An Exercise in Memory

Sometimes, when I’m sitting on my couch with booze in my belly and ANOTHER marathon of The Great British Bake-Off droning on the television, I get silly ideas. The other night, I sat with my journal and tried to test my memory. Specifically, I wanted to scribble the first memories that came to mind for each year of school. Curious as to what I came up with? Read on.




I was in trouble and I was laughing about it. There was another girl there (I think she was a girl), also in trouble. We couldn’t stop laughing and Mrs. Fowler kept moving our name-birds lower on the class tree.

My mother made me read from the bible to show how well I could read (mostly anecdotal—what I remember is reading something and then counting while the adults talked until someone finally told me to stop.)

We lived on a road surrounded by streets with fruit names. Most days I felt cool that we lived on the only non-fruit street (Bogdanoff). I had a pink bike and a nice man on the corner didn’t mind when we accidentally rode over his lawn.


First Grade

We moved, trading the fruit bowl for Pecan Drive. I had my own room with a giant bed. That lasted until the twins were maybe five.


Second Grade

The only thing I remember about my teacher is that she got hit by a car in the school parking lot and broke her leg. I didn’t see it happen, though.


Third Grade

I had a friend named Amanda who lived behind me. We talked through the fence and played games where I was a chef and would pass her mud and leaf galumpkis. There was a swing-set in the backyard that always came out of the ground when we swung too high.


Fourth Grade

I was elected class president. The kid I beat, Patrick, had to lose on his birthday. He’s a roided up body-builder now.


Fifth Grade

Amanda died in a car accident. Her brother lived. I kind of hated him for that.

Patrick asked me out. I cried and ran into the bewildered arms of my teacher.


Sixth Grade

Everyone said Burnett Middle was designed like a jail. There were bars on the windows. It was my only year forced to wear a uniform.

I shaved my sideburns and pasted my hair back in a ponytail so often, flakes of hairspray fell like really bad dandruff.


Seventh Grade

Saw Rocky Horror live with my friend, Renee, and her aunt. I had to stand on the stage with a licorice in my mouth and do “unvirgin-like things” with it. I didn’t really know what that meant so I just sucked on it.

The other girls in my math class and I would all walk back from lunch reciting the Pythagorean theorem.

I was bullied for the first time.


Eighth Grade

I was in band at school and had to go to practice early in the mornings. My cousin had to come, too, since we rode together. She claimed to have lost her virginity that year. I believed her.

Patrick got his revenge when our social circles polarized. Guess who was at the bottom.


Ninth Grade

The first and only time a teacher hugged me. It was the same teacher who called me a manipulative bitch and insisted I was destroying the freshman class, so I doubt it was a sincere gesture.

At a sleepover, a friend danced on a table and said she wanted to be a stripper.

I skipped school every other day.

I kissed a boy because someone I didn’t like had a crush on him.


Tenth Grade

I wrote for the school paper and hated locker rooms.

A friend and I did each other’s makeup during chemistry every day. The teacher only commended once, on the day he talked about Viagra (though I can’t remember why). I thought he was an albino.

I kissed my best friend.


Eleventh Grade

I asked my friend to life up her shirt because I thought I saw something funny on her stomach. I asked her to do it again because I liked how it looked.

Another friend asked me to be in a three-way with her and her boyfriend because I was the “prettiest” of all her friends. I didn’t have sex with them, but I watched and took my shirt off.

I got cornered in the girls’ locker room because a group of Spanish girls didn’t read an article I wrote all the way through. I was more offended that they hadn’t read the ending than what they were going to do about it.

I graduated, but didn’t want to walk. My dad may or may not have been at the ceremony. Schrodinger’s father.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s