You can learn a lot about a person by what they’re forced to write in high School. I’m not sure if everyone had to do this, I think it would be wonderful actually. For one of our ‘Specialty’ English classes. (I say specialty because I forget the proper name for it.) everyone was given the task to write an autobiography. We’re talking book length here! I think the minimum requirement was 50 pages or so. But given the nature of it being an autobio about your life so far, I struggled to believe that certain aspects of my life are interesting. Much like how I fail to see where I’m going with this can be interesting at all.
But as I said, You can learn a lot about a person from this. Being the topical person that I am, I chose to never really write about myself, but other things in my life. So it was a book about family, friends, beliefs, and opinions. I’m sure if Mark Twain was around I’d want him to proof read it, as it seems I would subconsciously channel him into the pages while I write about (what feels like) nothing. Books seem like a foreign concept when you don’t read that much to begin with. So it turns into a lot of free form writing with no real structure. Only Chaos.
But Chaos is good, the world needs a little chaos. It certainly doesn’t need a lot of me, me, me. So that’s why I titled it ‘Autobiografiti’. As much as the project had to be about myself, I’d rather it be riddled with everything else. I even wrote about my late dog Mickey. Because that dog was fucking awesome.
When the projects were finished, handed in, graded and sent back to us, we all had to chose a chapter and go up in front of the class. A lot of the chapters were what you’d expect these kids to read. As most seemed to be about their greatest accomplishments in life, or nights of getting real drunk with their friends. You can blame it on the small town living, but a lot of these people never led interesting lives (I’m not counting myself out on this). But I’m not here to judge that! This was a school project after all.
Aside from Judging other students, it was my turn to be judged. This was the exact moment I had zero confidence in my writing. I would go up in front of the class and flip through it like crazy, thinking that a lot of it wasn’t finished, or up to par. Or anything worthy. I’m oddly shy for most things.. in case you were curious. So my teacher speaks up.
“Why don’t you read ‘God like tendencies’?” She says. “I think that’s your strongest chapter.”
“Um… That one might be a little offensive.” I was looking at the only person I thought would be offended by it. Jeez, talk about singling someone out. I wonder if she caught that too.
At the time, Laurie Warkentin (I may have forgotten how to spell that last name.) was a girl that I was totally crushing on. But I kind of think it was for shallow reasons, or maybe even a little bit of my upbringing. You see, her dad was a priest. So I’ve considered the possibility that she was a highly religious person. Maybe fetish can come into play or something, but I actually thought she was pretty hot. So, forgive my lewdness when I say that I wouldn’t mind being a bible-thumper. It’s possible that it was really just a part of my life, because I grew up going to church and catechism all the time, so I’d be lying if I wasn’t religious. Christians where easier for me to get along with as well, because it was such a common interest.
I don’t understand the people that love going out of their way to debate religion all the time though. A lot of the people I’ve known to do it are rather high and mighty about it all the time. “Here’s all the facts of why your religion/religion is general is retarded.” When honestly, you should just let people believe in whatever the hell they want because it makes them happy. Of course killing in the name of your god is one thing, but I’m never going to touch that subject because I don’t have any experience or knowledge in that matter. Atheists seem to be problematic in this respect, because a lot of them that I’ve come to know are like bags of wind. Maybe they’re just miserable people because they have nothing to believe in, so they have to bring everybody else down.
So anyway, a couple of days later. I tried asking Laurie out. This is the first time I’ve ever done something like that and I was really nervous. That Teenage ‘fear of rejection’ comes over you like a raincloud and you know you don’t want to get wet. But I gave it a try anyway, because I was actually pushed to do it. So in that exact same class when everyone was free to work at their own pace and be social I went up to her. This was such a bad idea. Then moment I started talking my eyebrow twitched like crazy. Nervousness shattered my voice box, as if I were Oliver with no self esteem asking for more.
“Blah blah blah I was wondering… blah blah.. we could go out sometime? blaughh…” I can’t remember it to well, I’m pretty sure my brain locked out the majority of this memory.
“I’ll think about it.” She said, but it’s possible she was thinking about how badly my eyebrow was twitching.
I took that answer and I walked away feeling pretty good about it. It wasn’t a no. So I would take that and down the road try many other times to get that chance but it would always result in never getting around to it (or total avoidance. let’s make that joke).
The other thing that I actually thought was the best part of this auto-bio (only because no one else did it), is that I put a 2-disc soundtrack to the whole thing. Music never really became a big part of my life till MP3s were invented and I could download everything with Napster. It was good to have my own music for once because all we ever had around the house was country music. For many years I would always just put Boney M on the record player and listen to Rasputin like it was the only song I’ve ever liked.
The purpose to that chapter was, I’ve always felt that I could use music as a way to perfectly describe my life and situations within it. Maybe I’m not the only one that has a specific song pop into their head when a certain moment happens, but for all intents and purposes it was scientifically crafted to describe my 17 years of life.
There was a lot of Japanese music in there for some reason.
I like to think that my own musical taste has grown up since then. One can’t have ‘Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve’ be their anthem forever that would be too depressing. Even if I’m still a million people from one day to the next, but that is clearly in actor terms. Now a days it’s always Beck in some form or the other… I really do like Beck.
I think I’ve grown a healthy fondness for music that I wish developed sooner. It would have made that chapter more interesting If my elementary school had a band class. I would be talking about how good I am at piano, then how awesomely I could listen to Jerry Reed. I keep thinking in a couple years time, I would be able to learn Classical Gas on the Guitar. My girlfriend giggled at that notion, but even if it’s just a dream. At least it’s motivation to start learning.