"I had a fool's confidence, That the world had no boundaries. But instincts and common sense Come in different quantities..." quote from Cyndy Lauper's Sally's Pigeons
"And just...Let her cry...if the tears fall down like rain. Let her sing...if it eases all her pain" quote from Hootie and the Blowfish's Let her Cry
A 1983 ford fairmont. Red interior, grayish green in color-similiar to the theme colors on Clay's blog- white pin stripping down the sides. A car that had been proudly owned by an old couple who decided that they needed to finally buy something more modern...a car that saw frightful events as I became the driver behind the wheel. A car that would one day be my freedom to my own demise..
The car sat in the driveway long before I could get my license you see- the driver's ed course I was able to take because I just barely made the cutoff for 15 year olds to attend. I would sit in that car for hours on end just thinking about where I would go, what I would do. It was my car. I had slaved in the corn fields in the wee hours of the morning before each driver's ed session at my first real job where a paycheck was involved . Corn de-tassling. It is a muddy, hand cutting, not really a job for a 5 footer since the corn is soo much taller than me job. But it paid for the driver's ed course and it paid for the car.
No more riding the bus to school- there was a kid named Max on the bus that I despised. He was a red headed brute, and he was one of those rare people who could make me so angry that I would react faster than I could think it through, which is why he ended up with a bloody nose one day and I had a bus load of idiots staring at me as though they couldn't believe what this small creature had done to him. I could not wait to stop riding that hour long bus trip to and from school everyday. But I had to wait til nearly the end of the school year for that. It would come soon enough, just not as fast as I wanted back then.
At school, I now had English class with Pamy and Ms. Knopp. My slacking was catching up with me...I needed to rectify that situation if I was going to graduate from school. I would doodle- frustrating Ms. Knopp when she knew I knew the material...and Pamy would sit by me everyday, even make me turn around so that she could check to see if I not only had my homework done-but that I had done it right! Pamy of all people checking my English papers...she's the one who spells everything backwards! But she cared enough to tell it to me truthfully, I needed to buck up and do the work, not for everyone else, but for myself.
I will relay two very funny instances that I believe happened in this school year. First Pamy would not talk to Triana for nearly a month, because she started wearing a nose ring to school. Now, at first we all thought it was because she thought it a stupid thing to do..so Triana showed her that it was just a fake, no biggie. But Pam really got mad then..oh my lord! It was so funny now that I think about it, but I tell you we were mystified as to why she was so upset. I mean heck, Danny (Danielle) wore dog collars to school- what was the problem with a fake nose ring????
Soon, Pamy finally broke down out of frustration- she looked at Triana and said," I'm not mad about the nose ring, I'm mad because your a fake. You would rather wear a fake ring instead of a real one. Instead of just being who you are. If you can't have enough balls to show who you really are, then there's no point in pretending is there?" It was a very insightful thing for someone to point out to Triana at that time in her life. And as far as I know, it still sticks with her to this day. Pamy was good at telling the truth, but in much more eloquent ways than I am. Although, I assure you she was more tom boyish than all of the rest of us put together with a short, stocky, yet pretty frame to match it (Pam could bench press more than the boys could on any given day), so she would probably not agree with me on the eloquence thing.
The other funny incident that I can recall, I wasn't there for, but heard about it that Monday in school. Pam was upset and mad about something while her and Triana were attending a basketball game (they didn't share my same opinion on the no boys rule). Triana, being the impulsive natured being that she is, could not think of a way to make her smile or get her attention. Finally, she took her licorice that she had in her mouth and put it on Pam's leg. They were wearing Khakis...I'm sure the pants she had on still bear the scars! All Pam could do was stare down at her leg and burst out laughing...only Triana would think putting something that had been chewed up and drooled all over it on someone else would be the perfect smile getter! Apparently she was right.
I was the "talk it out with and get her advice friend" for nearly everyone in our group.My friend Missy Shepherd was having trouble coming to terms with her own past and Danielle was venturing much further in the boys than she probably should have. I once went to a football game with Missy and Sandra (at their pleading) and Missy and I sat under the bleachers discussing her woes. She was adopted you see. Never knew her mother or father, and most likely never would. All she had was a bag of 22 pennies that she could remember getting from her the last time she saw her mother- when she was 4. I sang to Missy that night because she asked me too and I held her with my small arms outstretched around her shoulder frames. I'm not always good at giving hugs to others, but I could not bring myself to give her less. I let her cry it out, because that was the best medicine I could think to give.
Danielle needed a listening ear, someone to tell her that her mistakes did not mean that she wasn't a worthy person. She had crossed the intimacy line with someone and felt sure she was expecting. She had no idea what to do. I didn't have any ideas for her myself, so I gave what I could and prayed that was enough. Like Christina's sister Melissa, Danielle came across my path last year. She found me on myspace (again Triana had convinced me I needed a myspace account, it took me a year or more to do it) and told me how much that had meant to her, my being there unconditionally throughout her experience.
Now our friend Sandra, she could drive. She was a grade ahead of me. She had a more stable home life environment than the rest of us did- and every single one of us thought her younger brother Joe was the cutest thing that ever walked the earth. But I was closer to her than the rest of the group, because I was the first to get to know her and to accept her for just being her. She had a learning disability (that did not mean she was dumb, she was far from it actually) and she was no small girl, which as most high school age groups do- they made fun of her for. But on New Year's eve, Sandra and I had made plans to go midnight bowling. She drove in the snow. We began down the dirt road just down from her house. A black cat skittered across the road, she swerved to miss it, wrong move- there's ice there on the road and a huge drop off on the side of the road. Yep, we went down. The drop off was so steep that the car rolled over and landed upside down on the roof. You could see all the underbelly of the car with all four wheels up like a possum playing dead with all limbs sticking up.
Sandra was shaking like a leaf and I, the stick that I am, literally slid out from my seat belt an hit my head on the roof of the car... it took me a little bit to re-orient my brain from the disorientation. We both amazingly walked away without so much as scrape on us......can't say that for her car though.
So school had its ups and downs, downs and outs. Triana began seeing my brother at this point. And my brother was hanging out with the new kid who lived down the street from us, Ryan Rupert. Ryan was my age, and it was him who would introduce us to our night life friends that summer...but we will get there, I promise....
The school year began to draw to a close. Prom was coming and I didn't bother trying to find a date, but I did find a long, form fitting black & simple open back dress that I liked for 20 bucks at a local shop. If I wanted something, I had to find a way to buy it myself, so thriftiness was neccessary, not optional.Didn't bother me though, I was just feeling the need to feel good about myself for a change. So I went by myself. Mike, one of the guys I went to school with and didn't mind talking to occasionally, teased me about looking like a woman..."with my hair all done up and everything" he said. If it had been any other guy saying that, I probably would have taken the compliment the wrong way and decked them. But Mike was a shy sort who meant well.
Then May came along and a driving test and Whala! I was free to drive! So long home life....hello world. Or so I thought...