece I ever actually wrote down: The Train.
I continued taking lessons throughout school, and played in many recitals as well as the two talent shows at Dillsboro School. Although, the music teacher, Mr. Rank, insisted I could not be taught to play an instrument, and made me take General Music. It was a class full of people who hated me. My mother fire him, and started picking me up from school every day after 5th period. We fired the music teacher, and the gym teacher. I really did miss history class, but I still had the book and I came to school to take the tests.
I always enjoyed play-acting. I was in a number of children's acting workshops, and enjoyed creating characters, being in plays at my church, and putting on costumes. I created many characters which I played as often. Petranella, a character I invented in second grade after reading the fairy tale of that name, was one of my favorites. I recently found this tale again in the collection of femenist fair tales, "Forget About The Prince." It's about a princess who subverted her place by going out to seek her fortune, planning to rescue a prince to marry. She proved to be true to herself, something which I have always admired. As I've always said, if you don't have integrity, you don't have anything.

High School, That Mythical Paradise:

I had so much hope, yet gym class, where I got bombarded by volley balls for 45 minutes straight, proved me wrong.
Aurora, Manchester, Moores Hill, St. Mary's, and St. Johns contained their fair share of Dillsboroians.
But I discovered something else:
Aurora, Manchester, Moores Hill, St. John's, and St. Mary's, contained their fair share of Susannahs, and there was at least one from every class.
So these became my friends. Everyone reacted to things differently. Some withdrew. Some acted out. Some tried to scare people off. Some just became very depressed. Is there any wonder that every single graduating class from South Dearborn High School has had at least one suicide? Except for my class. Somehow, I made it through.
I also had other friends: I became very active in theatre, and was in fact in more plays than anyone else in the history of my high school. I made many friends in the theatre department, and was elected first Treasurer and then President of the Thespian Society.
I was also in art every semester, and I joined Art Club. I used to want to be an artist, but unfortunatey, I haven't got enough talent. My best work has been with clay, my worst, on paper. But I did make a few friends in the art department.
I was also in choir all four years, which earned me some friends. I was on the Academic Team for two years as well. I was in German Club and Philosophy Club for two years, and I tried to play tenis. But it wasn't me. I dropped out to be Lucy in the dinner theater production Dracula
I was very surprised that some of the people, in fact most, over the course of those four years, apologized to me. Of course I forgave them, but I asked why. There was never any answer. "Because everyone else was doing it." Sam never apologized, and he was the worst, by far. I wish I could confront him, ask why. Why, why did you make my life a living Hell for seven years? I think I know... But enough of that. I was an outcast.
I have felt two ways my entire life.
I'm on the outside, looking in.
I'm on the inside, longing to go out.
And then came my sophmore year.
A friend invited me to a Halloween party. I've been to four cast parties, but never any others. Never a "real" party. Two bands performed there. I felt so close to these people.
A few days later, we had the cast party for It Walks At Midnight. Or maybe it was Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark. In any case, these bands were there as well. It would be hard for them not to as most of them had been in the cast. We sat around singing until near 2:00 a.m. I felt, for the first time in my life, like I belonged somewhere. Then, as quickly as my feelings came, they shattered.
I felt like these were my friends, and they would be there for me no matter what. All my life, I'd longed for a sense of belonging and acceptance, that someone understood me, yet accepted me anyway.
I knew it was fragile. A lit match could turn my happiness to ashes at any moment. I always assumed it was fragile, like paper.
I never imagined it was a thin sheet of glass.
With a single bullet, this thin sheet of glass broke into a thousand pieces.
I remember the day so well. I was at a dinner theater in Cincinatti. We ate at the Troley Tavern. I hurried home and got into my choir uniform. I hurried back to school. Sitting down, I discovered my skirt needed a safety pin. I wondered why everyone was crying. No one told me. I returned and we were singing warm-ups. We were about to go on stage.
"I want everyone to go out there and do this for Chris. He loved music, and he should have been here."
"Who's Chris?" I asked April.
Oh, some kid who killed himself." The kid that killed himself last year? I didn't know he was involved in music!
It was 5:15 on December 4 that I heard. I stood there in disbelief for a moment, then collapsed into the chair behind me. In a moment, I thought, "I'll never see him again!" and started crying.
I didn't get to go to the funeral, as they told me I needed a permission slip.
So, I sat there and wrote a song, Empty Place, while everyone else was there. Everything was slipping away so fast. And then, it was gone. I was alonely again. That word is my own invention.
I had thought about suicide before, thought of what the best way would be. I wanted a relatively painless method that, if it failed, I would have minimal permanent dammage. Wrist slitting was out of the question, as I may sever my tendons, and to live without playing the piano would be horrible for me.
But a year later, I was longing for death so much. I was in the deepest pits of depression. I joined a group called Mierda. They were friends of mine who put out a newsletter. I started joining the Chess Club in playing a Dungeons And Dragons-inspired collectable card game called SpellFire. And it was fun, until they came out with the fifth edition. That ruined it. They then started playing Magic The Gathering. But that was a tangent. I had many friends in this group. I was still unfathomably depressed, though. I thought a romantic relationship just may be the answer. If I could find the right guy, the one who could accept me just as I am and understand me completely, and love me unconditionally, then everything would be better.
And so, I was on a music-writing binge. I also wrote a great deal of poetry. Pages and pages of poetry about how depressed and lonely and suicidal I was. Pages and pages of my longing for belonging, but not willing to change myself for anyone. I was a freak, and I knew that. There is nothing wrong with dressing how you want to, using words that aren't in the common vernacular (ironic was a favorite word of mine until Alanis Morisette stole it). There is nothing wrong with having eccentric tastes in art, music, literature, what have you.
But it can make you so lonely.
I remember September 9, 1996. I wrote a song entitled Suicidal Birthday Wish, the lyrics of which told of my desire to kill myself two days later on my seventeeth birthday by putting my Volkswagen Beetle in the garage and turning it on.
But then, two hours later, like an answer to a prayer, my first boyfriend asked me out. After a week, I finally stopped freaking out and agreed to go out with him. At first, things were wonderful. We would talk for hours, and goof off together, and I really enjoyed his company. And then, things turned. He started to seem really distant. Then, he broke up with me. We got back together, and he broke up with me again. I was cast back into the depths of misery, but I believed that if I could only find the right person, things would be better. About three months later, a friend of mine asked me out. That lasted less than a month. After that, I kind of gave up. I felt it wasn't worth the high price of destruction of a perfectly good friendship. I tried so hard to remain friends with them both. But I had such anxiety around them I couldn't even carry on a conversation. The best I could do was just sit there and play cards with them, which is what we did.
Slowly, time dragged on, and graduation was near.

The Last Day Of School


The last day of school came. I thought I'd shock them all by wearing shorts. But I'd already shocked them all by wearing jeans the second semester of my sophmore year. Before they, I had only worn long dresses since seventh grade. I'd shocked them by going to Prom, by myself, and playing cards the entire time. I shocked them by having a boyfriend. I couldn't really shock them by wearing shorts. I could only feel like I wasn't completely clothed.
So, I got home. No one was there. This irritated me since they said to come right home. An hour later, I wasn't irritated, I was ashamed. We were rushing my sister to the emergency room.
She grew steadily worse. Hours before I got my diploma, she was airlifted to Cincinatti General Hospital.
Graduation meant nothing. No party, no cards. No great HEY I MADE IT. Nothing. Just, "Oh, yeah, you're graduation's tomorrow. Charity can't move her toes anymore, and she most likely will never walk again."
All that summer, I worried over her, cleaning my house obcessively, and working at a day care center with a bunch of two-year-olds. Listening to a lot of Nine Inch Nails. It was a good contrast to lullabys.

Ball State University


A good friend of mine, Anna, was my roommate. It was a disaster. I was completely miserable. I had never been online before, and I quickly became addicted to e-mail and had a lot of e-mail correspondants I didn't even know. I soon started messing around with HTML and building web pages. Which may be why I have so many now. I was majoring in music composition. I was interested in the guy, Neil, who made me constantly miserable by first acting like he liked me back, then telling me about this wonderful girl he had just met, then telling me she was a lesbian, then kissing me, then telling me we should just be friends. I was going nuts. I finally put my foot down and basically said, "No. We're going to be in a relationship, or we're going to be friends." I never saw him again.
After this semester, my parents made me go home. I wanted to kill myself as I lay there crying my last night at school. I prepared for the loneliest year of my life.

1998


1998 began before it began. I found out the card shop, my only hope of a social life, was shutting down on New Year's Eve. So I went there for one final game of Magic and to say good-bye.
I started school at Carnigie Hall, a college building out in the middle of nowhere in Moores Hill. Originally, there were two buildings, Carnigie Hall and Moore Hall, but Moore Hall burned, so the college moved to Evansville where it is now the University of Evansville. And Carnigie Hall is now used as a small town library, bingo hall, police field office, and Indiana College Cooperative Center.
I took classes via satellite. I had no classmates, no social life. No hope for one. I put a nuse around my neck every night, and let the circulation be cut off from my head, but then chickened out and raised my head for breath, seeing my purple face in the mirror.

1998 was the loneliest, most depressing year of my life. Academically, I did well, but I was miserable, and I hated myself so much that I started shutting people I cared about out of my life, not wanting to put them through the dreadful experience of knowing me.
At first, I shut out my online correspondants, and then, gradually, my friends. I remained in contact with only five people outside my family during this time. One of them only because she kept e-mailing me despite my silence and insolent, sarcastic, and apathetic replies.
I also continued to post on the JNL BBS, which I co-ran with my close friend Angel. Angel and I started AngAnon Greeting Cards when I wanted to create a Spam You! card. He created the logo. The rest, unfortunately, has been my doing. Someday, he will assist me again, but that will be far in the future, I fear.
There were four other posters on the JNL (Jonathan Livingston Seagull) BBS. They were Irelande, Schmitt, Whitemilk, and Angel. Those friends I have stayed in touch with and still am today.
We named it the JNL BBS because its location was http://spiral.seagull.net/~JNL It later moved to http://w3.one.net/~mrmike/jnl, but unfortunately a virus got into the software. At first this software did nothing except bounce us to a pornographic site, but then it wouldn't create links to new posts. Finally, Angel deleted it, unfortunately before anything could be copied over to disk. Darn him! The posts were undammaged, only the interfacing, so we could have copied the 1000 or so posts individually and saved them as text files, but alas all that is gone.
It was my only record of the events of that year.
An accident was made which affected me severely with my academic life. One of my papers was lost in the mail, so I got an Incomplete in one of my classes. However, there was a hold on my mail from Ball State University because I had not turned in my health form, because I knew I would have to get a tetnus shot if I had it filled out, and that was simply out of the question. I don't believe in unnessicary injections.
Therefore, I never got my letter stating that I was academically dismissed, so I could not protest. I paid to take another class via satelite, which I did quite well it, and I worked in the county hospital preparing food and washing entirely too many giant pots and pans.
I was miserable. I had no friends at all. Angel, who was still in the area, had become too busy for me. At first, I felt like I was being used as a taxi service at times, and then, I wasn't even being used for that. I did see Irelande occasionally, but I almost never saw Whitemilk or Schmitt. Actually, all five of us were in the area that summer, but I was so exhausted from my job and so busy with academics that I never saw them.
Things got so much worse. I enrolled for more satellite classes in the Fall. But by then the paperwork had gone through. I had an F in the one class, and would not be given credit for the one I took over the summer, although I'd paid and done well.
I had to PROVE that I had written the paper during the duration of the course, and not just written it then.
So, I enrolled at Northern Kentucky University, so I could spend two and a half hours every day on the express way to get to school and back.
It was very expensive because it was out of state. But I was taking history and anthropology, which I loved and I got a 4.0 that semester. But more important was the time I spent alone.
The radio in my car had died, so I was left with all that time on the road just to think. So I thought and thought.
I had some serious theological problems, I found. My religion no longer fit me.
I was raised attending a First Baptist Church, but the things I was learning and the things I was feeling were causing me to just go through the motions of everything just as I always had, but inside it felt wrong.
I was incredibly lonely. But I found that my terrible depression was lifting. Irelande had an eating disorder. She also cut herself with knives most nights. I knew that she was causing physical pain for herself because it was tangable, unlike her intangable emotional pain. I suddenly realized that it was the same thing, and so I stopped with the nuse. I kept it, though, so I could always remind myself how far I had come.
My depression lifted as fog lifts at dawn. The dawn cast rays of light onto my psyche and I began to try to find what had gone wrong with my religion.
I decided it was not nature-based enough, so I did a lot of research on Wicca, thinking that might be the path for me. But ultimately I didn't want a religion that made ME in control of things.
I also looked heavily into Mithrianism, because we discussed it in class and I found so many uncanny similarities to Christianity in it, that I wondered if they were a hybrid of the same religion.
But then I discovered that Mithrianism was a for men only, women need not apply religion.
I researched Islam, but I knew I could never belong to any religion that I could not participate in fully as a woman.
So what did that leave? I was an agnostic. I would accidently pray. And then yell at myself for it.
On November 7, my best friend, an Australian Terrier named Tootsie, was killed in a car accident. She was partially blind and deaf, and looked like a small pile of leaves to the woman driving the car. It was so terribly difficult for me. I had got Tootsie for my fifth birthday. And here I was, without her, and without any belief in an afterlife. I was miserable.
But other things were looking up. My sister decided to go to graduate school for clinical psychology, and it was decided that where ever she decided to go to school, I would go there as well. One day I took a trip to Bloomington, Indiana to pick up a transfer application. The trip took a total of about five hours. But I never bothered to fill it out because Charity decided she didn't like their program.
She looked into Miami University in Miamitown, Ohio, but ruled it out as well.
Finally, she decided on Ball State or Purdue University.
1998 was coming to a close. And so were my problems.
December 2, 1998 marked the official end of my religious problems, as I called them.
It was my cursed day. The day that a close friend killed himself, the day when my first boyfriend broke up with me.
And now, it was December 2 again. And I had so many errands that day.
First, I went to the chiropractor. I had been seeing a chiropractor ever since I worked at the hospital because I had hurt my back then. I was sure she'd mess something up and I'd never walk again. But everything was fine.
Then, I went to the eye doctor. I thought sure he'd say I was going blind. But I wasn't.
Then, I went to class, and got a test back. Surely I'd failed! But it was an A.
Then, I went to pick up something for my mom, a large wooden chest from Kirkland's, a store in the mall. It was at this time that all the kids flocked to the mall. As I carried this huge thing, which if it had been an inch larger I could not have got my arms around it, these boys kept yelling, "Nice chest!" And I just laughed. Ordinarily, I probably would have had another reaction, but hey...it WAS a nice chest!
Then came the long drive home. Although it had not rained, there was a small rainbow in the sky. A quote from Sunday's sermon got into my head.

"What does a rainbow mean? A rainbow means that God keeps His promises."

What promise? According to the Bible, a rainbow is God's promise never again to destroy the Earth with a flood. But THAT can't be it. No. It's God's message to me that never again will December 2 be a cursed day.

And then, a song entered my head, a song from a Christian musical I'd been in long ago.

"Even the darkness cannot hide
The light of Your promise here inside,
Never alone,
You are with me always.
Even in times my mind can't see,
In my heart I will believe,
You are with me always."

Then, the full song came into my head and I started singing it.


Holy Father, You are with me now,
Oh, Holy Father, I can feel Your love surround me,
Peace and grace have covered every fear,
My search for Truth has ended here.
Father, I am finally understanding,
Your perfect love will never let me go.
Even the darkness cannot hide
The light of Your promise here inside,
Never alone,
You are with me always.
Even in times my mind can't see,
In my heart I will believe,
You are with me always.
Holy Father, you have given me
Ears to listen, and the faith to seek Your Glory,
I will trust in every choice You make,
As you guide each step I take.
Father, I am finally understanding,
Your perfect love will never let me go.
Even the darkness cannot hide
The light of Your promise here inside,
Never alone,
You are with me always.
Even in times my mind can't see,
In my heart I will believe,
You are with me always.
You are with me always.


I felt my faith resurging within me, and joy overwhelmed me. I kept watching the rainbow, not the traffic. I took back roads to keep following it.
And a few days later, my time at NKU ended.

Purdue University


Packing all our nessicary possessions in my sister's car, we headed up to Lafayette, Indiana. Neither of us had been accepted by the University, but we came, anyway.
About four feet of snow was on the ground, piled up so far it blocked street signs and we kept going the wrong way down one-way streets.
We had a list of numbers to call about apartments for rent. We stayed in Family Inns of America that night, with plastic chandaliers and rooms rented out by the month. But it was warm, and we had wondered if we'd have to stay all night in a stranded car. We thought about renting a room there, $100 a week, for that first semester, but we wanted to have Stinky, my sister's dog.
From there, we called about apartments. We looked at some dirty trash heaps that couldn't hold in heat, but finally we went to Franklin Park Apartments and got a descent one-bedroom apartment.
Shortly before we signed the lease, we went to see about getting enrolled. They accepted my sister easily, but told her she would get no credit for the classes if she didn't get accepted by the end of the semester, but she would have to pay.
I was another story. I was still trying to get things straightened out with Ball State, so I didn't send them my transcript yet, though they had my transfer application. I could therefore only take two courses that first semester, and I had to prove that I loved locally in order to do that. So we gave them a phony address which I changed two days later, and selected two anthropology courses, because I had falled absolutely in love with anthropology.
I got a job in a Chinese restaurant to support myself. I made just enough to cover my half of the rent and utilities, with $15 each month to spare for food. Needless to say, I ate mostly fried rice and lost a lot of weight. A good thing, really, because I had gained a lot of weight working at that hospital. I was actually underweight that semester, though. I didn't get enough to eat on my measly $15 a month. I've gained back eight pounds since then, and, though I looked better then, I know I'm healthier now. I enjoyed work, sort of. My co-workers didn't like me. I didn't fit in. But the Hispanic people who worked in the kitchen liked me. And I ended up being asked repeatedly where I was from, especially by foreigners, because I developed a kind of hybrid Chinese/Mexican accent.
The semester came to a close, and before it did both my sister and I were accepted by Purdue University, and we have come to realize how phenomonal that is. My sister applied to Ball State and Purdue, and was accepted by both, but chose Purdue because she was already here and Ball State only offered a Masters in Clinical Psychology, and she needs to get her PhD and then go to a place such as the Jung Institute in Chicago so she can be a Jungian analyst, which is her career objective.
But before the semester ended, something truely phenomonal happened. I had several online correspondants while at Ball State, which contributed negatively by making me socially withdrawn. These were the first to go when I started excluding people from my life. Yet there was one I never could forget or shake from my mind, because he had cared about me so much, and quite possibly because we had met in person. I could relate to him very well. He had written me a beautiful song, which he insists is far from his best work, but as far as far as I'm concerned it's just beautiful. Well, you be the judge.
But as I said, he'd not heard from me in a year. I kept thinking to myself how I at least owed it to him to let him know I was alive still, and doing well. I asked myself what I was afraid of. All my memories of him were positive, and I didn't want to taint that. What if he didn't remember me, or worse, what if he did but he was mad because I'd cut off communication for no reason? What if he didn't want to talk to me anymore?
But finally I decided I SHOULD do it, I really SHOULD.
And so I did. I clicked send, and it felt like I had just made an irrevocable decision that would affect the rest of my life.
Little did I know how on the mark I was.
He replied promptly, asked could he come see me the next weekend. I told him to make it the weekend after, and arranged to be staying at Whitemilk's dorm room that weekend.
Sitting in the lounge of Duhme Hall, I saw him walk through the door. He looked much like he had before, I recognized his nose and thought it was a shame he'd cut his hair.
After an ice-breaking trip across town with me constantly saying, "Now get all the way over to the right. The street is one-way, so you'll have to cut through this alley. Now there's construction on the bridge, so you'll need to get in the left lane, and then merge right. There...there's Wendy's." It was an insane trip, but West Lafayette was designed by Engineers. Yes.
Afterwards we went back to the dorm lounge. After a lot of talking and habituating, we felt very comfortable with each other, just as if the year of silence had never happened. I'd missed his friendship so much! And then, he started talking funny, and I couldn't understand him. Something about something he wanted to tell me and he hoped...huh? He was way too quiet. And what I could hear was mumbled. He was nervous. Then he got up, walked over to me, and I thought, "He's going to kiss you." I had enough time to say no, had I wanted to. I had enough time to turn my head away. I don't know if I would have had I not been in such a state of shock. No one had kissed me in so very long. I was afraid of ruining another perfectly good friendship. But I did nothing, and he kissed me.
I started shaking, from nerves. My teeth were chattering, but I kept them from clanking together, thus creating the appearance of a seisure in my face. He apologized, so I stood up, took two steps, and hugged him.
The hug was an intentionally ambiguous message. It said, "It's OK." It didn't say, "It's OK, I feel the same way." It didn't say, "It's OK, I don't think of you that way, but I'm not going to make a big deal out of it." It said, "It's OK. I need time to think."
Half an hour later, I reached my hand half way across the table, and he reached his hand out to meet mine.

On the way home from school that May, I told my mom all about my new boyfriend, whom I'd been seeing for a month. I hadn't wanted to tell her before then because I knew she'd worry about be meeting strange men online. But I knew it was serious and if I'd see him at all that summer she'd have to know about it.
The summer passed. I met my brother's son. My mother decided she had to get out of her miserable marriage.
The school year passed. I did very well in all my classes. My entire maternal family has accepted my boyfriend as a member of the family. I find myself financially abandoned and having to fend for myself.
But after all I've been through, I know I can make it. I'm happy now, and that is worth everything. I see my boyfriend about twice a month, which has to suffice for now. I know some day these frequent partings will end. Some day, we'll never have to say goodbye again.
And that brings us up to the present. I'm currently taking summer classes, and next week I begin an archaeological field school, and after that I'll know whether I want to be an archaeologist or something else.
Well this is pretty much out of date now. I completed my archaeological field work, really enjoyed it. Then I took another semester's worth of courses at Purdue before I transfered to Indiana State University. The reason for my transfer is that I got married. I really don't have much time to go much more into my current life...I'm too busy living it!
We are currently living in an apartment in Terre Haute with our cat Gatita and our dog, Maxx. I am currently working on Indiana State University's anthropology web site. Pretty busy, really. Not a whole lot of time for personal web design.
Anonoymah