This is the third in what I hope becomes an entertaining series of adolescent recollections. You see a lot of stuff when you’re young–some good, some bad, some happy, some sad. Some involve pushing the girl you like onto the ground because you don’t know what else to do.
One fateful third grade day, in the chaotic moments just before class ended and students were allowed to gather up their belongings (i.e. manically stash all their shit in their desks), Mr. Saddler, chrome-domed and four-eyed “teacher” extraordinaire, took it upon himself to plunk his ample Montgomery Wards’ slacks-clad bum on the desk next to mine, scoop up my unguarded yearbook (I had, in the commotion, momentarily stepped away) and peruse it as if it were his, not my, personal property.
Combing through our class’ section (the annual was organized not just by grade but by teacher), he noticed the heart I had carefully and affectionately drawn (with my best blue pen, I might add) around the lovely image of my beloved, Jennifer Drury. Seeing this, a wholly private expression of intense, longing emotion, old Saddler-bags himself slovenly sat there chuckling and giggling. CHUCKLING & GIGGLING! This drew the attention of one Eric Marcaccini, who I knew to be fleet of foot but only then realized was snakelike too, who peered around the chubby, shiny headed, cheap-loafer wearing “educator” who was illicitly enjoying my intimate secret (I hadn’t yet revealed my “like” to Ms. Drury or anyone else). Is it me, or is that, like, a serious breach of teacher protocol?
It took exactly one class period for word to find the delicate if slightly dumbo-d ears of my queen (thanks a ton, macaroni, I mean uh Marcaccini). At recess, I innocently found myself in a game of tag or some other completely cosmically insignificant game when the object of my affection approached. She might have said “Hello” or at least “I heard you did something in your yearbook” but instead opened with an insistent and only slightly melodic taunt of “You like me! You like me! You like me!” As if that passed for some sort of meaningful sing-song.
What happened next I hasten to say, and the details are grainy. Okay, they’re not. But let’s just say that after insisting several times that “No I don’t!” I fairly well had a young man meltdown. I grabbed Jennifer’s arm, awkwardly giving it a tug and sending her bony 60-pound frame tumbling to a grassless patch of sandy earth in a shallow ravine at the edge of the playground. To say I was confused by the procession of events would be putting it lightly…this isn’t at all how it was supposed to go!
I moved toward her, wanting to help, proclaiming my sorriness. She gazed up at me with teary eyes and an outstretched hand that clearly said “stay away from me you crazy boy.” The oddly prominent vein that ran down her adorably large forehead, which always seemed so cute and quirky, now obviously coursed with anger and confusion, that is if veins can in fact course with anything other than blood.
Man, that whole thing sucked rotten eggs.
In my defense, looking back, I’d like to clarify that this was the only time I’ve thrown a female into a ditch, culvert, or other topological depression, and I am confident I can safely chalk it up to adolescence and the concomitant fear of being teased by one’s peers.
But to you kids out there, I relay this small bit of wisdom—blue ink hearts are forever. If you must, draw that shit in pencil.
And to Jennifer…baby girl, I’m still sorry. I hope you and your vein are doing great.