Confessions of a Firebug
Not that I’m an actual bug or anything, though I suppose I could be, at least in this journal. I can write whatever I want in it. I could make myself into this normal sized bug that lives in the more frequently used fireplaces, borrowing into the ash in between fires to hibernate. It lives only in the winters, and is horribly colorful. Horribly because anything that lives in a fire must look horrific. But alas! (as my uncle used to say, I think) I am not that frightfully interesting bug. I am an orphan in one of the newer orphan homes in the city. I know, so cliché. But I probably won’t go on some otherworldly or magical adventure and find my long-lost family or some equally ridiculous plot. If I’m lucky Ill get adopted into some decent sort of family with either no kids or too many. Or Ill get shoved into the awful foster care system and get housed by horrible people who are only taking me in for the paycheck they get. Real hopeful outlook on my future, eh?
But I’m not really Miss Doom and Gloom. I was just letting you know what the probable options of my life really are so you can get any fantastical and outlandish fairy tale endings out of your head. I’m a normal orphan in a normal, dirty, everyday world. And if you’re looking for a momentary escape from the realities of your own, this is not the book to read. Although I have no idea why you would be reading my journal, and if you were I might have to pop you one. Not that I’m going to write any life changing thoughts or devastating secrets in this, but hey. Its my stuff and people are just so snoopy.
Jan 12, 2011
Oops. I forgot to date my last entry. It was Christmas of 2010, or a couple weeks ago. Nothing big happened; I just forgot that I had a journal to write in. I got it as a random Christmas present that some nice people thought to send over right before Christmas. They had bought just enough for every kid in our small house and had wrapped them and put about the age of the kid that would enjoy the present, and whether it should be given to a boy or girl. I grabbed mine out before they could hand me a stupid one. I picked it because it looked like it would be a DVD, but this was cool too. I was definitely glad it was a journal, and not a diary, because diaries are just too frilly sounding. Oh, by the way, I’m a fourteen year-old tomboy named Kimi MacAoidh. I’ll get into my strange name later. Back to my insecty theme. A couple people have branded me a firebug. That does not sound so great when you are trying to get adopted. Oh no! She’ll burn down our house in our sleep! No. I just think that fire is pretty and I like fireplaces and candles a lot. Not like I’m obsessed or anything. Or stupid for that matter. Everyone knows that fire is dangerous if you not careful and respectful of it. I’m just fascinated with how it works, the colors it has, and the shadows it throws. Sheesh! And besides, I also love water, wind and dirt. I guess they don’t see those because they aren’t dangerous. But when I get to swim, I feel like an otter. And a good strong wind makes me wish I could fly. I really enjoy growing things too. So its definitely NOT like I’m unbalanced or anything.
Anyway. They also say that I do well in school, which is a good thing I guess. I don’t cause trouble and I like to learn. My uncle taught me to read and write before kindergarten, and for as long as I can remember Ive been fascinated with languages. Not math! Ugh. I hate math. I can work most problems that you give me, but it feels like pulling teeth. So English is my favorite subject, and if people ask me for help I can usually do that.
You know how long it took me to write this by hand? An hour, give or take a couple minutes. Now its late and I’m going to be tired during school tomorrow. Yay. I guess I could try to write more in the afternoons instead of at night before I go to sleep, but its hard to find privacy when other people are awake. Hmm… maybe I could find a way out onto the roof, like other orphans do in the books Ive read. Ha! Id probably do something stupid and plunge to my death. Nix that idea. I wonder if we have an attic?
Jan. 14, 2011
So guess what. We do have an attic! Its even floored and walled and painted and everything. Not a lot of junk, but there were some pieces of ruined furniture and a boatload of dust. I sneezed for five minutes after I managed to get a couple wet rags and some Windex up here. After a cleanup its pretty nice. It just got left in the middle of the last century, thats all. Its great for hiding out and writing. Ive already finished my homework and chores for the day so no one is gonna be storming all over the house looking for me. This might be the first time Ive truly had alone time in a long time. Say, three years straight. It has gotten a bit overcrowded here at the house; probably because its nice and new and they (meaning the government or whoever is over this whole system) wanted to get as many orphans out of those old, nasty buildings. This one was built in the 90s, so its kinda old, but it got renovated recently. At least it doesn’t have that awful prison look. Its painted nice warm colors, has decent bunk beds, clean bathrooms, and some playrooms. So its nice, as far as orphanages go.
Hmm… maybe I should describe how I became an orphan. Not the prettiest story, but there are others with worse. As a baby I lived with my uncle. They’re pretty sure he was my real uncle, but who knows. I remember he was always really nice, and he liked teaching me all sorts of stuff. I’m told he raised me, and they have no idea who my parents were or if they were alive or dead. Well, he got old and sick and died when I was about seven. Been in an orphanage since then. Only two. I was moved from my first one which was old and outdated to this one about three years ago. Lets see, that was when I was eleven. Oh, by the way, my birthday is June 21, or, what has often been pointed out to me, the Summer Solstice. So my birthday is the longest day of the year and I have more birthday than anyone else. Whoopee. My birthday is nice because I get a cake and some presents and I always feel warm and happy. But in the end its just another day.
Sometimes I wish I had a family who loves me and cares for me like my uncle did. But it doesn’t last too long, because I’m happy where I am. At the orphanage there are lots of kids who come and go, but there are a few long-terms like me. Sean has been here longer than me and is a great big brother. He’s been in a couple dysfunctional foster homes, but somehow he managed to stay at the orphanage till he’s old enough to go out on his own. He’s sixteen, and counting down to eighteen. He’s good in school too, but he wants to wait about a year before he goes to college and get some experience working. Says he doesn’t want more loans to pay off than he has to. He’s smart, I guess, and listens to any advice anyone gives him and weighs it against his own common sense and the stuff he’s learned in school and online. He says when he gets out he’ll make sure I’m ok, and if he can get to a place where he can take care of me, I can move in with him if I want to. Of course that’ll be after he goes through college. We’ll see. Then there’s Dana, who was born in China and got adopted while she was still a baby. But when she was eight, her adopted parents decided that they didn’t want kids after all. At least that’s what she says. It must have been awful. She still has trust issues; she finds it hard to let anyone in. But I like her and I’m stubborn, so we’ve become pretty good friends. She’s twelve but often acts older than me, so the age difference doesn’t really matter. And I love the kids. There are always a couple here that I get along great with. I try to get them treats and play with them when I can. And there are a couple long-haul workers in the orphanage that have been here for years and have a heart of gold. These people are my family and I love them. And I’m happy. Mostly.
Jan. 24, 2011
So a couple things have happened. Actually not really. I’ve been really bored. And besides brag about how smart I am, I’m so tired of school I really don’t want to spend my alone time writing about. So, I’m going to talk more about myself. Narcissism at its best. Woot. Perhaps I should mention I have a bad habit of being sarcastic. At least that’s what I’m told. I think it’s often more effective than stating the obvious. And some people just fail to pick up on the whole sarcasm thing, so I can kind of giggle on the inside. Heehee. Ahem… Why did I just write “ahem?” I don’t know. I guess I’m bored. ok. Back to being narcissistic.
Mm… let’s see, based on what I remember my uncle telling me, I’m of Scottish decent, though I have enough Native American in me to keep me from looking like the typical plaster white skin and freckles that pops into mind when you mention Scottish. Maybe that’s where I get my stubbornness. Both ethnic groups were pretty stubborn. And fought a lot. And held century old grudges. Ah well, maybe I’m not exactly like my ancestors. Maybe I am. Who knows. Native American’s loved the elements, and were brave and patient. Highlanders could scratch out a living from nothing. Rabbit-trailing now. Anyway. Kimi is Algonquin for “secret,” and MacAoidh, pronounced mac-OW-ood, is my Dad’s last name. It is actually straight up Gaelic, and it means “son of Aoidh.” Aoidh is a Celtic word for god meaning “fire.” So my name is literally “Secret Fire.” It’s actually pretty cool. I researched it a little while back when we were supposed to write a paper on our cultural history. Stupid assignment if you ask me when a good bit of your class are ORPHANS. Brilliant teachers, I have.
Moving on. Ok… well, I call myself a tomboy mainly because I’m not like most of the girls I’ve met. Maybe I’ve not had a very wide sampling, but the whole boys/magazines/make-up/clothes/complain about dirt thing never really appealed to me. In my mind I chuckle a bit watching them and just go on. Really, there is more to life! So I just slip in the word tomboy in conversation shortly after meeting people and if some weird or strange behavior pops out they can just say, “Right, tomboy,” and don’t think much more about it. But I don’t want to be a boy. I’m perfectly comfortable being a girl; I’ll probably even get married. It still sometimes irks me that guys are just naturally stronger (physically only, mind you) than girls, but I can often out smart ‘em, so I feel a little better. The only guy I could never completely outsmart is Sean. We can go head to head for hours and not prove either way which of us was craftier. Never stopped us from trying though. Pranks are so much fun. We have to be careful not to get caught, (they’re not allowed) but that just makes it more of a challenge. And of course we wouldn’t do anything that would get each other hurt. There was one where I gave Sean a sketchbook that I had been saving for for almost six months. It was made with pages that were saturated with a chemical that absorbed ink, (his favorite drawing tool is a pen) so every time he drew a picture, the next day it had disappeared. He finally suspected something was up; I crowed over that one constantly for two days. Then I realized the more I gloated the more he would want to make his comeback even more spectacular. It was, and it will not be mentioned in this journal. Let’s just say he has crowing rights for now, as I have yet to think of one to top it. Someday…
Jan. 25, 2011
Very bored today. Got tons of homework. Love writing in incomplete sentences because I know it would drive my English teacher up the wall. Gonna stop avoiding homework now. Oh wait! Something did happen today. It was really strange. I was freezing and miserable in Algebra today, along with everyone else in the building. The heater had gone out a couple of periods before. So I was sitting there thinking how nice it would be if we could just have a fire inside us that we could just turn on when we needed, when I felt an electrical shock, and was suddenly warm all over. I jumped a little and looked around, and everyone was still staring at the teacher. Well, that proved my hair wasn’t on fire at least. I looked around again and noticed that everyone else was still shivering and miserable, while I was considering taking off my coat. Weird right? The warmth seemed to spread from my chest out, like the feeling you get when you eat a warm soup, only it wasn’t coming from my stomach. I haven’t been cold since. I didn’t tell anyone because they would just think I was making it up for attention. As if I wanted attention from school. Ugh. As much as I hate it, I’m going to have to really borrow into my algebra homework if I’m gonna get it done before tomorrow.