Michael B. - Part 1

 

I’m defeated this week. Last week was a good week, like, walk-past-a-mirror-and-say-fuck-yes-i-love-my-fuckin-life-to-your-own-reflection good. This week was a bad one, like, walk-past-a-mirror-and-say-fuck-you-don’t-fuckin-look-at-me-to-your-own-reflection bad.

And to top it off, I read an article last night about how the USDA allows meat packing facilities to put the sexual organs of animals in pasted meat, meaning, the four cans of Vienna sausage I ate over the last seven days means I likely have eaten the dick, balls, and assholes of several animals. So, there’s also that. I’m thinking of going pescatarian again, and eventually back to vegetarian, but, probably not. It just makes me feel better to say it out loud. Is that how manifesting works? Idk.

You know I thought this week I would write about how absolutely terrifying, frustrating and disappointing it has been over the last month trying to start this business. But to be honest, I don’t want to talk or think about it. Because in my mind I had this grand plan about how everything would just come flowing out of me creatively, and I’d be able to get my fucking hand to translate everything I’m seeing in my mind, but here I am more than a month later and I have fucking nothing. So, I just need like a second to pretend we’re not currently a one income household and that my time is almost up before I need to get another job if I can’t launch this business by my deadline. MOVING ON.

I will instead tell a story. Like I said in my last post, my life is not super interesting and I didn’t have an upbringing that would ever be worthy of writing a memoir or anything, but I kind of enjoy sharing these little tidbits of my life that I feel have played a part in this puzzle of who I am today.

Many of you who know me now have only known me since the 3rd grade. I don’t really know what happened to the people who were in my life before the 3rd grade because I was always moving around and I couldn’t really tell my friends to like slide into my DM’s to keep in touch or anything. 3rd grade was a pivotal time for me, and I consider this to be when my life really started. Everything before this was a blur, and the only solid thing I remember is this guy Jordan who I believed came straight from heaven because, DAMN. Oh, and also that I was a spelling bee champ and everyone hated me because I wouldn’t let them cheat on spelling tests. 

Anyway, 3rd grade. I want to talk about a really special person to me, my first love, Michael B.  We always had to say the "B" after his name, because his step-brother's name was also named Michael, who we called Michael M. Most people fall in love when they’re “old enough” to fall in love, like middle school? But no, I’m still convinced to this day that Mike was my first. He was this kid that hung out with the cool guys, was really good at basketball, had the best smile in the whole school, and… also kinda bullied me. He used to make fun of these totally horrific shoes and Tweety Bird backpack I used to wear. He’d chase me around trying to step on my shoes, and used to taunt me with:

i-tawt-i-taw-a-puddy-tat.jpg

Life was different before Mike. It was about playing ‘store’ or ‘house’ with my sisters, and selling household items with imaginary money. It was about waking up and watching cartoons while eating Kix and playing the same game on the back of the cereal box for the 12th morning in a row. Life was simple, and it just is what it was.

When Mike came along, I found myself laying in bed a little longer in the mornings, thinking about how ~cute~ he was, and how much I wished he would stop chasing me around to step on my shoes, but instead chase me around to hug me or something. This moment in my life was the first time I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “how could I be someone that Mike would like?” I even considered ditching my Tweety Bird backpack for a Jansport— But I didn’t. I loved that stupid backpack too much. But it’s just daunting that 9 year old me was actually feeling like, I could be someone different. It was the first time I was conscious of the fact my two front teeth were sticking out way too far, or wished my mom hadn't cut my hair so short, or that my eyebrows took up half of my forehead. I wanted so badly to change the way I looked, or the way I acted so that maybe I could better my chances at being his girlfriend.  This would lead me down a whole rabbit hole of “what the fuck were you thinking” in years to come, but that’s a story for another day.

Mike liked me back, turns out. I believe we actually "got together," and have a vague memory of him formally asking me to be his girlfriend, but I think I was so legitimately nervous and terrified that my mind blocked out the details of this exchange. What I can remember, quite vividly, is the last day of school. My parents moved me to a different school every year because we were always living in a different house, I think. Something about the school districts and our address. Anyway, this year was no different and I knew I’d be going to a different school for 4th grade. Mom promised I would stay at the same school until I went to middle school, but I didn’t believe her.

On the last day of 3rd grade, I rushed out of my classroom to see if I could “accidentally” bump into Mike before everyone left. I ran as fast as my (basically) 2 inch legs would allow me to, not caring that my giant Tweety Bird backpack was violently swaying side to side, almost tipping me over if I made one wrong move. And since it was the last day of school, we got to bring home everything from our desk and all our projects that were hanging in the classroom all year, but those were flying out of my hand and I didn't dare to waste a second to double back and grab them. When I finally made it to the front of the school, sweaty and out of breath, he was just getting into his mom's car and drove away in what seemed like slow motion, for real.

This exact moment fucked me up. This was the first time I felt that knot in my stomach— the opposite of butterflies, but more like cockroaches flying around inside your gut, piercing your organs with their lanky legs and sharp wings. I wanted to throw up. No— LIKE LEGIT. I thought I was going to throw up. I sprinted to the bathroom, but as I hovered over the same toilet I had actually set on fire a few months before (a small one, never got caught), the only thing that came out of me were tears. And thank god because I had a sloppy joe during lunch, and I imagine it would look a lot worse coming out than it did going in. Since I moved to a different school every year, in my world, everyone was temporary. There was a guaranteed expiration to all of my friendships, so, naturally I believed I would never see Mike again. I cried and cried and cried some more until I didn’t have any tears left, then walked out of the bathroom with swollen eyes and what felt like a legitimately broken heart.

If I could only go back in time and tell myself that the world was not ending, and in 4 years we would cross paths and I would, for the second time, be Michael B's girlfriend again.