I love that I keep every single piece of paper for life

by Amy Turn Sharp


 

I tried to write a book when I was sixteen. I borrowed a sentence from the movie "Fresh Horses" to start the novel. "Someone once told me that the mind has a natural process of letting go." I shit you not. I had a Pee Chee folder and inside those inner sleeve pockets held some of the most amazing malarky ever. I was writing about my tiny hometown and all of the people in it with sixteen year old eyeballs. There was no distance. There was no plan. I had not heard of Philip Lopate or creative non fiction yet but I knew some stories had to be told. I thought I could all "S.E. Hinton" the shit out of my bleak rural high school experience. I thought I could be the one to see everything and filter it through myself like Whitman had told me.  I thought I was ready to tell stories.

 

I became privy to some information that I was not supposed to have. Shelving books in the school library one day I learned that the senior boys were playing a scoring type game of sexual tryst and favors. Each girl in the senior class was rated and then scored upon a set of objectives.  


Will Garvey was the biggest bastard that ever walked the halls of my school. First off, he was not cute. He was big, but he was not cute. A shorn head and big muscles and a pimply face and white teeth. He had a very tiny penis from what the girls said and yet, he was desirable among dozens. He was whispering to the other boys near the large wooden Dewey Decimal cabinet. Squatting down like they did at the games, huddling around each other, spreading this crap they called fun.  


so, a finger bang is worth 10 points...

dry hump? Oh my God. ok 5. 


I strained my ears, stretching through the non-fiction stacks to hear more about this twisted game. I thought about dropping a pile of books and announcing my presence, only to think quickly about how mean these guys were. I was not sure what they would do to me for hearing about their plans. These are the same guys who took Kevin Gentler and stripped him naked and pushed him out onto the stage at opening assembly the first day of school with a baton stuck up his ass.

 

Now there was no baton butt travesty that I can remember and I don't know a Kevin Gentler.  But I sure do know a similar character to Will Garvey and it was not by any random stumbles through a catalogue that made me a Women's Studies minor in college.

photo source