Friday, October 15, 2010

The Most Popular of The Unpopular

That would be me.

You know those people who have rosy memories of high school? Who think of the football games, and pep rallies, and winter formal, spring prom; who miss drama club, student council, debate team, marching band; the kids that fondly remember certain teachers who set them in the right direction, or the coaches that pushed them harder to succeed; the teens who laugh at the stupid things they did, or reminisce over the girls/guys they hooked-up with -- in short, the happy people.

Yeah, that wasn't me.

I never liked high school. Maybe it was the kids, or the teachers, or the administrators. Maybe it was the whole goddamn system of it. The fake-ass people with their drama for days, learning nothing but life-lessons designed to fail.

In my own way, I occupied that small slice of the social hierarchy's pie. No Man's Land. The pariah. The group-jumper. I hung with the bandos, the drama kids, chess club, speech & debate, water-polo/swim team, even the janitors on bad days when I couldn't take the bullying or bullshit anymore. They'd smoke cheap cigarettes and talk about the prostitutes over on Harbor Boulevard.

My brother was the cool kid. My younger niece too. They were the popular ones. I knew the entire cheerleading squad by first-name, and the football team by last. The most popular peeps hung outside near the parking lots where those with cars would race to 7-11 and back for fun.

Sometimes they came over to our house. My niece lived with us then. Guys would drop by to see if they could make first-base, and ask me questions to facilitate. I ignored them and played more Warcraft II.

They stole my first porno. The whole school knew about it by next week. The whole district by the one after. Couldn't show my face at a movie theatre without getting looks of laughter.

They stole my scooter too. Had to forget about X-games-inspired coolness and get a bike-cicle. Then I got road-jammed by jocks on Fridays, because back then bike-lanes weren't all that fashionable. Nowadays these d-bags buy fixies like they used to buy fat skater-shoes. Guess I stopped cycling at the right/wrong time.

School dances were a sweaty hell. No coordination. No style. No moves. No game. Had to rely on awkward gestures, something like sincerity, only everybody knew it but me. First time freaking I realized when her ass pushed into my crotch that it's just dancing. She did that with all the guys. They all did that with all the guys.

Call me romantic-nostalgic, but I miss the days when dancing didn't mean dry-humping. Too bad I wasn't born then.

Teachers didn't understand me. I asked too many questions. Always had a comeback. Always the smart-ass answer, or the contrarian response. I was a skeptic's skeptic. Didn't believe something till I'd double-triple checked it. Even then, I'd take the opposite. Blew holes in sketchy logic. Nobody appreciated extra work for bruised egos.

My first, my only fight was for pride. Couldn't take the cholos ragging on me anymore. Water balloons and basketballs to the face. In the locker-room he threw the first punch and I grabbed his head. One-two-three knees to the gut. Choke-hold. Almost didn't let go when he quit. Almost held on. I was so mad. Had a black-eye in English class, but they didn't jump me that day. Or the next.

I ratted out to escape a retaliatory beating. It was easier than I expected. Guidance counselor was White. I think that had something to do with it.

Then death. Lost someone important. Skipped school. Dropped off the radar. Moved in with the Father I never saw around much. Couldn't stand each other. Argued daily.

Missed four months of senior year. Still got into Brown. Wrote an essay. Three-point-oh average. Didn't even have to make up the work because I made-up a good story. Wasn't as good as the one I won an award for at UCI as a sophmore. Younger days were always better because they were still growing.

Finally got a girlfriend at the end. First-time on the bathroom floor. She was drunk. I felt guilty. And chaffed. We broke up because she said to her friend who said to her friend who said to her friend who said to her friend who said to the ENTIRE SCHOOL: my penis was small.

Came back with a claim that I fisted her. Loose vaginal lips to counter my emasculated dick. Didn't work. Still got the jokes. Didn't even bother finding a date to prom.

Reminds me of freshmen year. Got trash-canned. Got stuck. Nobody cared.

So much is mixed together... Time slips into intertwined slivers, thinly sliced so I can't pinch them between my fingers to show you.

I guess you could say I remember high school. More or less.

Mostly more. Wish it was less.


8 footnotes:

Mira said...

This was a good read. Shocking and sad, but... So familiar. It was like reading pages of my own diary (well, minus a few details).

Thanks for sharing.

You are a brave guy.

Zek J. Evets said...

thanks mira! i'm not sure if i'd call me "brave", but certainly i've got some chutzpah to blog so much about people who could probably read this any day and try to refute my version of events.

glad you enjoyed my post =)

(one day we'll have to get a slice of your diary!)

Anonymous said...


I'm not too fond of high school either. High school wasn't made for people like me, I think. Only the education part -- the people, not so much.

Zek J. Evets said...

@anon: i feel ya. but i think the eduation-part wasn't made for me either ; )

Mira said...

Well, you sure seem brave enough to talk about it and face it. Not trying to get away from it.

I could write many posts/stories about my high school experience, but I just don't like to remember. I am one of those people who try not to think about it. Which is bad, because you can't escape it.

I was the most popular of the unpopular in the school. It meant that both professors and teenagers were horrible to me (and to other unpopular kids). No kidding.

Also, I hated high school education. It was... bad, I guess. I went to a difficult type of high school (here called middle school), but it was just stupid. They didn't let us explore our creativity or ability to think for ourselves.

So it was a tricky period for me.

PS-On an unrelated note, my husband and I are doing a small research and we need American participant. It's just a small student project, nothing serious, but we need people. Would you like to participate? (It's about how US people see Balkans).

Zek J. Evets said...

@mira: sure, i'd love to participate in your research! i'm flattered you asked ; )

Mira said...

Oh, thanks! I means a lot.

I have to ask Jasmin too. I need more Americans. (lol it sounds weird)

(Sorry for the off topic comment).

Anonymous said...

I'll do it. :-)