Saturday, October 29, 2005

Autumn doldrums

I always get melancholy in the fall. But this year I think I finally put a finger on why.

Fall always reminds people of going back to school. It's not a happy memory. My reaction goes deeper than that. Fall always reminds me of girls who don't like me.

I went to an all boy high school so the only way to meet girls was to join the speech team and compete against the all girl schools. I did dramatic interpretation which meant doing a ten minute one man show. I was definitely the man for the job. Father Ogle ran the Cathedral team and told me if I could prove a screenplay had been published, I could do it. So I did everything from Monty Pythonto Planes, Trains and Automobilesto Batman. It was too easy.

Tournaments were held twice a month, which meant only two afternoons every 30 days to spend with real live girls. Our first tournament would be in the end of September and I'd either meet a new girl that shattered my thin veneer of cool or managed to notice a girl I hadn't before. By the third tournament in October, I was in love.

I was be as charming as a teenager could be, tell a few jokes, get a pretty pretty laugh and that was the end of it. But now I had TWO WEEKS to obsess over this girl. TWO WEEKS for a 15 year old.

A 15 year old boy with an overgrown imagination mutated by movies, sitcoms and comic books is a dangerous thing. Throw in hormones and it's volatile. Then add the Catholic Church which tells him he is evil and going to hell for his hormones and you have a basket case. This was me throughout the late 80's. Everything I knew about romance I learned from John Cusack movies and Beatle songs. Needless to say, I was unequipped for the task ahead of me.

So two weeks later I saw this girl again but now I've placed her on such a pedestal no one could reach her. Now I was no longer charming. Now I was fumbling, giggling, talking both too loud and too fast. Now she thought I was weird. And this was the moment I judiciously chose to ask her out.

She would take one of two options. She either said no without a reason and backed away slowly. Brooklyn girls usually chose this option. Or, she told me how much she valued me 'as a friend' and over the next three months I'd get constant phone calls from her. Calls where she'd detail dates. With other guys on my team. This was the weapon of choice best exploited by the fabled Mary Louis Academy. Three years of this and I discovered heavy metal.

So Halloween would come every year and every year I'd already be heartbroken. And somehow, even today, when the weather changes overnight and I'm in a denim jacket listening to U2 and taking a morning commute when I'd rather be home, I'm not a 33 year old happily married man. I'm that 15 year old who doesn't understand why women won't stick around for more than an afternoon.

1 comment:

Walker said...

You know what makes me sad........Every-mother fucking-thing. Remember, Horse's don't bet on people and neither do I. Hey Jon look what time you posted the message!