Friday, January 25, 2008

Reviewed: Looking Back

I always get this way on the eve of finishing a big project—emotional, nostalgic, introspective, regretful—and most of my friends know to expect a round of e-mails asking, “remember when?” Currently the project I’m on now is the biggest project I’ve ever attempted to finish and the fact that I’m finishing it—that in some respects it is already done—is pretty mind-blowing. I’m in the emotional/nostalgic danger zone for sure, which is probably why the other night I had a pretty strange dream involving a kid from high school who has completely disappeared from my life, in fact probably disappeared the day after graduation and I have not thought of him since.

I’ve talked to a couple friends about this and they have both insisted that everyone is emotionally retarded in high school, that none of us ever knew what we were doing and can’t be blamed for the things we said or the actions we took. They are, of course, right. But it doesn’t help me in this state, feeling way more jerky and awful than I probably should.

Here’s what happened: we rode the same bus (yes, in high school before I got my driver’s license I occasionally still had to ride the bus home from school.) We rode the same bus and one day before he got off he shoved his Green Day Dookie CD at me and said, “I think you’ll like this. You can borrow it.” He was shy, like me. We were both shy, awkward.

A while later, when we both could drive, he stopped me in the hall and asked me to do something with him. I said I couldn’t because I was taking the ACT the next morning and had to wake up early. That night, while my dad was watching television in his underwear in the living room, the dog started barking and it was him, the kid from the bus, at my door. We stood awkwardly in the entryway of my house—I think we talked about Kurt Cobain—for about five minutes before I confirmed that no, I couldn’t go out. I wasn’t convinced that he actually liked me—it was new to me, to think that someone liked me. The next day he came to a basketball game that I was at (he never went to basketball games) and after the game he followed me and my friends for about one minute out of the parking lot in his truck. I, of course, being the emotionally immature brat that I was—and probably deep down totally scared of boys in general—told my friends he was stalking me, and relayed the entire story from the night before. We turned it into a game (stalker, high school girls love it) and laughed at him, and the next day when he left a note in my locker telling me that he wanted to get to know me better, I ignored it and ignored him.

The only reason I am obsessed with this now is because of the aforementioned emotional/regretful state of my brain in the aftermath of artistic exhaustion. But I can’t help but feel like the most awful brat alive, particularly because one of the only things I can specifically remember from the locker note was this line, “It took a lot for me to come out to your house…”

Does anyone else ever have those realizations? What do you do about them? There’s no way I would ever find this guy and say, “Hey, I’m sorry about that.” It would be totally crazy and he wouldn’t even care, or remember. But maybe it’s just enough for me to write down, right here, that I know I have done stupid things before and I regret them. I swear to god I’ve friggin’ matured.

6 Stars.

6 comments:

Matt said...

i think your altruism is tribute enough, wherever he is.

(but just in case, you should probably give his name.)

trang said...

right, you've atoned by remembering and giving it thought in this blog.


i'd pass on trying to contact him to apologize. he'd decide that you were stalking him and it would be too much to try to explain further. i'd almost imagine it to be a strange seinfeld/elaine type of dialogue.

Susan said...

i think that in the world of facebook, myspace, and whitepages.com the whole notion that you couldn't find him to apologize is bullshit. i think you should look him up and drop him an email saying, hey, if i hurt your feelings, i'm sorry. the trauma goes both ways and often lasts both ways. he doesn't have to respond, but i bet you'd feel better if you apologized.

plus, if he doesn't respond, then HE'S the asshole. ;)

Cass said...

i insanely already tried that, and he's defintely not findable via internet. then i kind of had flashbacks to one of my more embarrassing moments which i told murph about the other day in a moment of weakness. it involves a letter being sent. i cringe just thinking about it. so no, it's not going to happen.

Cass said...

to clarify, the embarrassing letter thing is a separate, junior high incident.

tesch said...

dude...his sister is on facebook if you really wanted to try to find him. stalker. ha.