I am writing a scene at a high school reunion and decided that, for the memory lane slideshow my characters are subjected to, I should look through my senior yearbook and actually see what kind of photos we printed in the damn thing. Naturally, you can't help but read the notes people wrote to you when you pull these things out of the closet, and it truly is amazing how little we change in life.
"I want you to know if it wasn't for you, I would have gone all my high school years without getting my ass fondled."
"I admire your unique outlook on life. Don't lose it. (But lose that grin that always makes people itch.)"
- Lloyd N.
What? My grin makes people itch? I do remember having a Graphitti T-shirt of Brian Bolland's Joker that people said looked like me, but I made you itch?!
Joëlle will appreciate this note from a blonde Swedish foreign exchange student named Jessica:
"Well, you know so much about Swedes already that we don't have anything to hide any longer...You know even more than I do, as a matter of fact! 'Milk girls with braids and a white hat saying: Ja ja.'"
For more international incidents, I give you Jose Antonio Carlos Hernandez Martine, an exchange student from Spain whom we used to tease by calling him by his full Catholic name:
"I consider you one of my best friends, one of those friends that have a full-life guarantee. Sometimes I have hated you for your 'Spaniard-women-are-ugly-fat-and-they-don't-shave-their-legs jokes' (if you do not know what is good stuff, how can you judge? Anyhow you only can know it if you go to that marvelous country called Spain.) But most of the times I have had a great tme with your company. Has anybody told you that you weird?"
Nope. Not a single person. More amazing: nobody ever kicked my ass in high school. Sounds like I deserved it, though!
"Perhaps that is the reason I like you, perhaps is your careless tonuge that has taught the minimum of vocabulary as to survive in this fucking world or perhaps is your look which 'scared' me the first day I saw you."
I was scary to look at and my grin made people itch!
The page after that, my friend and prom date Christina Snyder chastises me for telling her Scott Rich was my brother, the prank I wrote about in Four-Letter Worlds. Oh, the legend continues! The yearbook contains many notes about my future books and the great things they all expected me to do. What a bunch of suckers!
The following makes me cringe quite a bit:
"So what do you say to the weirdest guy that you know that actually has the same fears, dreams, and shoelaces as everyone else? I guess I could say that the comedy kept me going or the rude jokes kept me blushing or the tickling hands kept me running or the 'Mother Goose' kept me worrying (about how I walk) or your writing kept my mouth dropped but I won't say any of those things. Instead I'll say that I wish you the best of luck (and love!) in everything you attempt and 20 years from now I'll really aprreciate being able to tell my kids I knew that weirdo with all the safety pins who wrote the horror stories then starred (or is it stared?) in them!
- Tiffany H.
I don't cringe at the writing, as that's actually a pretty incisive, meaningful expression. I cringe at the fact that I called this wonderful girl "Mother Goose" to make fun of how she walked! I remember Tiffany as being sweet, quiet, and one of the school's smartest kids. She was also really pretty, and I am mortified that I wouldn't have told her that instead of such a mean nickname. Tiffany, if you ever see this, I am so sorry!
Elswhere, I was a teacher's aide for third-period that last year, in Mrs. James' sophomore English class. So, being the lecher I am, naturally there are a lot of notes in here from 15-year-old girls who I shamelessly flirted with.
"Heck! Mrs. James class was great, without your morbid stories and 'happy' attitude it just would not have been so tolerable. Anyway I wish you all the best, I'm sure my kid's will be reading some of your happy poetry in their senior English class."
- Valerie B.
"It's been interesting knowing you. By now I should be used to you teasing me. I am. At first you made me mad, but now you make me laugh."
- Misty S., summing up every relationship I've ever had
"In my mind you are the finest guy in the 300 quad, school...heck...the WORLD! DYE YOUR HAIR BACK. YOU DON'T GIVE ME THE CREEPS!!!"
- Cindy (no last initial)
"Words just can't express what I think of your perverted, demented, twisted, kind, endearing charms. I think that you are one of the most stupendous guys I have ever met, though you enjoy sucking on young innocent girls ears, we (I) love you for it! I don't understand, I mean, I'm totally unable to comprehend you - nor do I want to!"
- Erica P.
Yikes! I am not sure I want to understand either. I really don't remember being an ear sucker.
My favorite, though, came from a very real crush of mine. She ended up dating this guy Chad who couldn't close his mouth, and looked like he had spent the day kissing the hot part of a stove.
"Good luck with your little house in the forest shared with that special cat."
- Kelley M.
Genius plans can never come too early!
I leave you now with photographic evidence of all that is wrong with me, my senior yearbook photo of the speech team, ca. 1990:
That's a Smiths The Queen Is Dead T-shirt I have on. In a team of six, I am the only boy, and I dated both of the girls next to me at different times over the course of the first semester. Thus, the whole lot of uncomfortable you see on my face.
Current Soundtrack: shuffle through Nicky Wire, Bright Eyes, Richard Ashcroft, Charlatans, Bloc Party; Primal Scream, Beautiful Future
Current Mood: mortified
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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich