These days, anything I finish, I work from the end, really; I'm trying to remember, separate what happened from any lie I might have tried to tell in my own defense...no, I think it was someone else who doodled this on the paper on my desk:
C ] D
S ] S
Let me think it over. I remember all the kids gathered around; it's Mrs. Lingerfelt's class, I'm in the row by the window. facing the chalkboard, furthest from the door. I was reminded that I was some kind of monster that wasn't supposed to, wasn't allowed to , like anybody.
What YOU said, when it was brought to your attention, though, realizing
I didn't want to discuss me liking anyone with anyone, you came over, looked at it, and said, "well, maybe it means 'someone special.' It didn't matter to you if I wrote it or not. It was kind and insightful.
Gosh, I wished right then, maybe now we could be friends. I thought, she’s smart, too! And kind. That helps you notice the cuteness.
And that’s the problem with not joining the mob to jeer the geek;
he’ll start entertaining the thought of liking you.
Well, I didn't feel like I had but a friend or two then, and I really didn't know how to change that.
I guess the words I was fortunate enough to exchange with people were more precious than I could ever say. I couldn't hold it against anyone if they limited their conversations with me; the hive made everyone's choices subject to criticism.
I mean, I’d go around claiming you as my friend, and if you were a girl, well, that only had ONE meaning, didn’t it? Woe be to the unwillingly linked. Woe be to the unwillingly romantically linked.
Meanwhile, you sit there some days feeling everyone's nervousness and restlessness, and you just wish you could use a little conversation to provide a steady place in it all.
I just agreed, I guess, it was not the nerd's place to come take the center of attention in each clique. It's the nerd's job to be weak, clumsy, sickly, weird looking, poor---just ridiculous necessities, to make up for being able to catch things in class, which was not superior smarts quantatively: it was simply an idealist interest in others, reaching out to the world of ideas for some way to serve and love them. Paradoxically, it's an urge avaliable abundantly to those least aware how to become popular.
Did anyone feel like they fit in? I imagined so. I prayed not to die of embarrassment every day. You find your way someday to the center of everything you understand.
So, in the end, this was about the only nice thing I remember in particular, from the girl whose birthday was the day before my parents’ anniversary. “Some one Special.” Well, Starla, you were right, and now we each have someone special. The end.
Now my next story is about my someone special, whose tale we pick up on the day of our own wedding, ending up, and beginning with, a surprise phone call we made to her parents from Goodland, Kansas...six weeks after we met. You know, that was something we definitely rushed into. That was something we definitely knew we should rush into.
But that story and where we begin is worth savoring, contemplating.
So let us just say, along the way in Kansas we bought a Fantastic Four Magazine, one of a limited run of reprints at the time, leading off with the Doom/ Puppetmaster story from John Byrne's run. Maybe in the course of telling my own story I can share how such a thing might captivate my imagination and provide a much needed rest from trying to worry through the world and maybe we could keep calm and pull this thing off. That was my new bride's first Fantastic Four comic book read, one of the first few ever of my no-less-than several collected varieties of titles.
They were what I found set my state of mind happily stimulated, like nothing else, save when this woman finally came to my life, to my utterly spontaneous surprise.
I'll tell you that one on April 22nd. I just need to enjoy that frame of reference for a while.