Buried deep in the Pacific Northwest, under Heart albums and Shaun Alexander jerseys, Ballerball was able to uncover a vast number of writings from Shawn Kemp’s old diary. In some cases, Kemp would write album reviews. This is one such case. These are his words.*
March 26, 2005
It was the first day of spring today and the sun came out and colored the sky orange in the evening. Otherwise, there were many clouds. In the morning it was hard to see down the road from the fog and the mist hung thick in the air like a wet sheet and I did not want to get out of bed.
Outside the grass was wet with dew and I walked to the store to get a paper. I don’t get a subscription. I walk every day to go get it. It makes me feel like I’m a part of something and it gives me a task to accomplish so I don’t waste the day away scrolling through the Guide on my cable box.
For about a year I would go to bed around three in the morning after spending the better part of two hours rocketing down a YouTube black hole of Oscar acceptance speeches and Inside The Actors’ Studio clips. I’d knock off and not wake up till eleven or twelve in the morning, then wake up and commence with the paper grabbing. The convenience store I purchase the periodical from also sells donuts, so that is good.
I’m going to church again. The one over on Wellington with the pastor who really cares about his shoes. I sit in the back. It’s good for me. I’ll keep going. I’ll often think now how sad I am that I stopped for all those years. Someone asked me to talk to the youth group there. In a couple Wednesdays they’re having an outreach night that’ll double as a pizza and black light party and they wanted me to say a few words about perseverance and how it’s okay to be a steward of one’s body. It’s both important and biblically sound to be physically healthy and I do not think children, or some adults, know that. The irony of that talk happening over a plate full of Pizza Hut is not lost on me but you have to find a way in before you can change things.
I’m excited to be around teenagers again. They make me feel older, but in a way I enjoy. I feel as if I can revolutionize certain happenings for them, let them know that what they’re worried about is not important. If she goes out with him, then you know what kind of person she is, buddy. That sort of thing. Some of them have parents that want to talk to me about my past. I do not like those talks. They make me feel like they think I am stupid.
The last time I went to the youth service I had a nice evening. It was some time in November, I think. I’d gotten some great barbecue around 6:30 — pulled pork — before the service began. During the worship they played a song by Jon Foreman, lead singer of Switchfoot, and I remember starring the song on my Spotify so I’d be able to listen to it later on. The song was called “Your Love Is Strong”. It’s very powerful to me. He’s a fantastic songwriter.
Afterwards I went with some of the kids and some of the adults to grab some ice cream. I got a couple scoops of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough in a waffle cone and we talked about The Aviator. Then we want to Sonic and sat in our cars and had slushies while we listened to Top 40 radio. It was a nice night. It reminded me of high school.
George calls me from time to time. We’ll talk about Neil Young.
I suppose, Diary, that I’m just trying to say that I’m taking inventory of my life and doing all I can to live simply and well. It’s important for me to have tiny things to look forward to, a little sun to combat the otherwise cloudy skies. It makes me feel good. Like I have control.
*No, they’re not.