The Eighth Page


Imagine this. You go to a small private school, a Country Day School. Because of the small class size, around 35 people in class of 2007, you’re relatively close with everyone. You’re at least companions with everyone in your grade. Well, theoretically. you managed to not say a single word to about half of the people in your grade. So, let’s just make the class size half of 35. Actually, let’s make the original class size 36. Then take half. So we’re at 18. You’re friends with 18 people in your grade, and in the three grades above you, and the one below you. 18×5=80. Eighty friends at a really small school. You then decide to go to Phillips. Fast forward. It’s the last summer you’re home. You almost die. Not figuratively, like, “OMG! I went without my iPod for 36 hours!!! Like, I almost died! LoLz.” Though that would be pretty rough. But, still, not like that. More like, the whole grim reaper character, with his black hooded cloak. You get really sick, on the verge of death. And what do your friends do? First thing, you’d be surprised how few cards there are for “get well soon” or what have you. [Editor’s Note: at this point he switches into the first person.] I got 5 cards, two different ones. There was a green one and an orange one with exactly the same insincere statement. A save money scheme by hiring fewer people to create “clever” cards and instead trick the feeble-minded public with the same exact card but with different colors so they wouldn’t recognize it. But then again, if I’m going to buy a card, I don’t go to Hallmark and do some shopping around, get a feel for what’s out there, and then go over to… I don’t know where and look at the cards there. I don’t really buy cards. I just go to the grocery store the day before/of the event that the card is needed. So there really isn’t any tricking of the public. Besides these 5 cards, one kid is nice to me. He lets me use his X-Box while I recover. I got really good at Splinter Cell, let me tell you. So, this kid, Steve, he’s the man. I like this kid. Oh wait. Another kid, Age, sent me 4 liters of ice cream. I forgot about that. That was nice too. And Steve also brought me along with him to the shore in Jersey (this was when I lived with the Amish. I did. Somewhat. They woke me up on Sundays at least. Or Saturdays. I forget. But the hooves. Gah, that was annoying to wake up to). I’m still in touch with Steve. And Age. And my math teacher. She rules. I’ve tried convincing her to teach somewhere up here, but she’s pregnant now, and I forget what else, but I don’t think she ever will. So, there were 74 kids who did nothing for me (5 cards, Steve sent one, and then Age’s ice cream, which was a nice trade for Jell-O). Wow. This was supposed to be in the second person. And it has changed to the first. [Editor’s Note: The Greeks referred to this moment of recognition as anagnorisis.] Ah, the cards. I apparently got excited by these cards. Okay, I’ll fix it from here on out. Going to a new school. And you move. Welcome to Massachusetts. But, you have to go back to Lancaster for a routine check-up. So, you go back, and you decide, like probably most people would, “Hey, while I’m here, I might as well visit all my friends from my old school.” Brilliant! But not quite. Do you know the definition of awkward? Visit people that you have decided to leave behind, and who have decided to essentially abandon you. So, 74 people you’re mad at. What do you say to them? What is there to say to them? “Hello fellow high schoolers. How are you today? I, myself, am fine. I’m alive apparently. Isn’t the weather so nice? The weather is nicer here than at home. And at school. Golly, Andover weather is wretched. Almost as wretched as you you spineless little…” and so on. So, essentially don’t say anything. And leave. And never go back. But you don’t know anyone where you moved to. Because you go to boarding school. You’re such a loser. LOSER! EVERYONE POINT AND LAUGH AT THE LOSER! WHAT A LOSER! WHAT’S THAT LOSER? YOU SAY YOU’RE NOT A LOSER? BUT YOU ARE!