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 day...to 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
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.