This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

From Jan. 18, 2005

I had forgotten that this post existed. It's interesting, the ones you remember and the ones you don't. I think it describes things about my high school experience accurately and succinctly. I like it when I'm accurate and succinct.


I've been remembering weird things of the past lately. It's frustrating, because I want to write the memoirs of my high school and college days (because everyone wants to do this when they get to a certain age. Everyone wants to believe the experience of their youth was somehow both universal and special), and these memories are just coming to me and then they are gone. Poof. The only one I can think of now is the time I was playing football in my front yard with a couple of my friends.* I would have been about 10. The thing I remember is me trying to tackle one of my friends, and not being able to get him, and then me sticking my leg out, and him tripping over it (with a thud I still remember) and going flying through the air. He had been running at full speed. All my friends were like, whoa. I was, in some small way, cool to them because I did that. Kids are so messed up. How'd I ever make it out of that phase?

Most of the memories that come back to me are the humilating ones. It's probably no wonder they get out of my brain so fast. I was a nerd, and the defining moments in my life are the ones that tell me I wasn't cool. I still want to be cool, but I cannot. Most nerds come to terms with this and embrace their nerdiness by at least the time they get out of college, if not in High School. But I was always an uneasy nerd. I was smart, but not really nerd smart. I had some of the same interests as nerds (not that nerds are a monolithic group in regards to their interests. My nerdy friends were so different at times it appeared the only thing that held them together was a sense of community and a the bizarre high school clique system that everyone simultaneously decried and assumed), but I had other interests as well.

By the time I was a senior, the nerds were nerds pretty much in name only, because when you get to that age everyone's getting ready for college and realizes the cliques of High School are passing away quickly. At least people without their heads in their A---es (read: girls who like prom too much or guys who are not getting ready for college but getting ready for Frats) realize this. The shared experience of being in the same class overwhelmed whatever differences people thought they may have had. It's a cool thing, and it's why Seniors appear so much more mature than Freshman and Sophomores. At least this happened at my school in '89-90. The nerds in my class became just another social group that happened to hang out together. Many of them had hot girlfriends (not me -- which is either a long story or a short story, and the long story's really really long and the short story makes me look bad), other friends outside the "group", and were successful in all sorts of ways.

I'm still friends with just about all of them, those nerds. Cool nerds.**

*"Football" being a generic, family-friendly term for the game which was known in my area/era as "Schmeer the Queer". It literally did not occur to me until at least age 25 what the game's name was implying. In this game, one person had the football, and the others would try and tackle him, at which point he would give up the ball, and then that guy would be tackled, and so on ad infinitum or ad injrium.

** Coined by a defensive tackle/punter named Kelly Ray in 1989 in Miss B's classroom, referring to my friend, the one who got married in a kilt. Kelly, for his part, was later seen living out of his car after his parents kicked him out of the house. He also sat next to me in my college Sociology class, where we proceeded to make fun of the guy in front of us' young son, who came to class and sat down and had a little plumber's crack exposed every day. Eventually, he dropped the class or just stopped showing up. See? My memoirs would be fun.


  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger jill said…

    man i wish you'd write about mustardhead.

  • At 2:44 PM, Blogger Mike Pape said…

    If I wrote about Mustard Head, she would somehow get wind of it and call me up and wonder out loud what my problem is and why can't I just let it go. She's not content with being a part of my background, she wants to be a real person. I can't let that happen.


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