I was eleven. I loved things that not everybody loved, like thunderstorms and rainy days, winter, outer space, darkness and the feeling of mystery. I thought about things I read, either for school or for fun, and pondered them long after I’d finished the book. I thought over events in my life the same way. I looked for meanings, for connections, reasons, patterns, philosophies. I had a lot of thoughts and a lot of feelings and I was always exploring them, taking them deeper, writing them down. On Saturday mornings I woke up early and sat in bed writing stories. I was just starting to figure out who I was. I felt vivid, like a full moon in a sky full of identical stars.
Our counselors tell us to go to bed, so Leah, Monica, Eva and I have to return to our room. Monica wants to go to bed and keeps telling us to shut up. We try to talk quietly until she falls asleep. Eva and I tell Leah about my first year when we went on an overnight campout in tents and I stepped in a huge pile of dog shit and didn’t know it and they made me throw my shoes outside.
After we all stop laughing, Leah says, “So hey, where do albinos come from?”
I’m taking a screenwriting class, and we’re supposed to design a movie poster for the project we’re working on. And I would love some help brainstorming on this!
It has to have:
- A title
- An image
- A tagline (one sentence enticing description of the film, like what you see on a DVD cover)
And for those that don’t know how to use any graphic design programs (like me, visual art is so not my strong suit), we just have to describe it.
The problem? I don’t have a title yet, or an image, or a tagline! Ooops!
“I miss just how it feels to wish for someone to call, you know? I miss how special it would make me feel every time a guy I liked talked to me. I can’t really explain the feeling. It’s kinda just like how great it would be every time Andy and I would kid around and play practical jokes on each other, even the times when all those girls came to see him at work. That hurt, but I don’t know, I just feel like I don’t feel anything deeply anymore. My life is just like a dull ache or something. I need some of…something.”
“I have an idea,” Steve says. He looks at me and it suddenly flashes in my mind, exactly what he’s thinking.
“The bushes?” I ask. He nods. I get the CD player going, Steve double checks that Mom and Dad’s car isn’t in the driveway. We hold hands. It’s all about the euphoria of the music.
And there you have it. The End.
Next Week: Something Completely Different.
“I don’t know,” I said. “Everything’s turned to sour milk, it seems. Everything used to have a shine that has somehow disappeared. I mean, look how I used to whine about how no one would ever date me, almost every day of ninth grade.”
“Even though you knew that wasn’t true.”
“Well I believed it at the time. But now, now that I’ve been in a few relationships and found out that they’re not all they’re cracked up to be, I feel like I’m too jaded to even believe in love anymore.” I return to the couch and slouch down, hiding my face.
“That’s sad. But I see what you’re saying. Once I caught my girlfriend cheating on me, I just, well I felt like something died inside of me. I never really thought of it the way you described, but I haven’t even flirted with anyone ever since. Wow.”
“Wow is right,” I say, laughing. “I remember when that whole group of girls used to bug me every day to find out who you liked. They were each convinced they were your one and only because you flirted so much with all of ’em!”
“Yeah.” His smile is wistful. “I miss my girls.”
You can think of this penultimate installment in this story like the title track of an album.
Next Installment: Crowdsurfing (Reprise)