Waking Up 13

practice

The radio blasts Freddie Mercury’s frenetic cries into my brain, as his Scaramouche-ish lyrics act in evil coercion with the alarm clock. The bus will be here in 30 minutes. The calendar shows it’s Friday, which means a Math test today, but I still refuse to believe numbers and letters can exist together in any equation no matter what Ms. Kipling says. A blinding shine off her bald spot keeps me too distracted to concentrate on learning Algebra. I feel sorry for any woman who is losing her hair, even if it’s Ms. Kipling.

At least there’s a party at Holly’s house to look forward to tonight. Her family lives in a very nice house with a finished basement that has a big shag-carpeted family room with faux wood paneling. She said this is the first time she’ll get to use the disco ball she got for Christmas. It’s not as big as the one on Saturday Night Fever, but it spins so light from  other lamps will shimmer off it.

We usually have snacks from a card table in the linoleum-covered corner and listen to music from an older brother’s stereo system. Holly only gets to use it if she promises to not touch his 8-tracks. Many of us bring records from home in hopes our favorite songs be played, most girls begging for the love ballad currently topping the radio charts. Some guy will joke about playing Spin the Bottle, but parents usually keep that from happening if the song’s volume dips low enough to be noticed from upstairs. Audible clues like that can foretell an impending bout of Seven Minutes in the Closet.

I hope the party doesn’t digress to such games or consist of only boy/girl dancing. Otherwise, the scene will be as uncomfortable as any other weekend at the skating rink when couples pair off for “moonlight skate,” and I leave the floor to hang out by the Space Invaders machine again. They play that Boz Skaggs song called “We’re All Alone,” but I feel like I’m the only one who really is all alone. The majority of other girls in my grade have kissed a boy but me. Of course, there was that one time with Todd on a dare, but he already ran through every one of my friends by then, so it doesn’t count.

When the ceiling lights go down tonight and only the lazy strobe light is flashing from beside the potato chips, almost everyone will slow dance. Somebody always brings that record “Babe,” and we girls standing along the wall wail off key about how the guy has to leave and will be missing her. Sure. Watching all the boys grope their partners in fumbling tries at second base in the darkness of Holly’s basement gives new meaning to the lead of Styx crooning about being weary and feeling like giving up.

So I write my name on the rpm adapters of the 45s that I stuff into my Garfield backpack and rush out the door to catch the school bus. Teenage brooding now replaces the earlier excited anticipation of tonight’s party. Maybe solving for “x” isn’t going to be the most difficult part of getting through to tomorrow after all.

*Indie Chick Lit inspired post

(image via slideplayer.us)

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2 Comments

Filed under creative non-fiction, life, music, writing

2 responses to “Waking Up 13

  1. Heh, this has me suspect that, if I had been a teenager in the era of Styx rather than the era of Nirvana, I would have been less brooding and surly, because, in the ’70s and ’80s it was still acceptable to be hopeful in the context of a rock n’ roll song. But maybe I would have been just the same.

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