The non-chronological collected works of my misspent youth, with notes, for your reading pleasure. Most names have been changed because I probably didn't ask you first.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The End of the World, April 1994

There’s absolutely no point in pretending things are going to be all right anymore because they’re absolutely not. The decision have been made, the dye[1] has been cast and I have burned both the rejection letters and the acceptance letters that I cannot fucking accept in the fireplace because I’m sort of a pyromaniac and what does it matter anymore.

No money. I can’t have what I want because of no money. I’m surrounded by fucking rich people and can there be a more lame excuse, as they’re all running around happy about next year and I can’t have that because No Money. It’s so stupid and boring.  So I’m going to this school that I hate because they gave me money and everything good in the world is ending. [2]

So, why not celebrate with a weekend chockfull of careless ways I could get expelled? It was Rebecca’s birthday, which we did late because of my college trip and her freaking out about The Latin Teacher and Kara’s grief over Kurt Cobain. Dad was supposed to be out of town, so we picked up all the boarding students and carpooled over the Kenilworth house. H dressed as a mime, which he claims was accidental, and used his fake idea to buy lots of alcohol[3] at the Foodmart. Denise & I made spaghetti.  The boys all crossdressed in Rebecca’s lingerie and we turned off the lights and danced to Blondie and the Pixies and were set to start with my Paradise Lost disco mixtape[4], when Dad unexpectedly returned. The boys scattered (I think Alex and Patrick were in the closet)[5] and changed, while Denise and I tried to play it cool and do the dishes. Dad was typically oblivious and didn’t notice anything out of whack accept for all the cigarette butts in his teacups and asked us not to smoke in the house.

We visited several convenience stores and got kicked out of Wal-Mart for jousting  on tricycles with pool noodles and paging Natalie with from the customer service desk with her various Russian names before we tied a giant gold Christmas bow around Mitchell’s neck and took him down to Vincent’s where they were having some godawful Spoonbenders show. Mitchell was drunk, but according to at least two actual drag queens, he looked smashing in Rebecca's striped white satin nightgown and his olive Chuck Taylors .[6]

We left Alex and Mitchell downtown with Mitchell's girlfriend, Elizabeth, headed for the actual gay bar, despite the fact that Alex's's fake is probably not going to work anywhere other than the Foodmart.  I hope they survive to Monday convocation.  I’m tired of my friends getting expelled.

What am I going to do next year? How can everything turn out so badly? How can I be sitting at a parkway overlook smoking alone and crying when I should be having fun with everyone else?

Mom thinks I’ll get abducted if I come up here by myself.  I’d let myself be kidnapped in a minute if my abductor could afford to pay tuition at Bard.

Sic. And while we’re on the subject: it was, at that point, a color I like to think of as “Velvet Skirt Drama Major Red.” Bright, fake looking, with a slight undertone of Ronald McDonald. My high school handbook (then) had a dress code restriction against “unnatural” hair colors. It was as close as I could get to (roughly) Lush without the Dean of Students making me re-dye my hair.

My angst is hilarious and the issue at stake is the very height of trivial, upper middle class, white person problems. And yet . . .thinking back on all of this at even a twenty-year remove, I still feel a little devastated. When you go to a school with a 100% college acceptance rate and a faculty fixated on getting you as close to an Ivy as they can, Honey, I’m so sorry but we just don’t have the money still smarts.

Strawberry Boone’s Farm and 40s, natch, though at least one of the boys mentioned sometimes traveled with a bottle of Mountain Dew spiked with bourbon.

Lost to history. My guess is that it kicked off with “In the Bush,” which earlier in the semester N and I had used to score our reflections on John Milton and “Paradise Lost” in AP English IV class.

[5] Literally, in this case.

[6] Why, yes, we were those intolerable kids.

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