Teens. The smartest and most awkward of creatures. To write them well, you have to be one. To write them satisfactorily, you had to have been one. Below is a sampling of my times as one of these wonderful creatures.
The gym. 8th grade. The game is European Handball, which is basically running around and throwing balls like Europeans. My best friend and sworn nemesis (I don’t want to name names, so I’ll just call him “Garrett Yaralian”), gives me a look that says there’s no way I’ll block his shot. Oh, really? I guess you forgot I’m the best goalie in town, son, I say back at him with my look and he shoots. I miss it completely. I might as well have been waving at gnats. His team, and my team somehow, carry him off in a whirlwind of glory. I sulk off, cursing Europe.
6th Grade. Dating this hot chick, went by the name of Jen. Running from my house to the basketball court down the street, high as the wind. I’m saying to myself, “If I make this shot, I’ll marry this girl.” I burst onto the court and launch up a prayer, a half-courter, maybe even longer. I remember watching it as it took to the air. My eye stayed right on that ball, there was nothing but the ball. It went in, it wasn’t a swish, but it was an absolute no-doubter. She dumped my ass less than a week later. But 15 years later, I married her. I plan on dumping her ass someday to even out the score.
My parent’s house. Sophomore year high school. I’m hosting a party. The girl I like is there. Beirut, which you numbskulls call beer pong, going on in the backyard. Most likely DMB or Sublime jamming out of a hand held boom box. People laugh, people talk, people look at the driveway every so often checking for parents or cops. I go inside to look for the girl. She’s making out with my buddy on my mother’s loveseat. I go outside and launch a piece of deck furniture halfway across the lawn. The world has ended. I am unaware at the time of the future Family Guy episode where they spoof One Tree Hill by putting Chad Michael Murray near a lake looking at the ripples in the water while a voice over sings, “High school is such a serious thing. These problems matter.” View it here