A girl I knew in high school died recently. This post will not be one of those typical facebook platitudes about how great she was and how we’ll miss her; rather, I think that frank and direct commentary about her life will win in the long run. Keep in mind that I’m an unreliable narrator as my personal philosophies are drastically different from hers and this view of her is from a terribly flawed lens.
I don’t understand her. I never have and I never will. She started out as a normal attractive preppy girl freshman year and over four years she gradually evolved into a rastafarian complete with dreadlocks and a nonsense spirituality. At first I didn’t pay much (or any) attention to her in high school, although she was in a bunch of my classes. Then in Biology she started coming to my table a lot and talking to my group of friends. At first I thought she had a thing for Josh, it wasn’t until years later that I pieced together that she actually liked me. I only figured it out when she verbatim said to my face something like, “Apathyfactory, I really like you… not in like a sexual way… but like, I really admire you.”
I was an oblivious kid who was really into magic the gathering and video games. Kinda still am. What the fuck is there to admire?
She sat behind (?) me in sophomore honors English and that was pretty fun. I don’t think her academics ever stood out, but she wasn’t dumb by any means. Just wasn’t that into what school had to teach her. Probably smoked a lot of weed. I didn’t see much of her senior year (I didn’t see much of anyone — I had four classes and went home at lunch). But I recall that’s when her dreadlocks started getting really conspicuous. She asked me to prom and I said no. I’d already told someone else that I wasn’t going, didn’t wanna start drama. Then I headed to college and lost track of most people.
Lost track of her until junior year of college, when we briefly spoke over fb chat. She had been off-and-on attending community college and a CSU. She had a kid out of wedlock with an absentee black father. She never talked about the father; I never dared ask. Her family is upper middle class white people. Seemed like she just kind of bounced around schools for a while — beauty school, massage, the stuff that women think they can do with minimal formal training.
At first, she came off like a ditzy airhead with a medium sense of humor but I got to know her over time and she morphed into something truly incomprehensible. She was always a good person beneath the veneer of personality you make for yourself in high school. But her life choices were irrational, which I find immensely fascinating. I wonder how she got away with that kind of stuff – like where were her parents and where exactly did they go wrong. I had hoped to one day interrogate her about her worldview, preferably in person. I think she made bad decisions. (Well, I know she made bad decisions – that’s probably why she drowned.) She’s dead now so it’s whatever I guess. Maybe I’ll get some flowers for her grave one day. Maybe something made from hemp would be more appropriate.
I hope someone writes one of these for me when I die.