Friday, September 26, 2003


I really want to write something good today. something interesting and witty and risque. something wild and wonderful. but with "bob the builder" assaulting my eardrums and the tasmanian devils whirling about....ugh. I have no focus lately. No inspiration, no motivation, but mostly no ability to focus. Time to meditate or something. I guess i'll just plunge in with a little writing exercise....see where this takes us......

Once upon a time there was a girl. A girl who loved boys. She dreamed of them when sleeping, but moreso when awake. She was perpetually staring out windows--car windows, bus windows, classroom windows--and when the lights were out, she lay staring at ceilings and always, always she was dreaming of boys. She painstakingly set the scene--imagining each detail of the wardrobe and carefully planning a location...then the meeting, then the kiss......and that was it. The stories all ended there. She was a good girl. An innocent girl. She had yet to kiss her first real live boy, but she knew she would. Maybe when the braces came off, or the glasses were traded for contact lenses....Jane would dare to speak to a boy.

She was self-concious to a frighteningly extreme degree. She was aware of every hair on her arm, every crinkle in her toes--and was mortified by the shape of her nose, the shine of her skin. every breath she took seemed too much to ask of the world around her. She was a cowering puddle of insecurities. As she walked into her 9th grade science class she had no idea that her life was about to change. She wouldn't have believed it if she'd been told the class clown, the boy who talked back to the teacher would change her life. He asked her that day, as the bell sent them to lunch, if she knew Grant. Her stomach lurched, and she responded "Yeah, he's my brother." Half brother, much older, but they shared a last name. It was a rather infamous last name for that small town. There were many Widdecombs, some good and hard working, some elbow-deep in the thick black sludge of drugs and law-breaking. Grant was a wild one. Always the life of the party, always making everyone laugh--and a coke addict....she hurried off to the cafeteria, wondering how this 14 year old knew her 25 year old brother and what that said about either of them.

As the days passed, Jane was relieved that Stephen hadn't spoken to her again after his initial inquiry. He was loud, popular, and worst of all--male. She was terrirfied to talk to any boy, as much as she wished she wasn't...she watched girls flirt with boys and was filled with wonder at the ease, the comfort they seemed to possess. How was this possible? Why was she so different? She wished she could talk to a boy--any boy, even an ugly one to practice. She was lost in these thoughts so deeply that Friday afternoon that when a small wad of paper landed on her desk she was so startled that she nearly fell out of her seat. She immediately blushed a deep crimson, imagining that someone had finally decided to pick on her. She was certainly long over due for some peer torture, by her own self-image at least. She knew herself to be too skinny, too smart, too quiet, too poor--and just plain ugly. She was just regaining her composure when another wad of paper landed, and she spun around to see where it had come from. She blinked and turned back to face the front. She had been met with Stephen's smiling face. Oddly, he did not appear to be laughing at her. She swallowed hard and began frantically taking notes on the lecture she'd been ignoring, telling herself he must have been aiming for Josie--one of the popular, pretty girls--who sat in front of her. Stephen erupted in a coughing fit and threw another wad of paper, which hit her squarely in the back of the head. Her eyes blazing, she turned to face her antagonist. He put his finger to his lips, still smiling and pointed to the door. She calmed a bit, but still had no idea what he wanted. He rolled his eyes at her blank look and jotted a quick note, which he then crumpled and threw at her. She missed catching it and felt the heat rise in her cheeks again. She bent to retrieve it and knocked her notebook off her desk. She was so red she was purple at this point. Her heart pounding, she opened the note. "go to the bathroom" was scrawled across the wrinkled paper. She turned around and looked at Stephen, with an obviously puzzled look on her face. He just nodded at her and looked away. She raised her hand, asked and was given the hall pass with hardly a pause in the lecture. She started down the two flights of stairs leading to the basement bathrooms, slowly, wondering what he wanted. Before she had reached the last level, she heard the loud clattering which was Stephen racing down the stairs toward her.

"Hey, kid. Wanna smoke?" He offered her a rumpled pack of Marlboro Reds. Jane looked around, alarmed--hoping no one had seen or heard.

"I-I...I don't smoke," she looked at him hard, wondering if he had her confused with someone else.

"Yeah, I know. But you should. Maybe it would magically transform you into cool." He winked, and stuffed the soft pack back into his pocket. His eyes were green, although she wouldn't realize this until much later.

"I don't want to be cool." She said "cool" as if it were a disease, and started to back away from him.

"Nah, course not....Grant's little sister, huh?" He shook his head in disbelief. "That guy's crazy! Are you going to his party tonight?" He almost looked nervous as he threw that question out.

"No. I don't really hang out with him. He's old." She blushed, as she pushed onward. "Why do you hang out with him?"

He stepped closer to her, and she retreated again, feeling the locker brush against her back. He shrugged, grabbed her glasses and completely avoided her question.

"Kinda pretty under there...." Her heart pounded and she felt some tingling in some unusual places. She opened her mouth to speak, but the echo of a door closing down the hall startled her into action. She snatched her glasses back from him and headed back up the stairs.

As she rode home that afternoon on the bus, she was staring out the window--as usual--but her daily dream was replaced with recalling the events of the day. She ran every moment of that bizarre conversation through her head, like a film projector...over and over and over. Analyzing it for each wrong move she made, trying to imagine a better response to each of his questions. And that was when she realized he had green eyes. He was cute. She had never noticed before, but somehow receiving attention from him enhanced his features...made him more appealing. She forgot to be proud of herself for speaking to him. She forgot his last comment. Instead she focused on how stupid she sounded, looked, felt. By the time she got home she was near tears and was considering faking illness to avoid school the following day. As she trudged up the stairs, she heard the phone ringing. The only person who ever called was her best friend, Anna, so she answered without thinking.

"Jane? Um, hey. This is Stephen. Um, I was wondering if you could help me with my science homework?" Her alarm turned to shameful realization. All he was interested in was her brains.

"Uh, sure, I guess..." She wanted to say no, but she couldn't.

"That's why I wanted to know if you'd be at Grant's tonight, ya you could help me..." he cleared his throat and hurried on. "but you're not going, so that's cool. Um..."

"I could meet you at the library tomorrow," she offered, hoping he wouldn't suggest coming to her house.

"Yeah! That would be awesome! Is noon good?" She agreed and they hung up. Her heart was pounding. She wasn't sure what to feel, to think. She was disappointed, relieved, nervous.

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