But I don't feel like writing about that tonight. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my re-discovery of 21 Jump Street, a show I used to watch in high school (I think I was in High School...or was I in Jr. High? Dunno).
I remember now why I loved Johnny Depp so much and am really happy he has turned out to be such an amazing character actor. And yeah, I still think he's hot.
(Yeah, I'm gonna be a Nun, God willing, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate His work or that I have forgotten my adolescent hots for a celebrity I'll never meet and would probably be totally disillusioned by meeting the real guy. Because let's face it: most people pretty much suck, being of fallen nature and all.)
Watching this show has brought me back to my High School days. In my town, we had Jr. High, which ran from 7th through 9th grade, which meant that 9th graders were deprived of Title in our town. Titles began with 10th Grade, the Sophomore year.
What really sucked about that was the fact that the angst of being a Freshman was transferred to the know-it-all-year of being a Sophomore in a new place where swirlies didn't reign anymore and all those who thought they had power actually became members of the homecoming committee just so they could have the dubious honor of having their houses toilet-papered by scantily-clad, overindulged cheerleaders with too much makeup, too many hours in the tanning booth and no imagination.
But never mind all that. I was a band geek, and to make it worse, I was on the Flag Corps because it was more fun to wield an instrument of potential weaponry than to tie a huge unwieldy music stand to my arm and play my flute with a bunch of untalented people who couldn't walk and chew gum, much less play music and walk in step.
OK, that was unfair...I really couldn't do that either and actually, still go down in the record books as the only Flag Corps member to create a disaster out of something for which she advocated tooth and nail.
But that's a different story, from Senior Homecoming. Let's just put that aside, shall we?
We were new, we were lost, and we were trying to find our way.
Our fall Homecoming game was wonderful and I loved Homecoming as a high school student, in spite of our weird nostalgic uniforms circa 1970.
By then, we sophomores had been there long enough to realize that not only were we mere amoebas on the relative ecological scale, but that mouthing off to Seniors, especially certain Juniors OR Seniors might well end in death.
At that time, I was a mere mouse of a geek, so far off the scale and so far beyond caring that finally, I was beginning to show a little personality even at school.
After the Football Game that night (American Football, for any readers outside the US, meaning "not Soccer") a couple friends and I were waiting for our parents to pick us up. I was standing on a cement bench, mouthing off or maybe singing some obnoxious theatrical tune as my friends heckled and "danced" below, all of us laughing and joking.
I stopped mid-note and, indignantly, shouted back, "YOU Shut up!"
Then I saw him stalking towards us, resolute, passing under the single light next to the flag pole...and I realized who he was: the ONE guy NO ONE talked back to in our school.
He was the football player who walked through the hallways quietly, yet even when it was the most crowded, it parted like the Red Sea.
It was at that moment, as he passed beneath the light, illuminating his personage, that he questioned me in shock, "WHAT!?"
I gulped, realizing I was in for it so might as well make it worth it. I stepped down to be at eye level with him...well...sorta.
"You heard me! YOU shut up!"
My friends stared at me in horror. Two of them were Juniors, fellow band geeks-flag-corps-members.
Yeah...as it turned out, I made a new friend that night.
Rick thought I was cool because I refused to back down. We became friends that very evening.
That following Monday, he saw me at my locker and invited me to walk with him around the school, a typical morning tradition for most students. Think of Saturday Night Cruising...but transferred to a High School hallway. (Lame, I know, but that's what kids without driver's licences did at that time).
Me, the geek, holding my books for 1st Hour, went with him, amazed. He wasn't cute or attractive by any means...but he was powerful in that school. And for some reason, he wanted to claim me as his friend. That made me automatically cool.
I was almost the Queen Esther of my High School.
So I walked with him, amazed to see the Sea parting in front of us, unconsciously.
Upperclassmen asked me about him, or to speak to him on their behalf.
I was uncomfortable with this. He was nice as a friend, and it was cool to watch the Red Sea parting, but really....I wasn't interested in dating him.
Then he asked me out.
I told him I'd get back to him, and asked the advice of my friends. What I feared was this: retaliation. Would he retaliate? He was "cool". If I turned him down, what were the repercussions? If I agreed...um...would I have to ...ick...KISS him?
I learned more than I'm willing to expose here.
Suffice to say my own gut feeling was affirmed by my friends, although they were a bit in awe of the invitation and waited with bated breath my response.
Then one day his recent ex-girlfriend, a girl I knew both from Theater and Band, one of those big-boned girls who carried a lot of her own clout, told me she knew of his invitation and asked me what I was thinking.
I was honest. I told her that I thought I probably preferred to just be friends. A little sadly, without any animosity, she said, "Yeah...that really is best."
That night when he called me as was his habit, I gave him my answer: I only wanted to be friends, but thought he was a cool guy.
He was fine with that, but our morning walks around the school continued and I therefore continued to marvel at the daily phenomena of the Parting of the Red Sea.
I loved standing at my locker between classes, watching He Who Walks Between The (locker) Rows, the students unconsciously parting before him, leaving him room as he calmly stalked along, looking neither right nor left, giving occasional high-fives and other things to his team members and other jocks.
It was like dating-but-not-dating the Mafia.
He graduated, nowhere near the top of his class, and not long after, ended up in the papers in a non-flattering way.
Last I heard he was in prison.
I don't know where he is now, but I am grateful for the friendship we shared and really thank God I turned his amorous proposal down. I'd say more but I'd prefer he keep his criminal record to himself. He has a right to it.
No matter what, I still remember him fondly and occasionally pray for him.
That guy had issues most students never knew about and when the news broke, I'm quite certain he was disowned by even his own family.
Someone needs to pray for him. Might as well be me, not that my meager efforts mean anything, so I'm asking YOU to pray for Rick, too, wherever he is.
Everyone needs and deserves prayer, no matter what they have done. Our Lord died for them as well as for us.
I never said this was an interesting story. I only claim it as mine and hope the moral is apparent to me as it is to you.
There you have it.