Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A View From A Broad

This next book is one that is purely written in only a way that she can. Although this book was originally written in 1980, it has been re-written to give a more modern update. This book is not just a biography, it is a collection of life seen through her eyes. With a career spanning 41 years, here is the life story from one of Hollywood's ICONIC greats, the Divine Miss M herself: Bette Midler. As Bette has said: "Here's what I did in my life and all the crazy shit along the way."

One of the first things you learn from Bette is that while her career consists of global and international travel, she is comfortable w/ NEW and unfamiliar territory. She loves her work and she is a worker. It's just the leaving what you KNOW and feeling like you're being thrown into the abyss. She ALWAYS had the desire to see the world. Originally hailing from New Jersey, Bette's father moved to Hawaii during the Depression. Not so much to find work, but as a proper setting for his wife, whom he always thought of as to beautiful & delicate. Growing up in Hawaii (a.k.a. Paradise) was difficult. For Bette, it was describing her surroundings as though she felt she was colorless and boring. Everyone else around her had sophistication of culture. In school, while everyone else had an exotic name or something of mystery, Bette felt like a plain jane.

While Bette is known for being a talker/rambler, it has somewhat made up a rather large part of her act and she depends on it. In the early dark days of rehearsals, within her new Harlette's did Bette find comfort. After needing to find new background singers for her Grand Tour, her old ones went to try to find their own fame/fortune. While others would leave and discard, those new ladies when/if Bette needed would BE THERE (no matter whether it was personal or professional.) Not only to enliven & enrich one another, they would help each other and be their best self!

What Bette realized she needed through a sh-lumpy period to be of worth again was an entrance! When it comes to fans, in her diary, Bette states that there is something ODD and comfortable about the DIE HARD fans that follow her tour from city-to-city. It's endearing that they're there. A comfort to have familiar fans. But crazy due to the financial backstory to be there! It gives Bette a sense of belonging & meaning. It's something to embrace. For fans to be that loyal.

Bette's first memories of Hawaii are of the oleander bushes that surrounded their apartment house. Their were 4 kids in the Midler household. The oldest were Judy & Susan, Bette and their youngest sibling was a boy, Danny. Their mother loved to sew. She was TERRIFIC at it. Better grew up always hearing the sound of the sewing machine. It became a comfort to hear. There was always fabric around the house. In her childhood, Bette would wear her mother's creation's. She never realized what an artist her mother was until they opened this crate their mother owned. It was FILLED w/ EVERYTHING she EVER MADE by hand. It was her trousseau.

When Bette turned 12, their mother decided it was time for her daughter to learn how to sew, just as her sisters had done before. It was an ordeal, but WELL WORTH IT! Bette could make the clothes of her dreams that were inspired by the revolutionary Mr. Frederick of Frederick's Of Hollywood. It wasn't long before Bette wore her desired fashions. Growing up on the Islands, she grew up surrounded by a blaze of color. Even today, Bette's Hawaiian roots shine through whenever she performs a show. Bette's first hula teacher was also the same one who blithely introduced a child of this age to the spotlight. Once she was there . . . . she was NOT going back. The same hula teacher also gave a young Bette her first lesson in spontaneity. A lesson she is still learning.

Bette describes an incident where she was in-between a show and an appearance where she was LITERALLY stuck inside a Hot Dog costume. She always likes to take a few characters w/ her when she goes out on the road. The ladies/characters she dreams up are masks she can hide behind. Something she TRULY loves. When she was 10 years old, Bette was in their local library. She snuck into an old out-of-the-way room she was always fascinated by. It was dark, cool & musty. It was FORBIDDEN to children. But Bette was drawn to it . . . . so in she ran. Once inside, she was drawn to Oscar Wilde's book, The Decay Of Lying. It ended up being exactly what she was unknowingly looking for. What she got out of it was a great persona and that she could invent. She got the answer to her problem from Oscar Wilde. Her first inventive character she dreamed up was Delores DeLago, spanning after seeing a picture of The Little Mermaid in her Danish phrase book. An innocent and vulnerable mermaid. A character who TRULY BELIEVED in herself. Delores may be down, but her self-esteem raises her up.

Another character w/ GENUINE spirit of an old soul was "The Magic Lady" after an old bag lady who took up residence on her stoop one July. After she was gone, Bette came to TRULY miss her. Making her up The Magic Lady was a way to give back to someone who gave Bette an INVALUABLE lesson. Unlike sassy & brazen Delores, The Magic Lady still had an unknown mystery. In many ways, The Magic Lady is someone of whom is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE (in person & in personality) of the REAL Bette herself.  The part of The Magic Lady that Bette has a hard time connecting w/ was her optimism. In the face of everything she faces: she is a SURVIVOR! That is the Magic within The Magic Lady. Bette admires that the most within this character.

London Palladium
Bette believes in NOT taking the easy way out. If you're in a foreign atmosphere: learn about its culture and language. Trying to be culturally & educationally aware. Clothes were, and are, as important to her as an entrance. If it doesn't feel right - nothing else will either. When it came to performing at The London Palladium, Bette and her crew were so excited to arrive. After brushing up on London (from reading and onto more) She is just crazy about royalty - especially queens.

Ever since Bette seen Greer Garson show Laurence Olivier how to shoot an arrow in Pride and Prejudice, she has looked forward to seeing all of the FAMOUSLY HISTORIC English landmarks that she had been waiting for. Although having to donn a gray knit cap, a pair of sunglasses to hide her eyes and a long woolen scarf to hide the lower half of her face, although physically suffering, but completely unrecognizable. Bette felt these precautions were necessary due to the tremendous success in Tinseltown. But the English Theatrics celebration was a grand old time. While Bette was trying to introduce herself upon the perils of London, the remainder of her band of troupes were figuring out what to do and see.  She had always wanted to see the Scandinavian countries. But duties call there to work. Within her third performance in London, live on stage, the hot dog costume HAD TO GO when without warning, the buns of the costume fell off. They left its remains in London. A great relief and disappointment for EVERYONE. As things fell downhill, Bette needed to let out frustrations & vent. Finding a victim in her manager and letting it out. Sometimes the most innocent people are the ones we take everything out on. Words weren't enough. Bette felt the need to throw something of steel.

When Bette came to, 15 minutes later, staff told her she was lucky to be alive. She had somehow managed to, in reaching for a weapon to throw, stuck her finger directly into an electrical converter that was lying on the table, waiting to receive her hair dryer. Everyone thought she was dead. Then they were concerned that she felt no ill effects. One look in the mirror and Bette felt terrific. The shock had brought a lively spark back inside her. She had color back in her cheeks, curled her hair and a warm, tingling sensation where she had chills and shivering prior before. A one point feeling foreign and unable in this culture, then realizing what she truly has been blessed with and decided to rock out. The Jutebory Scandinavium in Sweden. It was a tremendous success!

Bette gives GREAT ATTITUDE and ADMIRATION for those who chauffeur. While some people treat them as a transportation prop, Bette doesn't! She takes an interest and gets to know and jokes around w/ them. If she is FOREIGN on a subject, Bette will most definitely do her research. While in Copenhagen, she very much wanted to lay her eyes on The Little Mermaid. In London, the people had gone simply wild over Delores. As they were exiting Sweden, Bette and her crew ran into bad weather, but Bette was DETERMINED to see this statue. It was NOW or NEVER! She stopped walking and lifted her head. Not more than 10ft from where she stood was The Little Mermaid. Bette was hoping her own-created character wasn't an insult. Just then a clap of thunder exploded directly overhead. In the same instant, a bolt of lightening struck the defenseless statue. For one moment, the statue glowed pure gold. It lasted a short time, but for Bette, it would always last.

They were traveling down the coast on a gorgeous, sunny day and Bette had gas! It wasn't from food, but acute aggravation stemming from Delores. The bitch of a character had been getting cockier-and-cockier. She was capable of doing ANYTHING and she DID! Bette had created a monster. Without warning one night, Delores had taken off w/ Bette's crew in tail. She was acting like a complete DIVA; Delores was. While Bette is serious in her work, Delores is the opposite. After arriving in Paris, France, from the moment of getting off the plane, Bette KNEW they belonged there. Bette also gives an introduction into her character, Madame Sophie.

When Bette was performing in Germany, she thought it was best to not tackle or think of certain things. She thought about the message it would send whether she did or didn't speak about them. (If I talk about this, It says I'm . . . If I don't, it means I'm . . .) But as fate would have it, as soon as she hit the stage, she was completely nervous. What she was trying hard not to say was the first thing to come out of her mouth. No one was more shocked than her! After realizing what came out, what could you do but go on! Pretty soon after, Bette had the German audience adjoining her. She still had no idea how they felt about it and the reviews never mentioned it, nor did any of the Germans that Bette had conversed with after the show. Maybe they were being kind. It was sort of an odd situation. When she was performing, the audience would laugh at the funny, and be warm in reception, but they mostly kept a composure like manner. When they began to arrive for the show, it was a little alarming. Group conformity is nerve wracking. You don't know whether you'e getting something joyous or harmful.

Bette tells a saddening story of a former classmate of hers who was teased and taunted due to his physicalities. A horribly teased taunt resulting in one step too far. Her classmate was soon missing after school and the next morning. He was found as a result of a suicide due to being tired of always being the punchline. Something that was - and still is - SADDENING a HUGE EPIDEMIC today. Bette thought about this kid ALOT in Germany. Something that today is widely underseen and invisible to the eye!

Bette confesses to the FIRST & ONLY time she ate hash. BIG MISTAKE AFTERWARDS. The effects were kicking in MINUTES BEFORE going onstage. After shrieking & heaving like the sea, Bette flew into the bathroom. When she came back out, she quite a bit lighter and sober as a nun. After being dressed and placed for the curtain raise, Bette gave the cue after confirming her okay, she picked up her mike, straightened her hem, got in position and went out onstage. After telling a BIG lie in Amsterdam when she was due to leave for Sydney to leave before 3 weeks of performances, Bette told her manager that she needed to be alone for awhile. She wanted to stay in Amsterdam and come to Sydney a few days later. She tried to reason as best as she could, but it was hopeless. Bette was ADAMANT! If she didn't get those few days to stay on her own, she would cancel the rest of the dates booked and go home! After being given her plane ticket, not only did she stay in Amsterdam, she did something brave, foolish and what she's ALWAYS wanted to do: She went to India.

a monsoon and a rice barge
During her journey heading towards the jungles of Thailand, a one-night layover on her way to Sydney, NOTHING would've prepared her Bette for what she would see. There was NO LAND ANYWHERE. No Land. Just water. She didn't know it at the time, but she had arrived IN THE MIDDLE of monsoon season. At this point, the monsoons had been pretty severe. A taxi driver convinced her that she HAD TO take a rice barge upriver to see the naturality of the jungles to see Thai life. It was rather easy for Bette. To get around, Bette used the same bargaining principles she's used in the past to put a show together. The boatman who showed her around explained Thailand's situation and future plans. In the '60s, Bette was committed to the antiwar movement and done her share of various shoutings of phrases. Now she was faced w/ people that she adored on-sight who might have to battle for what little they had.

As Bette rode down the river, the sun was setting around her. It had occurred to her that the beautiful, calming & serene peace of atmosphere around her may not always be there! (It would be like finding and centering yourself at peace in a world FULL of chaos.) As she ventured into different countries, not only did they have to change their language every day, they had to change. They had to change their change. it became so confusing for Bette that she stopped using money altogether. She made what few purchases she could the the old-fashioned way: The Barter System. Sometimes personal items or short exposes on celebrities. Once they hit Australia, it elated Bette to be privileged enough to count her change again. The situation and culture of Australia had Bette happier than anywhere else. Life was so relaxed & uncomplicated. She felt young and care free. But more than anything else, Bette wanted to see Australian wildlife. What she had expected was a scenery of jungle wildlife. It was a shock! Australia was awash in venom. Anywhere around, one could be instantly killed. It didn't stop her from immediately leaving, although fearless and brave, Bette didn't leave her room again.

However, The Magic Lady did leave on her own. She chose to go where there were NO people AT ALL. Only animals. It wasn't her venturing to make trouble for The Magic Lady, there was NO TIME in the schedule to do so. Time in Australia was becoming extended. As she boarded the plane, Bette had to keep herself from shrieking and ordering The Magic Lady to return back. It was over! There were more places to go and wonder what they would think of Delores, The Magic Lady or even Bette herself.

Bette recalls when she was pestered & annoyed by a director, Vilmos Angst, to do a role in his film. The role was something Bette would NEVER have accepted due to it including nudity. She was beyond that. Bette wanted to show she could act. She wanted to show that there was a difference between the two. But she kept refusing, but he kept persisting. After promising to return from retrieving a pen from her purse to sign, Bette was clever. She secretly went snorkeling. On-and-on she swam. There was nothing she could do. She was exhausted and resigned. When at last she felt in front of her, a white beach lined w/ coconut palms. Bette had reached Tuamotu. After about 3 days, Bette began to feel a pull back to REAL life. She preferred pavement to palm trees and gossip to grouper. When getting ahold of a newspaper, it had presumed in the headline article that Bette was dead. She found it a little exciting. But 2 days later, she had been discovered being filmed. With everything genuinely okay, Bette returned to the Australian mainland, finishing her tour in triumph!

Whether it's in music, film or TV, what is your FAVORITE song, film or role from The Divine Miss M?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

This next book is one that TRULY defines life through the eyes of a teenager. The setting for this story is a really crucial one: Freshman year in high school. With the common trials and tribulations of being a teenager: sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is the story of how 3 teens SHOW when it's like it to be a teenager and The Perks Of A Wallflower.

Written in a "Dear Diary" forum. Speaking in a form as being said to you. A story told from the eyes of a teenage boy, Charlie, who is both happy and sad at the same time following the the death of his friend, Michael. Michael had killed himself w/ a single gunshot while his mom was playing Bridge w/ the neighbors. The entire situation, a friend's suicide and the school's "guidance" counselor following, opened a floodgate inside Charlie. He let out his emotions at the guidance counselor to fuel his anger. For the rest of middle school, Charlie was treated differently. He made the school staff nervous.

Charlie put himself into Michael's shoes, but Charlie's dad had pointed out to his son that others had it worse. There were 3 kids in Charlie's family. An older brother that was playing football for Penn State, an older sister and Charlie. His Aunt Helen was his favorite person in the world. Helen was a "Straight Acer" who gave her nephew books to read. Charlie enjoyed them. Helen had stayed w/ the family for the last years of her life due to a horrific occurrence that NO ONE explained to Charlie. THAT was when Charlie SEEN what his dad was saying by others having it worse. Charlie began his FIRST day of high school the next day which he feared going.

Charlie is realizing on his first day he dislikes high school. Kids change in a negative way. Once sweet last year, now w/ "growth", they think they're "better than". Of course, it could be a mash of a life hidden they didn't want. Charlie was quiet and kept to himself most of the time. Only one kid seemed to start trouble w/ Charlie and he fought back. He used the same technique used by his brother done on him. Charlie really hurt this kid. His sister, Candace, had to leave her honors class and drive her brother home. Charlie wasn't suspended because another student told the truth about the fight. Charlie is emotional at times while his siblings are busy w/ their own lives. He is working towards an academic scholarship, until he meets a friend. Whomever it is, Charlie hopes they see that he is just a good guy.

Charlie seen 2 highlights within his first week of school: 1. he seen his brother on television for sports. 2. He began an early reading, so he could he could read it twice, of an ICONIC AMERICAN CLASSIC: To Kill A Mockingbird. He finished the book 6 days later. Charlie's advanced English teacher asked him to refer him by his first name when NOT in class. Giving Charlie another book to read and an essay to write on the Mockingbird book. Charlie's sister is part of the school's Earth Day Club and that is where she meets the boys. They are nice to her but she is mean in return. Her boyfriend is now ALWAYS making her mixed tapes w/ a theme. She gave one to Charlie and appreciated the affect it had on him, using Charlie's emotions as her own and it moved her boyfriend emotionally.

Charlie was watching a rented movie. His sister was saying very mean things of why he didn't stand up to the school bullies from a time ago. Charlie wasn't paying ANY attention to what he thought was a sequel of their fight until . . . . his sister was slapped by her boyfriend. Charlie was FROZEN! She had NO RESPONSE! She asked Charlie for his secrecy from their parents. On the following Friday, Charlie accidentally walked into a private moment between the 2 of them. The next day they acted like everything was nice and happy and nothing ever happened. She looked at Charlie verifying his secrecy. He was stuck w/ images he didn't want to see. Her boyfriend's actions and her response to them. Charlie felt bad for both of them.

Charlie began his first day in shop class. His 2ND favorite class. His favorite next to A.P. English. There's a kid in shop class who LITERALLY goes by Nothing. His name is Patrick. The kids referred to him as Patty. He responded w/ Call me Patrick or call me nothing. That was how the taunt stuck. He was a new kid in school doing funny impressions of the teacher, Mr. Callaghan. It was hilarious. In the meantime, Charlie's sister asked for her mixed tape back that she now fervently listens to! He/Charlie received a C on his paper for To Kill A Mockingbird. A few days later, Charlie attended the high school football game solo. He doesn't know why. He just did. He used to attend back in middle school. Just something to do on a Friday night. Everyone else within the crowd ventured toward their own. Charlie was hanging and checking things out until he seen Patrick/"Nothing" watching the game in the stands. One of the few ACTUALLY watching the game and shouting commentary from his seat.

Charlie was pointed out by Patrick and was very friendly. Charlie was invited to sit w/ him and a very pretty friend; Sam. He took them up on it. He began listening to the yelled commentary. Patrick actually KNEW his football, as well as, Charlie's brother. It wasn't until later that Charlie seen Sam's beauty until they were at the Big Boy and Sam & Patrick began chain smoking that he TRULY seen her. The best part was that although Sam & Patrick had their own banter, they included Charlie in their discussion(s). While hanging out, Patrick & Sam continued their smoking. Charlie was under the misconception that Sam & Patrick's banter was that they were going out. The truth was that they were stepbrother and stepsister, but w/ a brother and sister closeness. Patrick's dad married Sam's mom. He thought of Sam as a TRUE friend, but sometimes seen her as more. Charlie confessed to Sam that he "drempt" about her. She laughed in a way thinking Charlie was being cute. She stated it was okay. Charlie had stopped crying. He thought she was pretty, but he told her she was lovely. But, in truth, Charlie was too young for Sam. After meeting up w/ Patrick, Patrick gave Charlie some advice to seek other girls to avert his likeness to Sam. Wayward advice . . . . but advice nonetheless. Whenever it came to school dances, Charlie usually hung out in the background listening to the music and tapping his feet.

Charlie usually walks to/from school. 1.) His age - 15. 2.) He wants to feel like he's earned it. Earn the privilege to go to/be at school. (I am personally the exact same way.) Charlie does it to be able to tell his kids that he walked to school the same way that grandparents did. The "In The Old Days" Reference. It may be long and tedious, but WORTH IT during good weather. After she was hit, Charlie's sister was not allowed to see the abusive boyfriend again, which set he crying. Their dad was going to talk to the boys' parents. After things calmed down in the house, their dad did just as he said he would.

Charlie's sister in anger called her brother a freak. He wasn't trying to be. He went back to his room where things were quiet. Even though his sister was mad, their dad did the right thing. Charlie is trying to "participate" as his teacher instructed. The new book Charlie was given was the CLASSIC Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. When it comes to participation, Charlie tries by going to school functions & activities. He found Sam and Patrick in their normal bleacher spots. A fast-talk to chat and he left. He went to buy concessions for them. KNOWING Charlie's sincerity in his actions. Charlie had let the tires out of a guys car that he SEEN & KNEW was violent to his sister. Sam shows him which car. After the football game, Charlie, Sam & Patrick drove to a party in her pickup truck which she loves because it reminds her of her dad. Charlie noticed his feelings for Sam when she told Patrick to find a song on the radio. After getting one, they all got quiet. Enjoying the ride, and after the song finished, Patrick felt infinite! Feeling young. After arriving at the party, Patrick did a secret knock and was greeted by friends and introduced Charlie to them.

The party resided in the basement. Much older kids were smoking. Sam & Patrick joined in. When he was there, Brad, the QB of the football team, was in attendance. It was exciting to see kids there letting their quarks down outside of school. Seeing their REAL selves. Everyone was friendly and curious to know Charlie. Unknowingly, Charlie was offered a laced brownie. He felt the effects 30 minutes later. Sam was downstairs and seen what happened showing concern. The effects gave Charlie a craving for a milkshake, which Sam was happy to supply. After Charlie visited the bathroom, he heard a noise. He had seen Patrick kissing Brad. They heard Charlie in the door and turned around. Afterward, Patrick SWORE of Charlie's SECRECY! Brad was closeted and didn't want others to know. It was a pacted secret between them. As Charlie left, he could hear Brad being upset. Charlie went to finish his milkshake. After Brad left the party, Patrick was ridiculed, but he had a "session" w/ the QB of the football team. Charlie was sitting on the floor of his very first high school party between Sam & Patrick. Patrick did the same for Brad and it made Charlie begin to cry. No one noticed a difference in Charlie from the brownie effects.

At the dance, Brad & Patrick didn't talk once. Brad was off with his "girlfriend", Nancy. After they left the dance, they were in Sam's pickup truck. Patrick was driving. As they approached the Fort Pitt Tunnel, Sam asked Patrick to pull to the side of the road. Sam then climbed in the back of the pickup. They had done this before. He was driving really fast. As they entered the tunnel, Sam stood up and the wind turned her dress into clean waves. When they got out, they had reached it. Downtown. Lights on everything that made you wonder. They were all laughing and felt infinite.

Charlie had been conversing w/ one of the girls from the party. She had a tattoo and a belly ring and has been a Buddhist since July. She'll talk about anything. He sees her at lunch sometimes w/ Sam & Patrick. Her name is Mary Elizabeth. She was one who is Zen and in connection w/ the world. After Patrick told Charlie about him and Brad, Charlie understood why Patrick didn't get angry at Brad for dancing with a girl at the homecoming dance. Patrick had told Charlie the backstory of the "Patrick & Brad situation".

They had both gotten really drunk at a party. Patrick said that Brad trying to act more drunker than he TRULY was. They were sitting in the basement w/ this girl, Heather. When she left to go to the bathroom, Brad & Patrick were left alone. It was both exciting and uncomfortable. When they ran out of small talk, they just looked at each other. They ended up fooling around right in the basement. The weight of the world lifted from their shoulders. Monday at school, Brad stated he didn't remember a thing due to being so wasted. NO ONE seen Brad & Patrick together. The next weekend followed w/ the same actions. This went on for about 7 months. It was hard. Although Patrick TRULY liked Brad, Brad couldn't even look at him in the hall. When summer came, Brad didn't have much to worry about, his drinking and smoking worsened. Patrick and Sam hosted a party w/ "the less popular crowd". Brad showed up, which was a shock in itself. But Patrick KNEW why. When most people left, Brad and Patrick went to Patrick's room. Their lost their virginities that night. When it was over, Brad began crying uncontrollably. He wouldn't even let Patrick hold him. Finally, Patrick pulled Brad's pants up and suggested to Brad that he pretended he passed out.

Patrick got dressed and walked around the house to go to the party from a different direction than his bedroom. He was crying pretty bad. If anyone asked, his eyes were red from smoking pot. After snapping himself out of it, Patrick had gone to Sam and asked about Brad while acting REALLY drunk. No one seen Brad until he was found in Patrick's room . . . .Asleep. Finally, Patrick called Brad's parents. He didn't say why, just that their son needed a ride home. They came. Brad's dad, along w/ a few kids - including Patrick, helped to get Brad in the car. Brad's dad sent his son to a rehab so as to not miss an opportunity on a football scholarship. Brad and Patrick didn't see each other for the rest of the summer. When the new school year started, Brad avoided Patrick ALOT! Never seen at the same parties or anything until about a month ago.

That night Brad threw rocks at Patrick's window and told Patrick that NO ONE was to KNOW! Patrick understood. They only seen each other now at night on golf courses and at parties. Charlie asked Patrick if he felt sad about the secrecy? Patrick stated he didn't . . .at least Brad doesn't have to get inebriated to love him.

Charlie received a B on his paper on Peter Pan. His English teacher gives him A's on his report card and letters to his parents. Charlie considers that writing maybe a field of his interest when he grows up, maybe magazines or a newspaper. He did began working for a "fan zone"/ a fan's magazine called Punk Rock. A xerox magazine about punk rock and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Charlie doesn't write for it, but he does help out with it. Mary Elizabeth is in charge of the Rocky Horror section. She is a senior and thinks Charlie's sister is a tease and a snob. He quickly came to his sister's defense. Out of the things Charlie's done this year, he seems to like Rocky Horror the best. On Halloween night, Patrick and Sam took him to the theater to see it. These kids act out and dress scenes from the film while the movie plays in the background. Patrick was "Frank-N-Furter". Sam was "Janet".

Charlie wrote Sam a poem after seeing her performance. He didn't show it to her due to embarrassment. Sam is now going out with a boy named Craig, who is older than Charlie's brother. Craig plays "Rocky" in the show. Charlie sees that it's very hard for Sam to feel better about herself just because an older boy sees her that way. Sam had very low self-esteem. When she was a sophomore, Sam caught a "reputation". Charlie TRULY does love Sam and it REALLY hurts. Candace had been secretly seeing that boy since she was forbidden. She has future plans for them after high school and further. She told Charlie not to worry. That same boy hasn't hit her since that night. Charlie does enjoy talking to his sister. He was surprised that she revealed so much to him. He just guessed that she HAD to tell SOMEBODY.

The fall weather is going and winter is approaching. Holidays are coming up. Charlie loves that because of a family re-unification w/ his brother could be possible. Their parents are worried since they haven't heard from him. Charlie is hoping that his brother is just having the college experience. When he does call home, Charlie's brother doesn't say ALOT. If he does, it's mostly about the football team. Charlie always wanted to be on a sports team like that. Not for the sport. For the camaraderie and re-enlivened glory days. He re-examines what life was, what it is and what it could/could've been. Charlie brought up this subject because when at a football game with Sam & Patrick, it's a wonder if those players ARE living their glory days? After finally hearing from his brother, Charlie's brother couldn't make it home for Thanksgiving due to falling behind in school because of football. Their mom was so upset.

Charlie's mom suggested that he invite Sam & Patrick over for dinner sometime after the holidays. He did. They accepted! The last friend Charlie had was Michael the previous year. Michael had stayed for dinner and it became a sleepover. It was very little sleep and up late talking and walking around the neighborhood. It was dark and quiet. Walking and talking. Charlie TRULY does enjoy the holidays w/ his family. The connection and pure interaction. Sam began a "Secret  Santa" tradition 3 years ago w/ her friends. It occurs on the last day of school before Christmas break. Charlie got Patrick, whom Patrick has been spending ALOT of his time w/ Brad, has made Patrick a mixed tape of Patrick's favorites. Hoping it would be a friend when he's alone. Charlie can't wait to get his driver's license. Although he hadn't had much to change w/ his teacher, he has given Charlie The Great Gatsby and A Separate Peace. The tapes being made, the books he's been given to read are ALL TRULY his FAVORITES!

Patrick LOVED the tape. Thanks to knowing his handwriting and the gift, Charlie thinks Patrick KNOWS that Charlie is his "Secret Santa". Charlie's gift was obviously from Mary Elizabeth, only she would give out socks. Charlie received a suit one-by-one. (Hopefully there was something behind it.) Patrick TRULY liked & enjoyed Charlie's gift. His last gift was a book called The Mayor Of Castro Street. He hopes Patrick really enjoys & likes it. Charlie was at Sam and Patrick's house for their friendly Christmas. They were doing their final presents. It was the first time Charlie met their parents. After the festivities, the parents left the kids to be alone. Teens in a private party. EVERYONE laughed when it CAME OUT that Charlie was Patrick's "Secret Santa". They were all saddened a bit after Charlie read the poem aloud. Sam & Patrick KNEW the meaning behind the words of the poem. They KNEW. They GOT IT!

Mary Elizabeth turned out NOT to be Charlie's "Secret Santa". After everyone exchanged gifts, no one was left except for Patrick. He stood and went into the kitchen, returning w/ Pringles and a suit coat. Giving it to Charlie. All the great writers used to wear suits all the time. Charlie dressed in the suit for everyone. Sam & Patrick really liked it. Charlie felt nice & clean. The rest of the evening was very special. Since everyone would be gone, they all exchanged gifts for those that weren't "Secret Santa's". Mary Elizabeth gave Sam earrings. Bob gave Patrick marijuana w/ a Christmas card attached. Sam gave Mary Elizabeth & Alice earrings. Other than Sam & Patrick, Charlie didn't receive anything. Charlie gave someone a little plastic tube of bubbles, a match that fit his personality. He gave Alice a book by Anne Rice because she is a fan. She was grateful. He gave Mary Elizabeth $40.00 inside a card w/ a simple writing.

They all gave him a weird look except for Sam & Patrick. They felt bad for not getting Charlie anything. A weird environmental setting. Sam was the last. Charlie put ALOT of thought into her gift since the FIRST time he seen her. Not the first time he met her, but seen her. Inside the card he gave, he told Sam the gift he gave her was given to him bu his Aunt Helen. A old Beatles .45 w/ the song Something. A song he used to listen to all the time. He was advised to give the record to one who had the same affection in return for the song. It was a good & perfect match. Charlie was given a meaningful hug in return. She said she loved him in a completely friendly manner. Charlie KNEW that, but he didn't care. He TRULY COULDN'T BELIEVE that she did get him a present. He HONESTLY thought the I Love You was enough.

For the first time, something like that made Charlie smile. She took him to her room. Charlie was standing in his old suit. His gift was an old typewriter w/ fresh ribbon, accompanied w/ white paper. Sam had written for Charlie to write about her sometime. He typed her in return that he would. That communication was the best that Charlie could do breaking in the typewriter that Sam gave him. After a quiet moment, he responded that he loved her too in type. Sam asked if Charlie had ever kissed a girl? Her first kiss was w/ one of her dad's friends at age 7. Sam wanted for Charlie to have his first kiss with someone who loves him. Bringing out Sam & Charlie's emotions. She kissed him. The kind of kiss he could never tell his friends. The kind of kiss that made Charlie KNOW he was NEVER happier.

After Charlie read a written poem for Patrick, no one knew who wrote it. It's been heard before, but it was a kid's suicide note. Hopefully, no one noticed, but Charlie liked the ending. Sam & Patrick left with their family for the Grand Canyon. Charlie doesn't feel bad because he still remembers that kiss. He is really glad that Christmas and his birthday are just around the corner. It means to be back around their (Sam & Patrick's) company again because Charlie can feel himself slipping into a bad state. A place he doesn't wish to reside. That bad place first found him after his aunt's demise. It got so bad that Charlie had to be admitted and he was held back a grade. He is trying REAL HARD not to go there. Charlie is going to focus on the holidays and his birthday. Christmas in 12/25. Charlie's birthday is 12/24 - Christmas Eve. Along w/ his birthday, Charlie will be going out for his driver's test to keep him occupied while Sam & Patrick are gone. His bed from his teacher to read over the break is a DYNAMITE CLASSIC; The Catcher In The Rye! So far, Catcher is just the book that Charlie could use to find comfort in. Hearing from his friends is what would TRULY make ALL THE DIFFERENCE! With the way that Patrick feels on the inside, on the outside he's stuck in holiday Hell.

Although EVERYONE ELSE made bullshit propaganda about Charlie's birthday, he just wanted to be home and read in his room. Just to be in a safe, quiet place. Setting up luminarias was a distraction from the sadness. So was his mom's gift for his birthday; a copy of the same book he was reading; Catcher, so he just traded off. His driver's test was also another great distraction. Keeping him calm the night of the birthday. Christmas was okay. It started out nice. Charlie had to hear a story from his brother and an accompanied cheerleader girlfriend. That upset his sister. Seeing a point of sexism in the sport. Their brother responded back w/ calling his sister a "bitchy dyke". He was scolded for it. The irony was that Charlie was the only one in the family w/ a gay friend. The stuff that their mom didn't want Charlie to hear/see, he's already been there before everyone else. The next thing you know Charlie's brother & sister were fighting. She began crying. He apologized. After that was put to pasture, Charlie was asked and given the opportunity to drive by his dad. Even though he was SWEATING the experience, he got them there safely. Charlie was at a family reunion at his grandmother's. Reunions bring up old memories wanted or not.

Everyone was nice and cordial coming home so Charlie didn't have to drive. It was tradition to drive at the aunt's grave. Charlie reveals his Aunt Helen and the deep secret surrounding her was that she was molested by someone very close. A friend of the family. Their mother (Charlie's grandmother) ignored it and allowed them around for years. Helen had problems w/ drugs, alcohol & men. She was unhappy most of her life and admitted to multiple hospitals. Her problems were deep rooted and deep seeded. Outside of her problems, Charlie still had that connection to her. On 12-24-1983, news came that Helen was in a car accident. Helen had passed away. Helen was no longer in pain anymore. It was Charlie's 7TH birthday. He remembers ALOT of things about her and how he never got to say goodbye. He doesn't remember how long he went to the doctor. He just remembers is the day he began getting better.

Charlie has finished Catcher In The Rye and has read 3 times since. Sam & Patrick were FINALLY coming home. Patrick then went to meet Brad somewhere. Sam is going to meet Craig. Charlie would meet them at Big Boy and then at a New Year's Eve Party. He was excited to drive himself. Charlie told his Aunt Helen about Sam & Patrick about their shared ventures. Afterwards, he drove and went home. He began REALLY crying. He picked up his book again to calm down. Reading it twice as prevention. Trying to keep his promise to Helen by not crying. Trying NOT to go THERE! Although they were accompanied by others, Charlie just wanted alone time w/ Sam & Patrick. Something he's never felt before. Meanwhile, Charlie relives the events mentally from the previous days. ALL OF THIS was a multitude of flashbacks brought on by the laced brownies from the party. Something Charlie would NEVER do again.

All the kids were wearing their new clothes from Christmas, so Charlie decided to wear the suit Patrick got him. He was taunted for it and it was a BAD day. He skipped his first class  EVER to hang w/ Sam & Patrick outside. He bummed a cigarette. It was one of those days when NOTHING does or can go right. It was NOT an LSD trip. Sam KNEW what he was going through. The cigarette was soothing. Things have stopped moving for the most part. Charlie hasn't skipped another class since. His paper on Catcher was his best one yet. As a reward, Charlie's teacher gave him On The Road by Jack Kerouac. He is now up to 10 cigarettes a day. He is feeling great 10 days later. His psychiatrist is much better than his last. They GENUINELY talk! Becoming a breakthrough. Since Sam and Patrick had their song. Charlie thought he'd read a music magazine so as to bring something to their discussion. This all occurred at Big Boy after Rocky Horror. The topics did not matter. The point was participation in the discussion. To be THERE!

Charlie was asked to stay after class in English to talk what he thought was to about the book. Charlie felt like a grown-up. He was granted permission to smoke a cigarette in his office. They talked about "things". Life. When this school year is over, his teacher was going to move to New York and write plays. After talking a bit much more, Charlie was given his next book to read called Naked Lunch. Mary Elizabeth was Charlie's date to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. When Charlie was at the Rocky Horror screening the night everyone dressed and acted in it, Craig never showed. Mary Elizabeth was mad. Nobody was there to play Rocky. Mary Elizabeth appointed Craig's role of Rocky to Charlie. Charlie was nervous due to the scenes w/ Rocky & Janet because Sam would be portraying Janet. Charlie almost didn't do it, but Sam really wanted him to. That was all Charlie needed to hear. It was the best time he ever had in his whole life. It wasn't until afterwards that Mary Elizabeth asked Charlie to Sadie Hawkins. After he got home, Charlie finished his book.

Sam couldn't have been happier about Charlie going to the dance w/ Mary Elizabeth. Sam helped Charlie w/ the way to treat a girl on a date. She informed him that Mary Elizabeth is more experienced than Charlie. Although great advice was given, Charlie couldn't help wish it was Sam instead of Mary Elizabeth.

Charlie doesn't feel so great because everything is so messy. He did keep his commitment to Mary Elizabeth. He did keep conversation w/ someone who is a talker. He learned ALOT through a one-sided conversation. Most conversations revolved around one subject: Mary Elizabeth. Her only question was whether Charlie wanted to kiss her goodnight. Even though Charlie didn't want to, she understood. Mary Elizabeth stated that Charlie was the most sensitive boy she's ever met. Charlie didn't understand why? When asked if he wanted to go out again, Charlie didn't know what to do and was unprepared. So, he said yes. In the middle of an awkward situation . . .what to do? He will never be ready for someone like Mary Elizabeth. Sam took Patrick to the dance after Craig said he was too busy. At one point in the dance, Patrick went to the parking lot to get stoned w/ his guidance counselor.

Mary Elizabeth was requesting music by a female band, so that left Sam & Charlie alone. Being his first date, Charlie really didn't know what to compare it to. He truly wished he could have given Sam a better time. He just hung around like a wallflower. The only major drama evoked at the dance involved Candace and her boyfriend, resulting in her fighting w/ him. She took off leaving the dance. Her boyfriend left shortly after unable to catch her.

When Charlie got home, he found Candace crying in the basement. It was a different kind. One that frightened Charlie. He tried to get Candace to open up to him. If she didn't, Charlie would go to their parents. That made her cry, so he felt worse. Then she began to hug him. Hugging tight and not letting go. It was weird. Never done before. After a while she calmed down and let go. Candace then revealed that she was pregnant. The rest of the night was a sad daze. Her boyfriend tried to deny the baby. He broke up w/ her at the dance. Candace DID NOT want others to know. Charlie, Candace and her boyfriend were the ONLY ones who knew. NOT TO TELL EVER! Charlie thought it was a good thing he has his license now. He had been there escorting his sister to the clinic. He was given a new book by his teacher, but circumstances derailed his attention from the book. It didn't matter what he tried to do focus his attention on. It was all over the place. One thought led to the process of another. When it got to memories of Candace, Charlie began to cry. He tried to let it show because he was afraid he wouldn't be allowed to drive. He seen it as though others counted on him, which he's never been through before! He was also holding his head up because of the promise he made to his Aunt Helen by not crying unless it was important. He finally had to excuse himself outside and let the tears FLOW!

Candace found her brother in the car. He was chain smoking and still crying. She knocked on the window. Charlie rolled down the window to see Candace questioning her brother's actions. Her curiosity turned into anger. She was PISSED! He couldn't help but laugh. Of all the things she could get pissed about, she chose her brother's smoking. It the end, he KNEW Candace was okay. She threatened to rat him out to their parents. She seen how crazy this whole night had been and began to feel sick, so Charlie tended to his sister. She advised Charlie if he was going to smoke at least have the window down. That got Charlie laughing again. The laughter was beginning to annoy Candace. But, it was beginning to die down. Eventually, Candace fell asleep. Charlie tried to keep her warm. He then tried to begin the new book he got from his teacher; Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

When the sun went down, Charlie placed the smoking pamphlet Candace gave him into his book as a marker and began driving home. He stopped a few blocks from home to wake Candace up and put things away. As they pulled into the driveway, they heard their parents coming. When wondering where they've been, Charlie gave a fast-talking excuse of being at McDonald's and losing track of time. As he talked, Candace went upstairs. Their parents questioned their excuse w/ what movie they seen? Charlie froze, but Candace backed him up coming to the rescue. The more questions that came, the more frozen Charlie became. The more Candace made up to cover. The heat blew over once Charlie sat w/ his dad watching hockey. After their parents went to sleep, Charlie received the materials from the car. Bringing them back to Candace's room, she thankfully showed Charlie gratitude for the whole day and to their secrecy. She apparently didn't trust her boyfriend anymore and pleaded w/ Charlie to quit smoking.

Charlie went on another date w/ Mary Elizabeth. She asked him out again. Same song and dance. He figured if he did the asking next time, he would go out w/ the girl of his choice. After asking about using the car, Charlie got the "family inquisition" about a girlfriend. He told a little about Mary Elizabeth. Just a little to get them off his back. In the end, Charlie DID GET to borrow the car. That night, Charlie finished his book in his room. His dad came in, lit a cigarette and gave Charlie the awkward experience of a sex talk. Afterwards, Charlie's dad was happy. Due to things he seen when Charlie was younger, his dad seen "different" when his son was a kid w/ kids of the same kids. He loves his son either way, but glad to KNOW different. Mary Elizabeth & Charlie went to see a movie downtown. You think, how can Charlie pay attention to a - whatever - w/ a talker?

After the date started, Charlie thought it would be fun to read a movie. It was okay. Charlie didn't feel any way different but Mary Elizabeth LOVED it. Later, Charlie drove them to an underground record store. Mary Elizabeth gave Charlie a tour and felt in her element. She felt bad about not getting Charlie anything. To make up for it, she buys him a record by Billie Holliday. Taking him to her house to listen to it. He was exploring her room. The next thing you know, Mary Elizabeth came in w/ 2 glasses and a bottle of brandy. Asking Charlie to pour while she made a fire. After the fire was started, she danced her way over to Charlie. It became an alone & tense moment between them. He was getting nervous w/ a beating heart. She was making the moves on Charlie. A makeout session and "action", a heated session spoiled at the sound of a garage door opener. Charlie was THANKFUL!

After returning to school, it was the same. Charlie turned in his paper on Walden. He wrote it differently. Pretending he was IN the story. Patrick & Sam heard a different story from Mary Elizabeth about what TRULY happened. She is still the same Mary Elizabeth. She calls Charlie RIGHT WHEN he gets home from school. The only difference & change is literally a walk home. Obviously, Charlie was in her one-sided conversation. She was talking. Charlie had put the phone down to go to the restroom. When he returned, she didn't miss a beat. Some of what she's saying, he doesn't want exposed to! When the holiday's were over, Charlie was asked to have Sam & Patrick over for dinner. He was so excited! They made plans for a Sunday night. 2 hours later, Mary Elizabeth came up in the hall. She heard the plans and what was Charlie to do? It was just for Sam & Patrick. He never invited Mary Elizabeth. She just assumed. A dinner focused on Sam & Patrick was ruined by Mary Elizabeth. It wasn't her fault, parents and questions. Sam & Patrick might as well have not been there at dinner. Charlie's parents commented on Mary Elizabeth and very little to Sam & Patrick, whom the night was for. A point that was TRULY special for Charlie.

Candace began reading all these books to empower women since ending it with her boyfriend. Charlie sought advice about Candace from Mary Elizabeth. Giving her advice based on what she knew. After hearing the truth, Charlie began to realize he DIDN'T KNOW Mary Elizabeth AT ALL! He had to come clean and tell her the TRUTH. He was trying to be nice. Charlie wanted to talk to Mary Elizabeth - if he could get a word in edgewise. Charlie knows of the mess he's made. Patrick advised him it would be better if Charlie stayed awhile. Mary Elizabeth. gave Charlie a book by E. E. Cummings. All day she showed EVERYONE the book. He should have been honest, but it didn't feel like right time. Leaving school that day, Charlie didn't go home due to Mary Elizabeth's automatic phone calls. He walked to where the shops and stores were. Going straight to the bookstore. He returned the books Mary Elizabeth gave him. He kept the money. Walking home, he cried due to what he did out of feeling guilty. After seeing Candace, he told her what he did. She drove him back to the bookstore and reversed the exchange - keeping the books. He soon began regretting that when Mary Elizabeth called later. Charlie then asked Candace to take him back to the store to buy Mary Elizabeth something nice.

The next day, Charlie gave Mary Elizabeth the gift he gave her. A new copy of To Kill A Mockingbird. She came off ungrateful about it. Charlie explained why it was special. She seen different. Afterward, Charlie walked, left school and didn't return home until 1:00A. When he returned to school, Mary Elizabeth asked out of his whereabouts. He told her he bought a pack of cigarettes, went to Big Boy and spent the rest of the night reading E. E. Cummings. He began getting mad, which began scaring Charlie. Luckily, Easter weekend was here. Charlie was given Hamlet to read by his teacher. On Good Friday, the group had a special showing of Rocky Horror. After the show, Craig invited them back to his apartment to drink wine and listen to the White album. Patrick suggested they play a game of truth or dare. Charlie chose truth all night. It worked pretty well. Then, Patrick gave Charlie a dare to kiss the prettiest girl in the room. The room went silent. Charlie could not have picked a worse time. He knelt down and kissed Sam. Even though it was a friendly kiss, it didn't matter. Charlie just couldn't lies anymore.

 After the silence, Patrick tried to salvage the rest of the evening. It didn't work. In turn, San wondered what was w/ Charlie? It was the look on her face and how she meant it. Charlie felt terrible. Patrick helped to get Charlie out of Craig's apartment. Charlie was crying and wanted to apologize. He was advised NOT to by Patrick. He told Patrick the TRUTH about EVERYTHING on the ride. Trying to lighten the mood and make jokes along the way. Patrick advised Charlie to stay away until things blew over. When he got home, he went back to the records and reading.

No one had contacted Charlie since that night. Spending the whole weekend reading Hamlet. It may have been too late to reconcile w/ Mary Elizabeth after calling her. He was sorry and did apologize. After a week of not talking to anyone, Charlie called Bob. He didn't know what to do. Charlie wanted to buy "something", so he bought it w/ Easter money and just smoked. Things don't seem any better for Charlie after that. Even though he started school, things aren't the way they used to be. He just wasn't ready to say good-bye. He's been avoiding everything. Living in a daze of his own thinking. For a couple of weeks, Charlie has been on somewhat of a personal project: Being in a shopping mall, a place where he's been going lately, trying to figure out why go there. Looking around at various people wondering their backstory to what brought them there? The people and their situations were very unsettling for them. He tried to go elsewhere but had the same effect. Charlie doesn't know how much longer he can go without a friend. He used to go with the flow of things, but that was before finding TRUE friendships. He just wished that what is was enough.

The only person Charlie has conversed w/ in the past 2 weeks was someone he used to know back in middle school. She was surrounded by boys in the school. They were laughing and making inappropriate jokes, that made the girl uncomfortable. When Charlie approached the group, she went to think that she didn't want the boys to know she knew Charlie. The entire group may have gotten quiet, but Charlie didn't notice them. He shot his attention straight to her asking if she ever missed him - whomever he was? It was in a sense like he could read it on her face. Wondering if anyone else remembered their "mutual" friend. He wanted to know due to being a little stoned in a bad way and JUST HAD to ask. She was at a loss and taken aback. After waiting in a vat of awkwardly silence, Charlie, shortly explained that he's had a tough time, Charlie apologized and awkwardly left.

A few days later, Charlie went to buy some more pot. He heard from his dealer that Brad's father caught Brad & Patrick together. When he found out, Brad's father began beating his son. Patrick told Sam and they had never seen anything like it. Patrick wanted to say something. He wanted to hold Brad's father down. But he froze. Brad yelled for Patrick to get out and Patrick finally left. A week later, Brad still hasn't returned to school. Patrick tried to call Brad. His dad answered and hung up on him. Charlie wanted to check up on Patrick and be there. He thought to wait until it settled. Charlie couldn't think of anything else. That Friday, Charlie went to see Rocky Horror. He went to see Patrick play Frank-N-Furter. If he was, Charlie KNEW Patrick would be okay. Sitting in the back row, he looked onto the stage. He seen Sam playing Janet. Charlie missed her and was sorry for how things turned out. It was very hard to watch. After seeing Patrick portray his role, he was great. It was nice to see everyone. Charle left before it was over.

When he got home, Candace was w/ her new boyfriend. Charlie met him, asked about the movie they were watching. Not realizing they wanted to be alone. But Charlie wanted to be around company. He knew it wasn't fair, so he said good-night and left. He went up to his room and began a new book from his teacher. This one was called The Stranger.

Once you get set on a new situation, another set arrives. On Monday, Brad returned to school. He was different. He was completely different prior. At one point, a happy go-getter. Go w/ the flow. A chance taker. The next thing you know, you see a different & changed worldview. Brad couldn't look anyone in the eye, especially Patrick. They were talking quiet in the hallway, Charlie could TELL what was going on w/ Brad & Patrick. When Patrick got upset, Brad just closed his closed and walked away. It was like a weird sense of non-communication between them 2. On Thursday, something terrible happened.

Charlie was sitting in the cafeteria eating lunch. He seen Patrick walking up to Brad, whom Brad ignored in the face of his football buddies. Charlie seen that Patrick was upset by it. Brad still ignored him. Patrick tried to say something and looked pretty angry as he turned to walk away. Brad sat still for a second, but then he turned around. Then it happened. It was loud enough for surrounding tables to hear. The derogatory term cited for Patrick. Brad SHOUTED it LOUDLY to be HEARD! Brad's football buddies began to hear & laugh. A few tables were quiet. Patrick was MAD AS HELL and PISSED! Patrick turned right around and confronted them RIGHT THERE! Brad sat quiet at first until he was egged on by his "friends". Brad reiterated what he said, which got his "friends" laughing harder. Until, Patrick threw the first punch. The ENTIRE room went quiet. Then, the real noise began.

A fight ensued. It was pretty even until Brad's buddies got involved, then it became 5-on-1. Charlie joined in to help his friend. He was taught what to do in these situations by his brother. By the end of it, Brad & his "buddies" stopped fighting and just stared at Charlie. His other friends were lying on the ground. One was clutching his knee that Charlie bashed in w/ a metal cafeteria chair. The other was holding his face after Charlie had swiped his eyes, but not too bad.

Charlie had looked down at the ground and seen Patrick. He was crying pretty bad. His face was pretty messed up and he was crying hard. Charlie helped Patrick to his feet then he seen Brad, whom he had NEVER SPOKEN TO BEFORE. No time like the present to start. Charlie threatened to out and expose the truth about Brad if this ever happened again to everyone. Brad heard Charlie's tone and KNEW he MEANT it. Brad didn't have a chance to respond due to ALL OF THEM being escorted out by security. Patrick was suspended for a week. Brad's "buddies" got 3 days for ganging up on Patrick. Brad wasn't suspended, just given detention due to self-defense. Charlie & Brad were given a month beginning that day.

On the very first day of detention, Brad sat next to Charlie. He thanked Charlie for his help in the fight. They haven't spoken to each other since. When Charlie got out of detention, Sam was waiting for him. She smiled the minute they connected. Charlie couldn't believe she was there! Sam then turned and gave Brad a COLD look. Brad wanted Sam to apologize to Patrick for him. She told him to do it himself. Brad walked away and went to his car. Sam drove Charlie home in her pickup truck. She confessed to Charlie her anger over what happened w/ Mary Elizabeth. The past & the present friendship between the 2 girls. Charlie did not KNOW how much Mary Elizabeth LIKED Charlie. Mary Elizabeth was REALLY HURT when he kissed Sam. She was over it after Charlie had stayed away for awhile. (A break  - just as was Patrick's idea.) After the storm blew over, things got easier. Friendships could once again be reconnected! Charlie wanted to relay the same advice for Patrick & Brad to Mary Elizabeth. After Sam dropped Charlie off at home, when she was out of distance, he began to cry again. Charlie promised never to foul up again the way he did before. When they went to see Rocky Horror, things went back to normal.

Normalcy occurred when Mary Elizabeth began dating one of Craig's friends. Someone who was a better fit for her. Charlie attended a party. He began to drink instead of smoking pot. What made things tense was Patrick quitting Frank-N-Furter in the show. He was unhappy and didn't want to do it anymore. So he sat in the audience w/ Charlie.

Charlie has been spending ALOT of time w/ Patrick lately. Just quiet. It's a different situation. It began Saturday after the show. Patrick had called. Charlie had gotten up, wiping away the sleep. Charlie was instructed briefly to be dressed. He was on his way. Patrick pulled up 10 minutes later wearing the same clothes as the night before. Never went to bed. Just UP on coffee and cigarettes. After they left in a FAST hurry, Patrick had been listening to the tape Charlie made for him at Christmas all night. Turning up the volume and driving faster. Patrick felt Free. He knew a different life awaited him in college. They just hung out. If they got tired, they had coffee and uppers. When it became dusk, Patrick showed Charlie the places of "Patrick & Brad". He didn't say much. Just a showing.

They ended up on the golf course. Charlie and Patrick passed around a bottle of red wine. Just talking, hanging out, shooting the shit and sharing stories. After awhile and sobering up, Patrick drove Charlie home. He in a WHOLEHEARTEDLY manner thanked Charlie for his help in the cafeteria. After that it was quiet! Driving Charlie home, Patrick gave him an EMOTIONAL hug. Next thing you know, Patrick kissed him. A REAL kiss. He apologized after kissing Charlie. They were cool. Patrick went in for another. Charlie let him but was unsure why. After awhile, Patrick began crying and talking about Brad. Letting him vent. That's what friends are for.

Patrick and Charlie have been spending ALOT of time together. It was hard for Charlie to see a friend so HURT! All you can do is BE THERE! Charlie tells a story of Patrick taking him to a place in the park that had anonymous hookups. After asking Charlie if he needed any cigarettes, Patrick went off w/ his boy. Charlie just sat and looked around. It was so quiet. After a few minutes, Charlie lit a cigarette. He heard someone ask for one and a light. Charlie recognized this guy's voice. After lighting a new cigarette, Charlie remembered who it was. The sports newscaster on the evening news. This sportscaster has even mentioned Charlie's brother. Charlie began to chat w/ him, but he just walked rudely away. Patrick took Charlie on adventures he wouldn't have known otherwise. Sometimes, Patrick would pick up guys. Later regretting it. He would talk about Brad. Sometimes he wouldn't. After awhile, Patrick ran out of things to keep him numb.

Tonight was different. They went back to that location where men meet. Patrick seen Brad there with some guy. He/Patrick didn't do anything but go back to the car. Charlie & Patrick drove back in silence. After it was over, Patrick is/was just GRATEFUL to have Charlie as a friend.

The school year is just about over w/ only a month or so left. Seniors; like Candace, Sam & Patrick have only 2 weeks. Then their busy w/ senior activities; prom, graduation & etc. Everyone has someone to go with. Candace is taking Erik. Patrick's taking Alice & Craig agreed to go with Sam. Everyone, except for Candace, is going all out for the occasion. Charlie's English teacher has become somewhat sentimental due to his first year of teaching coming to an end. He was planning on moving to New York and write plays. He hasn't given Charlie a new book to read since The Stranger. He did ask Charlie to watch ALOT of movies and write essay on his opinion. ALOT of REAL GENUINE CLASSICS! He thought it was great. Watching all of them in one day. He had let his personal life affect his teaching. Charlie's teacher did give him a final book to read for the year: The Fountainhead 

It was a new book that the teacher wanted Charlie to view differently. He wanted him to be a skeptic on the book and NOT to be a sponge. Even though Charlie is only 16, he's happy that his teacher sees more than just a kid. He is too busy to read the book. Trying to catch up on other schoolwork. Stuff he let slip when being there for Patrick. Charlie originally began "diary" entry writings to have someone to talk to when beginning high school. Today, it
something he feels good about. Patrick OFFICIALLY quit drinking the night he seen Brad in the park. Now, he's doing better. He just wants to graduate and go to college. After Charlie seen Brad in the park, he seen him in detention the Monday after with no change.

Charlie has been reading The Fountainhead cover-to-cover, finding it's an EXCELLENT book. After finding out the author's story - Charlie tried to sit and write one. He had the first sentence down, but the rest was a struggle. He had to leave it alone and come back to it. Cleaning his room 3 times. Anything to occupy the time. Everything is a busy madhouse for everyone w/ prom & graduation prep. It is very exciting. Charlie wishes he could a part of it. That got Charlie thinking of his time to come w/ his plans. He is enjoying this book. He just vents and lets it out. Everyone's reaction to the foreseeable future is funny to see as a spectating witness.

Patrick is going to the University Of Washington. Sam is going to leave for a summer program for the college of her choice. Sam was lucky. Her choices were a safety school and one of her choice. She got into both. Candace got into Sarah Lawrence on an academic scholarship. If it wasn't for the personal relationship drama she was bothered with, she would've been a valedictorian. Mary Elizabeth is going to Berkeley. Charlie found out after finishing The Fountainhead that it was a great experience. This book was different than the others. More of an adult manner and less for a kid's. Charlie applied the author's words into his own life. Charlie updates his psychiatrist about the events of his life. But subject manner is focused on his past. Charlie describes the LAST day everyone was together. It started out w/ everyone running toward the sun in a midst of freedom. Everything was a great as it could be! Congratulations was the word of the day.

Sam, Patrick & Charlie went to Big Boy and smoked cigarettes. They went for a final showing of Rocky Horror. Patrick decided to play Frank-N-Furter one last time. Everyone, including Patrick, was happy to do it. It became his BEST performance. Especially his last song "I'm Going Home". It was a moment that just felt right. Charlie persuaded Candace to come to the show w/ her boyfriend. He's been trying to get her to go since he started to begin with. Charlie tricked Candace into joining onstage w/ her boyfriend to do Time Warp. Charlie then invited her to a post party at Craig's afterward. But she attended one hosted by one of her friends. At least, she came to the show. Before she left, Charlie was given a hug by Candace. They really do love each other as a brother/sister. The party was a success. Champagne was brought in to congratulate graduates. Dancing, talking & more. Charlie just sat w/ the bottle of champagne near the CD player. Fixing the music to the mood. Be at the party and still be useful. Everyone LOVED Charlie's selections of music. They thought Charlie should venture towards that venue after school.

It is now prom night. Charlie spent it in his room. School is different now w/ Charlie being the last one in the school due to everyone else's graduating. Lunch was the worst. All it did was reinforce the isolation period that was there when he FIRST started. He couldn't even eat lunch. EVERYTHING is different and not as it once was. All he can think about what is/will be soon approaching. Even though Charlie will still have Patrick, with new ventures, he's afraid that Patrick will only see him as yesterday's news. Charlie could talk to his psychiatrist about this, but he only sticks to the past. He/Charlie is just grateful for the homework to derail his attention. He hopes the events tonight will be satisfactory for those intended. After coming home from school, everyone is still feeling the previous night. Charlie had 2 finals. One in Biology. The other is in English on The Great Gatsby. Charlie was invited by his teacher to his townhouse on Saturday to spend the day w/ him and his girlfriend. On Friday, Charlie will go see Rocky Horror and on Saturday, go see his teacher. On Sunday, watch everyone graduate. Other than finals, Charlie sees the rest of the time a waste. Craig & Sam broke up. He had been cheating on her since they got together. She was DEVASTATED! It was a thing that had everyone involved after prom. None of it gave Charlie any pleasure. All he cared about was that Sam got hurt.Charlie TRULY did love her.

Charlie enjoyed himself at dinner w/ his teacher. He was asked about the book and LIFE! He TRULY enjoyed teaching Charlie. An everlasting experience. He thought Charlie was TRULY & GENUINELY gifted. That explained all the work he gave Charlie. He thought Charlie was special. Their positive relationship meant ALOT to both of them. Teaching each of them outside school. He advised Charlie to come to him if he needed ANYTHING! That made Charlie teary-eyed. He managed to sneak in a quick goodbye before he left. Charlie replayed the day on the drive home. The last person to say Charlie was special was his Aunt Helen. Saturday night became a reunion/family dinner. Next came graduation celebrations w/ family. After Charlie heard from Sam they were going to a dance club downtown.

There was something about that tunnel that leads to downtown. From the tunnel proves a grand entrance. They had all met at a dance club; Charlie, Mary Elizabeth, Sam & Patrick. Just like old times at the prom. Sam had grabbed Charlie's hand onto the dance floor. One fast song, one slow. Charlie just wanted the slow song to extend and be in the moment that would last. After the dance club, they all went back to Peter's apartment. Charlie gave everyone their gifts. He gave a film book on Night Of The Living Dead. He gave Mary Elizabeth a copy of My Life As A Dog; gifts they both LOVED! Charlie then gave Patrick & Sam their gifts. Charlie divided up and gave them both his ENTIRE book set that he's read all year w/ a note included. The note that was included in each set told of Charlie's favorites. he wanted them to have them because he wanted his favorite people to have his favorite books. What was reciprocated was a feeling of words. Just gratitude. That look of gratitude in their eyes.

Charlie began to tear up because it had HIT him this was all going to be over soon and everyone will be off to college. Sam took him into the kitchen in re-assurance of what is to come. They both, Sam & Charlie, both admitted to fear of the unknown facing it alone. They promised each other that if things got to be too much, one would call/contact the other. They contended w/ Charlie's idea to keep corresponding through letters back & forth. Charlie is an EMOTIONAL mess. But Sam was patient. After Charlie had tried to calm down, they just tried to enjoy their last week together. They spent the rest of the night drinking and listening to music as usual. Then it suddenly occurred to Charlie that he still had school the next day. EVERYONE burst out laughing. He was then taken into the kitchen for coffee to be sober enough to drive home. He had 8 cups and was ready to go 20 minutes later.

When Charlie got home, he was UP & WIRED! He couldn't fall asleep. By the time he got school, he was dying to CRASH. Luckily, finals were over and it was just time to waste. He never slept better. The next day was different because Charlie didn't sleep. Sam & Patrick had their final day w/ family. Charlie's brother was on a date. Candace was busy w/ her boyfriend and their parents were still tired from the graduation party. At school, Charlie found it somber to say goodbye to his teacher. But, he assured Charlie they could stay in contact over the summer. That made Charlie feel better. He/Charlie ate lunch on a bench where they used to smoke. He lit one hoping for some conversation w/ someone. No one did. After getting home on his last day, he wrote in his journal. He is really happy to be over w/ school. Now he can devote time to being w/ Sam & Patrick before they leave. Especially Sam. Charlie got Straight A's all year.

The week before Sam left, it was all a blur to Charlie. Obviously Sam was frantic. Every night, the group got together. After being hyped up & scared, Sam would need something to calm down. One thing that truly helped was her lunch w/ Craig for "closure". Things ended peacefully. The night before she left, the ENTIRE group got together Sam & Patrick's. Remembering the good times. It was filled w/ stories and memories. After awhile it was just Sam, Patrick & Charlie reliving their own memories. After awhile later, Patrick went to bed. Sam had to do some more packing and had Charlie for company. Charlie wanted to remember everything. Sam tried to keep herself distracted.

Then Sam asked Charlie why he didn't ask her out after her relationship w/ Craig ended? Charlie just sat there not knowing what to say. He was lost. She REALLY WANTED to know why. Charlie thought that Sam's sadness was much more important. That was when he REALIZED he TRULY loved her. Charlie should have been more than just a shoulder to cry on, maybe an arm for comfort. Sam wondered & asked Charlie why he didn't act on his feelings? He thought she wanted the opposite. He took her advice to heart. Throughout this ENTIRE friendship, why didn't Charlie act more than speak? He was NOT being honest & true. He was very uncomfortable. Telling Charlie of the way she wants to be treated. Tearing up a bit but not sad. Sam decided RIGHT THEN NOT to let this happen again. Taking her advice to heart, Charlie just kissed her w/ Sam returning. Kissing soon escalating into more. Sam was being gentle, but Charlie felt bad. In thinking he wanted to go home, Sam got dressed.

Charlie didn't take a ride home due to having his dad's car. In his state & condition, Sam would NOT let Charlie drive home. He would have walked home on a cold 2:00A, but Sam insisted. Charlie felt like he wanted to die. He was white as a ghost. He began to cry hard. Sam tried to comfort Charlie and tend to him, bringing out a damp washcloth & placing it on his forehead. She invited Charlie to sleep over. He was in NO condition to leave; let alone drive. All Charlie can do is keep writing to keep from breaking apart. Sam is gone. Patrick wont be home for days. He/Charlie wanted to talk and wished he had his Aunt Helen.

Charlie's been in the hospital for the past 2 months. He has just been released. He was sitting on the couch completely naked and in trance-like. His parents TRIED to snap him out of it. They took him to the hospital for 7 days. Charlie didn't speak or acknowledge ANYONE for a week. The first few weeks in the hospital were tough. His family came on visitations. Patrick would come and lighten the mood. He even brought a letter Sam saying she was coming at the end of August. If Charlie was better by then, they would take him through the tunnel. Everyone would come at one time or another. After Charlie was released, he was taken home in the afternoon. He was hungry and went to McDonald's. It was GREAT just to be TOGETHER! After running errands w/ his mom & Candace, Charlie called and sam answered the phone. It was nice just for him to hear her voice. Charlie was later picked up by Sam & Patrick in her pickup truck to hang out like they always do.

Sam gave updates on her life in school. Charlie informed Sam about his life in the hospital. Patrick made jokes to keep life HONEST! After they left, they drove through the tunnel. Sam stopped the car and Charlie climbed in the back. Listening to music and mentally reliving all he's gone through this year. He let the wind rush through his face. Crying and laughing at the same time. He/Charlie felt infinite! He is soon to start his sophomore year. He's not the same as he once was. He will try to participate and keep his head up!

In 2012, a REMARKABLE movie/film, of the same name, was made based on this book that is a coming of age film that TRULY SPEAKS to a generation that GETS you starring Logan Lerman (Charlie), Emma Watson (Sam) & Ezra Miller (Patrick).