Sunday, January 16, 2011

Picture Day

“Okay, well I am a stupid idiot! We got our school pictures today and it was HORRIBLE!!! I went up to get it and I fell on my FACE! GROSSSSSSSSSSSS!! WHYYYY am I cursed?? My life is in constant turmoil!! Complete and utter CHAOS! Well, I’ll talk to you later diary… I’m going to go cry myself asleep…again! ~ Age 13

Oh, for fuck’s sake.
Angsty teen much?

Also, I want to mention that this entry is MANICALLY scrawled into my journal. The letters are slanted all over the place and the pen marks are deep enough to draw blood. This doesn’t look like the work of a pre-teen girl, but instead some sort of asylum escapee, living off berries in the woods and suffering from trauma induced flashbacks. There’s an ominous dark stain on the page too. My first instinct was blood, but after a CSI like investigation (sniffed it), it appears to be chocolate. Of course.

I cannot stand to read the above passage. I can scarcely believe I would write something so embarrassingly trivial. Who was I back then? I realize that I was thirteen and cannot be held accountable for my self indulgent scribbles, but still. I think I wrote it best with a long-winded “GROSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”

Oh, I WISH that taking a spill was one of my biggest problems now. Can you imagine, as an adult, thinking your world was turned upside-down by one miss-placed foot? Tossing and turning over it? Writing paragraph upon paragraph about the injustices done to you? No. Of course you can’t. You know why? Because you grow up and realize that life is kind of a drag and that being thirteen was AWESOME.

I will say that being thirteen for ME wasn’t as awesome as it was for most. Awkward, acne, fat, star trek obsession; you name it and I had it. I was also in a C cup bra size and it wasn’t “cool” yet to have boobs. The only thing boobs did for me back then was throw off my center of balance. I was constantly falling forward and tripping over myself, much like how this entry began…

So there I was- Mrs. Wilcox’s science class. She was a young, trendy teacher who found it amusing to taunt and mock students in front of their peers. Our school pictures were regrettably delivered to her classroom. She began holding them one at a time, high in the air for everyone to see, and bellowing out the poor students name simultaneously. Most students flew to the front of the room, snatching the picture out of her hands, hoping their lives hadn’t yet been ruined. The more popular students lazily strolled to the front as if to say, “Yes, hold it up for the world to see. Let’s give everyone a minute longer to gaze at 13 year old perfection, I don’t mind at all”.

I fretfully waited for my name to be called; sweat dripping from every hormonally charged pore. I had one foot in a runner’s start position at the side of my desk and my hands clamped down for a magnificent push start. I was near the front, so with any luck the picture would be viewable for no more than two seconds, maybe three. Of course, like many days of my youth, luck was NOT on my side.

“COURTNEY BURGETT!!!! Mrs. Wilcox screamed from behind her desk of torture, “LOOKIN’ GOOD!!! HAHAHA!”

I leapt from my chair in one swift motion. The runner’s foot was a good idea; it propelled me forward with surprising grace. Even the push-start went well! The desk stayed in position, no lurching noises or creaking metal. Two giant steps, and I was almost home free! Then, disaster struck.

(Remember those “new” dry-erase projectors schools were so fond of? They projected images onto a pull-down screen that was always too tall for anyone to reach. They were inevitably at the front of most class-rooms and were usually the teachers’ prized possession.)

Mrs. Wilcox, being evil and an environmental succubus had left hers plugged in. After the greatest running start of my life, my right foot became entangled in its thick cord protruding from the wall. I hopped up and onto my left foot but that didn’t help matters, because my left foot came down on the cord closest to the projector. The bulky and expensive piece of equipment came hurtling downwards toward my knee-caps. Still off-balance I screamed and tripped/dove forward; hands grabbing feverishly at the air, hoping to take the dreaded school picture down with me. My hands caught nothing, but with a SMACK my face hit tile. It was terrible. I lay in a face-down spread eagle, a solid five feet away from Mrs. Wilcox’s horrified expression. I hadn’t even been close.

I gathered myself and jumped up as gaily as I could pretend. “I’m okay!” I cheered and put both fists into the air. Nobody bought it. I think there was a blood stain on my shirt and shattered projector pieces matted to my hair. Mrs. Wilcox, open-mouthed, was unaware she was still holding my picture when I snatched it. I looked down and was beyond shocked, completely baffled. It was…a REALLY GOOD PICTURE! My hair fell at the right places, I didn’t look THAT fat and my smile looked natural. It was a miracle! I couldn’t have been happier. I spun around, smiling like a crazy person, and saw my path of destruction and the horror-struck faces of my class-mates. I mumbled “sorry” and took my seat. Mrs. Wilcox complained about not having a projector, a janitor came in to clean up the mess and people kept asking me if I was “okay?” I hardly noticed any of it, because for the first time in my life- I had a decent school picture! It took awhile for the embarrassment of what happened to settle in (hence the night-time journal rage). But until then, even the blood in my mouth tasted sweet.

Good picture.

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