• Four years packed with changes expected but outright denied. Friends are forever, right? Hard when you don’t see them in any of your classes. Made new friends, though. Lighter people, less depressing. Ate lunch with a girl every day for two years. Still best friends. Never knew her name ‘til she convinced me to throw. Only lasted for a season, though. Had to get a job, eventually.

    My job is awesome. Youngest ever. Might even be against company policy, but don’t tell anyone I said that. Big bucks for a teenager, health insurance, the works. Now I’m the only person in the house with a job. Figures. There’s a certain level of decency required to keep a job. Can’t get hurt all the time, either. Applied for a job under the guise of having to pay for a car. Really only wanted to go to Peru, which I did. Life changing, perspective changing, priceless. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. Who would want to rule the world, anyway? Too much responsibility.

    High school has a certain aspect of laziness nearly comparable to inertia. Get going in one direction and can’t turn around. Exponential growth or decay, whichever direction you start with. Reluctantly grew. 1/6 honors to 4/7. Inertia is a powerful thing. Saved me from [the world]. God saved me from [myself]. That’s a different story. A lot more changes in inertia than I’d like to explain.

    Had zero inertia in service ‘til decided to go to Peru. Joined a few clubs, dragging the lighter friends along. Perspective changes. Had zero inertia in career, too. Not so sure that’s changed. Directionless passions aimed at the shiniest prize. Pray there’s more to it than that. Perspective changes, remember? Perhaps earned inertia there. However inertia is acquired, try to stack it up. Point it along. Lazy makes life difficult. Like the first teacher, like them all. Too lazy to have a different opinion. Like one class, like them all. Like one person, like them all.

    People are puzzles I haven’t the inertia to decipher. Smile and nod. Always surprise when a face says my name. Pretended I was invisible, to learn otherwise is a shock. Whip around to ask me a question. When did you realize I was here? Flustered, to say the least. Always flustered around the peers. Look up to them. They always seem smart. Put together, held tight with superglue. I’m not old enough to buy superglue from Walmart. Out of place, don’t belong. Hunch over in an effort to disappear. Do they have lives outside of school? Work 20 hours a week. That’s five nights. Try to keep up with youth group. So much inertia. Hard to hold on to it all.

    Grip on tight for my life. Dad moves out, brother moves in, brother moves out, dad moves in, friends move in, friends move out, sister moves in, brother-in-law moves in, brother-in-law moves out, sister moves out, sister moves in. Living room carpeted with sleeping bags. How do they cope? Having a chronically ill parent just adds to the chaos. Greatest fear: coming home to one less person to love. Love is a big word. So many different connotations. The center of the chest held together by one simple concept. Like chains around the arms. Hard to breathe, so tight. Suck in breath. Headache. This can’t be love. This is worry. Flooding through the veins like a poison destined to drain the life out of me. Heavy sigh. What do people do with this?

    Too much inertia to ponder the consequences. Shovel it into a deep grave and pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s what I do with worry. Swallow it deep, let it smolder. The light in my eyes is fueled by the fire in my soul. Never question what’s burning. Smells like beef. Met a vegetarian once. Seemed normal enough, save the whole worshiping the devil gig. Ironic. One of the more depressing friends. Friends say a lot about a person. How much effort goes into life in general. How tight the grip on trust is. Who do I trust? Never wondered about that. Myself? No, mind changes too often. The ill parent. There’s trust. Twenty-four-seven trust. Blindfolded trust. Wasted on a destined corpse. Can’t trust a corpse. Decays and smells bad. Soul, perhaps. Put in a good word with the puppet-master.

    What an insulting name for the being that created the universe. There’s love. Perfect love. Matchless. Unfathomable. Arms wrapped around the chains to cushion the wounds. Maybe He gives away inertia like candy at a parade. Probably directed. One for you, one for me. Futile, to put divinity in a box. Ever played the Sims? Some say it makes you feel like a god. The joy of success wrapped up in a hundred little lives of bliss and uniformity. Better than the confounded establishment we call society.

    No one feels like a piece of society, but all contribute to its failure. Gave up trying that a long time ago. Why fit in when you can stand out? A mask is hard to maintain when it’s being torched by judgmental eyes all day long. Throw away the mask and let the skin melt. Probably smells like beef, too. Smell is the strongest sense connected to memory.

    Love of learning. Packing facts, both useful and useless, into the smallest number of neurons as possible. Wanna be a teacher someday. “Knowledge is power.” If knowledge was power, we’d have a different president. Questions don’t always lead to answers. Someone put out the light at the end of the tunnel. Round-about ways to reach conclusions that don’t fit. Puzzle-pieces cut in two just to confuse the average quizzical sloth.

    The last two years of high school are two years of work and friends. School becomes last priority. Grades drop all the way to A minuses. Tragic. Someone has to pay for gas. Mission trips. Food. Toiletries. Laptop. Awesome shiny brain at the fingertips of my own synapses. Tactless but user-friendly. Vista is for the simpleminded. Easy to use, great graphics. Not suited for older computers. Do not try this at home. Greatest warning every given and least followed. Who doesn’t try it at home?

    Work becomes play. Go to school. Homework. Work. School. Homework. Work. Paycheck! Oh, life suddenly has meaning. Gone before it hits the bank. Classic. American dream of consumerism. Twenty here, fifty here, one hundred to the greedy men sitting behind desks at colleges across the country. How much money goes to postage and paper to advertise the institutions that create our future leaders? Far too much. Obviously they haven’t mastered the leader concept. Can’t blame it all on leaders, though. Average person panicking at the mention of decline. Sit back with a glass of lemonade. Eventually we all die. Might as well enjoy the ride. Inertia, verdad? Inertia says to go along like nothing happened. Eighty years from now it’s etched in the history books like a dull reminder of stupidity at its finest. Great grandkids wondering what it’s like to have food on their plate three times a day. Across the world they die from dirty water. Food is a luxury. Family and religion become the staples of third-world diet. Violence. Emotion without a leash.

    America is blind. Nailed in a casket with tiny portholes for air. Nothing more. Murals painted on the sides just tickle our fancy. Hardly based in reality. Reality exists, but the American twists it to fit his own perspective. Face reality to face death. Debt. Futility expressed in every action to acquire wealth and riches. Moths and rust destroy. Some try both. Riches here, and riches up there. They don’t go together. Choose a place for riches; here or there. Give riches from this world to those who can use them. Hard to accept, but reality is plain. Following a perfect man is difficult, to say the least. The heart screams for action, the brain resists inertia. To give is to be empty, they argue. Hardly! Filled with the love that comes with knowledge of more. Knowledge is wonder and awe. The more you know, the more you sit on the side of the road with a pencil in your ear wondering how you got there.

    How did I get here? Four years of forks and varying paths. Turn left or go forward? Sideways glass elevators are closer to reality than only up and down. Webs of memories, possibilities, and choices. More than four dimensions. What if? Echoes of yesterday, shine of tomorrow. Dull ache of today. Change one thing? Butterfly effect lives forever. Live in the present because yesterday does not change. Tomorrow is uncertain, full of too many possibilities to fathom. Trust in Eternal. The power to alter the present and manipulate the future. More will in His little finger than all the hearts of man. Pry open doors with all our might. He shuts the same with a whisper of power. Desire not the receiving end of His wrath. Taken for us. Bled for us. Sacrificed for us so that those shouts would not destroy, nor touch. Innocent, blameless, yet held accountable by our own conscious. What sin? A memory long-lasting, yet selective because of divine immolation. Payment, atonement, retribution, justification, sanctification. All of unparalleled implications. From the same Man. Future is uncertain. He is not. Past behind me, His will in front of me. Stand aside mere mortal men full of evil desires and wretched dreams. A chariot of fire blazes a path of purest gold—follow with soft steps of innocence not earned, but gifted.