Thursday, August 14, 2008

West L.A. JC Summer

I've mentioned Amy several times in this blog, most notably in the posts that so aptly but embarrassingly demonstrate my desire to have my cake and eat it too.

So this post is to let you know how we first met.

Even though we both went to Dorsey and graduated at the same time, I don't think we ever talked once during those three years. It wasn't until we had the same English class at West L.A. Junior College during the summer between our freshman and sophomore college years that we said our first words to each other.

I had been apprehensive of her in high school. If you drew a Venn Diagram of her friends and my friends, there would have been little, if any, common area in our two circles. She appeared in the yearbook group photo of the Yellow Brotherhood which was enough for quick-judging me to brand her as being part of the hoods and other elements to avoid.

So what a nice surprise for me to find out how wrong and judgmental I was. Either she sat in back of me or vice versa or we sat next to each other but whatever the seating arrangement, it afforded us the opportunity to chat. The homework assignments helped, as well.

And that's how we met. One thing led to another, I asked her out, she said okay, and that's how it began.

Now I veer off on a tangent to tell you about my buddy R, who gave me severe competition when it came to failure to act in a timely manner when asking someone out.

R and I ("I" being me, not as in "I" referring to the initials of someone else, haha) took turns driving to summer school, he with his white Plymouth Duster and me with my yellow Datsun 510.

R liked this girl whom I will refer to as G. But, like me, just could not bring himself around to ask her out on a date. David, Rick and I would try everything we knew to get him to do this but despite our efforts, some involving threats of grave bodily harm from David, nothing got him to take the first step. Duane was too busy with his girlfriends, I think, and was probably too advanced to even comprehend the situation in which R found himself.

There were many "today I'm going to do it" days but none followed by "today I did it." Once he told us that he had called her. This was one giant step for R-kind so we eagerly awaited the rest of the story.

"Then I panicked, but I got this really great idea," he said.

"And?"

"I was really proud of myself."

"So you mean you asked her out? What did she say?"

"No, I mean I was proud of my idea."

"What idea?? Tell us!"

So R explained. "I didn't know what to say next so I told her there was someone at the door."

"That was a great idea? What are you talking about?"

"It gave me time to walk around the living room and think about what to say next. Don't you think that was a great idea?"

"Not unless you asked her out! Did you???"

"No. I came back to the phone and we talked a little more and then we hung up."

"And you never asked her out?"

"Sorry, buddy!"

David never did break R's neck like he kept threatening to do. But now things were different. Now both R and G were attending the same summer school - not the same class, but he had scoped out which classes she had so he knew her whereabouts.

Every day we'd drive to school and discuss the same subject. "Well?" I asked. "When are you going to ask her?" He told me of this plan and that plan but nothing ever came of them. Summer school was nearing the end. I impressed that fact upon him. He assured me he would act before school let out.

It was the next to last day of summer school and I put the full court press on R. Tomorrow was the day, he said flatly, and don't worry. He had a foolproof plan. Okay, I'd see what that plan was tomorrow, and how foolproof it was. It had to work. There would be no tomorrow after tomorrow.

He picked me up that morning and I wasted no time bringing up the usual subject and asking him what this foolproof plan was.

"I've got it," he smiled. "This is the day. Take a look." He pointed to the glove compartment. I opened it and inside were a couple of joints. I stared at them and then I stared at him.

"I'm gonna leave my first class a little early and go smoke those and then ask her out during the break before my 2nd class. They'll loosen me up so I won't get nervous."

"Are you crazy???"

"No, that's just what I need. I'll show you. It's gonna happen at our break." He shot me a confident smile.

"Okay, well, you had better do this, then. This is your last chance!"

"Don't worry. Trust me," R said.

Our inter-class break came and I walked outside. I had told Amy about R's plan and I spent the whole time looking for him. He was no where to be seen. I assumed he must have executed the first part of his plan, then found G and executed the second part. Second period began, I saw no R, and I went to class.

The suspense was killing me. As soon as our English class was over, I headed back outside to find out what happened. I still didn't see R anywhere. I sat down on a bench and waited for my ride to show up. Quite a few minutes later I spied him walking slowly towards me. I got up from the bench and met him halfway. Well, more than halfway since he was walking so slow.

"Well?"

"Well what?" he laughed.

"What do you mean, 'well what?' You know what! Did you or didn't you??"

"Oh man, oh man, I smoked too much and I got all messed up and I wasn't in any shape to talk to her."

"What????" I felt like strangling him. He stood there laughing and acting silly.

"I had to go back to the car and take a nap. I just woke up."

"Summer school is over!" I shouted. "You mean you didn't talk to G?"

"I don't even know where she was," R said. "Oh, man."

"Oh man," I repeated. "You blew it. David is going to kill you."

"I don't care. Let him." R laughed.

He didn't want to go home yet so we decided to go to lunch. On the way, the same song came on the radio that had come on before when we'd discuss R's plight, the one we told him, don't let this song be your song.

And here it was playing again. I looked over at him and he was too sheepish to look back at me. I shook my head. "Summer school's over. David's gonna break your neck."




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