Good morning world! I am currently sitting in a coffee shop – alone – listening to Let There Be Love by Nat “King” Cole. It is overcast outside and the only semblance of fall here in South Louisiana is the sweet aroma of crews cropping the sugar cane fields.
Confession time. I have been in a bit of a funk. Specifically…not happy with this blog. For the past few days I have been exhaustively Googling ‘how to’ tips and tricks for blogs. How do I make it more exciting? Am I just a dull person? Am I not creative or disciplined enough for this? Does it just not peque my interest? I swear it sent me down a rabbit hole of information that made me have doubts.
Finally, I just stopped. This was doing nothing. So I went on IMDb and started watching trailers for upcoming movies and came across this new Amazon show called Modern Love. “I will write about that!” It won’t be released until October 18th but it’s never too early to get some research done and plan out the post. One single Google search and I was thrown into another vortex that lasted hours.
This show is based off a New York Times Style section. Their tag line…Modern Love is a weekly column, a podcast — and now a television show. Now in its 15th year, Modern Love is about relationships, feelings, betrayals and revelations. Well, brew the coffee and cue the rainy day reading sesh.
I was captivated. There is a series called “Tiny Love Stories”. They are mini essays right around 100 words. Some funny and heart warming, some sad and tragic. All of them leave the reader with a sense of hope for life and love. Then it hit me…Michael, you dummy, share your stories. Sure, I have shared a couple family stories but there are so many more out there, mine included. So…here we go. Jumping off the cliff. It should be noted that I get very nervous putting my writing out there…especially when it’s a personal story. Ok…
Ashley & Michael
Eighth grade is a hard year. There is a transition happening – you aren’t a child anymore but you’re barely a teenager. For me, eighth grade meant going to high school, a catholic high school – eighth thru twelfth. It was also the year for firsts. First locker, first time switching classes and having 7 different teachers, first dance, first kiss, a free lunch period – electives! It also meant meeting new people from different elementary schools. I’m a Taurus and I do not like change. It scares me. Throw in teenage “changes” and you have neurotic 13-year-old me walking the halls internally screaming “Get me out of here” at least ten times a day. That only lasted a month – by the second month it went down to seven times a day. Progress!
Thank God for Orientation. It was a good day to transition into high school and get the lay of the land. The most difficult part of the day was figuring out that damned locker. We couldn’t get a key lock – oh no that would be too easy. Combination lock. Twist to reset, first number to the right, twist to the left 360 then find the second number, then back to the right for the third and final number. Lift up and the locker should open. Negative. I stood there for a solid 10 minutes. Did I ask for help? Absolutely not – I’m not going to look like an idiot in front of my peers who were effortlessly opening and closing their lockers.
I tried, and tried, and tried. Finally – success! That silver handle slid up and I shut my eyes. I felt like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club…fist shot in the air in victory. I flung that door open with zero regard for who’s locker was beneath mine. POW! The locker door vibrated as it came in full contact with a girls head who had the bottom locker. I panicked as she cradled her head and shot up. “What the hell is wrong with you?” she exclaimed. “I’m so sorry I don’t see you there. Are you ok? Do you need a nurse? Do you have a concussion? Does this school even have a nurse?”
She stepped away and I was…smitten. She congratulated me on finally opening my locker and asked if I could help her. It took a few tries but I’ll be damned to not look like a complete fool in front of this angel. It opened and like a dork I extended my hand and introduced myself. She shook it, said her name – Ashley, and asked if we were really shaking hands like in the old days. Ha! She’s quick – instant friends.
Through our five year tenure we shared many classes, went on a few dates, dated for a brief spell, dances, talked on the phone til midnight, dreamed of the future. Junior year she finally got her revenge – BAM! I had the bottom locker and she just ripped that door into my head. She looked down at me, flashed that beautiful smile and asked “Need to see the nurse?” I stood, she kissed my cheek and walked away yelling down the hall that she will call and check on my concussion later. All I could do was smile.