High school doesn’t feel that long ago. It’s been almost four years since I got out of that place. My memories of my freshmen year are blurring. I need to get them out into the world before the good memories blur into nothingness.
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The first thing I think of when I think of my freshmen year is beastly diarrhea. I don’t know why but I had a bad case of it for a week. My stomach would rumble and shake. Then I had to run to the toilet. Then my stomach would evacuate everything inside it. I don’t know what caused it but it would not go away. I learned to love Pepto Bismol. Pink is still a soothing color to me. If I see it, I feel at ease.
The next thing I remember is this midget. Is midget the offensive term or is that dwarf? Was it little people? I don’t really care. I remember there was a midget in our school and he freaked me out. He was an intimidating midget. He had muscle mass. He was a senior or junior during my freshmen year. I found out later that he died shortly after high school.
I remember this one guy. I thought he was my friend. He was in my homeroom and some of my classes. He sat in front of me all the time. Then I realized he wasn’t a friend. He was a douchebag. That was one of the greatest lessons I learned. Douchebags exist and they are everywhere.
I still remember my first steps into that building. Everything felt so big and scary even the lockers and classrooms. I didn’t trust anyone other than the teachers. I had trouble with my locker on the first day. I wouldn’t let this one older kid help me. I was afraid he was going to mess with my locker. I was paranoid.
Freshmen year was lonely. I was without my best friend who sat next to me on the bus stop throughout elementary and middle school. We’d read books or even talk about video games. We were quite the young intellectuals growing up. Then she decided all that had to come to an end. She was going to a private school for high school. She still walked up to the same bus stop as me but she took a different bus. I would get on my bus and sit there in the fourth seat. The same seat that I’d sat in since being assigned it in first grade. I’d stare out the window and watch the world zoom by.
I remember my friend came to our bus stop one day wearing a belt around her neck. I asked her what it was for. She said it was BDSM. I did not understand her until I looked it up some time after that. I still remember reading the Wikipedia page and scratching my head. I didn’t quite get it.
I remember having this crush on this smart girl who sat behind me in my geometry class. I would try to compete with her. It was a one-sided competition. She was much better than me at identifying shapes. One time I did better than her on a quiz, but the teacher made a mistake on her paper. She got a higher grade than me. I complained but the teacher said she never lowered grades. She robbed me of my one victory. I remember that. What a bitch.
I brought up our little competition to the girl when she sat across from me in Chemistry class two years later. She didn’t remember it all. She didn’t even remember I was in the same geometry class as her. She thought I was mistaken. I remember hastily changing the subject after that.
I remember gym class. We played basketball. I was awful on offense. I only knew one thing, defense. Watch their hips. I could get the ball but I had no idea what to do after I got it. I only shot 4 times during that semester. I made 3 of them. One of my teammates yelled at me to shoot for once and he covered for me. Years later, he and I met on an escalator in the mall. He said I looked real familiar. I had forgotten him. By the time I remembered who he was, he was already gone.
The summer after freshmen year, I went to basketball camp. After that, they stopped offering basketball as a sport to play during gym. However there was this one time during junior year, they brought it back for one day. I was a star player.
I remember my freshmen year English teacher. He was the spark of my atheism. He doesn’t know it. He made one statement about the Bible being written and decided by a group of men that piqued my interest. I looked into it further. I still remember the little saying he taught us so we would spell his name right.
I liked him from the first day. He told our class that if anyone ever had any stomach issues and needed to use the bathroom, all we had to do was tell him. He would give us the pass to hold during class and then we could go without saying a word. I was recovering from my run with the runs when he told us this. He was a god to me on that day.
I took a useless drafting class my freshmen year. There was this one guy in it who said that I should be called Token because I was the only black guy there. I always hated that guy. He would often leave and do what I always suspected to be drugs. The teachers swapped partway through. At first, we had a forgetful old man. Then we got a man who thought he was god’s gift to drafting. He would go on and on describing shit that no one could possibly give a fuck about. I remember the smug look he gave me when I handed in my work. He told me it wasn’t good enough.
In my gym class, I bonded with one of my friends. He knew people that I didn’t. In gym, we would walk around in a circle before class to warm up. He knew this one girl who hated everything I would say. No matter what I said, she thought I was insulting her. She takes a lot of myspace angle pictures and begs for likes on Facebook.
My freshmen year Spanish class was filled with nincompoops and degenerates. I never got why kids could be bad at school. My father called me the laziest boy who ever yet I still got good grades. All you had to do was the homework and try. The kids in the class tried neither. The teacher taught to a few of us. There was a senior in our freshmen year Spanish class. He failed the class. I don’t know what ever happened to him. He can’t have done anything good with his life after that. He failed that class three times. I don’t think he could graduate after that.
There was a fight in our Spanish class. Two boys got out of their seats. One got hit right in the jaw. Pow! They were both suspended after that. I also once found chicken bones in my pockets during that class. I still don’t know how those got there. I never will.
I remember this girl telling me my pants and shirt didn’t match. I remember thinking “So what?” She made me feel so insecure.
This one kid used to call me fat and tubby all the time. This one girl called me a fatass. I never knew why they said these mean things to me. I was never mean to them. I really should have more body image issues from the name calling. I’ll never forget the girl who said that to me. I know who she is. I never forget a face. She still lives in this town.
I remember the last day of gym class. I sat there and watched this kid play The New Super Mario Bros. on his DS. That kid would become a good friend of mine after that year.