have come to think that by attending my Senior Prom
I violated an essential law of nature. People like
me are supposed to stay home and commisserate with
other acne-ridden dejected nerds, not make one last
sad attempt to assimilate into the social order before
it is too late. So I went. I even had a "date," if
you consider somebody I'd met maybe three times and
who just wanted to go to the Garfield prom because
all her friends would be there and her own school's
prom bit the wax tadpole a date, and I was on the
myself and Melora (date) were set up, I shelled out
for the tickets, and went on my merry way to get fitted
for a tuxedo. Now, in Seattle, tuxedo shops employ
high school students to serve, essentially, as walking
billboards for their establishments. Once every couple
of weeks or so, you would be treated to the disingenuous
spectacle of a high school kid in full formal dress,
walking around like nothing was wrong in the world.
I digress. Anyways, I headed down to get fitted for
my chimpsuit, staunchly putting up with the pokes
and prods at my delicate underbelly, and I eventually
went into the fitting room to strap myself into the
emerged to find two of my school's more notorious
slope-browed retards, Dathan and Aaron, rich motherfuckers
without a goddamned care in the world. I winced inwardly,
sure my appearance would provide a source of chortles
to these two for years to come. To their credit, they
refrained from actually laughing in my face, despite
my multiple fumblings with cumberbund, bow tie, and
the English language, and I got out with my skin intact.
to my mom's unilateral quick thinking, I managed to
gather the necessary requirements (corsage, etc) and
was all set to embark on what would be, in her wise
words,"probably not the best night of my life, but
try to have fun anyways."
love you, Mom. I left the corsage on the sink.
we went out to dinner, and with my misplaced trailer-park
sense of gender roles I insisted on paying for everything,
despite the fact that my date's parents could probably
buy my dad if they wanted to, and then we followed
the evening's natural course to the beach club place
that the damn thing was at.
in, the first sight to meet our eyes was two giant
flaming torches, straight out of Lord of the Flies.
The whole place was an aesthetic monstrosity, decked
out in lovely purple and white, our school colors.
I think there was an ice sculpture too, but my sensitive
brain has thankfully blocked out any details. But,
on the good side,there were enormous trays of desserts
and a sad excuse for a "bartender" distributing Sprite
to all the kiddies. Ah, but some had dispensed with
the Sprite altogether, as Michele and Jenny made an
appearance, looking as lovely and graceful as one
can whilst bombed out of one's mind on sangria, and
cemented themselves a place in history by vomiting
all over Mrs. Rolfson, the guidance counselor. I'd
wanted to do that dozens of times.
particularly feeling the need to dance to the limp,
recycled honky R&B swill being piped out of an unusually
tiny sound system by a DJ one step up from providing
music for aerobics classes, I decided to cause some
trouble. Borrowing a fellow student's videocamera,
I entrusted Pauls as my trusty cameraman, and, putting
on my best whipped pooch face, began going up to the
girls in thehighest strata of the popularity gorge;
the cheerleaders, the dimbulbs and the rich. Pauls
(the s is silent, all...) remained tastefully out
of range as I walked up to them in mid-dance and began
know, i know you don't know me too well and you...you
don't...uh...like me...or can even...uh...well...i
just wanted...i mean, because...to ask...would you
d...would you d...d...d...do you want to da...would
you...with me...like to d...d..."
reveled in the expressions of disgust and confusion.
Goddamnit, I was gonna ruin this night for everyone!
a brief pause to get our pictures taken, (Gents, if
you have a date taller than you, panic! Buy special
shoes! Do something!) Pauls and I ended the tape under
the guttering torchlight. I waxed and waned philosophical.
My mind was galvanized by the cool night air, and
I felt closer to truth than I had in a long, long
we went inside and danced to "Whoomp! There It Is!"
entrusted the camera with the vice principal, Mr.
Smith,and proceeded to ride out the next hour or so,
happy and confident. I wanted to watch the video,
but as we went to reclaim the camera, it was gone!
Somebody had decided to add a little larceny to their
Prom and heist Daniel's videocamera. A little defused,
we proceeded to Jackson's for a requisite afterparty.
Oh la la! Those carefree days of youth!
rapidly sunk into a deep depression, and after managing
to bum several other mellows with my unrelenting grimness,
decided I needed to get out of there, and headed to
another party, this one close enough to my house that
I could walk home. By doing so, I narrowly avoided
being carjacked, a fate that befell many of my friends
as they left Jackson's later that evening.
this other party, listening to everybody talk about
their grand and glorious futures spreading out in
front of them, I tried to find someplace to hide,
and realized that there was no place left. All space
had been taken by hope and dreams and lives to be
lived, and all I wanted was a little silence and a
little happiness and to watch that goddamned video.
was then that I decided to run away from home and
never come back.