June 12, 2001: 

Dearest Diary, or should I say Captain’s Log? I don’t know how to start to be honest. I guess I’ll begin by saying this is my first journal. My aunt sent it to me for my 12th birthday, which is today. The note that came with it says it will come in handy over the next year as I grow into my teens. It was embarrassing to read. My mom always makes a big deal about my two brothers and me opening our gifts in front of everyone. I had my three best friends over for pizza and cake, so of course, they saw the gift too. Everyone sniggered, and my face turned three shades of red as I read the enclosed card aloud. But here I am, writing in you anyway. So, I guess: Thank You, Aunty Amy. Here’s to a year of awkward teenage musings? Because of course, that’s what she was implying. Jokes on her, though. I started puberty when I was ten and a half.

September 11, 2001: 

Holy hell. The world is falling apart. Is this the apocalypse? Terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A third plane crashed in Pennsylvania. They say it was headed for the White House. The towers actually collapsed. The United States is on lockdown. All planes grounded. No one is certain what is going to happen next, but obviously, this was all coordinated. Why would anyone want to kill thousands of people? I’m so scared right now. My best friend is Muslim, and they are saying it was Muslims who did this. My mom overheard another neighbor, saying that my friend’s family should leave. That people will target them, blame them. I’m scared for Mo. I’m scared for us. I’m just plain scared.

June 12, 2002: 

Dear Diary. It’s been a year. And what a year it has been. Things will never be the same after 9-11. But life is sort of back to normal. We took a trip to California for Spring Break this year. The airport is so different now. There are long security lines, and they make you take everything out of your carry-on. No liquids and nearly everyone gets patted down. It was scary, but Mom assured us it was to keep us all safe. There was a dark-haired guy on our flight that looked pretty sketchy. He had a long beard and was muttering to himself the whole time. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, even though my mom whacked me a couple of times and told me to stop staring. How do we know who is good and who is bad anymore?

December 7, 2003:  

I finally kissed a girl!!! All my friends say they have already done that and more. I’m not sure I believe them since most of them still have braces. Who wants to kiss a guy with metal in his mouth? It was awkward as hell as it was, without that complication in the mix. We bumped noses, I couldn’t breathe at one point, and the saliva...Ewww. No one tells you about the spit. Despite all that, her lips tasted like the bubblegum lip balm she always uses. And my legs quivered a little. We were in my car...Oh yeah, I forgot to say I got my driver’s license last week! Anyway, we were in my car, well the family car. I was dropping her off after basketball practice for both of us, and it just happened. The windows fogged up a little, and I was terrified her dad would come pounding on the car if he happened to be home and glance outside. We have been friends since the 3rd grade. I never saw her as a beautiful person before. Just a good friend. This changes everything, doesn’t it?




She just called me just a few minutes ago to say she couldn’t wait to see me in school tomorrow. Does this mean I have a girlfriend? I guess it changes some things!

April 30, 2005: 

Last night was Junior Prom. I took Jessica. It was fun getting all dressed up, but the pictures and waiting on the girls to fix their hair, makeup, whatever, was annoying. We danced and laughed and had a fancy dinner at the local Italian Restaurant. We both made prom court, and my best friend Mo actually made Prom King! It’s crazy to think four years ago, I thought the town was going to chase his family out of town. Instead, we all rallied around them, and he became the most popular kid in school. He’s really good at soccer and cross-country. Plus, he’s super smart. All the girls say he’s handsome too. I can’t know for sure without sounding weird, but he’s definitely got something. That’s why we’ve been friends forever. Anyway, we went to this after-party at Courtney’s house. Everyone was wasted. My parents were cool, though. They said to call if any of us needed a ride home, which we did. I wasn’t drunk, but Jessica was, and so were a couple of others. True to their word, they came and got us and dropped everyone home safely, no questions asked. My mom was actually making fun of us. It made me feel grateful for having the parents I have. Dad told me this morning that both he and mom had similar experiences with Prom, and they just wanted me to be safe and have typical teenage fun. Mom added that with 9-11 still fresh on everyone’s mind, it’s important to embrace the little things. One never knows when life will take a dramatic turn. She teared up a little as she said this and looked wistfully out the window. I wonder what she was thinking about.

May 16, 2006: 

Graduation Day! I can’t believe it’s here. I’m excited and sad and scared all at the same time. Some of these kids I’ve been in school with for 13 years. And now we are all going our separate ways. I have a summer job at the Italian eatery we had prom dinner at. I bus tables for now. But once I turn 18, I can become a waiter. Then in August, I’m off to the state school about two hours from here. A couple of classmates that I know, but not necessarily friends with, are also going there, so at least I’ll know some people. I get my roommate assignment in a couple of weeks. I’m excited but nervous about that. What if I don’t like him or he doesn’t like me?

May 18, 2006:  

Mike is dead. It has always been Me, Mike, and Mo, and now he’s dead. Drunk driving. Lost control of his car on that really sharp corner out by the dairy farm. Plowed straight into a fence, through the cornfield, until his car slammed into a boulder used as a natural fence to separate the crops. I can’t stop shaking like I’m cold, but it’s warm out. My heart is racing, yet I have this pain in my chest like I can’t get enough oxygen in my lungs. Why is this happening? We are supposed to be moving on to the best part of our lives! How can I do that without Mike?

February 19, 2007: 

My brother, David, got arrested. He had been working at a finance firm in NYC. Something about money disappearing, investments going bad, people losing their life savings. It looks really bad. He says he’s innocent. That the truth will come to light. My parents are beside themselves. Mom sobbed the whole time I was on the phone with her. Dad said they’ve hired the best attorney, remortgaged their house to help fix this. For their sake, and for David’s, I hope that’s true.

September 1, 2007: 

I dropped out of school. David has been in jail for months, awaiting a trial, and my parents are so stressed about money. It didn’t seem fair to put the cost of school on them while they are fighting to save their other son from a life in prison. I’m going to go work at the local home supply store. I’m handy, thanks to my dad always assigning us different household chores, ‘man’s work’ as he put it, around the house. I’ll make okay money. Enough to rent a room out of a house with three other guys, buy my own food, etc. It’s not the best situation, but I feel good that my parents have one less thing to worry about.

November 12, 2008: 

David was found guilty. He’s depressed and says he’ll take his own life before he spends any more time in jail. It’s terrible there. He cried one night when we were able to talk on the phone, describing it as being an animal in a cage. “Remember when we went to the animal shelter to pick out Rex? All those dogs barking, the smell, the sterile feeling of the metal cages. It’s even worse than that here. At least there, those animals had a chance of being adopted, of leaving and going to a good home. There is no hope here.” I feel so helpless! My oldest brother Andy is trying to help my parents financially. He also wants to marry his longtime girlfriend and start a family of his own. No one knows what the right thing to do is. Is it terrible that I want to break my brother out of jail? Also, did I mention the country is in a recession? The housing market has crashed, and home values have tanked? Talk about a shitshow.

March 24th, 2009:  

I met a girl at the store. She’s the same age as me. She is beautiful, smart, the whole package. We have gone on a few dates, and I really thought there was something there. Tonight, she told me how her grandfather invested his life savings in some money-making scheme gone wrong. He’s now an alcoholic and never leaves his house, other than for more booze. I couldn’t tell her that her grandfather’s life was a disaster because of my brother. I broke it off. Made up an excuse that we weren’t right for each other. I have been so wrapped up in my own family’s torment that I never considered how David’s actions affected anyone else. Maybe my brother does deserve to be in jail. It hurts to even write that sentence. It hurts worse to think there are other grandfathers, fathers, mothers, sisters, daughters, out there experiencing the same thing as this girl’s family. How can I show my face at work tomorrow?

January 17, 2010: 

I’ve moved. California. I couldn’t stand to be in the same town anymore. The memories, my brother’s actions, it was haunting me, and I was going nowhere fast. I’ve been here a week, and I already feel hope for the first time in four years. Between losing my best friend Mike, then my brother David to his crimes, it’s been rough. I should be getting ready to graduate from college. Instead, I’m working as a bellhop at a private resort. It pays good money, though, and I’m considering going back to school for massage therapy. This guy Gary, who is my age, does it here, and he makes a killing in tips. “It’s not about the dough, though, man. It’s all about knowing I’m helping people feel better. I’d do it for free if I could. That’s the key to life. Find something you’d do for free and go for it! The money will come on its own.” He’s a little bit out there, but his message resonates with me. New life mission: Find something I’d like to do for free... The only thing that comes to mind is surfing and slouching on the couch in front of the TV! 

April 11, 2010: 

I’m going to be an Uncle! My brother Andy and his girlfriend just announced that she’s pregnant. They’ve been together for years now. I probably mentioned before that Andy has wanted to marry her for a while. With everything going on with David and my parents, he’s been putting it off. I think they should go for it now. I know it’s not a requirement for a family these days. We were raised traditionally, though. Marriage, then family. It just seems right. I want my niece or nephew to know that their dad is committed to their mom to them. I wish I lived closer, but I can’t go back. Not yet. Maybe not ever. On a positive note, I’ve started a side hustle. A buddy introduced me to some great guys looking to start a website that will help people get money donated to them for their specific cause. I’m pretty good with technology and familiar with website coding, so I’ve volunteered to help build the website: GoFundMe.com. I found something I enjoy that I can do for free. It’s launching soon, and I hope it will be a success. If it makes any money, I might get something for my time, but I’m happy just to help people. I’m also thinking about creating a fund for those that David screwed over.

May 1, 2011:  

They killed him! Osama bin Laden is dead. I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m relieved, but unphased at the same time. I mean, he was the devil we knew. I’m sure there are 10 guys just like him ready to take the helm of their terrorist network. And what do we know about any of them? What will their motives be, their end game? Will people crown him a saint, a martyr to their cause? Will this ramp up hate crimes against Muslims again? This Arab Spring thing going on has already caused many uprisings in traditionally Islamic countries. Will his death make these protests more violent? Things are chaotic in the world. I feel in my bones that things are not right. There was this massive tsunami in Japan after an earthquake that caused a nuclear power plant to have several meltdowns. The tsunami waves actually made it to here in S. Cal too!

January 1, 2012: Happy New Year! I’ve finally made it! The GoFundMe project has paid me some much-needed money, and it looks like I’ll be profiting from it for a few years if everything continues to go well. I gave a portion of my earnings to my parents, and a handsome honeymoon package to my brother Andy, who finally tied the knot on Christmas Eve. That project led to a few others that have put me in the position to earn stock or options in several tech startup companies if their launches go as planned. Good ole Gary from the resort was right! Find something you’d do for free, and the money will follow! Now to find someone to share it all with. I’m working on a new project called Tinder. It’s launching later this year. It’s a dating app that allows you to swipe either right or left, anonymously, on pictures of people willfully putting themselves out there. Right is ‘right,’ and of course Left is a pass. What could possibly go wrong with that?! Wish me luck!

April 10, 2020 00:22

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Graham Kinross
10:47 Mar 20, 2023

Interesting. I wonder if there were many people who ended up working on multiple big name apps. That getting him out of his run of bad luck is a very modern thing.


KT George
12:31 Mar 20, 2023

As a former tech executive, I can tell you, yes, there were programmers out there that worked on several big projects in the early 2000s. They worked for stock options, so in essence, for free, but not because they enjoyed giving back or helping the way the MC did. It's hard to believe that only 25 years ago (roughly), the dot.com frenzy was a thing, and the idea for a smartphone was just that...an idea. How much our lives have changed in such a short time. Let's not even talk about the advancement of computers!


Graham Kinross
22:35 Mar 20, 2023

Did you get any good shares?


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05:32 Sep 04, 2020

𝓖𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓽 𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝔂! 𝓘 𝓵𝓸𝓿𝓮 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓭𝓮𝓹𝓽𝓱 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓭𝓮𝓽𝓪𝓲𝓵


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