Now that I’ve been happily married for more than fifteen years, people assume I am an expert in the ways of the human heart. And I am. Believe it or not, though, it was not always this way. There was a time, when I was in high school, when I desperately wanted a girlfriend but did not know how to get one.
I am not one of those people who endlessly relives his high school glory days. So much of high school is a blur to me, since I spent years not thinking about it. And I hardly ever see anyone I went to high school with, so there’s not a lot of, “Hey, remember that time we . . . ?”
When I was in high school, I was on the academic team. Specifically the quick recall team, though I also did Future Problem Solving. The main thing I remember is not the actual competitions, but riding the bus to and from other schools. I made good friends on that team.
And there was this girl on the team, Beverly, and I liked her, and it really seemed like she liked me, but how could I be sure? In theory I could have asked her, but at the time that seemed unthinkable. It was better to live in doubt and hope.
Eventually the truth came out, though, that we were totally into each other, and it was supremely thrilling, like I was living in a movie, and I could hear the soundtrack swelling.
These days I don’t often think about high school football. But every fall, when it starts to get cool outside, and you need to wear a jacket, but it’s still comfortable, I specifically remember the time I went to an away football game.
On the bus, I sat next to Beverly. We got off the bus, walked up the hill toward the other school’s stadium, and as we walked we held hands. It was a happy moment; so, so happy.