Who Is Anthony Stephens?

The Life and Death of a College Grad

95. Excerpt from Anthony Stephens’ Mood Journal

with 2 comments

January 11 2006,

One semester in and things have changed so much.

I feel kind of stupid now, looking back at my last entry, how I lost it last summer. How close I came to leaving all of this.

I love it here now; it was just so hard to adjust at first. Like the same part of me that wanted to leave Miami so bad didn’t realize exactly how much he’d be leaving behind. Everything I’d ever known was five hundred miles away and I don’t think I really comprehended that fact until I was sitting in my apartment alone in a city I’d never even visited before.

This past fall though, everything sort of fell into place. It was like something clicked a few weeks into the semester. I stopped being scared to leave my apartment anymore and I stopped shunning everybody who tried to talk to me. I love my classes and I’ve even got a couple of professors this semester who are kind of helping me out a little, more than I think they have to.

People aren’t so bad when you give them a chance, seriously.

It’s like I’m in a different world now, and I’m really feeling it. I thought I’d keep regretting moving up here, thought the feeling would never go away. But things seem more stable now that I’m actually into all this, into my major and making plans and…

I’ve come up with this theory: I feel like all that stuff I was doing before, last summer and the couple of years before that, all that negative shit, it was all a lash out.

Just like Dr. Silver said, I was bored. And I know people say that all the time, “I’m so bored, oh my god this sucks it’s so fucking boring” but they’re not really bored because they have stuff that they like to do in their free time. They just don’t like working, that’s what it is. They’ve got their hobbies, their pet projects, all types of shit they can do on the mornings they wake up and have no plans.

It’s the days they can’t do that stuff that they get all pissy, but that bitching is also what makes their hobbies and free time seem like so much fun.

Like, ok, say right now isn’t right now. Say, instead, it’s a couple years ago, and I’m at my mom’s old place, before I was working at Shambles, after I got kicked out of school, after my mom died. Say I wake up and get out of bed and go out in the living room and don’t go past that point. Every day for like a week, I’m just out in the living room lounging, doing nothing from Monday to Sunday. Every morning, waking up and watching five different movies on DVD, eat a bunch of delivery junk food and playing video games, hitting my bong and making every possible effort to not leave the house even once. Say I do all this for an entire week. Come the following Monday morning, I’m going to wake up and think that house is like my own personal Siberian prison, you know? I’m going to start feeling like it’s my very own white padded cell and I’m stuck here in a straitjacket. I’m going to want to do anything I possibly can to get the fuck out of that place, and I mean anything.

The only problem back then was that, sometimes, that place I was at, that living room/prison I couldn’t bear to live in anymore…it was in my head. And it’s not easy to leave a place when it’s in your head. Even if you leave the physical place that reminds you of it, your mind’s still there. And when that happens, you feel trapped, and trapped people do crazy things.

We’re animals like that. Throw us in a cage, especially a mental one, and bad shit starts happening.


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2 Responses

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  1. I like the part of the line “trapped people do crazy things.” Patrick did you take a lot of Phycology classes? You are insightful to your characters.


    June 21, 2012 at 10:08 am

    • Thanks!

      I was actually a psychology minor as an undergrad. Always fascinated me, would’ve been my major if the job market for psychology bachelor degrees wasn’t practically nonexistent.


      June 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

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