Let’s be frank, shall we? It’s just you and I, Dear Reader. I don’t like sharing. It’s not something I’m good at, and it’s not something I enjoy. All the same, sometimes I need to scream, and this site, such as it is, is the wilderness in which I choose to do so. I try to stifle my screams; I try to use vague language to mask the truth, I try to avoid names. It’s not quite as effective as a full-on shout to the heavens, though.
So here it is. No obtuse language, no absurd metaphors. Here’s who I am, pure, undiluted Sean. If your browser melts, then so be it.
And as long as I’m in this sort of a mood, whoever the hell is googling “sean kerwin naples” from the Naples Bay area should be aware of two facts: first, that perfect anonymity is impossible so long as I have server logs, and second, that I don’t like lurkers.
I was born in New Jersey.
After I was born my parents moved in with my Dad’s parents. I called them Grandma and Pop. They’re dead now.
Mom and Grandma never seemed to like each other much. I still don’t know why. I think they thought I never noticed.
Eventually Mom and Dad built a house for us. It was next door to Grandma and Pop’s house. I think Grandma and Pop gave Mom and Dad the land.
There weren’t a lot of kids near us. I never met any. They went to public school. I went to private. Mom drove me there every school morning. I think it was about an hour, but I don’t remember. I was little.
Grandma was a teacher at a public school. I think it hurt her feelings that I went to private school.
My only friend was Jeff. He started out going to the private school, but then he left. We never talked about why. We stayed friends for a long time. I haven’t spoken to Jeff for a long time. Since Grandma died, I think.
In preschool I learned to read. In kindergarten I realized my name was spelled wrong. Sometimes other kids pronounced it wrong on purpose to hurt my feelings. I thought Mom and Dad had played a joke on me.
Mom’s father lives in New York City. For a while I called him New York Pop. I think this was Mom’s idea. He found out, and now I call him Poppa. It sounds funny to me when I say Poppa. He sends me a check every Christmas.
I used to wonder if Poppa sent the check himself, or if he had somebody who did it for him. One year he forgot to send checks, and now I know.
I never met Mom’s mother. She was named Cynthia. She smoked and it killed her. Poppa and she divorced before Mom and Dad got married.
Poppa’s wife is Betsy. I don’t call her Grandma.
Grandma Lois used to be Poppa’s wife until they got divorced. She lives on Long Island. I don’t see her often. I call her Grandma. Her husband was Richard. I didn’t know him well, but he was funny. He’s dead now.
We always had cats. I don’t remember Chairman Meow, but I do remember Spot, L.L. Bean, and Putty-Tat. Spot would chase after a stick if you threw it, but she wouldn’t bring it back. They’re all dead now.
Putty-Tat wasn’t our name. Mom got him when her stepfather died. I think his name was Bill Robinson, and I think he married Grandma Cynthia after she and Poppa got divorced. I don’t remember ever meeting him.
Pop smoked cigarettes. I think he said once he started in the army. We tried to get him to quit and eventually he did. We were all happy when he stopped.
When I was four my sister was born. Her name is Meaghan. This time I knew the spelling was a mean joke. Her middle name is Cynthia. I think Cynthia is a pretty name.
I remember the morning Meaghan was born. I woke up on the floor that morning. I had fallen out of bed while I slept.
My last teacher at the private school in New Jersey was Ms. Pace. She was really nice and really mean at the same time. She taught us algebra the first year, and geometry the second.
Ms. Pace was married, but she made us call her Miss instead of Missus. I didn’t understand why. I still don’t.
Mrs. Pace bought mechanical pencils for the entire class because she didn’t like pencil sharpeners. I liked mechanical pencils. I still do. They’re good pencils.
Eventually we moved to Florida. The town we moved to was called Naples. Mom and Dad bought a house in a place called Victoria Park.
I cried when we left New Jersey. Grandma cried too. Pop didn’t cry, but I knew he was sad.
We drove both cars to Florida, with L.L Bean in one car and Putty-Tat in another. Putty-Tat died after we moved.
The new house was smaller than our old house. It was hot.
I went to public school in Florida. I hated it. I felt lost. I made a few friends, but not good ones. I haven’t spoken to them since I left.
One day I got into a fight with another kid. He was a lot bigger than me. He punched me in the face and I kneed him in the crotch. We both got punished, even though he had attacked me.
Then I went to see a private school for a day to decide if I wanted to change schools. I liked it a lot. I changed.
One day L.L. Bean diead, and we got two new kittens. They were black and white and we named them Spooky and Snowball. Snowball is dead now. We still have Spooky. He’s sick now. He coughs and wheezes a lot. It makes me sad.
The private school was called CSN. I stayed there for the rest of middle school and all of high school.
The kid who was supposed to show me around my first day at CSN was sick, so everybody showed me around. He came back the next day. He’s my friend now.
Math class was right after lunch at CSN. We would eat lunch outside the math classroom. We liked math a lot. Sometimes we would play games, like taping people’s homework to the ceiling or hiding people pencils. One kid kept hiding my mechanical pencil. He stopped eventually, and now we’re friends.
In eighth grade I was on the math team. It was fun. We went to the state competition.
One day in eighth grade I thought I saw an angel. I remember when it happened very well. I try not to think about it, though. I never talk about it. It makes me sad.
One day Mom said that one of her clients from work needed help with his computer. I helped him and he paid me. He told other people, and I helped some of them too. It was a fun job.
When I was in high school I asked a girl I like to a dance once. She said yes. Then I found out I was going to New York for Poppa’s birthday party, and that I couldn’t go to the dance. I think the girl thought I was playing a joke on her. I try not to think about it.
During high school there was a teacher who played U2 songs during class. He was cool and we all liked him. He taught programming, and later he started to teach us calculus. Then he left the school forever. I still don’t know what happened. I’m a little afraid to ask.
During high school Pop got cancer. It was from the smoking. They took out his throat, and he had to hold a machine up to his chin to talk. I couldn’t understand what he said. Neither could he. I was sad. He was sad.
Eventually Pop died. It was a heart attack.
We flew home for his funeral. I looked out the window of the plane and tried to see shapes in the clouds, but there weren’t any there.
Grandma said that she and Pop had been planning to drive south to see us just before he died. She was sad when she said it. She wasn’t thinking. She didn’t mean to hurt me.
Grandma gave me Pop’s watch. I don’t have it anymore. It got ruined in a car accident. I wore it every day until then. Pop’s watch was made of steel and had a stretching steel band. I had to wind it every day, but sometimes I forgot.
We went back to Florida. I wished I would die. Sometimes at school I would find a quiet place alone and close my eyes and try not to cry. One time I got to the history classroom early and did this. People started showing up. A friend put her hand on my back and I jerked away. I wish I hadn’t.
I was on the math team in high school. I was good at it at first. During my last year I was the president of the math team. I ran against a friend and beat him. He deserved to win. I wished I hadn’t run.
One day Grandma had a stroke. We went home to see her. She was still Grandma, but she was different. It made me a little sad. I wondered if it might be better if she had died, and that made me even more sad.
Then Grandma died. I remember riding in the limousine to the cemetery where they were going to bury her. People were making jokes. I wanted to kill them all for telling jokes when Grandma was dead. I wanted to die for laughing at them.
We went home.
I had friends at CSN. I still talk to a lot of them. I thought we were all happy, but I found out later they were just pretending. I found out they weren’t really happy later on at a reunion. It made me sad to hear this.
One summer I went to a school up north to take a physics class. Two friends from CSN went too. It was mostly fun.
One time I asked a stupid question. I wish I hadn’t asked it.
After high school I went to a school called CMU. I hated it there. I didn’t think they were nice to their students. Later on a kid I knew from CSN committed suicide at CMU. I think CMU is a bad place.
I left CMU. I came home.
I was sad for a while, and then I got a job. The job wasn’t much fun at first, then it got to be more fun, but then at the end it wasn’t fun at all.
Sometimes the job would send me to San Francisco or New York City for shows. I lost my jacket in San Francisco.
One day I was in a car accident. My car was ruined. So was Pop’s watch. I think the watch was worth a lot more than the car. I got a new car. I don’t wear a watch anymore.
One day I quit the job and went to a new school.
I don’t like the new school a lot, but I have a scholarship. It pays tuition. I don’t want Mom and Dad to pay for this school, and I haven’t let them so far.
They think I won’t let them pay because I feel guilty. They think I feel like I wasted their money at CMU. I think I did. But that’s not why I won’t let them pay.
I won’t let them pay because I can’t. I need to do this myself. Sometimes they get angry at me because they don’t understand. Sometimes I get angry at them because they don’t understand.
I have a web page where I write things sometimes. I haven’t told anybody about it, and nobody reads it. It’s like screaming in the woods.
I feel like screaming a lot, but mostly I don’t.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m a bad person. I don’t want to be.