Price Breaks and Heartaches
a journal of retail and failed romance
Welcome To Hell, Here's Your Smock
Please don't think that it was all about work for me at this point in my life, in fact I still spent as much time as I could avoiding work- be it via faked illnesses or inordinately long breaks. Most of my energies during those days was focused on my last year of high school. Not my studies mind you, my focus was on the increasingly pitiful soap opera that was my social life. It was a senior year and I was still smarting from having loved and lost the girl of my very moistest dreams. Let this next tortured paragraph tell you the story of our tortured romance.
Her name was Lily- well not really but I call her Lily in these stories so her husband doesn't track me down and kill me with his thumbs. I loved her with the intensity that only a teenager or a full blown psychopath could feel. I spent most of 9th grade just following her around like a lovesick puppy until finally she asked me who the Hell I was and why I kept showing up in her study hall. By my Sophomore year I had become one of her best friends. Then one of my best friends asked her out behind my back. Then I stole Lily away from his attention the night of the dance- my best friend and I never really forgave each other for that debacle. Of course at the time I didn't care because I had gotten my first kiss and I found myself in a strange on again/off again relationship. Lily and I frequently made out but we rarely went out. Most of my guy friends told me they didn't know what I saw in her but then they hit on her behind my back. I am pretty sure Lily's Dad thought I was having sex with her but I didn't even have the nerve to French kiss her. Once it was Junior year the on again/off again relationship was just off and I found other girls to date. Wendy taught me what it was to be a man- not in the 'getting laid' way but in the 'quiet desperation' way; still though she let me get to first base with her so that's something. Sue went with me to the Junior Prom and at least waited until after the Prom before trying to nail all my friends. I'm still not sure why I didn't try and nail her, I think a part of me still wanted to save myself for Lily; although I had begin to worry I might have more luck saving myself for the day the Earth crashed into the sun. That leaves us here in the twilight of my senior year. Neither Lily or I were seriously dating anyone. For Lily not seriously dating anyone meant that meant she occasionally went out with one guy or another but no one got to lay claim to her; for me not seriously dating anyone meant that whenever I asked girl out she would say- “You can’t be serious!”
But even during that dark time Lily and I could still talk and share a laugh...
Lily was laughing so hard that years were in her eyes, “That was so funny the way you came back from the bathroom with that little eraser hanging out of your jeans!”
“Yeah...” I said as I vowed to never let her find out that hadn’t been an eraser. Stupid button-fly jeans...
It was after school and we were in art club, she was working on a painting of flowers I was drawing incompetent superheroes. A few tables away rich ubergeek Adrian was holding court, somehow he had convinced the art teacher that wargaming was an art form and there was a pitched battle going on between poorly-painted orcs and unpainted knights, a mound of clay represented the Shire, or perhaps a lump of clay.
Her eyes caught mine, she asked, “So what are you doing for the Christmas talent show?”
“I wasn’t going to do anything for the talent show,” I replied. If I had learned anything in my five years of high school it was that very few people wanted to hear any of my jokes. (My blog stats could be used to support the theory that this is still the case but hey I’ve got you don’t I dear reader?)
“Oh come on!” she said. “This is our senior year, cut loose a little. I’m going to sing Total Eclipse Of The Heart.”
“Because I love that song,” Lily said. “Now come on, why don’t you do some of that stand up routine of yours?”
“Well,” I ran my fingers through my hair, forgetting I was holding a blue magic marker, “my material isn’t what I would call... polished.”
“Then I can help you polish it one of these nights.”
I had waited years to hear her say that but I had been hoping for a completely different context. “I don’t know...” I said.
“Come on, you and I could hang out like the old times. It’ll be a blast.”
I smiled, “Ok, for you I’ll risk a few jokes and public humiliation.”
“Great!” Lily gave me a big hug, “and you can meet Tyler.”
“He’s in the AV-Club, we’re going out.”