THIS EXCERPT IS STRICTLY FOR THE SEASONED, MATURE, ADULT READER NOT FOR UNDERAGE READERS*
Angie Situation (NAIVETE') SNEAK PEEK of the PREQUEL TO <--THIS SEQUEL "Angie Situation" (INNOCENCE)
"Although I would not be graduating with my friends at the artsy school I had attended from fourth through tenth grade; we all would still be graduating the same year, but just, in spirit. I missed my friends there. Graduation was special because my besties and bff’s that didn’t begin with us in fourth grade; started with us in fifth grade and we fancied our feat: “survivors.” Graduation was considered that mountain-top, and to think-we not only watched one another grow since fourth and fifth grade straight through to twelfth grade all confined in one facility; but we did it all together. We walked the same halls-year after year: through all the braces, blemishes and bifocals-growing taller and expanding our horizons. We had that connection.
I disconnected, but I accepted and embraced my transition the same way I accepted and embraced my consequences and considered it a minor setback.
Then awesome happened.
I accomplished my “get a life” workout plan with flying colors. I succeeded at passing night school in the spring, and as well-summer school, with all the credits required to enter my senior year which would enable me to graduate on time.
Regardless, because of my accomplishment, my spirits were high and calm, but sprinkled with a dash of anxiety about what I was about to embark upon: a new, neighborhood high school-that threw me. It was a complete culture shock to me and knew it was going to take a lot of getting used to. Because just like the continuity of being confined from fourth through to twelfth grade at the artsy school, my peers here at this neighborhood school pretty much all attended the same neighborhood elementary school facility, then moved over to the same middle school facility, and now, over here at the same neighborhood high-school facility. And I was not apart of that transition, so, I stuck out like a sore thumb there. I knew it-they proved it.
Where I’d come from, our recreation and excitement was: attending the opera and the symphony. Creative arts and fine arts was our sport and consumed our spirits.
But at my new neighborhood school; it was sports that fueled the spirit of the school.
I had no idea what a pep-rally was until this particular day at the school, and was thrown into that lion’s den, feeling like a lamb being led to slaughter.
My TGGF was the only friend I had at the school, but we did not share the same lunch or homeroom. Our lil’ love-affair that we had since third-grade was one such that by the time we started liking boys around fourteen years-old or so, we began to call ourselves “besties” because we had a kind of fondness for one another that best friends really did have, despite the fact that we were loving all over one another from third grade until around eighth or ninth grade.
Throughout all my transfers and transitions, she and I remained inseparable no matter where in town I moved and no matter how many schools I transferred to-she was always there for me and never too far. Well, except for our senior year at this neighborhood school we both attended.
By this time, she was hot and heavy into a relationship with a guy a few years older than us and school was not much of a priority to her. If she did make it to school, it would be after lunch-time, because early mornings were never her bag. So, the morning that this pep-rally occurred, I already knew that she would not be amongst this shin dig.
When we were directed to the auditorium, I was completely alarmed and caught off-guard.
It looked and sounded as if a riot was about to start. I was startled. The only roaring sounds close to anything rallying I was used to were the sounds of some mad-raging future Amadeus' or Gillespie's on saxophone.
The school, the people, the activities, the rallying-everything, was far too much a culture shock for my psyche. I almost felt like I should have received some kind if itinerary or syllabus in the mail to tell me about all of these happenings-that did not happen.
In an instant, that made me hate that school even more.
My emotions were already delicate during this time and this atmosphere did nothing to ease it. You practically had to tip-toe on my emotions and in my surroundings-this scene was merciless and offered the antithesis of that.
Turned sideways, picking my nails-inattentive and uninterested while sitting at the edge of the bleacher in black thigh-high boots and black and white plaid Chanel skirt and jacket (courtesy of my TGGF) in the middle of this pep-rally with a gym full of screaming cheerleader and cheering; I had to keep giving myself pep-talks about how much I had accomplished to get to this very point. I couldn’t just come undone and fall apart right now. I had to keep reminding myself that if I were to graduate on time, these next nine months at this school was my last option.
Pucker had already graduated and would come to pick me up most afternoons during my lunch time or afterschool.
With Slip completely out of the triangle, having gone away to the military and my being at the new school; Pucker was about the closest thing to the familiarity of what was. So I clung to him, despite all the ways he was mistreating me by this time. I didn’t care. I just melted myself into it with him because I loved him, but also because he was that last thing familiar to what I was used to. Everything else was far away or far too new and way over my head. I needed him even more than I did before-when I was in love with him just because-when there no explainable reason. Now, I had a tangible reason to love him: I secretly began to need him by all means unnecessary…
Things really started to pick down and my self-pep rallies were more frequent, from having to endure making it through one class in particular where I was constantly heckled by a girl whom I had never seen a day in my life. She badgered me like it was a part of her homework assignment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday that I would have this “secretarial science” class.
Speaking of “secretarial science:” What the fuck is a “secretarial science?”
At every turn: the teachers, the curriculum, my schedule, the priorities and the atmosphere; this school was proving itself to be the complete antithesis of what I was used to. They prepared you for working in an office, complete with two smoke breaks and a thirty-minute lunch to be had in a lunchroom equipped with vending machines stocked with bad food, hard chairs and a hanging television looking down at you. Where I’d come from, we were being preparing to be on that lunchroom television during breaks and lunches or looking down at a crowd of people hanging with you for the night.
Considering the fact that I already stuck out like a sore thumb at this school and I had no friends there, I always remained quiet but friendly in passing. That was all I could do since pretty much eighty percent of the school all attended the same elementary school, middle school and now this neighborhood high-school together. They didn’t even know my name. For the ones who did address me, directly or indirectly or when they would talk around me or to one another I would only know they were referring to me by their use of: “the new girl,” “the new stuck up girl,” or “Miss Pretty.” I had no power outside of these three monikers.
I was: very stylish, very sexy and very pretty-period.
They played their positions in: pep-rallies, football, basketball, volleyball etc.
I just played my position: stylish, sexy and pretty-period (as far as they knew-or even cared to know).
Unlike where I came from, talent or skill outside of basketball or football was unheard of and self-expression and individuality was unheard of.
I would observe.
And when I would, I would see in the atmosphere around me; a tightly closed fist. And in this fist, there were hundreds of people all stuffed and packed in-but comfortable, because that's all they knew.
I would observe.
In contrast, where I’d come from; it was like an open fist with all five fingers visible. All five fingers representing various people, the four spaces in between the five fingers: freedom. Free to be themselves, free to dress how they wanted to dress, speak the way they wanted to speak or break out into song and dance if they wanted to. No one would laugh, stare or shun you-they would either: give audience, perform with you or join you, blending with you, their way-doing their own thing.
In that closed fist, everyone talked alike, acted alike, used the same slang and even dressed alike: in low as well as high-end multi-colored designer labeled sportswear digs down to the shoes and book bags.
Courtesy of my TGGF, I wore designer digs as well-however, black and whites or grays, natural or neutral colored high-ends. They all recognized Adrienne Vittadini, Chanel and Carol Little, suede and leather digs, so, I blended in. Thank God I had grown out of my pink high-top Converse and acrylic paint splattered clothes and such. My sore thumb identity would have been a broken one-indeed.
They had no idea that I was exceptionally, academically and creatively gifted.
They had no idea that I could sing and dance and act and write and draw and paint and sketch and sculpt. No idea.
I wondered if they had any idea about those things or how they were cultivated or whether they thought it just showed up on a lunchroom hanging television.
Funny thing is, if either one of them could sing or dance or act or write or draw or paint or sketch or sculpt; the school itself-the curriculum- did not go out of its way to let it be known, unlike where I had come from.
So, it turns out that I really was living a fairytale, fantasy and illusion up until this point in my life.
Because every year of my life up to this point, I had countless teachers take me under their wing and take special interest in me-during and afterschool, but not here. I could tell that the teachers who appeared to be interested were either afraid not to appear interested or at the most; were only “interested” until three o’clock and that damn the bell rang. No phone calls to their homes and long conversations with their parents and weekend excursions or personal one-on-one time with teachers who cared about them both personally and academically.
Uh-uh, none of that. This was a school of hard knocks of the unanswered kind: no knock at that door afterschool or during lunchtime by invitation. I could tell most probably none of the students ever had that luxury before.
I would observe.
I could tell they felt that because they may have seen the teacher on a Saturday night picking up a Blockbuster movie and a box of Sno Caps, and because the teacher shot the breeze with them while waiting in line; they somehow felt that the teacher was cool or cared.
I could tell they felt that because they could see the teacher in the hallways and give then receive a high-five; that was enough for them to feel and say: “Mr. So-In-So is cool as hell!”
They somehow felt cared for, special, or some kindred kind of kinship over bullshit like that-as if that meant the teacher liked and cared for them-personally.
I observed that and I knew much better than that.
I knew what it was like to have a real mentor-all my life. And I did not seek, lure, or knock, or exhibit any exceptional way about me in search of what I had been used to.
Though I did not blend in, in order to find a happy emotional medium, I did roll with what was real life as it was for me now: no illusion and no fairytale as-was.
I accepted that like a big-girl, because the consequences by which I had to accept it; I never regretted and for life-loved wholeheartedly.
I accepted the fact that there would be no fame or living forever or learning how to fly.
At this school, there was no such thing as dreaming, or making plans to make it big.
“Fame? I’m gonna live forever? I’m gonna learn how to fly?”
What the hell?
They had no idea that there was such a song. To them, that song would sound real corny and “Tinker Bell-ish.”
Real-life for the majority of them was a lot like this school and the monotony after the eight hour day of it: go home, go to work (perhaps), chill out with a couple friends, get drunk, smoke a lil’ weed (maybe), get into some mischief-and five-finger discounting (possibly). Get up the next day: wash, rinse, dry cycle and repeat.
I eventually mimicked it, by not necessarily dumbing myself down; but rather, merely melting myself into the atmosphere, by accepting that my situation was no longer the fairytale and illusion that I lived-up through this particular time in my life.
I about-faced it all like a pro.
To cope and find the strength to move forward, I totally gave up on any thought about the “as-was,” because real life for me now, was “as-is.”
Make it through life and live?
Fame? Live forever?
Learn how to fly?
Why? What the hell, why try?
Just make it through this life with the cards that I am dealt, be happy and in it-just get to getting-whatever that “getting” may be.
Time to rock and roll…"
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