Essays and rock & roll. Looking and listening. Nostalgia versus skepticism.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
An Origin Story
The nuns said, He could be a politician, he talks so much! Just around the bend of puberty, an early Ritalin candidate, bursting with chatter, I glad handed all the kids in fourth grade in a kind of ether, aloft, waiting, without realizing, to be betrayed by the body and its chemical factory of disillusionment and weirdness, waiting, without realizing, to be betrayed by the rising tide of self-consciousness, but aloft now, and hyper, and glad, moving about the classroom and playground at Saint Andrew's as an inflatable ball, soon chattering to the point of distraction, begetting worried frowns from the teachers, invisible conversations with my parents, and the announcement on Hot Lunch Wednesday that I would raise my hand for white milk, not for chocolate, that too much sugar was the problem, the cause of my interruptions, my Must Improve Classroom Behavior check on each quarter's report card, and so I and doughy, unpopular Catherine C. were the only kids who would drink white milk, something commencing that day, a curtain lifting slowly in the back of my head, a drama that blended self-pity with self-knowledge, an unhappy and irritating play in endless acts, and I the duped actor, now sitting—the result of the newest attempt to quell me—alone in a group of four desks, three empty seats facing me as the clamor and talk and giggle noise lifted in the classroom. Who could I interrupt now, a melodramatic politician of the Party of Solitude?