Sparks Middle School became my eighth school, but marked the first time I changed schools without changing houses. This was also the only time I kept vodka in my locker, spent as much time in detention as Bender in â€œThe Breakfast Club,â€ and attempted suicide in public.
Ends up I stayed alive long enough to wind up in middle school. Had I known, I wouldâ€™ve repeatedly poked myself in the eyeball with Mr. Loemanâ€™s record needle or grown an affinity for napping with the class snake.
But, no. Heart still beating and lungs still breathing, I inevitably ended up in the shittiest hellhole Iâ€™d ever experience. Coming from a girl who lived outside a fishing village in Central Mexico and a one-and-a-half bedroom apartment with five people, including one murderer, thatâ€™s saying a lot.
I now had a whole new milieu for humiliation. And it started immediately.
Word to the wise: Never play Truth or Dare with your bully. It will not, I repeat will not, end up in your favor.
See, I never chose dare, because Iâ€™d without doubt have to show everyone my mosquito boobies or lick something incredibly undesirable.
In hindsight, I shouldâ€™ve chosen dare.
Huddled under the concrete turtle at recess, I admitted to touching tongues with a girl when I was 5. Seemed innocent enough, I mean, I was 5. What could a bully possibly do with that information?
It was a Tuesday. Tuesdays suck. At least on Mondays youâ€™re prepared for suckiness. But Tuesdays can just be a no-hope stupid-a-thon of lameness.
I opened the chipped pale yellow and green doors and headed down the eternally long hallway toward my locker.
Side note: Sparks Middle School was horseshoe shaped. It had two super mega long halls with one regular-sized hall between the two. My locker was, of course, at the very end of the one of the two unnaturally long halls.
A hush came over the hall. Heads turned. At first it was silent stares. Were they admiring my new five-for-a-buck earrings Iâ€™d purchased at Claireâ€™s Boutique last weekend? Or did my incredibly Aqua-Netted-took-an-hour-and-a-half-every-morning huge hair look exceptionally fabulous today?
Letâ€™s try D, none of the above.
Then the whispering began.
â€œBlah blah blah bull dyke la la la?â€ One vapid prepubescent whispered to the other.
â€œOh yeah, well I heard blah blah la la lesbian slut fla fla fla,â€ another big-haired betty loudly whispered back, glaring at me all the while.
Thoughts flooded my brain. Are they talking about me? Why is everyone staring at me? Why is my locker so fucking far away?
By the time I finally made it to my locker, people I didnâ€™t even know were screaming at me.
These trajectories rang in my ears as I tried desperately to remember my locker combination and steady my hands.
After several failed attempts, I finally got my locker open. At least now I could hide my face and try to pull it together, because by now, of course, I was crying.
After about a second of much needed ostrich solace in my locker, a cool breeze hit my nether regions.
â€œSee, she canâ€™t even keep her clothes on at school, what a stupid slut!â€ And with that, Mr. Charming left me â€“ skirted.
Until two seconds ago, I was wearing a miniskirt with tan control top pantyhose underneath it. And Mr. Charming was good – he didnâ€™t only get the skirt all the way down to the icy linoleum floor, he also got my pantyhose down to my knees and my underwear flipped exactly inside out so the world could experience my snail trail.
I was frozen in fear for what felt like a hundred years. How would I bend over and pull up my underwear and pantyhose and skirt right there in front of a crowd of onlooking assholes? For some reason, the act of reparation felt worse than the initial act of hatred.
And to top it off, the hallway of strangers now knew that I had no pubes. Not one. At least pubic hair wouldâ€™ve covered up my crab-claw a bit, but I didnâ€™t even have a period yet and I most certainly didnâ€™t have pubes.
So there I stood, pubeless, alone, and hated.
Maybe if I stood there long enough, Iâ€™d just disappear. Or maybe theyâ€™d all go away. Or maybe, just maybe, the bell would ring.
None of those things happened.
I took a deep breath and somehow managed to pull my underwear and pantyhose and skirt back on amid the throngs of bloodthirsty motherfuckers. Those 15 seconds were by far the most mortifying seconds of my life, but I learned my lesson â€“ always come prepared.
I immediately blamed my mother.
Two years ago, I wanted to be a Girl Scout, but my single mom was waiting tables at the Holiday Inn so I could have food and shelter. She said sheâ€™d only be able to make it if her boss who hated her guts would let her leave early. So she stood me up for the first Girl Scout meeting of the year. I sat there, all alone, the only little girl without a mom. I begged and pleaded with those overachiever moms to still let me join, but they absolutely wouldnâ€™t allow me to be a girl scout because of my â€“ ewwww – working mother.
See, those little cookie pimpinâ€™ bitches wouldâ€™ve taught me to always be prepared. They got to learn these things ahead of time instead of figuring them out only after experiencing utter humiliation and degradation. Think about it; their skirts buttoned on the side. Problem solved.
I came to the immediate conclusion that hindsight was for suckers.
So was Truth or Dare.
And so were elastic waistbands.