I’m sure readers have noticed that a lot of my posts revolve around nostalgia and a longing for how things used to be, even when all I wanted to do at the time was pull that string of yarn to make the days end sooner.
I’m sure that some have noticed a theme of creepiness. Or, in my case, kreepiness.
“I really don’t know why you never went through with becoming a private investigator,” said a friend. “I mean, yeah, you could ruin so many lives, but you could really help people too. And, you’re creepy enough for it!”
I mean, sometimes I have a tendency to stare when I don’t mean to. But if you’ve got some residue dangling from your nose, or a sliver of romaine lettuce wedged between your teeth, I’ll tell you so, but nicely. No one gets angry, but once, a coworker ceremoniously wiped his nose with a lilac Kleenex and chased me around the cubicle threatening to stick it on my forehead. I eventually received a reprimand, as I screamed like a child and tripped on my heels in front of the Keurig. And at the feet of my disapproving boss.
But I’m no stalker. Although, for a long time, I’ve had a preoccupation with maps. I remember the 2002 edition of Rand McNally my family kept in the glove compartment for a good five years. You couldn’t find our neighborhood, as our house was only the second one built on our street at the time. But a few streets over stood childhood memories, the flair of the nineties, and the charm of siblings who had the same teachers from kindergarten to high school. After all, the first high school here was born as a trailer in 1953.
I lived two miles from school, and rode my bike everywhere. Sometimes I’d go down to Walgreen’s to buy an Arizona tea with the money I made from cat-sitting. But at the time, I was pretty much surrounded by nothing.
A crush did swell within my chest. Something I couldn’t contain. I won’t expound too much on this, as I’d only repeat what others have said about writing their names with Jerry’s last name and dreaming of serving casserole to a table of ten children.
Here’s what I discovered earlier today, with last names omitted. My stomach still hurts from laughing so much.
2/25/02: Dear Diary,
School was great today! I made a 100 on my adjective test and an eighty on my math homework. I got really nice grades. The whole day of school was nice, but it got even better when me and Samantha chatted about David, my major sixth grade[r] crush! David is so cute, but most of my ffriends think that he’s too smart for me. I think he likes me a little, by the way he flirted with me last Wednesday at spelling practice. I sent him a love letter once and ever since his friends pick on me. On the way home, James asked me if “I was going out with him”. And when I was at my door, I could swear that James called me David’s little pumpkin. I guess for David to like me I’ll just be my own self, not an overfashioned prep!
3/1/02: Dear Diary,
Oh my gosh! Sammy likes Brent! Samantha thinks Brent is cuter than my David, but I know she’s boasting. The good thing is she’s not announcing my love to my crush. Nothing in school was really fun, except for our wild substitute.
3/8/02: Dear Diary,
I went to a pizza party and guess who was there?! David! I would have sat next to him if it weren’t for Nathan. Nathan is so nasty. I had a fine time. This weekend I’m going to look for David’s house. Then I’ll be totally satisfied!
3/9/02: Dear Diary,
I tried to look for David’s house as best as I could. He lives on a cul-de-sac called Twin Branch. My friends have no idea where he lives. I guess I’m going to have to use a map!
3/11/02: Dear Diary,
God bless Dominique! She showed me where David lives!!!!!!!!!! His house is so big. I love his front yard too! No weeds on his grass! I love the way his hedges are cut! I was so loony when I saw that mansion of David’s! I just need to ring the doorbell…
While I’ve learned to suppress my fascinations with certain people so as not to scare them and others involved, I’m still hiding my head under fleece blankets and an old comforter. As for the map, I guess you can say I’ve always been somewhat resourceful. But never could I explain why I expressed myself the way I did. What you’ve just read actually matches the way I talked at age eleven.
Somehow, I actually feel bad for my parents when they attended conferences to discuss my development with teachers as unnerved as my friends.
And in fifth grade, the nicest teacher I knew was the one who gave me that diary. “For all your thoughts, frustrations, prayers, and wishes.” She gave me a hug, and pinched my cheek.