what physical properties uniquely qualify a semicolon to do its job?

Being one of only two or three varsity athletes in my high school’s freshman class failed to deliver the social standing or respect from my peers that I had hoped for, but such is the case for a 103-pound wrestler, especially a wrestler that only ascended to that position due to a freak injury to the senior incumbent (of equally meager social regard). As such, I elicited an array of responses from the girls of my peer group ranging from outright hostility and disgust, to consideration as a potential candidate for the similarly sexually frustrating, benign, let’s-not-ruin-our-friendship variety of friendship. My knowledge of Heather Jurenberg was characterized by the former.

Heather was, while not popular for any discernible reason like cheerleading or student senate, usually in close proximity to popular people and known to attend the popular parties I had heard about. And she wasn’t the prettiest girl in school, but she was probably in the 80th percentile. In 5th period art class, students sat two to a table, and for some reason she and I were assigned to the same table, where she called me pizza face and told me she’d better not ever catch me looking at her chest or she’d tell the whole school. One day in class, however, the teacher brought out the slide projector for a lesson on cubism, then turned off the lights on the classroom.

At this, I felt a rubbing on my shin that I was horrified to discover was  from the foot of Heather, who had moved her chair to view the slide presentation and was now sitting perpendicular to me instead of at the other end of the table. I moved my leg away suddenly, silently terrified at the prospect of Heather loudly asking why I was touching her leg, just to embarrass me. Strangely, though, the rubbing resumed a few seconds later, and when I looked at Heather, I knew it was intentional. She had taken off her shoe and in her sock foot was tracing every part of both my legs. The secrecy of it all served to build a sort of conspiratorial intimacy between us that I hoped could last at least until the next big party, and I took the fact that she kept getting more daring as a sign that that intimacy was growing stronger. By the time our teacher joked about “the only nude you’ll ever see in this class” before showing a slide of Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, Heather had extended her foot’s exploration well into my swimsuit area, as if to make sure her exercise was having the desired effect. It was, and after 40 minutes it was getting a little uncomfortable down there, unaccustomed as I was to a sexual encounter taking more than three minutes, or occurring with a second person in the room. Then our teacher turned the lights back on, and as soon as she did, Heather stood up to move back to her seat, then stared down icily at me and said in a stern voice only I could hear, “If you breathe a word of this to anyone, I’ll tell the whole school you’re a fucking liar.”

In the intervening years hence, I’ve tried to look her up on Facebook, Myspace, classmates.com, Friendster and LinkedIn, if for no other reason than to get a quote for this story, but I can’t seem to find her, so I can’t update you on how her life has gone since then. Probably pretty awesome, though. As for me, I grew up to have no super weird feelings about girls at all.


1 Response to “what physical properties uniquely qualify a semicolon to do its job?”

  1. April 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I feel strongly that these should be showing up in my McSweeney’s rss feed.

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April 2011
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