Come on. Be a joiner. You know how you always wanted to be part of a very cool, very hip clique? Now is your chance! Thanks to CableGirl for Flashback Friday and the opportunity to finally feel like I am one of the popular kids!
I know, the whole “High School Was Hell” thing is SO done, so I am not going to go into too much detail save that is was, in fact, HELL, and were it not for a handful of really great friends (so great, in fact, that I have no idea where they are or what they might be doing)there was no way I would have made it through. Enough said about that. What I want to write about is my 17th birthday. Because it rocked.
Like I said, I had these friends. And for some really odd reason, they (I) thought it would be really fun to go to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle for my birthday. My mom let me take the car, which was this Monte Carlo, a sporty silver-grey thing, that made me feel like a high school pimp(ette)driving it. We always used to have to take the bus everywhere, so it was kind of a big deal to get to drive somewhere. Especially into Seattle. So it was a lovely, sunny day, and we were 17 years old and hot shit.
***I might add that the effect was somewhat marred by the fact that there was a tiny little glitch in the windshield wipers in that they would randomly come on. For no reason. And then they would equally randomly go off.***
We got to the zoo and my friends had gotten for me a crown to wear. Not just any crown, not a Burger King Crown or a little diamond tiara, but the most awesome crown ever that said, “BOW. It’s My Birthday!” I believe there were balloons as well, and maybe a present or two, in fact I am sure there was but I can’t remember what they might have been-whatever it is that 17 year olds get each other. We strolled around the zoo taking pictures and laughing and just having one of those rare days where everything is just so.
And my friend J. was wearing this, I don’t know, a beret? The flat little hat that French guys wear, anyway. He was very tall, thin, wore these black sweaters with his Levis and combat boots, and had the skinniest little ass known to man. I always remember him as looking very Gallic, with a cig hanging out of his mouth and the smoke rolling up and making his eyes squint-which is an odd way to see him as so far as I remember, he didn’t smoke. *shrugs* Anyway, we got to the bear cage, and it was fun and crowded and blah blah blah, but really, the bears were just sitting there, not doing anything remotely bear-like. Until one of them spied J. far above the crowd, with his little black beret. And the bear went fucking nuts. As in every time J. moved, the bear would follow him. So of course J, being the kind of person that he was, started running. Back and forth in front of this enclosure, the bear getting more and more agitated, roaring and snorting and making these very odd huffing noises…so J. would just run faster. I think that there were an equal number of people watching both the bear AND J., as if perhaps judging which one of them was, in fact, the most dangerous.
I really don’t remember what else happened, at least not after J. got too tired and flopped onto the ground panting, and the bear kind of hanging on the side of the cage moaning like some lovesick girl in the thorse of her first..crush. I don’t recall the drive home, nor anything that happened later. Perhaps there may have been beer involved, perhaps not. All I really do recall is the car, the crown, and the bear.