Where I write

Where I write

July 16, 2014

If I had a second chance....

I'm returning home for my high school reunion in August and a tour is planned of James B. Conant, where I spent four years of my oh so fleeting, or so I realize now, young teenage life. On the day of the tour I wish I could hop into a time machine, set it for 1974, and go back and do some things over again that I missed out on doing the first time.

Just for one day I would be one of those girls who smoke cigarettes in the bathroom. I want to know what it felt like to be puffing away in a stall,  knowing any minute a teacher might bust me. Oh the thrill.

One time my friend Debbie Kraft and I went into the  bathroom to practice are pom pom routines and some of those tough girls were in there smoking. We scurried away, a cloud of smoke trailing behind us. The girls wore black and sneered at us. I think one might have even kicked the door behind me. Shudder. These  weren't the type of girls who would appreciate watching us dancing around, kicking our legs and smiling. Actually I can't blame them as we were a bit too rah rah at times. Those bad girls wore dark eyeliner and teased their hair. I'd like to get rid of my pig tails with the bows that matched my blue and white pom pom uniform, and be one of those tough girls just for one day. I want to be a girl who wore hickeys on their necks planted there by the kind of boy who I yearned to ask me out on a date.

A boy like this. A greaser.  One of those guys who slicked back their hair so it shined and had a cool motorcycle or a fast sport's car, a Camaro or a Trans Am. The greaser did everything fast. And these kind of guys drank beer and didn't care if they got bad grades cause they were so cool. They weren't even afraid of the Vice Principal Butler. Scary. I'd like to strut down the halls of James B. Conant, my greaser boyfriend's smoke-scented black leather jacket across my shoulders. He would be named Frankie.

And on that same day I'd like to have a boy kiss me by my locker. He doesn't even have to be a nasty, sexy greaser. Any kind of boy. I want him to stand at my locker and we would smooch secretly, but still have other people see us and know I kissed boys. Oh sure it was fun in high school to have my girlfriends decorate my locker on my birthday, and giggle when we met there between classes, but I want some lip action. And maybe I'd even get caught by Vice Principal Butler then sit in detention knowing it was worth the punishment because I made out by my locker.
Next I would go to the juke box in our cafeteria and play a song. I would actually be brave enough to walk right up, hit a button, and play Led Zeppelin or Grass Roots or even Linda Ronstadt. In high school a group of hippie kids sat by the jute box. They looked all shaggy, these people, and their clothes didn't match.They scared me. I don't know why.  I never even ventured near the jute box as if afraid they might...I don't know what, make me smoke pot. That might have been nice. 

The more I started thinking about it all, I realized I did all that stuff, but after I graduated from high school. It was if I was trying to make up for lost time.

I  picked up smoking, then had to struggle to quit, had a boyfriend with motorcycle, had to dump him because he was mean, worked as a waitress in bars and played the jute box music plenty of times. I even danced to jute box music now and then.  I brought myself a 1977 Camaro which I beat to the ground and went plenty fast myself with a a few speeding tickets to prove my recklessness. I moved to Colorado and became a hippie with plenty of pot to smoke.

 I never did kiss a boy by a locker.  No regrets, yet there is one thing I would like to do on the high school tour.

Sit in the high school library. Okay I'm not THAT old. This isn't my high school library. I confess. I don't even know what my high school library looked like. I have not one memory of ever being in there.  In high school, I was too busy waving my pom poms in the air, gossiping with my girlfriends and dreading math class. This I regret most of all, especially because I'm sure it would have helped me in later years in college when I realized I didn't know how to study or write research papers worth a darn. Oh my poor high school teachers.

After high school, there were many times when the library was my best friend. When I was broke and lonely, I could always find books and thanks to them I felt joy, companionship and knowledge. When I was happy, I loved the library just as much. I still do today.

Maybe on the high school tour I'll get to sit in the James B. Conant library awhile and pretend I'm 16 again. I'll even open a book. Then I might see if someone, preferably a man under 80 year's old, will kiss me by a locker, holding books I took out at the library. But no hickeys.

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