Tonight my parents and I went to the football game at my old high school. The last live football game I had attended was the Super Bowl. (More on this in a future post...)
After the game I met up with my friend Sally and her husband Tony at a nearby Pub called Jerry’s. Sally and I were best friends in first grade, but then my family moved away, and by the time we moved back it was middle school and Sally was too popular for me. I explained the caste system to Sally’s husband Tony. At our middle school there was this ranking system; it was a popularity scale, ranking girls from 1 to 5. Sally was between a 4 and 5, but I was only a 3 for much of my awkward middle school years. I dreamed of being a 5, like this Collette girl, who was the meanest and most respected girl in our class. No one discussed the ranking system, but it existed, and I wrote about it in my journal. Thankfully, by the time we were seniors in high school niceness trumped middle school meanness in the popularity showdown, and both Sally and I were on homecoming court together.
Sally had the best body out of all the girls when we were in middle school – it was the most womanly. All the guys were enthralled by Sally’s curves. (They were all also very horny.) While Sally was one of the first in our class to enter into womanhood, I was one of the last. In fact, I was THE last. The reason I know this is because everyone thought this other girl named Lynia was the last. And when Lynia finally did start her period her freshman year all her good “friends” decorated the outside of her locker, congratulating her on starting her period. They hung signs, streamers, tampons, and pads on her locker, welcoming her into the world of womanhood.I didn’t start my period until I was 15 years old, when I was a sophomore in High School, and already a Varsity cheerleader. The event was anticlimactic, and no one decorated my locker.
I told Sally that going back to our high school for the football game was a bit of a surreal experience for me - and that I was experiencing reverse culture shock because the life is sooo different from the life and world that I now know.
I also told Tony and Sally about my morning...
This morning I awoke to the following text message: "hey katrina! i'm in new york this week. are you okay???" I didn't have the texter's name and number saved in my phone, so I inquired who might texting. The person responded, "Oh sorry, it's Jocelyn - Jessica gave me your number. I'm watching the news and it made me think of you."
I immediately get out of bed and rush down stairs to find out what news Jocelyn is referring to. I find my mother sitting in front of her laptop and frantically ask, "Mom, what happened in New York?"
She says she's not exactly sure, so I take over her computer to find the answer. I knew something bad had happened - I'm just not sure how bad. My research revealed a shooting had taken place near the Empire State Building around 9 AM. The reason Jocelyn had thought of me is because for the past two years I've been living right near where the shooting took place. It took place on my one block commute route to work I'd walk each day - from my apartment on the corner of 6th ave to the Empire State Building on the corner of 5th ave.
I received several other inquiries throughout the day, checking in to make sure if I was okay. I assured everyone yes, I'm fine. I'm in Michigan, and am no longer living in Herald Towers, and working at the Empire State Building...