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Monday, February 20, 2012

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 8 Back in Albany New York


Life started moving pretty smoothly once I had a routine. I found it very hard to make friends in Albany High School. I was entering 12th grade and everyone in that grade had been friends for a very long time. There were so many cliques in the school and the horrible division between the races was something I had never experienced in my life before.

I made a whole group of friends one day when I left through the rear door of the school when I literally smashed into the stoners. There was a group of them standing around being yelled at by one of the Principals of the school. Someone had ripped a large textbook in half and the Principal was trying to get to the end of the story. I walked out and one of the kids in the group pointed at me and said “He did it.”

I don’t know why but I agreed with them and told the Principal that I had done it. He reached over took my by the arm and dragged me back inside. On the way to his office he confided in me and said that he knew I had nothing to do with the ripping of that book and that I could leave but through the front door this time. I’m sure that he knew all the kids in the school and he could tell that I was new.

The next day I went out through the back door of the school again and ran right into the Stoners clique. “Hey,” yelled one of them. He was super tall with red frizzy hair that shot out in all directions. “You’re the kid that took the blame for the book yesterday. 

They all stopped talking and slowly surrounded me I couldn’t see his eyes because he was wearing mirrored sunglasses. I then looked around and realized that everyone was wearing mirrored sunglasses. It was a strange and surreal experience to see myself reflected in everyone’s glasses. I wondered if I was going to be elected their king.

“Dude you are so cool,” said another. He was very short with blond hair and a 70’s handlebar moustache. I was asked to hang out with them and sit on the curb. One of the girls in the group had long hair and started every sentence in her husky voice with the word “Man.”

“Man, I got totally wasted last night and woke up in my clothes.” She then reached in her bag pulled out a bottle of Southern Comfort covered with brown paper. After she drank she held the bottle out to me. “Man, you want a drink?” “No thanks,” I said. She then reached in her bag again and pulled out a joint. “Man, you want some?” she asked holding it out to me. The whole group looked at me.

Two hours later I became conscious and found myself lying with the whole group on the football field. My new friends were showing me a great time and shared many of their life stories. I found out their names Jon, Mike, Kenny, Rich, Myla, Steve, Anna and Amy. Myla was the girl who started everything with the word “Man.” She was also a huge Janis Joplin fan and modeled her life after her. I didn’t have the heart to remind her that Janis had died young.

“Man, you are so cool,” Myla said reaching over and grabbing my arm. “Were having a party tonight in my room” and she reached into her bag pulled out a piece of paper to write down her address. “Man, make sure you go around the side of the house knock on the basement window.” “I’ll open it and you can crawl in.”

Everyone started to pick themselves off the ground and as a group started to walk home. It was a week night; could I really go to a party on a week night?

To be continued……

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writing "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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