Jay’s journal - 03/15/1991
It my shock you to hear this, journal, but once upon a time, Jeremy and I were actually good buddies. He was my Colin, before Colin was a twinkle in my eye. Back in sixth grade, when Jeremy and I were both honorary members of “the John club,” he used to sleep over. And I’ll tell you this, journal, in great confidence: Jeremy could never hack it in Tutorial. He’s not got the wattage. He could hit a t-ball, but I could crack a joke. He could flex for girls, but I could make them laugh. So when things began to change, and Jeremy finally had the means, it wasn’t a surprise that he would take me out to pasture.
But I should have seen the signs. I should have realized my days amidst the John’s were numbered. Had I known, I might have acted differently. My troubles started in eighth grade, when Jeremy’s muscles started to bulge. Over the course of twelve months, he sprouted two inches. His hair became coarser, shaggier. Even his teeth seemed bigger. His personality changed, too. His humor grew crueler. His smile turned to a sneer. The Johns grew up, but Jeremy transformed. Something that had always been inside him, took over completely. He skipped over the shy awkwardness, or endearing voice cracks, and grew straight into something horrible.
It was like watching the transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde in slow motion. Each week, his hands were a little bigger. The person who, only months ago, I looked over to, now I had to stare up at. I used to will myself to grow at night. I used to go home and pray that God would give me just one more millimeter, so that I might keep pace with Jeremy. I’d practice visualization techniques in bed, imagining I could feel my feet pushing away from my body, a growth spurt overtaking me. But it never did.
And I’ll tell you what finally flipped the switch for Jeremy. It was nothing. A stupid joke. A crack about the baseball team. See, I wasn’t big enough to play, but I was still part of the Johns. I used to sit in the bleachers, cheer them on and hang out with the cheerleaders. And one day, I made a stupid comment. I was tired of being a spectator, and so I thought it would be funny to describe in great detail their upcoming game with Washougal would be like, knowing as well as anyone that it would be cancelled at the last minute, as it always was. Apparently, Jeremy had a better sensor for sarcasm than I thought. My trouble started soon after that.