Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lest old resentments be forgot

Recently an old acquaintance from high school got in touch with me.
This is the first time this has happened. EVER. I was shocked.
Well no, more than shocked. In fact, I want to state for the record that I have never been more glad in my life that I wasn't a guy because both 'nads would have schlooped right up into my abdomen; I did not panic-I totally fucking panicked.

So the first thing I did was write porn.

The flesh having been satisfied, I set about dissecting why someone who had nothing at all invested in her high school memories should still be feeling any aftershocks at all, let alone one of this magnitude? That person being me; keep up here.

Why indeed. I may have mentioned that I did not enjoy high school. That would have been an understatement on my part and I apologize because actually it ranks closer to 'ludicrous bald faced lie' on the accuracy meter. High school was horrible. High school was a joke. An endless, excruciatingly unfunny joke told by a smelly drunken uncle who always copped a feel.

The thing was; I wasn't particularly unpopular by then; I wasn't being bullied. It was simply a matter of the daily fucking hopelessness. My parents had delivered an ultimatum: I had to maintain perfect attendance and get passing grades or I would be 'sent to a home'. They meant it. Academically speaking this was easy enough...classes were a joke. The football team was the only thing the district funded. Teachers ranted at us for entire periods about poor game attendance and 'school spirit' while I sat and watched the clock and knew I had to go home to people who referred to me as 'The Whore of Babylon'-and had to take it if I wanted to sleep in my own bed. I sat through the bullshit and turned in my assignments. I never went to the dances and I never ran for student body anything. I was sent home with 'attitude needs improvement' and 'not working up to her full potential' on my report cards.

Because I liked not being institutionalized, then, I continued to go to this place where people were genuinely concerned about volleyball tryouts. Cheerleaders snickered after me in the halls because I wore the wrong shoes and didn't shop at the Brass Plum. As far as boys were concerned I was too 'weird' to make a suitable peer trophy and so I was passed by again and again like something turning green in the reduced-to-sell meat cooler. The only person who showed anything like a personal interest in me was an English teacher in my Jr. year, the notorious Ms. T; and her interest was in getting a handful of tit.

On the one hand I'm proud that I was able to say no to that kind of exploitation. On the other hand exploitation was all that was being offered to me. I hated myself for it, but there were times that all I wanted to was five minutes of contact from someone in my everyday life. Anyone.

The guy who got in touch with me after all these years was someone I remembered as one of the very few intelligent students in that school. Wonderful sense of humor. Filled out a pair of Brittania Jeans well too. He knew I was interested. I was interested even despite the fact that he often came to creative writing class so pathetically loaded that I literally had to help him find the door, or that once in class he'd sit at his desk and trip on his hand for 45 minutes. Of course, he was 17 too, and so, of course, he was interested in something that displayed well. That something wasn't me.
I wasn't cool enough.

I was shocked at how much this still hurts and how much it still matters to me. I can tell myself that we were all kids and none of us had a clue; that matters not one tiny bit. On top of all the other major and minor indignities, apart from the shit I lived in and what kind of things I had to pull out of myself just to make it through a be judged and found wanting on my 'cool' quotient still just ices the absolute fuck out of me. The shame. The rage. I can't begin to describe it; and it's all still just as vivid and bloody as it was back in 1978.

At least he stuck with his convictions. He was one of the few boys that I didn't have to send packing, who, once graduation was safely in the past came flocking around now that the 'coast was clear'.

Ah, but recent events had landed him back in the old hometown, single and feeling horny retrospective, so he opened up the old yearbooks and got as far as 'M'. Oh yeah, her...

So he got in touch. We emailed a couple of times and spoke about old times.

He denied getting stoned.
Never dropped acid.
Had no idea what I was talking about.
Bemused but friendly...until he ascertained that I wasn't single.
The next email, when it came, was offhand and terse.

High school never ends. It never fucking ends.


  1. But you get out. Sure, something happens occasionally to drag you kicking and screaming back in, but most of the time you're not there. Denial is a beautiful thing, most of the time.

    Also? Thanks. This year is my 20th high school reunion, and I was trying to decide whether to go or not. You've reminded me why not.

  2. good fucking grief. some people never fucking grow up.

    i hated high school, too. my parents weren't nearly as psychotic as yours, so my experience pales in comparison, but i was miserable for 4 years. I was so loathed by the student body that at the time i graduated my definition of "friend" was "Someone who doesn't throw my lunch tray on the floor if i sit down next to them in the caffeteria; one who tolerates my existence and is not actively malicious." there were very few of these.

    wierd that you should write this today. last night i had a very vivid (and very fucked up dream) about some people i knew in high school that i haven't thought about in years. must be something in the air.

  3. Anonymous1:44 AM

    Really there is no need for you to be worried about things like this and people like him. You are too brilliant bright and sexy for them - thats all.

  4. I loved school and my schoolfriends so much that I refuse to have anything to do with anyone I knew before the age of about twenty. Same goes for virtually all of my family, heh heh, but that's another story.

    You seem to be in a happy place with your life at the moment, so try as much as possible to keep the past buried. (Sorry about the use of "in a happy place". Beware of airhead Californian terminology!)

  5. Men are bastards, except for me cos I'll try it on with any old or young thing dead or alive single or married and thats because I'm well rounded, or do I mean well endowed?

  6. Hmmmm, just another shit trolling for trouble. In town? Call on yer biker buddies to go mess him up, show him that high school just ended! Sometimes you need to get back at 'em.
    High school for me was okay, one way to get out of the house.

  7. Let me see.....You're in a long term relationship, with a guy who would, from what we can gleam, seems to be pretty well suited to you. You're family appreciate you. We all flock to your blog whilst,
    Ex high school acquaintance, has just been thrown out on his arse and is desperately contacting people from his very distant past for company, whilst in denial about his former lifestyle.
    How could someone like that, make you feel bad?
    You have the best kind of style. Self style. He has to rethink who he is. If he doesn't, his downward slide will continue.

  8. Well, he's a bit of a twit, isn't he?

  9. Anonymous7:06 AM

    i figured out early on that being chubby was not a good thing for a high school kids cool factor. i had a few close friends who saw through the exterior but not many. i keep in touch rarely with one or two but that's it. i don't really care for them.

    although, i do take satisfaction in knowing that karma can be a good thing. turns out the valedictorian couldn't get her act together and neither could the majority of people who i graduated with.

    who knew i'd turn out to be the one who is remembered well?

  10. sems to me , yourthe one with all the aces this time round , you got partner , family , friends and all the good stuff.
    So bollocks to the twerp :-)

  11. What was my "smelly drunken uncle who always copped a feel" doing in Washington State?

  12. alala: no kidding; it was like being fast asleep and falling into an ice cold pool. the HORROR!

    cb: that was me in grade school. by jr. high i was setting things on fire (ie the girls bathroom) and apparently this did a lot to raise my stock. if we had been in school together i would have been your friend and i would have let you play with my lighter too.

    mr. the dog: thank you my darling. it just bothers me that someone who teaches fricken' archaelogy thinks I'M uncool. go bite him.

    betty: you grew up in Milwaukie too, huh? tell ya what, screw 'em. I had a preferred brand of tequila while most of them were still caught up in the great 'Clearasil vs AcneStatin' debate.

    knudie: i'll have to guess #2. i know officer Fitzpatrick here in town remembers you fondly...

    gale: thanks, but naaaaaah. hes a balding professor of archeology with three support payments. karma already kicked his butt!

    ara: yup. a balding one.

    pink: but yet you look back and most of us girls were the same damn size!

    beast: i know. its just the 'cool' thing that still gets to me. frankly, i thought i was pretty cool. i just wasn't farah fawcett.

    mj: lets hope his car stalls in the path of an oncoming train.

  13. Lovely.

    The world would be a better place if everyone who genuinely enjoyed high school spontaneously combusted.

    Bitter? Me?

  14. hey now, danator! I enjoyed high school, but not because I was popular...ohhhhhoooo nooo. No. I was angry redneck metalhead hippy girl, but MAN! It was fun to do drugs, have my bills paid, not try at school (stoned) and pass, and have a handful of friends that kicked ass.
    Oh, and going to college my senior year of high school probably helped. Esp. with the drug availability.