Pup Origins - A Rainy Night in New Orleans
If you ask me what the happiest time of my life is, I wouldn’t need time to think about it, and I wouldn’t hesitate. Like the Red Sox, I try year after year to build a set of experiences that would stand against the happy memories of my past, and like the Sox has done so many times before, I would fail with painful disappointment. I’m very glad to see that the Red Sox won last night.
The happiest time of my life was in the 5th grade. The 5th grade was a most wonderful time. I was living in Southern California, in a suburb near Orange County. Life was simple and nice as it should be. In this town, no one locked their doors, children’s laughter could be heard throughout the streets, and large block parties were common as everyone knew each other.
In the 5th grade, I did not know of politics, the evils of money grubbing bastards, the continual deterioration of our planet, or the horrors that happens on this planet everyday. I was an innocent kid, and rightly so. No one should learn those things till later. Childhood is about being a child. This is an innocent time where there shouldn’t be a care in their world, friends and fun should be the only agenda a child should have.
I was fortunate enough to have that. I was one of the lucky ones.
What made the year special was during the 5th grade, there were a small group of us that were together. Andy, Brian, me, along with the gals, Brook, Liz, and Kirsten (‘friends’ is SO 5th grade). It’s strange looking at kids today, or even those back then that were so afraid of each other. Maybe it’s California, maybe it was the group of kids, but being with each other was fun and that’s what mattered. We didn’t care about boys or girls, it was just friends.
Unlike the hypersexual children of today, things were innocent back then. Hands were held every now and then at the skate rink, but that was it, and even then, there was much taunting from all. It was fun, and that was all.
Towards the end of summer after the 5th grade, a week before the triumphant 6th grade was going to start, another day was spent riding the bicycle around town, playing in the fields, and another exciting game of Nintendo baseball (the original), I rode home in the late afternoon. I rode in the garage and into the house as I’ve done times and times before. Something was different this time.
Everything was in boxes, the house was a mess, and it looked like we’re moving. What’s going on I asked my mum. Why aren’t you packed? You’ve been too busy out there running around, so we started packing without you she said. All your stuff’s packed. What?!? Packing? Where’re we going? My terrify voice was on the verge of breaking.
According to the family, we’ve discussed this, and I had knew about this for months now. Where I was I have no idea. Why didn’t I remember this? How did I not know? Was I repressing it (not that I knew what that meant)? I asked my mum when we were leaving, she said the first thing in the morning. My dad is taking the kids first, and she’ll come with the rest of the stuff in a few weeks.
My mind and body went into shock. Panic, fear, and anger all crept into me for the first time. No one knew. None of my friends. I didn’t tell anyone cause I didn’t know. I was leaving first thing in the morning to a strange place forever. Oh my God no.
I ran out of the house and grabbed my bike. My vision a bit blurry from the tears forming in my eyes. I rode as fast as I could to all my friend’s house. I knew they weren’t home. Some were on vacation, and some were leaving for dinner in the city when I left them earlier. I tried though, and I pounded my little fist at each of their doors. No one would answer.
I rode to Brook’s house. It was the furthest out from mine. Up on a hill in a nice subdivision, the house sat in front of the park that I had spent so much of my happy times. After coming from the park, we would all stop at her house, to get refreshments from her mom who couldn’t be nicer and more hip (she drove a Porsche).
It was no secret, my first crush was Brook. During a slow song at the skate rink, it was her whose hand I most wanted to hold. She was smart, energetic, and cute. She had short dark blond hair, freckles around her cheeks, and always one or two cuts on her face. She was adventurous and wasn’t scared to be a bit rough (hence the cuts). I was too young to understand anything else, but I knew I was happy when I was with her. I knew she was something else. Nothing like those others.
I reached her house, and I knew she would not be home. I knew before I left my house. She was on a month long vacation and would not be back until the 2nd day of class. I stood in front of her house on my bike, not knowing what to do. She didn’t know I wouldn’t be here when she came back. I would disappear without explanation, without warning. I didn’t want that for my friends, and I didn’t want to do that to them.
There was nothing I could do as I slowly rode home. When I got home, the house was still busy with the family packing. I tried unpacking things in a feeble attempt to stay, but that didn’t work out so well. Looking around I saw a phone book. I had a bright idea. I would take this with me and call them in a week so they know. I was happy with my plan. Hope, for a moment, was with me.
The next morning, we began our move to Georgia. All I could think about was that phone book. I had to call them. I had to let them know. After a 3 day journey, we reached our destination in Georgia. Within the week, I was able to find the phone book, and I would start calling. I looked up the names of my friends and started calling. Each time getting a wrong number, or a no one home. It was only years and years later that I realized the phone book wouldn’t have their names, but their parents (I was like 10, give me a break).
So I lost them. I lost my friends. So sudden and unexpected. Even worst, I lost Brook. I didn’t get a chance to say anything to her before I left. I didn’t get to say that I liked her. That I thought she was the best girl I’ve ever met (I was in the 6th grade, so it was actually true), and never change.
I was surprised when she turned around. She looked good. Really good. I froze as I waited to hear what would come out of her mouth. The nanoseconds of waiting felt like hours and it was killing me!
Oh, my name is Brook.
I just stood there and I waved as she turned around and started walking. Bye Brook was I could mutter out loud. I turned and started walking towards the hotel. My mind was a mess, so many thoughts were firing off, so much had happened that night and it was all jumbling my brain. I walked a while, several blocks later, and then it kicked in. It took it’s time, but it kicked in.
OH MY GOD!! It’s Brook! It’s Brook!!!!! Her name was Brook!! She said her name was Brook!! Oh Shit!
Logically, my brain would know that there is more than one girl named Brook. Logically I would know this is not the same girl I left in California. I didn’t care, nothing about tonight was logical. I turned and ran. I ran as fast as I could. I ran till my breath and legs gave out. She had pointed to a direction, but she never said which hotel. I was standing in the middle of the city, tired, confused, and just numb.
I walked back to the hotel. Slowly through the night I paced. One foot after another. I didn’t know what to think. I think my mind had shut down in order to prevent an overload. I was barely functioning now. If someone saw me, they would say there’s a zombie. I moved slowly and breathed even slower.
Sure, I could explain it away as coincidence. Sure I could explain it as my imagination running wild. All that would be logical. But logical doesn’t live here. Logic has no power here. My mind is not logical. There’s only one thought that repeats itself here.
Oh, my name is Brook
I got to spend an incredible night with her. It was all that I wanted. To see and be with her again. Even if it wasn't her. That didn't matter. My mind can make it her. I can pretend. Part of me is happy with that. Very Happy.
Still. The other part can only think. I lost her again.