Archive for August, 2013

Wilson Middle School Fashion Show Circa 1986

I never felt like I was hot shit or anything, but I thought it was the best thing in the world that I was in the fashion show, and my cousin Pam had all the right bridesmaid dresses to facilitate me. I had an array of dresses, accessories, make up, and Pat Benatar hair. Ms. Taylor was awesome. I often wonder what happened to her. I heard she got married, but I don’t know what her married name is. She thought you were cute, she was right. She knew how much I liked you, she always gave me mess about it. She told me not to have sex, I didn’t listen. She was one of my favorite teachers at Wilson.

At rehearsals, she did not play around. I remember she told us, ” Y’all silly children will not make a fool of me, so pay attention!” I remember how in love with Amy, Moe was, poor guy, he was fussed at by Ms. Taylor a number of times. He couldn’t pay attention because he was watching Amy all the time. I thought it was funny that he kept getting scolded, until I noticed you were doing what he was doing. You made me blush, a lot. I could feel my face getting warmer, and it made it worse. You always made me so nervous, it’s difficult to act natural when you know someone’s eyes are on you, steadily. I loved it! I think that’s why I’m such an eye person, you have excellent eye contact. It’s a pleasure to say 25 years later, I easily caught you looking, and it always felt the same, so damn good.

Eventually, we had a problem. The problem was, you were in charge of lighting. It wasn’t a problem for me or you, but for everyone else it was, because you shined the light on me so much so that Ms. Taylor fussed at you several times. The first few times, I felt bad for you because you just bared the brunt of her wrath, you know she didn’t play. After a bit, it was unabashedly obvious what you were doing with that light, I was so embarrassed. She just looked at me like I had control over your silly self. Remember I had to ask you so stop, and you smiled at me? I wish I could see that smile again. No, I wish I could touch it again. I close my eyes and I see it. I have so many pics of you with that look, and I am so happy to be able to say that.

Eventually you shaped up and did your job, but I found myself walking across the stage, looking at you. This wasn’t smart, because I almost tripped a few times for not watching in front of me. Our love was something of a hazard in that way, we always drew on emotions, like a hurricane of warm and cool temperatures. Recently Casey asked me, “Did I ever tell you what Jason said to me when we first saw you?” and I smiled really big and asked, “No, what?” He replied, “He said, ‘I’m gonna’ make her mine Casey…watch me’ and he did” You really did Jason. It was powerful., simple, and real.

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The Eighth Grade Dance…

So, as most barely teenage girls would be, I was exceedingly enthusiastic about the eighth grade dance. You were too, but you didn’t want to make it known, but I could tell. Apparently, it was a really big deal that I “danced like a sister” not sure if that insults a sister or compliments me, but I’ll take it. You made me laugh, and the face you made at the teacher/student basketball game was funny. We did our dance routine and you had to pick your chin up off of the gym floor. I didn’t understand the importance of having rhythm back then, but of course as a grown woman now, I fully understand that implication, good on me I guess….

I don’t think the dance was much of an interest to you until that basketball game. However, I was very strategic in my ensemble: the right ballerina flats, the perfect stretchy pants (your favorite!) and a blouse that came just past my backside or Dad wasn’t having it. In addition, I had to make sure I had all the right 80’s colors, everything neon, especially neon pink. The makeup and hair called for a few issues to Teen Bop, because I had to consult what Madonna was doing at the time. My parents weren’t happy about the heavy eyeliner and trio of shadow colors, but it was a dance so they gave me some wiggle room. We talked about the dance. I remember you pointing out that the last time we tried dancing it didn’t work out do well for you. Ouch! I also remember telling you that it was okay if you didn’t want to go and that I understood. That was like some kind of aphrodisiac, because the minute you knew I didn’t care, you wanted to be there in the worst way. I have to admit, it was entertaining watching you completely out of your element. You knew how to dance, you just didn’t do it, but you had no problem standing in the center of the dance floor to just watch me and Lisa. You and Daryl both seem to be having a good ole’ time, it was kind of cute! Then came a few slow songs, and one happened to be “Crazy for You” by Madonna….oh the nostalgia. It was so cute, you knew where to put your hands, but you were so reluctant, you didn’t want to cross the line which was opposite your mojo. I summed it up as being brought up right, brownie points for you at this point.

We danced so slow, and you held me so tight that I could feel the outline of your chest and stomach, man you were a ripped little effer! I never understood the benefit of that until I felt you, I think it scared me a little. It also scared the hell out of me when I thought about that later, because I realized that if I felt all those details about you, I know you did too. Ugh! When you want to love someone, I mean authentically love someone, you open yourself up to being so vulnerable as to be loved, and it’s the scariest and the bravest endeavor you’ll ever encounter. It means you give someone permission to love you for your true self, and it’s the most beautiful sacrifice you will ever make. As vulnerable as that step makes one feel, you made me feel like it was the right and perfect place for me to be. Thank you Jason…I love you….still….

The Notes…

I wish I hadn’t tossed out my old foot locker, I knew those notes would have came in handy, I could kick myself! How was I supposed to know that I would need them so badly right now?!? That silly way we would fold them so there was a small corner to grab and then it unfolded, and that funny little face you would doodle on everything. I wish I could go back to the day when I had several hundred of your letters and I could just read through them, hear your voice, see your face as you said those words, and maybe close my eyes and feel you next to me. I wish I could go back there, like Stevie says, on the edge of seventeen, that would be awesome!

You don’t realize that you had a way with words much more so than you know. You not only put a smile on my face, you kept it there for almost a full 27 years. How many men can say they did that? You accomplished so much more in life than you know Jason. I hope you get a Wonderful Life tour so you can see the effect you have on the people that love and respect you. Your untimely death has left many of us broken, scarred for life, and confused, but you are like the star that burns the brightest, it means you’ll burn out the fastest. I miss you. I miss you little notes in the morning. Your text messages telling me to have a “beautiful day” I miss everything about you, your smell, your touch, your soft whispers at night “scratch my head babe”, “rub my back”, “touch me babe, I fall asleep quicker when I feel you” all the little things that I thought would be there forever, I miss it.

Those letters I had were testimonials to the love we share, I wish I had them now. I know you kept mine too, but I’m sure they’re gone along with the other ones. It’s not easy keeping all that stuff, especially after we started a family. I remember that day, when we discussed getting rid of the foot locker, I was not happy, but I knew we had to sacrifice some junk to make room for baby junk. Ah..the junk…it collects over a period of time, but somehow I didn’t manage to keep the most important things. Ah well, I can’t see the future, if I could I would have said take the job at Chrysler.

Jas, I’m sure you’re busy up there, building miracles and all, but could you help your woman and dole out a little Divine intervention…help me find some letters please? Where can I look babe? I checked the dresser, but all I found was holiday greeting cards, your wooden box full of change, and your Penthouse playing cards…yeah you can keep those in the drawer thanks! Would anything be in the shed? Your storage container of clothes maybe? I checked your car, but no letters. I mean I have the FB account, looking at your inboxes is nice I guess. I just really want something to hold of yours…you know?!? Something that you touched that I can touch, something with that sweet handwriting I know so well. I miss you Jason! Where are you? Visit me please….even if you just talk….I promise I will listen….

The Beginning…

I think it was Southwest Presbyterian Church on the corner of Whitaker and Central…remember? Remember the youth leader, Sheldon? That was a crazy night, but the night that changed the course of my entire life. First was the hotdog social, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hot dogs in one place, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hot dogs consumed at one time. It was fun though. The dance was so cliche’ with all the wallflower boys and fast little girls adorned in 80’s “in excess” makeup. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for rejecting your dance proposal, but that was truly Charles Whaley’s fault, I told you that. No one can dance with one shoe. You were so angry with me, it made me feel bad. I think I still do, but I think I was able to convince you that it had nothing to do with you, at least I tried to. Now, I’d dance barefoot anywhere and everywhere with you.

I think I loved you the minute I saw you. I can’t put my finger on it, but you were so forthright, I was smitten. You are always so blunt and forward, just the way I like it. It’s scary to think of this, to remember how deeply I was affected by meeting you, we were only eleven. I don’t think either one of us understood the brevity of that moment. It was the era of excess everything: clothes, hair, makeup, drugs, money, sex…everything was big and abundant. These were the best days of my life. You were cute with your stolen looks, pretending to not give a damn. I really didn’t have to see you watching me, I could feel you. I do recall you behaving resentful when I said I was tired from chasing Charles for my shoe. I felt sad because I never got to tell you that when Madonna’s “Crazy for You” came on, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you. You would have known that had I danced with you. That was the catalyst for what was about to go down. It was a shake down, you, Eric, and Casey all conspired to pay me back, and it mattered not who else may be within the line of fire.

I was thinking that once we got the sleeping bags down, that the ground of that church sure felt hard. I was crushin’ on my bed at that point. I remember telling you girls that if we stayed close together, maybe we would be like a cushion of some sort. I was just afraid to sleep on the hard floor of a big building like that one. It worked though, because Sherry, Mia, and myself were all snug as bugs in a rug. I wonder what time it was when you fools decided to come creeping? I don’t know, because I don’t remember being violated. However, I do recall waking up and feeling disturbed. Actually, I suffered minimal collateral damage, but Mia and Sherry…well, they had problems. See, I had a short Pat Benatar hair working for me and I was in the middle, and Mia and Sherry had long, blonde, pretty hair and they were on each side of me. So, you clowns decided to stretch the ducktape from the start of one girl, all the way across all three of us to the end of another. Each end of the mess comprised of mass wads of duct tape in Mia and Sherry’s hair, globs of wadded tape, plus the main stretch of reinforcements across us, and here I am in the middle. I was a skinny little kid then, I wiggled my way out. I had duct tape gum on my forehead but Mia and Sherry were not as fortunate. Those poor girls had hunks of tape in their hair and for the life of me, I cannot remember how we ever got it out. Now that I think of it, I believe it was ever so carefully.

The bus ride home was needless to say, interesting. Us girls were singing to Bryan Adams songs, and even though you considered me the enemy, you were commiserating wholeheartedly. There was no denying it, even though we didn’t start dating until a few years later, I knew I would never forget you.