We’re digging up memories from high school (*shudder*) for this one. Continue at your own risk…
Last night, I received a call on my cell phone. I didn’t recognize the number, so I didn’t answer. If it’s so important, they can leave a message. Usually, they don’t and I assume it’s a wrong number. Not so this time. No, this time, a message was left (Caution - High School Memories ahead).
The call was from a guy who was my best friend from 8th to 10th grade, maybe part of 11th grade. My timeline might be off – most of my junior and high school memories have been vaulted. But, his voice mail said that he was tracking down old friends and he got my cell number from my parents (I REALLY hate it when they do that. Take a message and give me the choice, please).
Anyway, when I listened to the voicemail, I was… nonplussed… hear who called. Have I ever mentioned that I’m an ass? High School, and especially junior high, was a terrible part of my life that I think I’m finally getting over. At least, over enough to forget about all the drama and be content with not having to associate with the jerks who plagued my teenage years. There’s maybe two people I would like to get in touch with, mainly just to thank them for never being a jerk to me (High School Memories - Do Not Enter!).
In retrospect, my high school years were probably not nearly as bad as I think they were in the sense that, at least, I wasn’t the lowest peck on the totem pole. If high school experiences are measured by who you mock, well, there were still people I felt was above. That’s a jerky thing to say, but that’s how horrible I felt at the time. I was far from popular and too smart for my own good. At least, I was under the radar enough to not get stuffed in a locker. Or maybe I was to fat for that. I digress… (Last Exit for 20 miles).
All of that to say, I really don’t want to answer the phone next time he calls. I think I have some abandonment issues when it came to high school. The two really close friends I did have left me all alone in my last two years.
I’m not really sure what happened with one. He had to move for some reason… was it a divorce, juvenile delinquency? Maybe both. I think it was the latter and we lost touch. The other, the one that called, basically emancipated himself from his family and joined the army. Both left me alone in the cruel halls of mine alma mater. This might be the memory block talking, but I don’t remember being as close to anyone else in high school after they left. I don’t remember feeling comfortable just hanging out with anyone else from high school. My senior year, I was depressed enough to warrant seeing a shrink for a while.
So, yeah, high school sucked for me. But now, this guy is calling me and according to his message will call back. He left me his numbers to contact him at, but I accidentally (or maybe sub-consciously) deleted the message before I could write it down. So, I have to wait for his call. Will I be an ass and not answer? I really don’t know what I’m going to do…
Then, I distinctly remember him ending the message, “I’ll talk to you later, girl.” I’m paraphrasing but I definitely called me, “girl.” Girl. Last time I saw him was at his wedding probably 10 years ago. Haven’t spoken to him since. Yes, I’m an ass.
There are a million things going on in my head now thanks to “girl.” Did he come out? I wouldn’t have expected that from him. Is he divorced? Maybe he came out and his wife left him? His brother was gay and he had problems with that. Maybe he had some homosexual repression going on? Oh God, is he calling to hit on me? He knows I’m married and most definitely NOT gay (unlike Eddie – had to dude), right? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I mean, I’ve got a lot of gay friends. If there’s anything I’m not, it’s homophobic.
Ok, settle down. He’s probably just calling to get in touch with high school friends, like his message said. My problem with that is that I don’t want to be in touch with him or anyone from high school. I said it before, I’m an ass. But, I’m not the person I was in high school and I don’t want to be. And, me picking up when he calls back is really about who do I want to be.
I don’t want to be an ass. I want to be the kind of person who is mature and who can deal with his own pain and bullshit. I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t care about feeling awkward as long as he’s doing the right thing. I want to be humble, selfless, loving and kind.
We all have our issues. We all have our pasts we’re not proud of or happy with. But, without those painful memories, we cannot be who we are today and who we are meant to be. And, I guess for me right now that means I’m waiting for the phone to ring.