when we were in kindegarten at keeneyville school my mom said that they were all, tony you are bouncing off the walls, bob youre super shy, we will sit you two together.
somehow it worked and we were best friends from k-12. around 5th grade they gave the school kids aptitude tests and me and bob were at the top of the school. so to reward us they sent us to the back of the class and gave us different work to do than everyone else. i took this as punishment. bob didnt. i rebelled by doing the busy work as fast as i could so i could pay attention to what they were doing in the front of the class.
this only encouraged them. they gave us harder work. big whoop, it wasnt that hard and during my downtime i wrote little stories, drew little cartoons, folded them up and handed them to the girls.
in junior high a new girl showed up named dianne. they figured out that she deserved being in the back of the class with me and bob too. she loved it. difference between she and bob and i was she wasnt nerdy, she was hot and fun and the first Leader ive ever met. she would throw little 8th grade parties and make us all play spin the bottle and light as a feather and bloody mary.
she ended up getting her highschool diploma at 16.
bob passed all the AP classes in high school but since i didnt want to be in classrooms of nerds i intentionally answered as many questions wrong as possible so as to flunk these aptitude tests.
they werent buying it and stuck me in Advanced classes anyway, although i wasnt allowed into the AP ones. oh boo hoo i snickered.
the day after high school graduation i moved to los angeles.
bob went off to get an engineering degree at bradly but my grades were so bad from all the sabatoge that i had to go to junior college with all the stoners, rockers and punks of southern california.
exactly the sort of people that i loved.
when i transfered to uc santa barbara i found myself surrounded by hippies, i loved them. they poisoned me with lsd when i slept. they held my hand when i woke. they forced me to drink large quantites of every booze on campus. they made me listen to the grateful dead and go to several of the shows.
some of them even made beautiful love to me.
everything was fine. i was a year away from graduating when i was taking English 10, a class that did nothing for my english requirement as it was a poetry writing class that was taught by a little shorthaired woman who looked very much like emily dickinson. even wore old school dresses. i loved her immediately.
until she said, tony your writing is really great. how would you like to apply to get into the college of creative studies, which is another college here at ucsb but seperate?
i was being asked to sit in the back of the class again.
this time they were offerring up no grades, no tests, no finals, and full access to everything that grad students got: instant enrollment to any class on campus, full quarter library book priveleges, free pizza on fridays.
once i accepted i joined the daily nexus and my life was complete.
bob and i talked for several hours last night as it had been close to 100 years since we had talked last.
he told me how his wife let him name his son ryne sandberg, he told me how his work blocks the busblog from being viewed, he told me how one of our friends married right and is now a millionaire.
it was nice to talk about the old days.
what was hard was explaining why i never go back to illinois any more. not even for holidays. but hes a smart guy so i think he understood.
my problem is the past really bugs me. thats why it was almost impossible to compile the blook that im still trying to get published. i hate looking back. all i see are mistakes ive made. id much rather make new mistakes.
like doing everything i can to stay with the pack. like blogging instead of journalisming. like refusing ads. like taking the bus. like working at the xbi.
but as that famous fortune cookie once read
what you resist persists
and the cheerleaders keep trying to take me behind the velvet ropes
and one day i might take them up on it
but only if it leads to another nexus.
problem is you never know what’s behind the green door unless you leave where you are.