Thursday, August 8, 2013

Andrew Jarvis

I learned something about the town I grew up in today so I'm going to see how quickly I can summarize it.

Every weekday from Late August to Mid June I walked out my back door, usually forgetting to lock the door, and walked or jogged to school. The high school was about a one mile walk for me. Maybe a bit more. 2 miles tops. "You'll be late," my father would inform me through dream cotton ears...and I paid him as much heed as I did to Nancy Reagan. My father left slightly earlier in the morning but it was a rare day I could get up in time to get a ride with him. I'll tell you why: normally, I would lay awake at night listening to the radio with headphones attached to my Sony Walkman. WHEB would play Dead or Alive and Pet Shop Boys over and over until 4 am. Then I'd get 2.5 hours of sleep and in attempting to make it 2.75 I would oversleep and miss home room. I could listen to the radio all night long in 1988. Faced with a choice between listening to Madonna's "Material Girl" or eating breakfast, I chose Madonna.

"Home Room" that phrase seems very unfamiliar to me now that I have been out of that artificial/codified world. I'd have to walk up South Street hill and endure the jeers of students who honked at me in their cars. Sometimes they'd stop and let me run up almost to the door and then take off fast, honking and flipping me the finger, calling me faggot. They were real heroes, laughing at me as they would arrive at school exactly on time and knew that I'd never beat the bell. Rain and sleet would lash my face and they'd always laugh and drive away. Real winners, those guys. (I'll add that one morning a kid let me catch up and get in. He was drinking vodka, playing Def Leppard wicked loud, laughing. He took a left turn in front of a speeding car and it smashed into us, glass covering our faces, flipping the car over and around. I got out and he forced the bottle into my backpack and said, "Get rid of this." and I limped away from the carnage, having injured my hip and neck. I tossed the empty bottle into a garbage can...and was still late for Home Room. When the Vice Principle asked for my excuse I said "It was my destiny." and was given an extra day in detention.)

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.