Date: June 5, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 108
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Laura M.
She transferred to Brebeuf as a sophomore, when I was a junior. Normally, there were many opportunities for different classes to intermingle in actual classrooms, but she clearly had “advanced” Spanish skills. She sat directly behind me in Spanish III.
She was the epitome of cool. She had transferred from Bloomington, where Indiana University is located. A college town. She must have been, and seemed, preternaturally cool and mature and chill and adult.
She also claimed to be somewhat of an actress, although I don’t remember her being in any of our productions at Brebeuf. Maybe she was; I don’t remember sharing the stage with her though. That probably added to her allure; perhaps I believed she had similarly advanced to the more “professional” arena of Indianapolis Community Theater.
She was cool.
Anyway, she will always be a firm memory in high school because she set me up on my first date… with a guy… from her old school.
Now, I don’t remember much about the situation or him. It’s likely that the only thing we had in common was that we were two out gay boys in high schools around Indianapolis. We were like 90s unicorns; creatures people believed in but had never actually seen.
So, Laura, for my first awkward blind date, thank you. It would prove prophetic as almost all my dates to this day have been of the “blind” variety. And usually somewhat awkward.
Most likely probably because of me. Because I’m insanely awkward.
Music I listened to while sewing: More “Chill Out” music.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: You know, one of the interesting aspects of this project right now is that I have my old high school yearbooks with me in New York. I can and have been opening them up every once and a while, just to check names or refresh my mind. I can visually relive and rethink about these people.
Looking at these pictures, it’s interesting to see how awkward we all were, you know? How we didn’t look as if we’d grown into ourselves yet. How we look so young. How dated mid-90s clothing really is now. How we all have a slight sheen to our faces; while I prefer to think it’s because we were fresh and healthy, it was most likely due to the pictures being taken at the end of summer in a school without air conditioning.
(Because of not having central air, it was also a somewhat common experience to have school cancelled when the temperature and humidity were too high.)
We wore our glasses large and without irony. Plaid flannels, higher waisted jeans were in style. We were hipsters before we knew what we were doing.
And I should say I have distinct memories of almost all of my old classmates. I was fortunate to go to a high school that had about 150-some students per year. With a school population of around 600, it was easy to make connections with most everyone. Yet, there are the surprising few of whom I have no recollection…
Which makes me think that the converse of this project is also true. It’s possible that both the people from Brebeuf I’m dedicating Cranes to daily-and also myself- didn’t leave an impact on others at school. We really do orbit in our own worlds, making the choices freely or being forced to do so, of who we’ll let intersect with our paths.
We cross, we allow other in, we accept them… sometimes meaningfully, sometimes superficially.
And there are the people who aren’t drawn to us at all. And the sobering fact is that most of the world is made of people like that- the ones that don’t directly affect our day-to-day existence.
However that doesn’t mean they don’t affect and have an effect. They could be someone’s partner, mentor, father, wife, sister, enemy, and so on.
We’re all someone to somebody, you know?
We have to be.
I’m trying to remind myself of this daily; New York is grating on me right now, and I’m trying not to focus on the thought that I’m a stranger here that has no meaningful human relationships here. On one hand, I know I need more real friends here. I need more than work friends. As much as I love him, I need more than my dog.
It’s time to admit that. And get over this thought that I’m not made for anyone here.
Okay, but it’s now time to take The Dog to the park so he can run with his friends.