April 2, 2012: August 23, 1976: High School Commences

August 23, 1976

Dear Agnes,

It’s official. Bonnie Paul and I don’t have a single class together. We don’t even have the same lunch hour. There are so many kids at this school that we have to eat lunch in half-hour shifts. A half hour for lunch! I hate high school already, and today was only the first day.

          So I’ve decided to keep a journal of this newest version of hell. But keeping a diary is so bourgeois that instead of doing that, I’m just going to write letters to you, Agnes, a person who doesn’t exist outside of my head. Which means you’ll be the only person in my life who doesn’t tell me my hair is too long and my love of old movies is too weird. Congratulations, and welcome to my life. Which sucks.

I got stuck in all the accelerated classes, which means hour after hour surrounded by the city’s most boring 14-year-olds. How come smart kids are always the most dull? I asked one guy in my Algebra class (That’s right—algebra! I’d rather have leukemia!) what he did this summer, just trying to strike up a conversation, and he said, “It was so cool, I went to archery camp and in August I re-read the Lord of the Rings trilogy!” Just to be mean, I told him I spent the summer playing mah jong with Joan Crawford and Adela Rogers St. John, but he didn’t get it.

There’s one girl in my English class named Diane Miller who had a copy of The Bell Jar with her today. That’s a good sign. Anyone who is reading novels by a suicidal lesbian has to be at least a little cool. I rolled my eyes at Diane when Mrs. Santa Cruz tried to pronounce my first name differently, and she rolled her eyes back. When we were leaving class she told me my hair is cool. (It’s really long now, almost to the middle of my back, and I had Marco feather my bangs “all the way toTucson,” as he put it.) Maybe I’ll at least have someone to pass notes with in there if Diane turns out to be cool.

          The rest of the day was fucked up. I ate lunch with this weird-looking, sweaty girl who just came over and sat down under the tree where I was sitting by myself, pretending to read my Earth Science book. (What the hell is Earth Science, anyway? Please, God, not another year of listening to lectures about atoms and asteroids, or I swear I’ll drink a gallon of poison and throw myself under the wheels of a bus.) She just started talking about how she was going to drop out because her history teacher tried to rape her, but first she was going to burn down the school with everyone in it. I tried to tell her that I thought this was a marvelous idea, as long as she gave me some advance notice so I could stay home that day, but she never let me get a word in. When the lunch bell rang she jumped up and said, “I don’t usually like talking to fags, but this was fun!”

          Fucking bitch.

          This charming exchange was followed by P.E., a class designed to give the baboons who cannot pass remedial math a chance to succeed at something. Today that included throwing big orange balls through metal hoops, perspiring, and taking turns calling me various names meant to imply that I’m a homosexual.

          Here’s to hoping I die in my sleep so I won’t have to repeat this pile of crap tomorrow.

Thing I Hate Today: Never having thrown anything away.

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7 Responses

  1. I was reading my diaries from my early 20s recently. I seem to have been subconsciously trying like an alley cat to get super-pregnant.

  2. 15-year-old Lilia is jealous of 15-year-old Robrt’s writing. But, then again, so is 30-year-old Lilia. Time warp.

  3. Robrt I always thought you were one of the cutest guys in our class. Freshman year did stink for many reasons and Earth Science is on the list.

  4. Hey, I reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy in 2010! Still….I wish we had known each other in high school, Robrt Pela. It would have been so much better if we had.

  5. Okay now that I have laughed so hard I snapped my girdle, peed my adult diaper and threw my back out, all I can really say is thank-you for being in my life all these years!

  6. (Earth science indeed, as opposed to Twilight Zone Science?)

  7. Robrt, I so remember that year to as being very difficult. We had just moved here from being stationed in England and it seemed like EVERYONE grew up together here. I was so lost. Wish I would have been there to give the obnoxious “lunch girl” a punch and a talking to about acceptance and God loves us ALL! That story really made me mad, but then I thought she probably has her payback now in a unhappy life. It is also amazing to me that you were such a good writter even at that young age. Wish I had that talent, somehow my two older children have it. Blessing to you young man! Yvette

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