(This one’s for YOU, Ashley)
After Ben was born, I went back to school coincidentally where my best friend was going. As we both needed a similar elective to help us further our degrees, we were thrilled to sign up for one together: Music Appreciation. The class met ungodly early, but since I had a vast knowledge of music thanks to my years as a concert cellist, we figured it would be a blow off class. We were not let down.
The first couple of weeks passed without incident: we showed up with Ashley dragging my tired ass into the room (SO not a morning person. I owe you, dude.), sat in the back, and proceeded to write notes back and forth in our notebooks. The teacher was, for some odd reason, terrified of us and would nervously rearrange her stack of papers whenever we tried to speak to her.
It took probably a whole month before we noticed the person sitting in front of us, only because one day, in a fit of exhaustion, we blearily tried to sit IN HIS ROW. We didn’t have assigned seats, of course, but this pimply rat-faced boy was territorial over HIS SPACE. Having been summarily corrected by him as to where HE sat, we slunk back to our row and took our seats. It was then that it all began.
First we noted his high-waisted stonewashed black jeans (occasionally white) and his cheap vinyl windbreaker. The hair on his head hung past his shoulders in what would have likely been beautiful curls, had he ever bothered to wash it and/or use product in it. Instead, it curled greasily around his squinty rat-like eyes and only accentuated his parchement complexion. This whole situation may have actually been circumvented had the following not occured.
After having a musical score passed out to show the class (most of whom had never seen one.), the lecture continued while the score circulated. Ashley and I began a conversation in earnest about the newest Coach purse collection (the teacher was too scared to tell us to shut the fuck up).
While debating the merits of leather versus vinyl, Rat-Boy angrily swivels around in his chair, located directly in front of Ashley and furiously whispers, “WHERE’S the SCORE?” to her.
Completely baffled by what he’s asking her (remember, now, we are discussing PURSES not music and have yet to see the score), she stammers out a “Whaaat?”
Since he’d probably been up too late whacking off into his music appreciation text book while playing Everquest in his parents basement, he was a little testy with her when he demanded yet again, “WHERE’S the SCORE!!?!”
Finally the lightbulb of comprehension flickered dimly over my own head as I understood what he was asking: he wanted the MUSICAL score, not ask us about sex (get it? Scoring? Having the sex?)! I gestured to the other side of the room, where people were listlessly looking at the score, and pointed it out to him. He seemed mollified and swiveled his scrawny body back around.
It was so ON.
Every class, we studied him, every aspect of him: the way he shuffled, his white stained hightops circa 1986 (yes, really), his varying shades of black jeans, the amount of dander on his back, the way he tried to set himself apart to the teacher as a true lover of music (and then the way she brushed his unrequited love off). Our notebooks, which had previously only been filled with gossip and drivel, were now filled with elaborate color coded charts and graphs that documented his every move. Days that he was absent, we were crushed. When he arrived, we celebrated.
One day, an eagle-eyed Ashley noticed that he had a new backpack. A new MONGRAMMED backpack. J=Jaassoon A. D=Dinkinnnnnnssss. What did the “A” stand for??? We spent weeks coming up with the answer. My vote was for “Americus” and Ashley’s was for “Aloysius” (pronounced Allooooiiiissshhhuuuss). To this day, I suppose that we’ll never know.
What I do know is this: on the last day of class, Ashley and I headed into the cafeteria to grab some greasy breakfast and Jason was there. In a fit of boldness, I asked him if he’d like to eat with us (keep in mind, I’d been too shy to speak with him before as he made my heart go all aflutter. No, not for serious.), and he did. We had breakfast with my imaginary boyfriend that morning, AND I NEVER SAW HIM AGAIN (sniffs wildly).
Oh wait, yeah I did, the following semester. He’d gotten a stupid looking bowlers hat and was wearing an Einstein t-shirt.
What? I’m NOT obsessed!