When I was thirteen years old, I made friends for the first time in my life. Then, after several months of being friends with my friends, I realized that I was friends with my friends, Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa!
This is the story of how it came to pass.
When I was thirteen, my family moved across the country, and I went to a new school for the last three months of eighth grade. At my new school, there was a buddy system for new students to familiarize themselves with the environment and the people. On my first day, the school assigned me a buddy, and I followed her around for the whole day, going from class to class, and to lunch too.
At lunchtime, she ate with her group of friends, and so did I, meeting and greeting several new people on my first day at my new school. The next day, I ate lunch with them again, and the day after that, again.
Then, it was the weekend, and school was off for two days.
On Monday, I ate lunch with the same people, at the same time, in the same place, and again on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. From then on, and for the rest of the school year, I ate lunch according to this routine, at the same time, in the same place, and with the same people, each and every school day.
Then, it was the summer, and school was off for three months.
Not only was it off, but it was over. Junior high was over, and when school started again, I would be going to high school, a Big Big Big Deal. The summer before high school, I goofed off and had fun. I did my summer reading for English class, watched lots of TV, rode my bike a lot, went to the library, played tennis against the wall, went on a journey of thousands of miles with my mother, suffered severe jetlag there and back, and had no contact whatsoever with any of the people with whom I had eaten lunch for the last three months of eighth grade. I didn’t talk to them, and I didn’t talk about them, and I didn’t think about them, and I didn’t miss them.
Then, summer was over, and I started high school.
On the first day of high school, only a few seconds after I arrived, huffing and puffing from riding my bike up the hill, I saw one of the girls from the Lunch Bunch. She waved at me, and I waved back. While I was locking my bike to the fence above the tennis courts, she came up and started talking to me.
The first thing that came out of her mouth was, “Where do you want to eat lunch?”
To me, this was the most natural thing that could have come out of her mouth. Most naturally, it was our destined destiny to eat lunch with each other at school, and most naturally, there was no reason for that to change with the change of schools. Most naturally, I knew the layout of the school by heart (or is that eye?), so I suggested a tranquil shaded spot outside the social studies building, not too far from the cafeteria, where we got our food, but not too close either, to avoid the cacophony of the popular, extroverted kids performing various ill-advised, self-injurious stunts in the arena near the cafeteria.
So we agreed on this spot, and she said that she would let the others know, and we parted ways on our way to First Period, German class for me. Outside the classroom, I committed my first social gaffe of high school by strolling up to the dark tinted window, plastering my face against it, and peeping intently into the classroom for reasons that remain obscure, but that served to distinguish myself as a freakazoid in the minds behind the pairs of eyes that peeped back at me, wondering why there was a freakazoid plastering her face against the window for multiple minutes instead of entering the room like a normal hoooman freshperson.
For the rest of the morning, the only other social gaffe that I committed was falling over sideways, desk, chair, and all, during the first five minutes of Math class, and the reasons for that remain obscure as well.
Despite these minor mishaps, I survived my first morning of high school with a minimum of physical and emotional scarring. At lunchtime, I went to the cafeteria to get my food. The lunch line was long, and it took awhile to get through, but finally, my food and drink safe, or as safe as they could be, in my clutches, the pizza greasing my palm through its paper plate, and the soda chilling my fingers around its cup, I zipped off, hurry-scurry, to my tranquil shaded spot outside the social studies building.
When I arrived, there they were, the Lunch Bunch, and I sat down and ate lunch with them, most naturally. Most naturally, I told them about my social gaffes, the Peeping-Tom International Incident of German Class and the All-Around Furniture Flip-Flop of Math Class, and we all had a good laugh together. Everyone laughed with me and agreed that these were the sorts of thing that happened only to me. The next day, again, except with a different set of adventures to talk over and laugh about. The day after that, school was off, because it was the weekend. On Monday, again, and again on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. From then on, and for the rest of high school, I ate lunch according to this routine, at the same time, in the same place, and with the same people, each and every school day.
After only a few months of eating lunch with my friends at school everyday, I realized that I was eating lunch with my friends everyday at school…and that I was eating lunch everyday with my friends at school…and that I was eating lunch everyday at school with my friends…and that I was eating lunch at school with my friends everyday…and that I was eating lunch at school everyday with my friends…any and all of which meant that I was friends with my friends, and that my friends were friends with me, as was I with them, and they with me, Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa!
Actually, there was no “Whoa Whoa Whoa!” moment of sudden realization. Instead, it was a slow gradual process of slowly gradually knowing, until I knew, without a doubt, that my friends were my friends, and that I was part of a group of friends, all of us quiet, nerdy, unpopular, unfashionable, and lacking any boys on our minds just yet. Don’t worry, that changed within the month for one of us, and after the significant glances and tittering giggles had diminished, we referred to her Lucky Charms Prince Charming as “Mushroom Head” for the rest of high school and beyond.
So there it is, the story of how I made friends for the first time in my life, and along the way, came to understand the idea of friendship for the first time too. Before then, I did not know the concepts of friendship and socialization, just as I had not known the concept of communication only a few years before then. Alone in my own world, I had been perfectly happy, and I had no idea that there were such things as making friends and having friends and being friends, nor did I miss any of these things, these things that I did not know were things that existed or things that I could or would do one day.
But I am glad that I did.
Without friends, I was perfectly happy, and so would I have been forever, if I had not made any friends at any time in my life, but with friends, I was perfectly happy in a different way, with a broader experience of all the things that were possible in one hoooman lifetime, and with more hooomans with whom to talk over and laugh about the possibilities.
And to think, it all started with a Lunch Bunch…
…that crunched, slowly slowly slowly, into a Munch Hunch, Crunch…Crunch…Crunch…Crunch…Crunch…Crunch…Crunch!
Here is another picture of me with one of my friends, this one I have met only through the vicissitudes of Cyber SpaceTime:
As you can see, we are hiding under our mushroom, away from the Sun that we both hate, because we both have the same mental disorder, RSAD, or Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, that we made up for ourselves to have. We hate the Sun, good weather, the Sun, good weather, and also good weather and the Sun. Most naturally, we are co-founders of the Bummer Summer Summer Haterz Kreep Klub and the Inclement Weather As Bad As You Wantzitz Fan Cam. Please contact us under our mushroom if you would like to become a card-carrying member of our venerable organizations and our friend too. If we recruit enough members and friends, then we will genetically engineer a gigantic mushroom to block out the Sun and bring on the next Snowball Earth epochalypse, this time for all eternity, always winter and never summer, 4evar and evar and evar!
As fun as it is to be an Evil MasterMind on your own, I have found, through my experiences of evil masterminding, that it is even moar fun to be part of a group of Evil MasterMinds.
There is something distinctly scintillating about plotting evil together.