The 18-55 is a great little lens, but if you mean close-ups as in macro photography (Nikon calls it micro) you'll probably want to keep saving for another lens. The 18-55 will do 1:3.2 which is actually one of the closest focusing non-micro lenses they make, but a true micro lens is 1:1 and will get a lot closer. If you're referring more to portraits, it can do it, but the lens doesn't have a very good ability to isolate the subject because of the small maximum aperture at 55mm (f/5.6, an f/2.8 will do a much better job, and an f/2 or bigger (smaller number) prime will do even better), and the bokeh (referring to how the out of focus area is rendered) is sorta ugly and distracting on the 18-55 vs other lenses. For a general purpose walkaround lens though, it's great and has surprisingly good image quality.
You're looking for the manual focus version of the lens? I think that's what you meant. You can do that, but you won't have any metering support so you'd have to use an external meter, or just guess. You're better off getting the AF version which will give you metering.
I am also buying my first DSLR soon and wondering about close-up capabilities of the kit 18-55mm lens (because I'll be using them for a while untill I got some cash for a better piece of glass). Can anyone post a sample photo of how close I can actually get to the subject with it?
With a maximum magnification of 1:3.2, the 18-55 kit lens is actually the closest focusing lens nikon has aside from their dedicated 1:1 macro lenses. Most of their other zooms and other primes are in the 1:4 or higher range.