Sunday, May 02, 2010

Been a while...

It is now 4:30, May 2. I couldn't sleep, so for some very odd reason I started flipping through old high school yearbooks and reading what people wrote to me. The highlights:

"So whatever did happen to your blue hair? It was cool! It's been great this year your Deirdrelossophies are the only thing that keep me going. Stay original!"

"You have been like a sister to me; not only a martian sisster but also a real sister (one who I get along with)."

"Your pretty weird but I think individuality is a cool thing. Which it is."

"You are a great friend and an even better percussionist. I hope to see you next year. It would be a waste of some excellent talent if you stopped. I couldn't have made it through either season without you. P.S. Please stay next year! I need you!"

And my absolute favorite:

"Well, you're a neat person to know, keeps me on my feet and makes me aware of my mistakes."

But the one that meant the most to me (and still does) was from E.T. in my senior yearbook:

"Out of all the percussionists I have ever met your are the best and the nicest. I would like you to know you are a great role model and I hope I can succeed you God knows I could never exceed you."

That was from a guy who, at sixteen, was still a freshman. His girlfriend convinced him to join the marching band and, because he was so big--at least three times my size--they put him in marching percussion, on base drum. He had problems concentrating and learning new material, was always making mistakes in both playing and marching, and had some serious anger management issues. I worked with him as best I could, but I also didn't take any of his crap. I remember one day, when he was really frustrated after a long practice, he stormed into the instrument room and threw his bass drum into the corner.

"E-!" I yelled at him. "You do NOT treat your drum that way!" I was standing right next to him. He still had his bass drum mallets in his hand as he turned around to face me. He raised his right hand as though to strike me with the large mallet. I stood there, looking up at his face, not backing down, not moving. After several seconds, he finally lowered his arm and stormed off. "I f-ing quit" he muttered as he stormed out of the instrument room.

He was back at practice the next day.

I used to wonder what happened to him after I graduated. I don't think he stayed in band too long. School was just not the right environment for him. I do know that he liked cars, and I had heard, a few years after I graduated, that he had found work as an auto mechanic and was doing quite well--was maybe in charge of the shop or something. So I like to think that he maybe found his place in the world.