07 Mar 2013

high school high

High school is on my mind lately. Maybe because I was actually *in* my high school just a few weeks ago. Maybe because I read a lot of YA so I have high school on the brain more than most. Maybe because yes, my ten year high school reunion is this year. I will not be able to attend, but don’t worry: last night I dreamed the entire thing, start to finish. It was in the school cafeteria, girls were wearing prom dresses, and my parents were there singing in some kind of a cappella group.
See that little red sign on the right-hand wall? My locker was just past that for three years. After the first year, I noticed that it didn’t actually lock, so I yanked it open every day without doing the combination. A few lockers down was my friend Kevin. His locker had a large hole in the bottom through which you could spy on a classroom. One afternoon Kevin stuck his leg down there and we locked him inside, because he was over six foot and about 120 pounds and he wanted to see if he could do it.
There was a day that I went to my locker after school was out and there was a boy there waiting for me. This was a boy with whom I exchanged smiles and waves in the hallway for months – he was a Senior, the drum major, and way too cute for me. And there he was, waiting for me at my locker.
He’d seen me dancing with another guy at the Winter Snowball. He wanted to know if we were dating. If he’d been waiting at my locker the day before the dance, the answer would have been no. Afterwards, the answer was “kind of.” I was with the other guy, the guy I danced with, for the rest of my days at that high school. My life went in one direction, not the other. In fact, my life went in plenty of directions that you couldn’t have predicted if you were reading about High School Jessica in her own YA novel, her own really boring Teen movie. High School Jessica skipped AP English took extra science classes and math, all the way through Calculus. Slightly Older High School Jessica thought she would get a journalism degree.
But then again, I also make a living dealing with the same books that inspired debates with my English teacher. I marched toward my persistent high school passion as a full-grown adult, and I still read books set in high school. I still think about my high school boyfriends (and almost boyfriends) more than is probably necessary.
Things change, things stay the same, etc.
(That does not mean I am sad about not being able to attend my high school reunion. No, no, no, the horrors. I can’t even manage to spend an hour in the auditorium watching my sister play the oboe without making posts like this no THANK YOU.)


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