many moons ago, long before i was lured by the underground santa barbara mafia, the xbi, i was a mere high school lad with an afro.
on my first day of school i was nervous beyond belief for i had known all of my friends since kindegarten and never had problems finding amigos since i was the one newbies had to meet, not vice versa.
the year all of our little junior highs merged into one huge supergroup, i was scared for several reasons. at the top was the fact that being one of a handful of black kids in a school of 100 was difficult, but not impossible. but being one of 1,000 was daunting to say the least.
but then first period of my first class on my first day the prettiest girl i could ever imagine sat next to me and introduced herself as monica. i could barely get a hello out from my braces but after we did we became super close friends for the next four years.
not only was she easy on the eyes but she was super smart and played clarinet in illinois’ best high school marching band. eventually she would convince me to join my senior year and it turned out to be my favorite part of my whole high school experience.
next to sitting next to her of course.
these were the days before cell phones and the internet and text messages and skype but there was electricity and landline telephones. and one of the things that i will never forget is trying to call monica at her home and having to deal with the family’s call screener, her mother, a very stern German woman who saw no good in young boys phoning up her eldest daughter, and made it known if not verbally, psychically.
still we would chat and quickly the conversation would be interrupted, which was ok, because it would lead me to write her all sorts of notes in school, including stories and perverted poems and drawings, which later would lead me to a life of writing on blogs like this one.
often for pay!
so thank you monica’s mom, my success in the creative arts, is due, in part to you and your (rightfully) protective behavior.
because of the work i was forced to do via the xbi, i was forbidden to go to any high school reunions or keep in touch with anyone from my innocent past. but thanks to the miracle of facebook, i have been able to catch a glimpse of what has been going on with my longest friend bob, a few of my fellow general managers, and this pal or that. a few christmases ago i even got to reunite with a high school crush who first turned me onto led zep.
when i returned to LA the xbi reminded me of how dangerous that was and i agreed and reluctantly passed on a milestone reunion a few months ago when i was in my old hometown.
of the few people i would have loved to have seen was my dear friend monica, who reached out to me yesterday on facebook by friending me. i had no idea she was even on facebook, nor did i have any clue that she has blossomed into an even prettier version of what i remember.
but what i really remember from being one of her bffs during those super important adolescent years is how important real friends are. monica was as genuine as could be, honest, sincere, and sweet. there was never anything up her sleeve, she was a good sport, and she was everything you’d expect from a midwestern girl who would commute to downtown a few times a month with her hot friend sonja to go to German class.
one reason i’m rarely without my Cubs hat is to remind the xbi that no matter what ive done with them or what they hope to do with me, at heart i am a goofy midwestern boy with a dirty story to slip your way when you least expect it on the bus on the way to winning best in state. inspired and encouraged by mythical babes like monica.
photos: above: monica today. below: me on my first day of high school