Where does the good go

There’s things I remember, and things I forget

When I was in high school,
My best friend was this Italian kid who was brilliant as hell and drove me nuts because no matter how hard I worked or studied, he always got better grades than I did. In every damn hell ass subject. Even Spanish, for goodness sakes! Spanish!
To give you an idea of how annoying this was: I got straight As.
And he still outscored me!!!! Arrrgghh.
I actually remember the Jane Eyre paper where I got an A fricking plus and that stupid jerkface got an A plus plus. Madre de dios! Ours was definitely the classic case of, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em band of relationships.
However, he was also physically disabled. Nothing too bad, after a bout of cancer as a baby, one of his legs was about 4 inches shorter than the other. He walked with a limp and had to wear customized shoes. But it’s not something I ever thought about or even remembered. Dude actually taught me how to play tennis!
There were about 7 of us who always hung out together — we very nerdily called ourselves the Manifest Destiny, after the Monroe Doctrine tenet. Yeah. Winners. I know.
So anyway, the only time we got in a huge fight was second semester junior year when these dudes decided to form the Italian-American club and he decided he was gonna join it. I said it was racist and was intractable on the matter. This wasn’t like a let’s learn Italian club or appreciate Italian cooking club. It was doofuses who said stuff like “there’s a black club and a gay club, we want an Italian club.”
He said some stuff, but I wasn’t listening to any defense of racism. Fuck outta here.
Anyway, much like I predicted, the Italian club idiocy died after two or three meetings. And it was never spoken of again.
Our senior year, we both got in early to our first choice Ivy League schools. Me, Yale. Him, Princeton. Well, another kid had applied early to Princeton from our school and had been outright rejected, not just shunted to the general pool. He was a popular Italian jock guy and incidentally one of the charter members of the aforementioned idiot club. Also, I think he wrestled. He wasn’t in any of our AP classes…but he might have been an AP science/math type, so I didn’t know him well, but we’d been on the same school bus for four years and my school wasn’t that big, so we knew each other well enough.
So, anyway, one day I’m sitting outside the boy’s lockerroom waiting for my friend Elliot, and I see this dude and his two meathead friends and he’s all telling them his “woe is me, I didn’t get in” story and I hear my best friend’s name and I start to eavesdrop.
I hear this fucktard basically saying that my friend only got in because he’s disabled and probably wrote a sob story about it and got a pity acceptance and now they can’t take another kid from our school.
I literally stood up, shoved him against a wall and punched him in the stomach all in one motion.
I’m fairly sure he didn’t even see me coming.
He pushes me back and goes “what the hell is wrong with you?”
“I heard what you were saying, asshole. And I dare you to repeat it to my face.”
He turned bright red.
By now Elliot had come out of the locker room and was all “good lord what is this crazy girl doing picking a fight with three guys”?
“I’m-um-I’m sorry. We were just kidding around.”
“Yeah, it was fucking hilarious. Tell me again, so I can laugh some more.”
One of his friends pulled his arm and said “let’s go.”
“You are a dick.”
But he wouldn’t look at me.
Elliot was now pulling me away, having correctly determined that if a fight happened, he would have to stay and while, he wouldn’t mind getting in a fight for me, he wasn’t thrilled about getting in a fight that I’d started on someone else’s behalf.
“Look, I’m sorry. God.”
“I’m not the one you need to be sorry to. I’m the one who better not hear you or any of you idiots saying anything like that again. Assholes.”
I grabbed my backpack and walked away.
For the rest of the year, whenever I saw that fucking kid, I’d want to split his head open.
Fortunately, whenever he saw me coming, he’d make a 180 and head clear in the other direction.
Dawn Summers crazy.
But the thing is, I never told my friend what happened.
Ever. Actually, I’ve never repeated the actual contents of the remarks until today. I’m not sure why. I think I just knew that the whole incident would be hurtful. Maybe he’d think my reaction was excessive and telling.
I don’t know. Punching Joey seemed like the right thing to do; and not talking about it ever again also seemed like the right thing to do.
A few weeks ago I saw a notification on facebook that he and Joey were now friends.

14 Responses to “There’s things I remember, and things I forget”

  1. Ken Wheaton Says:

    They’re probably starting an Italian-American club on Facebook right this minute. Because they’re racist. Like those black lawyers’ clubs. And the national black caucus!

    You know what’s going on here. It’s a 15-year conspiracy. They’ve been plotting against you all along … for coming up with a name like Manifest Destiny.

  2. Jamie Says:

    Oh snap! Irony!

  3. Angela Says:

    Sometimes a dude just needs to get punched! Good job.

    I wonder if he remembered it and friended the guy on facebook just because he felt bad about that still.

  4. Jordan Says:

    You totally stuck up for him just so you could brag about it years later. So selfish!

  5. Dawn Says:

    Eyebrow raise. There was a “gay club” because there was one dude who would get his ass kicked daily and two chicks. They had a “black club” because there were 22 of us across 7 grades in a school of 600 kids. And actually it was the “unity club” and the 5 latino and 2 asian kids came too.

  6. VinNay Says:

    Wait, what?!?! Double eyebrow raise, plus nostril flair. You are about to get into a fight with another italian friend.

    When I first read this I thought – so they wanted to have an italian-americans club, because there were black and gay clubs . . . so what?

    I said it was racist and was intractable on the matter. This wasn’t like a let’s learn Italian club or appreciate Italian cooking club. It was doofuses who said stuff like “there’s a black club and a gay club, we want an Italian club.” Eyeroll.

    Ok, at this point I got a little bit annoyed. Once you have one exclusive club, you should be able to have any. But then you saved yourself with this –

    He said some stuff, but I wasn’t listening to any defense of racism. Fuck outta here.

    Which I took to mean – all race/gender/sexual orientation/ect clubs are stupid, and you admonished your friend for wanting anything to do with one. And I totally agreed, and realized why Dawn Summers is so smart and awesome.

    But then your above comment made it clear that you were in the black club, and my heart sank. Was it a learn nigerian club, or a learn black cooking club? Didn’t think so. Which makes you a hypocrite and a racist.

  7. Dawn Summers Says:

    Haha yeah my comment makes it sound like I was in Unity club, but I wasn’t. The black kids didnt really like me and called me cookie type names. I stand firmly in the colorblind nerd club. If you were a loser, you were in. But I am totally a racist And probably a hypocrite. But I’d beat up anyone who called you names! Except me, cause it’s funny when I do it. How many days till opening kickoff? :)

  8. Consigliere Says:

    If I didn’t know you played scrabble, I would so say that you are awesome.

  9. Ugarles Says:

    There was an Italian club at the school, VinNay. It was called “the school.”

  10. VinNay Says:

    I retract my indignant wrath.

  11. Ugarles Says:

    How many days till opening kickoff?

    The kickoff of the Whodat Bowl is in 4 days!

  12. VinNay Says:

    Whodat? Dat’s Payton Manning, bitch!

  13. Ugarles Says:

    I’m sorry, did JP Losman just say something?

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