Part One (Rebecca Wiener)
Part Two (John Gruen)
Part Three (Tess Lynch)
Part Four (Jessica Grose)
Part Five (Molly Young)
Part Six (Lucas Stangl)
Part Seven (Andrew Zornoza)
Part Eight (Rachel B. Glaser)
Between Nutrition and Lunch
by A. Lasken
I went through three or four cliques during middle and high school. In sixth grade, my two best friends decided they didn’t want to be my friends anymore. That was on Valentine’s Day, and from then until early June, I was literally friendless. I would spend every nutrition and lunch alone, in the library, or on top of the big slope that overlooked the playground, just observing child behavior and making my own notes on life.
I never did any drugs, which meant it was ridiculously hard for me to make friends, and I ended up losing contact with many of my best friends because they were arrested, expelled, or I just lost interest in being their friends because of their developing drug habits. I’m really only in continuous contact with two people from high school, one of which I didn’t even really become close friends with until after, or at least near the end of high school.
I don’t think I had any truly terrifying bully experiences, but going through the public school system, you’re sort of unable to avoid routine punching, pushing, teasing, and name-calling. Being a lanky, insecure nerd didn’t help. I recall one time a Mexican kid lifted up his fist to punch his amigo, and I flinched, even though I was pretty far away. I’m pretty sure he saw and laughed.
I’m still really flinchy, it’s just not anything I can help. I hate physical contact that’s harder than a handshake. It also didn’t help that I was annoying and loved to egg jerks on. The whole phenomenon of calling people “gay” seemed instantaneous to me, and always threw me off because I had only known one gay guy, and he was really awesome.
My tastes in everything became more and more obscure, and culminated with officiating myself into the “indie” crowd. By my senior year, I knew everything there was to know about modern art, only saw independent movies, and (my biggest accomplishment), all of my top 5 favorite bands were bands that nobody had ever heard of.
(“Navy Nurse” — The Fiery Furnaces (mp3)
Fiery Furnaces myspace
“Cabaret of the Seven Devils” — The Fiery Furnaces (mp3)
Pitchfork review of Widow City.)
My first girlfriend refused to let her friends or family know we were together. We couldn’t be seen at school together, and I wasn’t allowed to go to her house. Basically, our relationship took place over the phone. For something like a year and a half!
She was maybe a little crazy and I’m pretty sure she lied to me consistently. After coming home from a snowboarding trip, she told me how she had slept with a guy she met there (we had never even kissed, mind you). He was now her official boyfriend that her friends could know about, because they wouldn’t kick HIS ass, but I was still the one that had her heart. I’m pretty sure he was made up when I think about it now.
“Oh you know, like, stuff…”
The second girl that fell for me kissed me on the lips eventually and it freaked me out and I sort of broke off the signals that I was interested. I include this story, because it proves that I had the ability to say no to a girl, despite what the other two relationships show.
Finally, there was the borderline-personality bitch that also ended up cheating on me. I think this relationship is where I developed my ability to profusely apologize for things that I shouldn’t really be apologizing for. She also didn’t want anybody to know that we were going out for the first couple of months of our relationship.
One time I talked about how in a perfect world there would be no homeless people, and she took it to mean that I wanted to kill all the homeless people and wouldn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. So how do I apply these experiences to my career and present life? Well basically I don’t have to because all I do all day is sit in a cubicle anyway.
A. Lasken is a writer living in the Valley.
“Flashing Lights (Clipse remix)” — Kanye West (mp3)
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
The most bizarre thing Molly has ever seen.
Molly on For Better or For Worse.
Bob Creeley in Southeast Asia.