June 3, 2012: December 16, 1976

Another entry from my high school journal:

December 16, 1976

Hello, Agnes,

          It’s been so long since I started writing to you, I don’t even remember why I started. Oh, right. So that when people ask me “What was high school like?” I can tell them, “Well, let’s see now. I’d get up in the morning and climb onto an un-air-conditioned school bus that would drive me through the ugly desert suburbs, picking up other people my age whose goal in life was to squash whatever small amount of individuality they may have been born with and whose hobby it was to point out how much they hated me, my clothes, my hair, and my interest in old movies. Eventually we would all be dumped off among hundreds of other people our age, all lined up to take classes like Conformity 101 and History of Boring People 202 and Advanced Introduction to American Homogeny, all taught by careless drones at a place where the school motto was BE THE SAME AS EVERYONE ELSE OR WE WILL SET FIRE TO YOU AND PUSH YOU OFF A BRIDGE. At lunch we’d all be fed deep-fried burritos stuffed with entrails, then head outside school grounds for a quick smoke (from a spindled, cellophane-covered packet stashed between our sweat sock and our sweaty leg) because, after all, we were fifteen years old and had to have our

nicotine fix. Then we’d return for another several hours of memorizing and repeating back reams of mind-numbing and utterly useless information that none of us would remember much past the following week. Once full of equations and historical data and tripe burritos, and made sleepy by the ritualistic slaughter of any of our peers perceived to be resistant to sameness, we would be herded back onto the bus, which had all day been baking in the sun and was now a 30-foot-long convection oven, and driven home, where we could sharpen our axes and dull our senses in preparation for the following day.”

          Every morning I wake up and I’m still alive. Not fair.

Thing I Hate Today: Shitty Grammar

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5 Responses

  1. Except for the burritos, which they didn’t have in Minnesota at the time, and that the bus there was usually cold, not hot, we went to identical schools. When we moved to Phoenix in the 70s, I don’t recall there was a bus. I walked from 35th ave and Buckeye to Carl Hayden which was N. a couple of miles. Don’t recall there being food there at all. Half the girls in my classes had babies and some were even married. The boys were either gang bangers or cowboys. There was one girl who’s mother was one of those weird fundamentalist religious nuts, who forbade her from socializing, but during art class, she would talk endlessly about Elvis Presley. That was the most interesting part of my day, usually. One time, one of the married girls had a party and offered me pot, but I could never figure out how to inhale, so I passed on it. Was never so glad to put any segment of life behind me as when I finally graduated from public school!

  2. Robrt, I still have that very vest. (Except mine buttons the other way.) It’s way too crunchy for that shirt, but you made it work.

  3. Luv the hair, wardrobe, pose and journal entries. In the winter, my high school bus was a 30 foot long freezer with open windows because kids were smoking in the back two rows. We were packed in like sardines and standing shoulder to shoulder. Bus driver never said a word about smoke.

  4. I like the watch. Actually, I love the watch. Because they’re becoming extinct with younger generations who think cell phone are more efficient than wrist watches. ?????????

  5. Ugh….I wonder why people have children these days after having those types of experiences (mine were the same).

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