“What do you say to your 17 year old daughter on the day she graduates High School”

asks a busblog formspring questioner

the day after my high school graduation i moved to california.

i too was 17.

that first summer was pretty lonely for me as i had no friends and the girls at the mcdonalds that i worked at were neither impressed by my grandmas cadillac nor my lack of breakdancing moves.

in the fall though i met michele, who would soon become my first california girlfriend.

today, incidentally, is her birthday. 6/6. and i miss her so.

im not sure what her parents advised her on her high school graduation, but whatever they said was perfect because this girl was interested in poetry and journalism, foreign lands, the environment, good music, interesting friends, politics, foreign films, and making out in the parking lot of zuma beach with me.

for some reason michele had it totally figured out.

oddly she acted like she had no grasp on anything. she was always questioning. and sometimes worrying. in three years we broke up three times, officially, but maybe 333 times unofficially.

it was a rollercoaster. an emotional one. but never boring. and so much of what she turned me on to from the Cures Pornography to the works of Robert Creeley and Emily Dickinson have stuck with me.

but the biggest thing she taught me is what id suggest to todays youth: always stay in the question.

whats really going on here? is this truly what i should be up to? whats the best possible solution for everyone? am i growing in this environment? am i pushing myself in this situation? is this good for the World? how can i improve here spiritually?

seriously 18 yr old michele was thinking and asking those things outloud at all times.

and soon-to-be 18 yr old tony was saying things like “fine, lets consider panties. i bet yours are cute. and yet what good is their cuteness if the boy in the car never sees them? lets imagine the amount of worldwide goodwill if more panties were able to see the light of day – or better the glow of the moonlight through the backseat windah.”

so my advice to a 17 yr old female high school grad would be: always have condoms, dont ever feel bad about saying no to anything, you dont owe anyone anything except yr momma who you owe everything, and over the next ten years meet as many interesting people you can because these are the people who will subtly shape the way you’ll be forevers.

happy 25th birthday michele!