During my high school career, I went to three different schools. The first one was ChARTer-tech in Somers Point (one town over from Ocean City), a school for the performing arts (yes, they really emphasized the ART in charter).
You see, I used to be so disillusioned that I thought I was a really good singer. So, for a short period, I gave up on my dream of becoming a writer and decided instead that I would be a rock star.
To get into ChARTer-tech, you needed to audition. There was only enough room for 200 kids in the whole school and there were four different majors (vocal, dance, instrumental, and theater) so they had to make sure you were serious about going there. Sadly, a lot of kids were not serious about going there, they had just gotten kicked out of their home schools and had nowhere else to go. I guess that’s what the audition was supposed to eliminate, but anyone who auditioned got in. You didn’t actually have to be good, as noted by my acceptance.
I was so shy I actually did my audition in the closet of the classroom in which I was supposed to sing. I don’t remember what I sang, but we also had to perform a song every Friday and one time I performed I Love Rock ‘N Roll, but not the good one. The one by Britney Spears when she goes “OW!” after the chorus. I did the “OW!” and all.
I loved ChARTer-tech. I loved my friends there and the teachers and the fact that gym was pretty much just walking around town.
One of my teachers was very supportive of my crazy side and used to let me attend every class hiding under the table. He was my English teacher and we would make fun of how badly the other kids Englished.
ChARTer-tech is also where I met Kim, my first girl love.
Kim was short with light skin and dark hair and was fucking gorgeous. She was there for the instrumental option, and played bass in a band. I immediately developed a crush on her, around the same time I knew for sure I liked women as well as men. When I came out to my mom she told me she had known since I was nine.
Kim used to walk around the halls in these giant goth boots wearing all black with too much makeup. She fit into my attraction to “freaks” perfectly. During this phase of my life, everyone got nicknames. There was Hair Boy (because he had a lot of magnificent hair), Grey Kid (because he only ever wore grey clothes), and Crackrabbit (because the girl acted like a rabbit on crack), among others. But my favorite was Death Girl. Death Girl was Kim. Once we started talking she said she didn’t mean it, but if you passed her in the hall she would give you the scariest looking death glare I’ve ever seen, right through your soul.
She used to pull me off to the side of the hallway and kiss me passionately. We would write notes to each other during biology and share song lyrics and other random nonsense. I was totally smitten.
I met Kim the same time I was dating Jason, Nate’s best friend, but he didn’t mind sharing me with her. So we went on one date.
We went to the movies with her brother and a few of their friends, and a bunch of booze. I took my shoes off and ran around the theater like a maniac. Then Kim and I went into the bathroom and beat up the stalls, just because. Then we got kicked out and went back to her place, where I proceeded to throw up for the rest of the night. When she took me home (she was a year or two older than me), she kissed my forehead, which I found to be the most adorable thing in the world because she was so short.