Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I didn't finish it in time. In honor of this great post, and the sentiment behind it, I wrote my own. No names were changed to protect the innocent, but memories have a tendancy to mutate over time, so please tread on mine lightly.

I have never been smooth around girls. In this particular case, I didn't actually know yet how awkward I was around them. Her name was Cassie, and we were in the Fifth Grade together. I knew that I had a crush on her at the time, but it only got worse when we went to the same middle school together. We had a few common friends. Paul (who's friendship dissolved one night when his fucking cat wouldn't leave me alone, and his divorced mother brought home a boyfriend, something I had never personally seen before, an adult with children dating, and the worst part, Paul wouldn't let me play Sonic even though he had been playing all night) had dated her for however long middle-school relationships last -- one or two weeks, but I was sure that my bond with Cassie was stronger than his. The only two problems were that she didn't know it, and I couldn't tell her.

Throughout our time at Northwest Junior High, friends tried to get us together. At one of my first school dances we danced together under the dimmed lights of the cafeteria. Sort of. I was so hysterical, if I remember correctly, that we stood a full two feet apart. If I could see it now, it would most likely be one of the most hilarious scenes of my life to date: rigid arms grasping the slight bulge above her hips (the product of wearing a dress too small, I imagine, but one which left me with an impression of what a girl wearing a dress is supposed to feel like, the recollection of which is always enough to elicit a smile), her - four inches taller than him, him - sweating profusely through pressed dress shirt, both looking frightened as if dancing with an octopus, or a hyena bearing teeth, maybe. It wasn't the worst dance in my life (we still had senior prom to take that award), and I had myself convinced that we would soon be together.

Before the next dance, I asked her to go with me. I don't remember what happened. Either I'm repressing it or it was so dull that I just forgot. So we can move forward. Life continued but my attraction to her held strong for at least my Sixth Grade year. Love is, as they say, fleeting, though.

I soon began to expand my social circle, and slowly stopped writing her name in my notebooks. We didn't have any classes together -- I was in the Art Fag Magnet program and she the Math Geek Magnet program -- so I suppose that "out of sight out of mind" bears some relevance, even in True Love. I stopped looking for her in the halls as I moved from class to class and at assemblies, where I knew that I could see her because the whole class was forced to attend. At one point I dated one of the "hot" girls in my class. I got yelled at for holding hands during science class. I met a girl who I would date in High School and I met my first girlfriend and I bought her a rose on Valentine's Day and I forgot about Cassie.

But even though I can't remember her last name, or what she looked like, or why I thought we should spend our lives together, I do still think that I remember what it felt like to dance with her for the first time, and how it felt when the dance was over and you knew that it was time to go home. The lights come on, and then it's just a cafeteria again. So this is my Anti-Valentine to Cassandra. I hope you're doing well.

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