Category Archives: preteen angst

Not So Super

 

Pablo

Check out my hair. And Pablo.

I sat in the Supercuts chair buzzing with hopeful anticipation after my mother finally surrendered control of my golden locks. I had the keys to the kingdom. I would longer have freakishly long Crystal Gayle hair.

Today was the day, oh yes, today was THE day.

I had hair down past my butt as long as I could remember, and as long as I could remember, I hated it. I’m talking hate. Red flaming balls of fury kind of hate tingled all over my body every single stupid time I had to lift up my hair to go pee or sit down or do anything else that even remotely involved my butt.

And my parents wouldn’t let me cut it. Oh no, they wouldn’t. And the more I begged, the longer I went without a haircut.

When I was 5, I took the power into my own hands with a big-ass pair of scissors. Wack, wack, wack. Big clumps of my straw-colored locks fell to the floor. I felt freer with each snip. That was until my mother came in and ruined my fun. I was like a caged lion just able to see the Serengeti only to be shipped back to the circus before getting to roam free.

OK, maybe I’m over-dramatizing a smidgen. And I’m talkin’ only a smidgen of a smidgen.

So here I was finally placed in the pilot’s seat. I’m pretty sure this was actually my first haircut at a salon – I use the term loosely, this was Supercuts after all. Up until now my mom gave me trims. I’d actually never even had a CUT, just trim upon miserable trim.

Trims are for hedges. Cuts are for warriors.

The cut I wanted was a bob, but I had no idea that was its name. It was cool because I had a perfect description of the style; the only problem was the hairstylist – again using the term loosely – hadn’t actually seen “Howard the Duck” starring Lea Thompson which I was unfortunately and absolutely banking on. She obviously hadn’t even seen a one-sheet. In fact, I’m willing to lay down some ducats that this silver-haired, Bedazzled sweatshirt wearing, “honk if your horny” kinda cowgirl’s last cinematic adventure was most likely “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” because she “just loved that Dolly Parton.”

Plan B. I tried to explain the haircut to her. She tried hard to follow me. I’ll give the cowgirl props – she really tried to decipher my muddy and ignorant-of-anything-remotely-hip explanation. But I still had hope. With every snip, my hopes held high that somehow magically the things she was doing to my head would turn into Lea’s duck-loving do once I added a curling iron, Aqua Net, and a little faith.

I left the salon with a dripping wet – you don’t get a blowout for eleven bucks – short, feathered mess on my head.

The second I got home I fired up the curling iron and pulled out my “Howard the Duck” poster. In a few minutes, my transformation would be complete.

Try an hour-and-a-half to look like this:

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Which looked nothing like this:

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And that was the reason Tina was going to kick my ass after school.

Well, kind of. Plan C soon emerged – my last hope – was it would magically turn into a bob as it grew longer, but it ended up looking like an outdated Farrah with bangs I could chew on. And that I did. My long bangs actually became a protection of sorts – I could hide behind them and it was second best to hiding under the covers protecting me from serial killers. Same rationale.

Tina was one of those unfortunately prematurely tall girls. She was about 6-feet tall and over two hundred pounds. Basically a linebacker by the 7th grade.

She was in my History class right after lunch, so I rarely was able to eat my brown bag lunch.

It was a Thursday. The bell rang. We all got up and Tina hovered over me.

“Hey freak, I’m gonna kick your ass if you don’t cut your bangs by tomorrow.”

Damn, my bullies were getting creative.

Fear racked my body. I said nothing – my usual response – as my head reeled with possibilities. Would I beg Mom to take me to Supercuts immediately? How could I explain a sudden undying need for a trim? What if she had – gasp – plans? How would I find the five hours of studying I needed tonight prepping for the two tests I had the next day?

On my walk home, that small voice inside of me said:

Trims are for hedges. 

The buck stopped. I was done. Telling me to cut my hair was too far.

I woke up the next morning, long-ass bangs and all. I knew that somehow – someway – everything was going to be okay. And it was. The second I got to my locker, there was Sandy, shoving a Vodka bottle into my locker.

“I’ll get expelled if I get in trouble one more time so I need to stash this in your locker.”

This was not a question.

I’d never been suspended, but I did get detention once for excessive tardiness. I had yet to perfect my rebel streak.

“Let’s get fucked up at lunch. It’ll be fun!”

And with that, Sandy bounded down the hall to first period. It all happened so fast, I didn’t even realize that Sandy had just saved my life for the second time in my first week of knowing her.

She brought a clear Tupperware bottle halfway filled-up with orange juice to lunch and I brought the vodka. I hadn’t had a drink in over 3 years and it was long overdue. (Bio Dad let me drink every night at dinner. New Dad did not think wine with dinner was good for a child. What did he know?)

I poured myself a goddamned mothafuckin’ screwdriver right under the teacher’s noses. And then I chugged it. I poured another one and chugged another one. My frenemies changed tables.

Sandy laughed. Fuck them.

And then it hit me. The warmth that reminded me how horrible it was being cold all those years. That made my knees weak in the strongest way. That warmed me all the way to my toes.

And in that moment, I made a promise to myself. A secret promise that I would lock in my heart.

You will never let them win again.

I walked into History class ready for the consequence of my inaction. I was not to be fucked with – I was now a warrior. I sat at my desk, drunk, highly aware of how unaware I was of the world around me.

A calm numb pervaded my being.

Class ended without even a peep out of Tina. Weird. We filed into the hall and somehow ended up waking side-by-side.

“You didn’t cut your bangs.”

“Nope.”

And with that she walked away. Never another word of it. She actually stopped threatening me. I felt as though I’d somehow beaten the system, but had no idea how I had actually achieved victory.

Alcohol worked. At last I’d found the key – it wasn’t a haircut; it was not caring. It was the numbness. It gave me strength to finally not give a shit.

Although a bob would’ve been a healthier answer to my problems, I was just fine with fixing my broken life with a lunchtime screwdriver or ten.

 

Suicide & Sandy

I tried to kill myself in Woodshop class.

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I couldn’t take one more day of the pain of having plural bullies and a singular friend. I was at the drill press working on my badass coat rack when it occurred to me that I could murder myself.

Quicker than Michael Jackson could Shamone Hee Hee, I pushed the drill bit into my wrist and turned it on. There was only one problem I hadn’t anticipated – it fucking hurt.

BAD.

Faster than Cyndi Lauper could waffle iron the side of her head, I turned the drill off. There was some blood and I actually managed to drill a small hole in my wrist, but it was nothing a Band-Aid from the school nurse and a Woodshop Incident Report couldn’t remedy.

My scar ended up being shaped like a lightning bolt. Yes, I was the pre-Harry Potter of suicidal kids.

Attempting suicide ended up being one of the best things that ever happened to me because I finally didn’t give a shit.

I was ready to smoke at Stoner Wall.

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Stoner Wall today. Normally covered in graffiti.

Band-Aid on wrist, this determined badass found her spot on the wall. Months of observational study paid off:

  1. Lean on wall, do not free stand.
  2. If conversation ensues, simply turn head to side or stare off into space without looking at friend. (Friend understands protocol and will not take personally.)
  3. Pull smokes out of pocket, not purse. Especially if you’re a dude. Hard pack is preferred. If new pack, flip pack upside down and beat into palm of hand. This is called “packing.” Then flip one smoke upside down. This is called a “Lucky.” If using a soft pack, be sure to flick out cigarette and put in teeth without cigarette touching fingers. This takes practice.
  4. Light up with lighter on high. Flame must be a minimum of three inches high. Do not light heavily Aqua Netted bangs on fire. Exception to rule is Zippo[1].
  5. Pretend to inhale.
  6. Extra points for smoke rings.
  7. Look very relaxed from hit, as if life is so hard that you need to smoke.
  8. Put free hand in pocket, but not same pocket as smokes.
  9. Flick cherry off with finger instead of stomping out.

I looked just like everyone else, except I was still wearing ruffled plaid shirts and cords and everyone else wore mullets and jean jackets with Iron Maiden Iron-ons.

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Sandy was one of the only other girls at Stoner Wall. She hung out with a mullet-head named Tommy whose eyes were always bright red.

She bounced up to me, far too perky for the stoner crowd.

“Can I bum a smoke?”

I pulled out my stolen soft-pack of ugly-ass brown Mores, aka, the grossest cigarettes ever invented, but when at the mercy of New Dad’s choice of smoke and being cool, they were my only option. And my only connect for Kools, Eve, had moved to Fresno.

“Tommy has Camels. Come on.”

I followed Sandy to Tommy’s spot on the wall, grateful that the lameness of my smokes was unspoken. Could this girl actually be nice? It was doubtful.

She bummed two of the shortest cigarettes I’d ever seen from Tommy. I was used to Mores, which were approximately a foot-long, but these were even shorter than my Kools. And there was no filter.

Pretending to inhale was challenge enough, but now I had the added challenge of tobacco collecting in my mouth. I took Tommy’s lead and picked the tobacco out of my teeth and flicked it.

Flicking was a big thing with the smoking-crowd.

Sandy was super animated and talked really fast. She told me that she and Tommy had been neighbors since they were four, they lived two blocks from school and she could get cigarettes from The Sev with a note from her mom, but she didn’t have any money so she was out.

I immediately offered her my leftover allowance.

She counted it and calculated that we could buy one pack of brand-name smokes, or two packs of generics. Then we’d get one each. And they made generic menthols! This was a good day indeed.

We took off for The Sev. Tommy had detention, so he stayed behind. Of course, he didn’t tell me that. Actually he didn’t speak at all. Good thing he had a friend in Sandy. She talked enough for all of us.

Forged note in hand, the two of us moseyed up to The Sev counter. I hid my trembling hands in my corduroy pockets. The thought of getting arrested was mortifying, but my fear of never having a friend was just a touch larger than my fear of the consequences I may have to endure.

There were 8th graders everywhere, in line, at the Slurpee machine, hanging out in the parking lot – I’d somehow stumbled upon the Mecca of after school cool.

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They still exist.

Now I wanted to get arrested. I fantasized about how many ranks of the badass scale I would go up with everyone watching as I was handcuffed and put into the back of a cop car. A sense of calm came over me. I pulled my hands out of my pockets.

The clerk looked over the note, looked up at Sandy, and handed over the cigarettes without question.

I knew this was when Sandy would bolt, but once we got out of eyeshot of the 7-11 clerk, she handed me my change and a pack of smokes.

“I owe you a pack when I get my allowance.”

I knew she’d never repay. I knew this was the end of our friendship. I knew she’d probably start bullying me tomorrow.

“You wanna come over and watch Days?”

I fought the urge to look behind me for the real friend she was talking to and to ask her what the hell “watching Days” meant.

Five minutes later, I sat in Sandy’s den on my very own Lazy Boy watching Days of Our Lives and chain-smoking generic cigarettes. There was a huge overflowing crystal ashtray on the small table between us. I occasionally gasped or pretended to tear up so she’d believe that I’d been following Days for years.

Through the smoke-haze, the figure of a tall, middle-aged, redheaded woman approached. Oh my God, it was Sandy’s mom! I mashed out my cigarette immediately. We were so busted.

“God dammit Sandy open a fucking door for Christ’s sake!”

Then she pulled a smoke out of Sandy’s new pack.

“I thought you had a carton, why are you bumming mine?”

This was unlike any home I’d ever been in. I wanted to live here. Yesterday.

Sandy looked at my wrist. “What happened?”

“Oh, nothing. It’s stupid.”

And that was the beginning of my 10-year friendship with Sandy, my addiction to Days of Our Lives and my love of smoking indoors.

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[1] Zippo’s were so cool that flame length didn’t even come into play. Unfortunately, I was never rad enough to even figure out where to purchase one until I was about thirty. Zippo protocol was also very complicated. It included, but was not limited to, flipping open AND shut without using one’s fingers. One either had to open the lighter on one’s jeans, or simply with the power of a forceful flick. The opportunities for dorking-out were far too many for this new smoker, and Bic disposable lighters came in three-packs. With savings like that, Bic won out.

 

Pubic Indecency

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 “The Breakfast Club,” and attempted suicide in public.

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I was not happy

Ends up I stayed alive long enough to wind up in middle school. Had I known, I would’ve repeatedly poked myself in the eyeball with Mr. Loeman’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 I’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, that’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 I’d without doubt have to show everyone my mosquito boobies or lick something incredibly undesirable.

In hindsight, I should’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 you’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.

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Still, this was as close as I was willing to get to Sparks Middle to take this picture.

A hush came over the hall. Heads turned. At first it was silent stares. Were they admiring my new five-for-a-buck earrings I’d purchased at Claire’s Boutique last weekend? Or did my incredibly Aqua-Netted-took-an-hour-and-a-half-every-morning huge hair look exceptionally fabulous today?

Let’s try D, none of the above.

Then the whispering began.

“Blah blah blah bull dyke la la la?” One vapid prepubescent whispered to the other.

“Oh yeah, well I heard blah blah la la lesbian slut fla fla fla,” 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 didn’t even know were screaming at me.

“Slut!”

“Whore!”

“Lesbian!”

“Disgusting!”

“Ugly!”

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.

“See, she can’t even keep her clothes on at school, what a stupid slut!” And with that, Mr. Charming left me – skirted.

Until two seconds ago, I was wearing a miniskirt with tan control top pantyhose underneath it. And Mr. Charming was good – he didn’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 would’ve covered up my crab-claw a bit, but I didn’t even have a period yet and I most certainly didn’t have pubes.

So there I stood, pubeless, alone, and hated.

Maybe if I stood there long enough, I’d just disappear. Or maybe they’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 – 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 she’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 wouldn’t allow me to be a girl scout because of my – ewwww – working mother.

See, those little cookie pimpin’ bitches would’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.

Scooby-Don’t: The Second Paw

Last week, I was so excited to wear make-up to school on my 11th birthday I could barely sleep. Will I wear the purple eyeshadow to school the next day? Or will I chicken out? And why the hell is this blog called Scooby-Don’t? As promised, all of your questions are answered here!

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(Part 2 of 2)

When I don’t sleep, I get really gnarly bags under my eyes. It was no different when I was eleven.

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This was my goal.

I piled the shadow onto the little foam applicator to make sure I had enough and spread it thickly across my eyelid. The awesome thing about eyeshadow, especially 99 cent eyeshadow, is that if you go overboard, tons of powder falls down under the eyes. Even better, when you go to wipe it off, it simply smears all over right where your massive eye bags live.

Let me remind you that the color was “plum.”

An hour later and brimming with denial, I entered the classroom with my new amazing eleven-year-old make-up face. I knew I was going to get attention. I just didn’t foresee what kind of attention I’d be getting.

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This was my reality. Make that a double.

The laughter started immediately. Shit. Marie asked me in all earnestness if I’d fallen on my face.

I literally looked like I had 2 black eyes. I thought I looked hot. In all reality, I looked injured.

I quickly realized that ditching the high heels was a damned good idea. At least I could walk. Although wearing heels would’ve at least explained my deep eye bruises.

The teasing was unrelentless. This day couldn’t get worse.

At least it was kickball day.

Kickball was the only sport I was actually good at. It always came down to me and Marie and the fat kids to get picked, but at least I knew I was contributing to whichever team I ended up on. I was an asset to a team. But only at kickball.

At least I’d get a chance at retribution and to rule with my 2 black eyes. It was on. After all, it was my birthday. My luck had to turn around.

Waiting to kick, I noticed the random, huge, straggly, sheep-looking dog that lived across the street strolling around the school grounds. I knew that dog, he always barked furiously at me when I walked by his house. Obviously he’d gotten out somehow.

Time for me to kick. I had a mean kick, I’m not gonna lie about it. The ball rolled toward my feet perfectly. I mustered all my right leg strength and KICKED THE SHIT out of that dark red rubber ball. It was the farthest and raddest I’d ever kicked that ball. Victory was bliss.

I ran toward first base, knowing I’d make a homerun for sure. I was hauling balls. High-tailin’ it. Jammin’.

That is, until that damned dog ran after me and tackled me to the ground before I could even make it to first base. I went down hard, leaving far too many layers of my skin behind. I hit the crunchy dirt with the side of my face, scraping off some plum eyeshadow for sure.

I was traumatized. Mr. Lohman came to my rescue and sent me off to the nurse’s office to get bandaged up. I was sobbing. It really hurt. That dog was really fucking big.

After getting all cleaned up and anti-bacterialized, I returned to my classroom. At least I’d get some sympathy votes. I mean, I was literally attacked by a monster in front of my whole class. And I had the wounds to prove it. I was the victim here.

I opened the door.

The peals of laughter confused me greatly. Then I overheard words like “dog-fucker” and “Scooby’s new girlfriend.” Somehow the dog attack turned into a live sex act to rival the donkey show. Ends up what I considered an attack was actually a romantic encounter. As I lay on the ground bleeding, that fucker was humping me. He threw me down to the ground to HUMP ME.

I never wore plum eyeshadow again.

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Thug Life – My Second Teardrop Tattoo

 

This is Part 2 of a 2 Part series. For Part 1, go here: Thug Life – My First Teardrop Tattoo. 

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The Hoff was a member.

The obvious choice was right in front of me – a knife. I wouldn’t need monster truck strength and I could easily walk down the street with one hidden up my fake Members Only jacket sleeve without the fuzz getting suspicious.

 

Yes, you did just read, “fake Members Only jacket.” Soak that reality in. You’re welcome.

 

I just had to select a knife and be done with it.

I loved and feared our meat cleaver. It was serious. I always thought I would just accidentally kill my parents with it in the middle of the night. Kind of like an uncontrollable reflex that would be inspired by the sheer awesomeness of the knife. I couldn’t take that risk.

Just your plain old run-of-the-mill kitchen knife was the winner. Now that I had that out of the way, I just had to figure out how to do it without getting my ass kicked or looking stupid or getting caught. Damn this murder business was advanced. Criminals on TV always seemed so dumb. I had a newfound respect for my fellow thugs. Maybe I would make up my own gang sign?

I lay in bed strategizing. It had to be at night. All bad things must happen at night. Less birds chirping I suppose. More sinister. Dark. Yeah. It couldn’t be at my house, so I’d have to kill her in her house. But I couldn’t be sleeping over because then, duh, her parents would totally know it was me. That is, unless I framed CHB.

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Brilliant. I painted the scenario. I’m already at her house. I wait until she starts snoring – come on, of course she snores, she’s a disgusting beast of a girl – and then I stab her repeatedly in the chest, then put the knife in CHB’s bed and put her blood all over his hands. Genius!

 

Just one problem with this plan – tweekers don’t sleep. I totally forgot. CHB stayed up all night playing video games in an orange beanbag in the living room. Foiled.

Okay, so that was out. The only option left was that I needed to sneak in, kill her, and get out, without any noise. Easy. Dana’s bedroom window didn’t have a screen, as the entire house had a whopping total of three, so I just had to go over to her house after school and crack her window just enough for her not to notice right before I left. Then I would go home and wait the wait that only we hardened criminals know.

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Just like this, only blonde.

At midnight, I’d sneak out of the house with the knife, walk the eight blocks to her house, quietly open her still unlocked window, enter said window, stab her repeatedly, exit said window, walk the eight blocks back home, wash knife, return knife, and then have sweet, sweet dreams knowing that the most evil person in my life was finally dead.

It was the perfect plan.

Well, it was… until I started thinking of all the things that could go wrong.

She could wake up from me opening the window. Then what would I say? “Oh hey Dana, what’s up?” all casual like. Yeah right. Or what if the first stab didn’t go through, like it hit her ribcage, and now that I was thinking of it, how do you stab someone through the heart with all that bone in the way? I’d probably have to stab her in her fat stomach and hope she bleeds to death. But then what if she cried out for help?

And then there was CHB. So true to life, he would end up ruining everything. They were like the Corsican Brothers. He would feel her pain and run into her room. And there I would be, crazy killing eyes, hovering over her blood soaked bed – busted.

“Mom! Dad! Dana’s stupid friend stabbed her in her stomach!”

I’d run, but the cops would come to my house and wake up my parents. It would be so embarrassing. Then I’d have to go to prison forever and stupid Dana and CHB would probably visit me and torment me as much as possible for the rest of my life.

I just couldn’t win. My confidence was shattered. I was a sucky killer. Unless it could be perfect, I couldn’t do it.

And then I realized that I couldn’t stab someone, not even her. I was no badass. I was no thug.

I was a failure.

Since I couldn’t kill Dana, I’d have to kill myself.

Did Courtney kill herself? What weapon did she use? How is she possibly writing this sentence right now since she’s most likely totally dead? Tune in Thursday for more rad answers. 

White Lines – The Eight Ball

This is part four of a four part totally awesome blog. Fell behind? No problem. Just go here:White Lines, The First Line and The Second Line and then The Teener.

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Then the door opened. It was Debbie. And the candy! I was so relieved to see them – I mean, her.

“Is he out there?” I asked, hoping she knew.

“Are you gonna order?” the guy behind the register asked Debbie now, already knowing my answer. I already knew her answer. We had to explain or get out.

The interesting thing was not that we actually told him that some scary child rapist was chasing us, but his complete lack of reaction. Like this was an everyday occurrence at Taco Hut or something.

“We’re closing in thirty minutes,” was all he said as he started to mop.

We hid in a hard cold booth of the take-out restaurant variety, not the comfy rad variety like that of Denny’s, probably because they want you to actually TAKE-OUT not stay for five hours chain smoking for the price of one cup of coffee and making art towers out of empty creamer containers.

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After a five-minute play-by-play recap, the realization hit us. It was Friday night and we hadn’t TOUCHED a piece of candy yet. This realization was not spoken; it was addict-mind-trick spoken through brain waves. Where any two or more people deep in addiction are together jonesing, this is the norm. We can speak the unspeakable with our minds.

Side note: Ritual is an integral part of drug usage. For most addicts, the ritual of using is multi-faceted: scoring, holding, preparing, and using. If any of these components are compromised, the high can suffer. I like to call this “super-addict-stition.”

Whoever establishes the ritual is as follows:

  1. Whoever’s holding.
  2. The Elder who brings the newbie under his or her wing.
  3. People who party together may merge rituals or form new variations of each ritual, as long it’s copacetic.

There was no hierarchy in our underground network of transplants, but there was a strict class structure when it came to getting high. The bottom line was devout respect for the other user’s ritual because the ultimate party foul was fucking up another person’s high.

Yet again, I did some math:

  1. Debbie was holding = Debbie’s in charge of score.
  2. She was the Elder = Debbie’s in charge of score.
  3. We merged rituals somewhat with the subtraction of banana and the doubling of funds, but the location of scoring, the act of piling, and horror movie watching were all ritual B.C. = Debbie’s in charge of score.
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One of our Friday night faves.

We sat across the table from each other mind melding. My mouth started to water. Candy filled my senses. I ached for sugar. I knew she did too.

“Let’s go,” she said as she rose, without even checking outside for eagle decaled cars.

I knew better. We should wait longer. He could just be out there lurking in the old bushes waiting for our young bushes to come bounding out of Taco Hut’s door all innocent and candy-eyed. I considered bartering with her to stay another 15 minutes and eat some candy there, but I knew it would fuck up both of our highs and perhaps our friendship.

My thirst for sugar became stronger than my thirst for survival. We booked it the half block more to her house and made it back safe. Who knew what happened to GP and who cared. We were onto the next thing.

Immediately, and with not one word, we devoured ten bucks worth of sugar to the sound of naked chicks getting slaughtered. Candy fixed everything. We went into sugar comas and woke up with unrelenting hangovers. We did this every Friday night for the next two years.

The Grody Pedophile incident was only the third time I used with Debbie and it didn’t stop me one bit. The Slippery Slope Theory is just a speculation, but from less than a year after moving to Sparks I’d already gone from smoking to porn to sugar. And this was only the beginning.

. . .

Thanks for reading, gorgeous! Stay tuned – next Monday will be another new vlog. If you missed my last vlog, click here. 

White Lines – The Teener

This is part three of a four part totally awesome blog. Fell behind? No problem. Just go here: White Lines, The First Line and The Second Line

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The next Friday night something was off. Neither of us would admit it, but there was just something in the air, something foreboding. But when you’re an addict, the carrot is too bright and shiny to pay attention to portent. After all, we wanted what we wanted when we wanted it. We had a vision.

All went fine at the Sev. Mathematics worked out. No banana. All was well. It was time to race home.

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We normally walked on the Park Lane Mall side of the street, but on this night we were on the Shopper’s Square side. I noticed a black Trans Am replete with a large eagle decal on the hood up ahead. These cars, along with El Camino’s, were pretty common in Reno, (and still are in Sparks), but the passenger side door was open. And there was a man inside.

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Walk fast. Look down. Stay focused on candy.

The eagle decal grew larger and larger and we got closer and closer. Then, there it was. Up close full-on eagle.

“Hi girls,” a calm male voice said, who I will now refer to as GP, (Grody Pedophile).

Thank God I was now a porn-cinefile, so I immediately recognized male masturbation.

Debbie immediately jaywalked across all six lanes of the street to the other side. She didn’t even look.

I did.

“You want to help me out?” GP actually said. Grody.

I booked it. Fast. Unfortunately, so did GP. He hopped in his bitchin’ not-a-Camero-but-so-very-close-to-one, revved up all eight of his horses, and proceeded to CHASE US.

Debbie decided to run down a dark backstreet, for what reason I will never know. Places with people are safe. Places with light are safe. Dark backstreets where no one would hear our prepubescent screams were most definitely not safe.

But Debbie had the candy. And she was going down that dark street. 1 + 1 = I was not going to let my candy go that easily.

We were about halfway down the block, still a block-and-a-half from Debbie’s house, when the street was illuminated by the lights of GP’s grody car. He was heading straight for us.

I had to think fast. It came to me. Tacos. So obvious.

There was a Taco Hut one block away. I was so scared I’d never run so fast in my life. Debbie wasn’t as fast, but her leg-span was about three of mine, so we were running at about the same child-running-from-grody-pedophile clip.

“Taco! Hut!” I yelled, interspersed with panting.

“No! Home is closer!” She argued.

“There are people at Taco Hut! HE CAN’T RAPE US WITH PEOPLE WATCHING!” I screamed with all my might.

“You’re wrong!” She lamely disagreed.

I made the executive decision right then and there. It was better to let Debbie get raped and the candy get stolen than for both of us to succumb to the same horrible fate.

“I’M GOING TO THE TACO HUT!” I hollered as I ran toward the neon taco shining like freedom.

I ran into the Taco Hut full of patrons, panting and generally freaking the fuck out, and now looking like a complete weirdo. Which I am, but I don’t like other people thinking so without my approval. I pictured Jolly Ranchers, naked Debbie, Tootsie Rolls, and GP bodily fluid all over some dark scary lawn. I had no idea where she was and what was happening to her, or our candy.

I had not a cent to my name as it had all been spent on sugar crack, so my awkward moment became even more awkward when the guy at the counter asked me for my order. How long could I hide out here until they kicked me out? Where was GP? Was he lurking somewhere in the enchilada sauce?

Come on by on Thursday to get answers to all these questions and more when the conclusion to White Lines is unveiled. 

White Lines, The Second Line

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The first time I went over to Debbie’s house, it was obvious why she ate. Her mom and dad were both really big and her house was really small. It was rented, not owned, and on a street that was one lane away from having “interstate” in front of it. The sound of cars whizzing by at German engineering speeds competed with the deafening cry of airplanes landing and taking off at the airport that was mere blocks away.

She wasn’t even zoned for Agnes Risley, but her parents let her switch because she was having huge problems with the bullies in the school for which she was originally zoned. I changed my mind about her parents right away. They cared about Debbie; they were just so poor that they had to move wherever job opportunities presented themselves.

Her dad was a janitor at the school she left. I guess the only thing worse than being a mid-school-year transplant and six-feet-tall was having your dad be the custodian. My empathy grew for Debbie almost as quickly as my pant sizes were about to.

Her parents made me dinner every time I came over. I had liver and onions for the first time there. I actually didn’t know it was liver because I always thought it would be all jello-y wiggly like in the store. I didn’t realize that when it’s cooked it, well, cooks. It was alright, just not good enough to freak out over so much that I’d go so far as do something dramatic like actually eat it again. And I had a layer of grease stuck on the roof of my mouth for about a week.

My first sleep over was on a Friday night that, luckily for me, was allowance night for Debbie. Her dad handed her a crisp five-dollar bill and we were off and running.

“I’m going to show you what I do on Friday night,” Debbie said, mischief beaming out of her dark brown eyes.

I followed her out the front door and onto the practically-a-freeway street. My belly welled up with butterflies. Where was this strange Michegonian taking me? Would guns be involved? Should I have worn two pairs of underwear?

“Where are we goooooooooooiiiiiing?” was muffled by the cars whizzing by coupled with the foot-shorter-I-was-than Debbie. Instead of grabbing a bullhorn and attempting a repeat performance, I hurried my little legs up because that girl hoofed it good. Especially when she was on a mission.

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The alarming chirp-chirp accompanied by the heavy glass doors heaving open, Debbie introduced me to my soon-to-be-favorite-place in the world, the Sev. At least that’s what we tweens-trying-way-too-hard-to-be-cool called it long before the word tween was even a glimmer in the American vernacular’s eye.

 

My love of the Sev was so serious that every single dream I had for an entire year featured a 7-11. Besides simply being a sweet-ass convenience store, the Sev contained a world of consumeristic possibilities from cigarettes to tampons to No-Doz to Slurpees.

She sprinted to the candy aisle and practically lay down on the shiny fluorescent-lit floor.

“Pick out five dollars worth of anything on this bottom shelf. I like everything so I’ll let you pick.”

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Everything I learned in math class came into play. On the bottom shelf were all of the penny candies, which really cost anywhere from a nickel to a dime, but nickel candy sounds about as lame as a dime bag, and are all about as extinct as beepers. Jolly Ranchers were three for five cents. Tootsie Rolls were five cents apiece. Ring pops, Laffy Taffy, Sweet Tarts, Jawbreakers, and these weird skeleton candies in an actual little coffin were all a dime apiece. Anything with banana was out because I hated banana-flavored things. Banana is about as subtle as rape. It takes over any other fantastic taste with its “hi-I’m-banana-I-suck-because-I-taste-like-ass” taste.

Little beads of sweat formed on my brow. I could tell this could be a pivotal moment in our friendship and I didn’t want to lose a friend. I did the math and tossed candies onto Debbie’s stretched out sweatshirt which she, once full, folded in half to transform into a remarkably crafty go-go-gadget candy pouch. When finished, she strongly resembled a crack kangaroo. She hopped up to the counter and dumped our booty out. We waited in frothing anticipation for the clerk to count out every-single-candy that, of course, equaled exactly five dollars. Yay, awesome math student extraordinaire!

This was the Friday night ritual:

  1. Race back home, giddy with anticipation. No candy eaten in transit, even though we both really wanted to.
  2. Arrive and dump out all the candy onto coffee table.
  3. Put ultra gory horror movie in VCR (yup, they too had a VCR – how was it that only my poor friends had VCR’s?)
  4. Devour all the candy during the movie. One at a time.
  5. Go into full sugar coma.
  6. Rinse. Repeat.

The next morning ill from a gnarly sugar hangover, I devised a way to double our sugar intake for next week. Mom picked me up that afternoon.

“Mom, Debbie gets an allowance of five dollars a week,” I said, batting my eyelashes.

And with that, we doubled our prize money.

The next Friday double sugar coma was so intense I was unsure we would ever recover. Our stomach’s ached. Our head’s ached. We felt death approaching.

We couldn’t wait until next Friday so we could do it again.

Not for a moment did either of us ever consider doing anything different with our 10 dollars. We could’ve gone to the movies, which I’d only been to about two at this time. We could’ve gone to Park Lane Mall and bought fifty pairs of earrings at Claire’s. Each. Or we could’ve bought twenty-five pairs and gone to Sparro for pizza and Cokes.

But no, we were addicts. We saw only candy.

 

 

White Lines – The First Line

The Slippery Slope Theory postulates that an unassuming action or event inevitably leads to a chain of related events culminating into some significant impact, particularly one of the shitty kind. It’s a lot like this Laurel & Hardy movie I saw where this little pebble got loose at the top of a mountain and turned into a monster rock avalanche almost destroying everything in its path on its way to the bottom.

This is the story of how I tripped and fell right into a huge pile of white powder.

“Debbie is… big,” Mom replied after I enthusiastically asked her what she thought of my new friend.

That’s not exactly what I meant by thought when I asked. I was hoping for “smart,” or “sweet,” or perhaps “nifty,” but most definitely not “big.” “Big” is how one describes a sofa or perhaps a T-Rex, but not a human. At least, that is, if you’re me.

I liked Debbie. We met in Mr. Loman’s sixth grade class. She had pimples and boobs and was approximately six-feet-tall. Yes, she probably could’ve been a linebacker, but I saw in her less football player and more puppy who hadn’t grown into her feet yet. She was like a Chihuahua trapped in a St. Bernard’s body. Puberty was not kind to poor Debbie.

So, of course, I liked her immediately.

I added her to my awkward friend collection the second her huge frame appeared in the sixth grade doorframe, shadowing most of the classroom like Godzilla. Mr. Loman lifted the needle off the class record player, (which is how we hit pause in the 80’s), as we’d been listening to his favorite Beatles song, “Revolution 9.”

“This must be Debbie, our new student who just moved here from Michigan. The painted turtle is Michigan’s state reptile,” and with that, he went right back into “Revolution 9,” as he believed it to have all of the answers to all of the questions of all of the worlds. Every time the number nine came up in conversation, he would repeat, “number nine, number nine, number nine,” about 25 times. Some would consider this annoying; I, on the other hand, believed him to be possibly the coolest human ever. Let’s just say I had an affinity for eclectic types.

Mr. Loman also wouldn’t put up with bullying the classroom so even though most of my bullies were in class with me this year, I was safe during classroom hours. It was actually hilarious to see Tammy get so busted bullying me that she never even looked at me during class for the rest of the year.

Debbie arranged herself into the empty desk kitty-corner from me. She unpacked the contents of her tattered gray backpack into her new desk. She seemed nervous. It was right in the middle of the school year, so I assumed her parents were probably given the same parenting handbook mine were. I think these handbooks were most likely given out wherever alcoholic beverages were being served.

Marie and I shared a secret eyeball moment to confirm Debbie’s acceptance for membership to our underground network of transplants. Our underground was so underground that we didn’t even know we had an underground.

Here’s the new kid chronology since the fourth grade:

  1. Marie = new kid. Weirdo. All alone. Boo.
  2. Marie + Courtney = two. Better. Two is better than one.
  3. Courtney + Marie + Debbie = three. The triumvirate of cool, so cool there must be laser beams and stuff.

It was entirely apropos that The Beatles were playing as she entered, because this, my friends, was destiny.

Note: There was no hierarchy in our movement. Actually, the new kid was the most important because the new kid brought power. Power in numbers. The more of us, the less we’d get bullied. At least in theory. I would later name this the “Bullshit Theory” or “Courtney’s a Delusional Freak Theory,” although the latter is much more fact than theory, but please don’t pull me aside and tell me so because I will vehemently oppose said fact as merely speculation and words may be exchanged. Consider yourself warned.

Nothing spells awkward more than getting stuck in a group of humans who’ve shared history that was B.C. (before Courtney). How many times can one retort, “oh yeah, I’m sure that was really funny, especially if I was actually there?” This later led to my obsession with never missing any event ever, lest something totally awesome happened that I missed that would be recalled at a later time.

My fellow members of the network had also experienced the Waldo-Von-Duchenheimer feeling of getting stuck in a circle jerk of kids sharing memories from when Billy farted in first grade or the memorable second grade field trip to the planetarium. We knew what it was to be uprooted. To have no history. To these kids, we were nothing more than evaporated vapor from Billy’s long lost fart before we appeared on their rearview.

We all ran to something to quell the pain of being outcasts. We sought solace together masked as “hanging out.” Marie and I had Duran Duran. Eve and I had porn and Kools.

And Debbie and I had sugar.

Schoolhouse Porn! Vlog

I was so inspired by Channel 3 and my memories of MTV in the early-80’s, that I made a mix tape. You should follow it and listen to it while rereading all parts of Schoolhouse Porn! But who am I to tell you what to do? I’m from Reno.

I listened to the mix tape 398 times, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent $4.99 on the iMovie app, put on a ton of make-up and made a music video all on my iPhone. Voila!

PS. I’m really sorry about the singing part…

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