Sunday, November 13, 2011
We were heading upstairs after being outside for some sort of physics class activity as a special ed class was coming down. My friend since elementary school, Mike, was right behind me. As we walked up, we talked about anything other than physics, when out of nowhere, one of the special ed students wound up, screamed, and, with all her might, slapped him across the face.
The special ed class kept moving while Mike stood in the stairwell with a shocked look on his face. His cheek immediately became red while he kept staring forward in disbelief. It wasn’t a stage slap, and it wasn’t a response to an inappropriate come on, it was a full, heel of the hand wallop.
I can still picture his face, eyes wide open, mouth agape, standing by himself in a stairwell. He has since recovered, and I know because I had dinner with him last night with Ross. I had gone to elementary school through high school with both of them. I told him, “You are a part of one of my favorite funny high school memories.” He immediately said, “When I got slapped in the stairwell?” Apparently, receiving it was just as memorable as watching it.
Mike is now a psychiatrist. Another friend from high school is a lawyer, a couple are professors, and another pair are opthamologists. Sometimes I still think, “Can you believe that so and so is a _____ already?” Then I remember that I’m in my early to mid thirties, and, yes, people that age have advanced degrees and careers.
I’ve always been a little jealous. I’ve often wished there was something that I really wanted to do that involves going to school for a long time and coming out with a degree for a job that is respected and pays well. I have too many interests to focus on one thing for so long and my route has been more circuitous.
I’ve also been a little jealous that they were pursuing what they wanted to pursue, while I was stuck doing jobs that I wasn’t all that passionate about. I’ve got to say, that was part of my motivation with moving out here, I just wanted really bad to pursue something that I wanted. Regardless of coming out on the other end successfully, I wanted to jump in and pursue something. Now, I think I have. I haven’t done it for several years like someone getting a doctorate, but I’ve tried something. It doesn’t ache as much when I hear about someone else pursuing something for themselves.
I haven’t had any big successes.
But it has still been a good adventure.
It has been better than a slap in the face.
A really, really hard slap in the face.
A really, really hard, hilarious slap in the face.