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Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Missing Persons, The Charm

Oh, this one is my favorite story from my childhood. Unlike the others, it doesn't really serve as a description of why I'm insecure and weird now. It's funny, though!

For eight grade, my family moved to a small town. The parochial nature of it, combined with my lack of social skills and recent thrashings in that arena meant that I had pretty much no friends. It's eighth grade, who does have friends? If I ever have kids, I'm home schooling through junior high. Maybe.

Anyway, I took the bus to and from school, and kind of befriended this girl named Michelle (yeah, I remembered a name this time!). I say kind of, because we didn't do that much, except sit on the bus together. Sometimes talk in class, when we had the same one. I would let her copy my homework for $.50. I remember when my parents found out about that. I recall them attempting to give me a talking to, but it fell apart on the whole "academic integrity in middle/high school is important" question that none of us bought into.

At any rate, she was kind of a bad girl, though not superwild. She was "going out" with this guy named Tarl. No, I don't know what sort of name that was. He was definitely a bad kid. He got suspended once for pulling a knife in school.

That's the story, there, as I heard it, when it happened.

A little later, I got some more interesting tidbits. For example, I another friend of hers rode the same bus, and I heard that told the guy that Michelle and I had something going on, which he got upset at. A little bit later, I discovered that she had told him the day he pulled the knife, which I can remember, because it was the last day before spring break.

A few years later, I finally added all the pieces up. He had drawn the knife in school because he had been told that his "girlfriend" had something going on with me. Someone had gotten out a knife in anger against ME! And I didn't get it. In fact, I seem to remember sardonically asking him if he'd enjoyed his extra-long Spring Break when he returned.

This is why one of my superhero names should be Captain Oblivious.

The story here doesn't really explain the whole missing persons thing. It's kind of a tidbit relating to Michelle, but not about her. I kind of would like to know what happened to her. My family moved again after that year. The last time I saw her, she was walking down the street in that neighborhood. She'd gotten very tall and lanky, as I recall.

It's quite possible that she's dirt-poor and homeless now. The neighborhood where I lived was on a steep hill, that, shortly after we moved, collapsed, and insurance didn't cover it.

But I remember her fondly because she was a kind of cool person who was randomly nice to a complete and utter nerd. Round about those times, it shocked and awed me that anyone would give me the time of day.

- Rowan Kaiser, 4:05 PM
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