the (chaotic) life and Turning Five

An Essay By Ben // 8/21/2001

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

There's something I need to announce. It's perhaps the biggest announcement I have ever made on apricotpie. So, you better pay attention. Turn off the music, stop eating that sandwich, and don't pick up the phone if it rings.

Are you ready yet?

Okay, I think I'm ready to say it now. My littlest sister (the one who likes Shirley Temple - see my August 7th post about her (do you remember her now?)). Well, she is going to turn 5 years old exactly 24 hours from now! Can you believe it? Maybe you need to hear it again: 5. If you forget the number, remember that's how old Shirley Temple was in one of her movies. And, if that doesn't help you, look at your hand: five fingers! Spread the news....

Sorry about that. You've probably thrown your sandwich on the floor in disgust by now. But, I couldn't help teasing you. And it is the biggest news in my house right now. Tonight alone I have had 5 to 10 discussions with my littlest sister (who happens to be turning 5 (five)) about turning five. She has lots of plans and ideas about turning five. First of all, she can't wait to get her gifts. This worries me somewhat because I haven't even started looking for a present for her yet.

Then, my littlest sister (who is still 4 (four) by the way), plans that when she is five she will be a ballerina and take classes with a lady who is like another lady named Cathy who has "yellow and red hair." Since this is all being planned out, she has decided to wear her ballet shoes and exercise right now until she can put the plan into action. What is it about ballet that attracts so many girls? Dancing in general I have trouble with... it's so public and... and... something.

One last thing I'll mention about this sister: she asked me to tell her about when I was five. I told her to ask mom because "I can't remember it too well right now." By that time I was beginning to get a little tired of the conversation. Besides, I really don't remember much from back then - it was almost 15 years ago. Yeah, 15 years does sound like a long time. My friend, Raycho (I doubt you remember him - I barely mentioned him in a posting February 9th, 2000) turned 20 back in June. We were talking about that last week. We both felt guilty because neither of us had done anything great yet. "After all," he said, "Napoleon was already conquering nations when he was 20." I couldn't remember how old Napoleon was when he began his "great" campaign, so I just believed Raycho since he is a history major. But think about Alexander the Great, Mozart, Picasso. Think about all the prodigies in music, art and thinking. Remember all the athletes in the Olympics. The great Chess players. Then, think of Raycho and me sitting in my car at a red light. Not too inspiring, is it? That's what we thought.

There's so much more I wanted to put into words here. When I have some new experience or thought, I usually (if it's helpful) want to put it into words on the page. But then I would be writing all the time, and pretty soon I wouldn't have any new thoughts or experiences.
I need to stop writing now so I can go to bed (it seems I do a lot of that, alright). Still, I can't help it if a few of my other thoughts slip into the end of this chaotic piece. I've been feeling more and more distress and anger about some things this summer. One thing that bothers me is something that is impossible to ignore when you leave your house: the media and its Brittany Speares taste. I won't say any more now, but the "wrath" of Benchillis (Achilles) has been woken. If you didn't understand what I just said, then it means I should go to sleep. Another thing that bothers me is science. Where are we going with stem cell research? Our reason for doing the research is to avoid death and pain, right? But, what's so terrible about death and pain? I haven't experienced much of either (death or pain) but I still question our reasoning when we kill and produce pain in order to avoid those very things ourselves. Finally, school has not left my mind. The transfer is still very much real. I start school in about 2 weeks.

Goodnight and enjoy apricot,

Ben

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