The Worst Kind of Enemy

Fuck you, high school dreams. I’m sick of your Monday morning bullshit. I graduated thirteen years ago. Somewhere, in a drawer at my parent’s house is the proof. I don’t need to go back every week, imagining I failed Mathematics and need an extra summer’s worth. I don’t need to relive the guilt of ditching gym class ONE time. I don’t need Mr. Sandman’s smug gas mask mug to remind me of the “wonder years.” I lived through it once in the physical realm and that was plenty, thank you very much.

Was it the cookie? Fuck you, high school dreams. I had a mint chocolate chip cookie at 9 p.m. So what? It was good. It was crunchy, minty, and chocolaty, and I don’t feel guilty about it. Perhaps this is punishment of a different, more cosmic sort. In a past life, possibly…

I was a bruiser. 6 foot 5. I didn’t go to art class. For fun, I took target practice in the parking lot with an 880 multi-pump BB repeater. By the time I was a senior in high school I had dated my entire class. I ate cheeseburgers for breakfast. It was more of a rarity for me to show up to class than to ditch class. I smoked cigarettes under the viaduct. I punched walls when angry and never raised my hand to answer a question. I made fun of the dorks and the dweebs and the nerds but secretly watched Star Trek re-runs and fiddled on my father’s classical guitar when no one was looking. After fifteen years of high school, I left town, got married, and became an international arms smuggler…

The other, far worse, possibility is that each night all of my anxiety becomes rolled up into a giant ball of ferocious, eldritch energy that for some reason targets the high school memory section of my brain. While a part of me KNOWS I took care of this shit already, the sad, pathetic, vulnerable part truly believes that he left something behind. That he must return to this place of heightened hormones for one last job (chk, chk — the sound of a pumped shotgun), and finally learn the ins and outs of the quadratic equation.


6 thoughts on “The Worst Kind of Enemy

  1. I still have traumatic high school dreams, too. And they are almost always me forgetting my stupid locker combination and running late to class, heart pounding with anxiety over walking into a classroom late and having every head turn to watch me fumble into my seat while being scolded by the teacher. Awesome.

  2. Yes! Those mornings I NEVER hit the snooze button. The alarm goes off, and I am thrilled to jump the fuck out of bed. Do you ever have the one where you can't remember what your class schedule is? I spend the entire dream wandering around the school and having no clue where I should be…then inevitably, I am saved by a Zombie Apocalypse.

  3. @Steve: hahaha. I struggled with that — wasn't sure if the context was exactly appropriate, but I desperately needed to add in some Tolkien sensibilities to this post for some reason 🙂

  4. Goddamn it I have this dream about every six months. Always the same. I'm me, 33 years old with a college degree, and still I have to finish a semester in high school, except it's finals day and I have never set foot in a class, don't know where they are or if I'll be able to bluff my way through, and so instead I run through an endless series of institutional corridors panic stricken and trying to recall what little I know about covalent bonds. Fuck that goddamn dream right in the ear.

  5. OMG Tom, that is it! Why??? And when I have that exact dream, I always wonder why none of the other kids in school aren't like "Who are you, grandpa??" Mine is almost the same! I KNOW I graduated college already, but for some reason, slipped through high school without finishing gym class and for that I am being punished. I never knew a thing about covalent bonds — I was in stupid math AND science. Yay.

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