Aaron Killian hosts the Facebook page "Aaron Age 11," publishing excerpts from his 1991 6th grade journal, like "D & D foreverrr!!!" and "stayed up til 2:00 AM finishing book reports—Phantom Tollbooth and "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret."
Do you make some of this stuff up?
It's totally real. I found my journal from 6th grade about a year and a half ago. I wrote about stupid stuff like putting together a Ninja Turtles Foot Cruiser. Mundane things. I started reading through it and realized that a lot of the people in it I still know. So as a lark I started posting entries, first as my Aaron Killian Facebook statuses, and tagging people. My friends just loved it, so I started a page.
Do you have any goals beyond amusing your friends?
I would love to take it and turn it into a full-blown website where other people could post their own journals from when they were kids. A goofball, anonymous website where you could post old poetry, stupid little diary entries, love notes. It may never be the next big thing, but it would be good to have a fun place where people can do what I've done, which is shamelessly post embarassing pictures and artifacts from their adolescence. Everyone was awkward at some point in time, and I revel in that.
Do any posts particularly stand out?
When I was 11, I would get excited about getting a Black Belt magazine. I was this fat 11-year-old kid who thought that's all I needed to be a Ninja master. And one of the last entries that I posted was the excitement of four boys, 11 years old, sneaking and watching the Playboy Channel; that memory is so stupid and vivid. It was three of my best childhood friends at 2 in the morning—we had to wait until my best friend Jeremy's brother fell asleep. We watched for five minutes, heard a creak in the floor, and turned it off and pretended to be asleep. That was it, but in my mind it was this monumental moment. Really it was just the most overrated moment.
Can you remember writing this stuff?
Oh yeah, yeah. I was very faithful. The journal was for a year, and there was space for an entry every day, so I felt obligated. I did it for several months; not for long. And just a side note; every time I found the journal in later years, I would write a new entry in an empty spot. So there's one from my senior year in high school and my sophomore year in college.
Why did you stop?
My life was so boring I had started recapping Roseanne and Head of the Class episodes, and I think I said, "I'm not going to write anything unless I have something to write about." I don't agree with that now. Eleven was the age of the mullet, and Billy Ray Cyrus. In 7th grade, I went through the James O'Barr Crow stage, wearing a lot of black, and I kind of lost interest in it.
Is it okay to say what school you were at?
I went to Walland Middle School; it's an elementary now and my 7-year-old son goes there. It's kind of weird to walk around the same halls. His principal was our librarian in middle school.
Do you have any devoted fans?
A couple of friends read every entry. And Miss Nancy, our cafeteria lady, when she found the page, she's been reading it. When people are on AA11, I always reply to their comments as if I'm Aaron, age 11. If my friend posts, "You're so cute, I just love you," I answer. "You're 32, that's gross." I'm just the 11-year-old Aaron in the alligator Polo. I think that's what people love so much, the 6th grade sarcasm that most people grew out of but I didn't.
When you read back, do you like yourself?
This is my take on it. Everyone thinks they're cooler now than they were then. When I was in sixth grade I thought I was cooler than when I was in 5th. And now I'm 31 and think I'm so much cooler than five years ago. But reading all this, I realize even though I was a nerdy little chubby Quantum Leap fan whose favorite food was macaroni and cheese and whose favorite drink was Mellow Yellow, I was a witty, cool little kid. And the world didn't end because I got made fun of for wearing K Swiss shoes. I got tormented that one day, the kids were just horrible. That was the only entry where I didn't tag people. That was 20 years ago, but they know who they are.
Is there a post you particularly like?
There is this one where I got spring portraits back. I made such a big deal about this little zit on my chin, but neglected to mention my LA Gear shoes with double laces, my rolled-up sweat shirt, and my gray jogging pants. I was ridiculous, but to me I looked awesome.
Follow Aaron Age 11 at: facebook.com/AaronAge11