Remember when I had my hair shaved on one side of my head, wore clothing all the wrong sizes, and hated everyone my age?
Remember when I joined the golf team? Very upstanding! But I never broke 100, and felt dumb with the other girls, and played one tournament, then had a panic attack in the van for the next one, then stopped going. The picture in the yearbook didn’t show those parts.
Remember when I made region and district choirs every year from seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh… but not twelfth, because I had never opened the music until the day before?
Remember when I got kicked out of gifted and honors and extra and special? Just regular was all that was left. Just regular, and I was nowhere near enough regular for regular.
Remember when I asked if I could graduate early?
Remember when I asked to change schools?
Remember in Algebra II, or was it Geometry, when Chris Thomas walked behind me and spit into my hair, and the teacher kept on teaching and I kept on sitting there?
Remember when I had an F in English? Also, remember when I won the English award?
Remember when I forgot to fill out the National Merit Finalist forms till the day they were due, so I wrote a poem on them in pencil? It was about how little an application could reflect a real person’s potential.
Remember when I ran out of gas on the way to my interview at Rice? “Must not really have wanted to go there,” remarked an adult who should have known better.
Remember the kids I had crushes on, the kids I kissed, made out with, had sex with but didn’t love?
Remember when I skipped classes to smoke under some stairs or in the parking lot? To sneak to my car and read Greek mythology, with the seat leaned all the way back so I couldn’t be seen?
Remember when I ran away from home to love purely forever and ever, only to be found and returned promptly to home, forfeiting my 16th birthday and all remaining privileges for what seemed like forever?
Remember when I removed the license plates from my car so that I couldn’t be found after driving getaway for convenience store beer raiders?
Remember all the times I stormed out of a class, or lost my temper, or burst into tears? And read all the textbooks, and did no homework? And slept through discussions, and wrote only the papers we could work on in class?
Remember when I felt like an alien pretty much all the time, everywhere?
How do you remember those days?