I was a good kid. And not the – I only stole my parents car a few times, smoked a few joints and got drunk twice in high school kind of good. I was like Leave It to Beaver good. I know this wasn’t because I had a reverence for parents and authority figures that other kids didn’t have. It was because I pretty much believed that I was smarter than everyone else around me including those who had raised me.
My reasons for being “good” were complicated … a) I was obsessed with going to college and leaving my home town forever b) all of the cool kids had sub standard IQs and c) I really was full of myself. Of course, we all really wanted to be cool in high school but I wasn’t and my defense tactic was to be holier than thou. I treated school like a coveted middle management job – taking on ungodly amounts of “highly visible” projects and eschewing having a life. It didn’t bother me too much to miss out on nights of passing around a bottle of Hooch and letting a 15 year old boy with frosted tips put his hands down my pants. I was keeping my eye on the long term prize of getting the fuck out.
But once I got into my top college I didn’t really need to have laser focus on the future. And all of my smart friends were starting to let loose and enjoy what little we had left of our senior year. And that’s when my all too naïve parents decided to go out of town for a week. Up to that point, I’d been a saint and they had no reason to believe that I wouldn’t continue to behave like one. But now that my fate was sealed at Northwestern, I wasn’t anxious anymore about being perfect. And now, it seemed, was my chance to get drunk and grope someone.
So I decided to “let it be known” that my parents were out of town and just see what life would hand me. No one in my AP classes really cared because for my most part, those boys were still waiting for their balls to drop. But the guys in my mandatory physical education class (whose life long aspirations were to get stoned and listen to Phish) seemed very intrigued. And all of the sudden kids who had never even blinked at me were giving me advice on stealing kegs, bribing local police and stock piling on contraceptives.
The story burst like an adolescent ejaculation throughout the school. My AP Calc teacher confronted me at one point in the hallways with a “scared straight” talk about how his buddy threw a party in high school and ended up destroying the chalice of Jesus Christ himself (which was hidden in the basement) in the fury of party rage. “Don’t do it” he said. “You could be destroying not only your future, but the future of the world as we know it.”
And that’s the funny thing about high school. At any moment kids are foaming at the mouth to destroy your family heirlooms and anxious adults are trying to convince you that life as you know it could end if you make one bad decision. I’m here to tell you kids that I broke a rule and survived. And to be honest, the parties were MUCH better in college.