the freshman
i was sitting alone on a park bench outside of the cafeteria, eating my grilled portabella sandwich. people-watching. two days before classes started, and already i didn't want to be back. there wasn't anything new for me here, nothing to look forward to. more of the same old same old, only this time with a different spin: i was alone.

i watched the new freshmen walk past me, each one trying so hard to look cooler than the last. the frustration i was feeling mutated into a strange antipathy for anyone and everyone whom i didn't know personally that went to this school. freshmen in particular, mainly because they weren't yet aware of what they had gotten themselves into. i sat there and scowled.

two girls walked part me; i noticed because one had a straightedge patch on her bag. i do believe this was the first straightedge patch that i have seen in my four years at this university. she glanced at me and kept walking. then she turned around and walked back.

"nice shirt," she said. i was wearing a shirt bearing the name and logo of a popular indie record label. "nice shoes, too." i was wearing lime green sauconys. "some guy over there has them also," i remarked. this other guy seemed to be surrounded by literally dozens of people.

"yeah, but he's mean. would you like a copy of my zine?"

i was flabbergasted and amazed. never has a girl shown in interest in me like that, never has someone just started talking to me out of the blue. we talked about shows, bands, scenes, annoying people. i got her phone number, telling her that i would let her know the next time i went to a show. freshmen aren't allowed to have cars.

we went to shows. we hung out in her dorm - my old freshmen dorm. being with her reminded me how of i used to be, before i was jaded and bitter. i laughed and smiled when i was around her. she brought out a side of me that had been hiding. i was giddy; every time the phone rang i prayed it would be her. i listened to pop-punk and hardcore again. i took her out to dinner and a showing of the exorcist. she kissed me when i left, really quickly. when i got home i was glowing.

my roommates were all happy for me. maybe this is a new beginning, we thought. maybe this could actually be something. we stayed up late nights discussing girls. i didn't want to make too much out of it, but she had given me no reason not to.

we kissed again. and again. and again. on three separate occasions. one night she was depressed and i was watching her fall asleep on her bed, when her roommate walked in and proceeded to hook up with some random guy right then and there. i dragged her to my house.

one night i asked her, "do you like me? or do you like me like me?"

"i like you like you," came the response.

"me too." and i hugged her for what seemed like ages. and she hugged me back.

we watched sixteen candles together. we watched edward scissorhands. i cooked her dinner. i made her coffee. black. cream and sugar for me. we went to borders together one night because there wasn't anything else to do. she made fun of me for listening to indie rock. "i just need something else to break the monotony of all that stuff," she said.

"that's why i listen to jazz." but she didn't like jazz.

one night after rehearsal, i stopped at wawa and purchased two large coffees. i called her from outside the dorm and we drove up to the lookout point on the top of the mountain. we sat outside, talking about home, about friends new and old. about school. i smoked cigarettes and she chastised me. she threw her coffee cup on the ground and i chastised her. i dropped her off back at her dorm, went home, and did my homework. but i couldn't get her off of my mind. and i just couldn't find the words to tell her.

in the end, neither of us was ready for a new relationship. but neither of us was willing to admit that. everything kind of died off, slowed down, puttered to a stop. i drove her to a funeral a month later, and on the way back she didn't glance over at me once. she sang along to green day. "i hope you had the time of your life." and then she put in her nsync cd. and i grinned because it's funny, because she needed it and i knew it, because sometimes all you can do is laugh at the seriousness of the world and at the hand that fate has dealt you, and i forget to do that sometimes, no matter how jovial i pretend to be.

i still have a list of the movies that we were supposed to watch together. and i still catch myself wondering if she ever really knew how much i had liked her.


Wednesday, April 04, 2001


totally crushed out     about us     story archive

copyright 1999-2008 to the authors. we have a massive crush on you.