The first thing I hear is the sound of my alarm going off. I slowly open up my eyes, the sun really lighting up my room, I can see the particles of dust and air in the light out in front of my window and in the slots of the blinds, shining in. I rub the crust out of my eyes and look at my High School Diploma, the signatures on it look like gibberish to me. I've been out of school for a month now, and I'm still filled with glee that I don't have to go to school ever again. I sit up a little bit, thinking about the week before graduation I had my 18th birthday and I spent it with my girlfriend, who actually had the same birthday as me. Her family took us out to Charlotte, and had dinner. My parents working late that day and my brother over with his friends at their house.
I get out of bed and take my first steps of the day, seeing how messy my hair is I run my hand through it a couple of times. I walk over to the desk with my computer on it and a rolling office chair. I press the power button on the CPU tower, the computer starts up with it's Dell loading screen. As the computer starts up I walk out my room and down the hallway and into my bathroom.
"It's unusually quiet this morning" I say to myself, feeling my vocal cords sounding a little raspy from the first words I said today.
I walk into the bathroom and close door, washing my face and doing my hair and taking a leak all in the span of 10 minutes or so. I walk out, my hair looking kinda like a brown pompadour. I walk back into my room, the computer on it's log onto Windows XP password screen. I lean over the keyboard and type it in, the computer greeting me with a nice chime and the green grass background and blue skies with barely any clouds in site. I look at the time in the corner of the screen, it's 9:23am.
I lean back up and walk near my window and open up my dresser, which holds my Polaroid TV, one of the few things I still have from when we moved from Baltimore back in 2000, before we moved to Matthews, North Carolina. I grab my Coca Cola 600 t-shirt I got from going to a NASCAR race that my dad got for me, when my dad took our family to a NASCAR race that was going on in Charlotte to make up for everyone missing my birthday. I don't really bother putting on shorts, since the shirt goes down to my kneecaps anyways. I close the dresser drawer and sit down on my rolling office chair and click the internet icon, being still glad also my family finally got broadband also around this time last year.
The screen taking me to MSN, nothing really much that interests me on the home screen, besides maybe my girfriend being interested in Britney Spears cancelling her summer tour. I type in MySpace and click the website link. I sign into my account. I smile at the picture I used for my account, a picture of me from about summer of last year at the local fair, grinning like a idiot with Molly, my girlfriend, by my side. Her hair looking more brunette than dirty blonde in this picture. I go over to my friend's profile, who I'm flying out to Manchester, England tomorrow morning to go see. I click on his profile, me and him meeting first on AOL Messenger in a The Strokes chat room for the band. He was a moderator for a bit until he said he got tired of AOL and sent a message directly to me that I was a nice bloke and he would like to be friends on Myspace. That was in early October of 2003 and here we are now.
"Just tell me when you're flying out for Manchester" the last message he sent me last night, well night where I was but probably around four in the morning where he was, when he was most likely heading off to work.
I click the box button and reply "Tomorrow morning for me, but I probably won't be there until probably probably 11 o'clock at night for you. Time Zones and layovers and all that shit".
I begin to click off of his account and look through my top 8 friends, my first one being my girlfriend, Molly. She's the one that kept bugging me to make a Myspace account in the first place, her profile picture being a picture of her dressed in a blue Paul Frank tank top and jean shorts and flip flops, standing in Navy Pier with the Chicago Skyline in the background. This was the week after graduation, she's been back since the 2nd. And after her are my two friends Richard "Richie" and Jonathan. Richie was the first friend I made here back in 2001, this cool black guy with dreadlocks who was about a couple of inches taller than me, I was 5'9 at that time. We met in English class when he started cracking jokes about the teacher whenever she was out of the classroom, and I chimed in with him. We both made the class laugh and we started hanging out since then. I met Jonathan or as he likes to be called "Jon" at the roller skating rink at with my girlfriend in 2002. We were at the concession stand and we were standing in line behind each other and we started making conversation, and after finding out we went to the same school we started talking more there, Richie also tagging along and leaving his usual friend group for us after awhile, but from what I've heard he still did things with them on weekends.
The rest of the top 8 friends were people and friends I knew from Baltimore, I talked to them from time to time. I feel my stomach gurgle out of hunger, I decide it's time to go downstairs and get a bowl of cereal.
I click off of Myspace and get up from my chair and walk out of my room and down the stairs and take a right past the living room, the huge JVC TV off.
I walk into the kitchen and open the cupboard and grab a medium sized plastic bowl and a spoon from one of the drawers. I close both of them and go into the pantry, reaching up and grabbing the box of Cap'n Crunch. I hear the front door opening, my 16 year old younger brother cursing under his breath.
"What's wrong Nate?" I say, walking out of the pantry and putting everything down on the counter before opening the fridge door and grabbing the gallon of milk.
"One of my friends lost the 30 dollars I gave them for the McDonald's we and the rest of the dudes were going to splurge on" Nate says, he's dressed in blue jeans and his chain wallet coming out of his pocket, a flannel shirt that's open in the middle, showing off his Linkin Park t-shirt that still fits him after four years.
"Tough luck" I say, shrugging my shoulders and I put the milk down to uncap it.
"Oh fuck you" he says annoyed, walking away and stomping up the stairs.
I chuckle to myself and think about the posse of teenage nu-metal Fred Durst wannabes my younger brother hangs out with as I pour the cereal and milk into the bowl and insert the spoon and hold the bowl of cereal and walk over to the living room. I put my bowl of cereal on the TV tray right in front of the brown leather recliner chair and grab the cable TV remote, I press the power button and the TV makes a turning on like sound. The volume up somewhat high and I turn it down a couple of steps, the time being right now 9:57, most TV shows ending right now or just about to. I flick through channels, nothing is really interesting is on. I notice ABC Family is airing Ally McBeal and I watch that until I finish my cereal. Never really cared much for the modern day network TV sitcom reruns ABC Family would air during the day, every so often I might see mom watch the channel in her free time. Most of the time whenever I did watch TV was over Molly's house on nights where her parents weren't home, we'd watch new episodes of the shows she liked (The O.C., Dawson's Creek, she's been recently getting into One Tree Hill and Gilmore Girls also). The only show I really liked was The O.C, the only show both of us enjoy is The Sopranos. Her dad invited us to watch a new episode with him a couple of times in 2002, and we were both hooked. Both of us hearing about the show but never really watching it until then. We finished watching the latest season a couple of weeks ago as the new episodes came out, it feels like watching a movie each episode.
I turn the TV off with the remote and move the TV tray back and putting the bowl and spoon in the sink. Thinking about what dad might be doing at the law firm he works at in Charlotte and where Mom might be right now with one of her clients for the real estate company she works at. I march up stairs and knock on Nate's door, hearing the song "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D. playing his room. He opens the door, I smell the smell of basically dirty clothes and Body Odor, not as bad as usual but oh well. His room's wall is plastered with nu metal band posters, Linkin Park, P.O.D., Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm, System Of A Down, and Korn and Slipknot.
"Hey, dude. Can I borrow your car? Mom's not home so I can't borrow hers" I say to him.
"Why?" He says, scratching his chin.
"I'm going go out and meet with Jon, I think he's off from the movie theater today and plus, we both know how stupid it is dad got you a car for you 16th birthday but didn't get me one. We live in a upper middle class neighborhood y'know with two good paying incomes" I say.
"Fine, ugh. Just take your cell phone with you for I can call you if I need anything". Nate says, grabbing the car keys from out of his pocket.
"Thanks bro" I say, snatching the keys out of his hand and running to my room to put some clothes on.
I come out dressed in khaki shorts, a old pair Jon gave me and a t-shirt with red and orange stripes on it, I kinda look like a cartoon character with my red Converse High Tops on.
I jog down the stairs, feeling my Samsung flip phone I got as a graduation present from my mom in my left pocket go up and down, and my younger brother's car key's jingle in my right. I open up the door and the other door that has the screen. I feel the hot southern heat coming down on me, I see a couple of kids on bikes riding down the street, a younger woman pushing a stroller, general middle class suburban neighborhood stuff. I walk toward my brother's car, his red 1998 Dodge Neon Sport. I open the front door, Nate usually keeps his doors unlocked when he's parked at home, but dad tells him one of these days someone's going to break into it.
I sit and close the door, I put the key in the ignition and turn, he's had this car since January and it's still in pretty good shape, even though it's a used car. The car starts up and I turn out of the front of the house, the radio still blaring Nate's nu metal stuff. I change it to the radio and switch stations as I drive, I stop on the local pop station, since the Alt rock station seems to be on a ad break. "The Reason" by Hoobastank is playing, a butt rock song but it's not that bad.
I make it out of the neighborhood subdivision and onto the Pineville-Matthews Road. I turn my blinkers on and turn and accelerate down the road, passing the high school I used to go to. I go down the road a little bit more, and then I reach Jon's neighborhood and turn in. I pass the first two cul-de-sac until I take another turn and reach his house. I park in front of it and turn the engine off and get out of the car and lock my doors before walking up the stairs to his house. I knock on the door, I wait a about a minute before I see Jon answer the door.
"Oh hey dude, you're visiting me the day before your Europe trip?" He says, he's dressed in basketball shorts, a "Class of 04'" t-shirt, but his hair spiky gelled. Jon is really into that whole Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Sum 41 and Simple Plan type scene that's been popular for the last couple of years. I think it's called pop punk.
"Yeah bro, you're the only dude I hung out with from school left. Since Richie went to Parris Island a couple of days after graduation" I say as I walk inside and take my shoes off.
"Yeah that's a bummer, but at least you've still got me" Jon says, he walks into the kitchen and grabs himself a Dr.Pepper, he offers me one but I tell him I had cereal about a hour ago.
"So, do you wanna go see a movie before you leave off for England? I've got tickets reserved for me and you for that new movie Dodgeball that comes out today" Jon says, he walks down the downstairs hallway and into the living room.
"Yeah, what the hell. Might as well, what time is the movie though. I gotta leave out for the flight at 4:30 in the morning on Saturday" I say, following him to his living room.
"About 6:45 tonight, is that alright" he says, he grabs his TV remote and turns it on MTV, changing it from some soap opera show. MTV showing some music video of one of the bands Jon likes, I think the song is called "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World.
"Yeah that's cool" I sit on the other side of the couch.
"Remember when me and Richard would go over your house at night and not leave until early in the mornings, just watching MTV and Adult Swim and Fuse and BET and whatever just seemed cool and just talked all night, those summers of 2003 and 2002 " I say.
"Yeah, me too.." Jon says.
Me and him watch TV for about 5 hours, just talking and snacking on whatever he had in the house. Mostly watching MTV with a little bit of Cartoon Network out of sheer boredom. MTV mostly playing modern pop, rock, rap, and the rare TV show mixed in and Total Request Live.
I get a call from my girlfriend, saying she'll be at her work at the Old Navy at the mall all day, saying that she loves me and that she can't wait when I'll get back from England. I tell her I love her back.
"How'd you get the money for the trip anyways? I know you're not that spoiled?" Jon asks, turning the channel back to MTV. Playing "Yeah" by Usher ft. Lil Jon and Ludicris.
"I mean, I was stocking shelves at Winn-Dixie for awhile dude" I respond.
"Oh ok, that makes sense" He replies.
We talk more and watch the TV longer until it's time to go to the theater, I drive Jon into town and we get in for basically dirt cheap due to Jon's worker discount.
The theater was pretty crowded, filled with mostly dudes and some women. Dodgeball: A True Underdog story was actually pretty funny, the movie ended at around 8. I drove Jon home and got home around 8:45, I was already full from the popcorn and soda and the candy I had a the movies. I pretty much took a shower, got my luggage ready, and went to bed at 10.