Strange Confessions: The Masters

Strange Confessions: During my freshman year of high school I would occasionally don a black felt, pointy topped mask, and acted like a weirdo in public.

At Judge Memorial Catholic High School, during my freshman year, I fell in with the wrong crowd. Or, wrong individual, is perhaps closer to the truth. This was a very transformational period for me. I gained much experience of who I was to turn out to be, from my standing back and observing this person, let’s call him Wayne, and how he treated his friends and me. I also, for the longest time, blamed Wayne for my lack of dedication, direction and hard work at Judge which led to my expulsion for poor grades. But ultimately, I knew I had no one to blame but myself, which took a long time for me to see. I still regret much of the consequences: seeing people I knew all through my childhood going on toward their purpose and being successful in their endeavors, united in their struggles, forming friendships that would last a lifetime, that should have been with me and for me. I still regret it but not in the same way, for that is another story.

I became friends with Wayne under delicate circumstances. Several of us were hanging out in the Boys’ room, I don’t remember who they specifically were or how I came to be there, but I was standing by the sink, messing with the soap dispenser. The nozzle on the dispenser was built up with layers of hardened pink goo. I pulled forward the release lever and several inches of the soap shot out from the only hole it could escape from under such extreme pressure. Do you know where the soap dispenser was aimed at? Right at the crotch of Wayne’s pants. Wayne stood there in amazement looking down and then looking up at me, with anger building in his face. I remember Wayne chasing me through the halls, but can’t for the life of me remember him catching me. I know he didn’t hit me or anything like that. I don’t even know how we came to be friends.

Isn’t it strange the things our minds eliminate from memory and sometimes the stuff we do remember is baffling to say the least. Either way a week or two later, we were wandering through the halls, Wayne blasting Rainbow through his boom box he brashly brought to school. We’d receive annoyed and disgusted looks from upperclassmen, but Wayne didn’t care. He… we were cool. Our group consisted of the big, but lovable; Tram, the scrawny and goofy; Mash, the pliable and eager to please; me, and the thick eye browed and grinny; Wayne. Joining this group was like becoming a Mormon: I was accepted immediately, once I professed any type of interest and loyalty, but the stuff that was revealed, in bits and pieces at a time, disturbed me enough to question what I’d gotten myself into, yet I was in too deep to back out, and there was nowhere else for me to go. In my immaturity, I began to believe that the loyalty to these friends was more important than school. I believed that I had found more than my past friendships I made a St. Vincents, and in my own stupid way shunned them for this new acceptance. Tram was a good guy, he had lots of other friends and didn’t make our group exclusive. Mash; oh I really think I could have been good friends with Mash. For he was smart enough to know that this group wasn’t as all fired up important as I thought it was, and he wasn’t around as much as I. Neither was Tram for that matter. Well, it eventually became just Wayne and I.

Soon going over to Wayne’s house after school everyday became the norm. I learned how to cheat the bus system with different types of transfers, or stolen ones off of an unmanned bus, where the driver had taken a break to a convenience store in Wayne’s neighborhood, just so I could get home at night. Wayne’s mom was divorced and seemed to be always at work. So going over to his house was a sort of freedom. But there was always something niggling at the back of my neck. An uncomfortable feeling that I was not doing my school work, that I was neglecting my family, that nothing else seemed that important anymore. Wayne wasn’t putting a lot of pressure on me, I’d just follow him.

Looking back, as in former Strange Confessions, I’m embarrassed by my conduct, by the way I just did things, without thought for anyone else around me. It’s times like this, spent with Wayne, that I most wish for a time machine. To go back and slap myself, and say in a british accent, “Get on ye yargle! What d’ya think you’re doing with this gormless nutter!? You are better’n this. Go on back to school before I knock yer block off.” Ha! I’d do it in a british accent just to confuse myself. Wouldn’t that be funny to go back and give yourself a message in a different accent. I’d imagine a lot of mental gymnastics would be goings on at night,… well perhaps it’d be a bit too much.

Wayne didn’t command or order things to be done the way he wanted, he just expected them. I see now that he wanted to be a leader, but didn’t have the charisma or the surroundings to accomplish this at a high level, except that he had me. He was a bad boy, and I did bad and stupid things when I was with him. Which leads to my Strange Confession. Wayne had knitted this mask that looked like a KKK mask, except it was black and it was slit from the bottom up to the nose, so you could see the mouth. He’d put it on on the bus and squeal, and look around sharply, and pound on windows. Basically, the mask gave you to power to be an idiot. He’d have me do stuff with the mask on sometimes, like jump inside a store, squeal, look all around like some wild animal, then jump out again. Or, run after a bus that had just left it’s stop and pound on the windows, jumping up and down, probably freaking out the bus driver. His favorite was to pound on the greenhouse windows of some fancy garden center, then just stand there with your face and hands pressed against the windows if you caught someone’s eye, like we usually did. Wayne called this thing “The Masters”. Why? I don’t know.

I felt stupid doing these things, but Wayne thought it hilarious, and he gained such enjoyment from freaking out people himself. I wanted to make people laugh not think I was some sort of freak. But there I was. Doing whatever Wayne wanted to do. I was wasting money, wasting time, wasting my future, wasting my reputation. Throwing it all away for a bit of approval. We’d go over to Tram’s home and that was enjoyable. We never did that The Masters garbage when we were at Tram’s house, and his sister was so cute too. Wayne would make fun of me that I wouldn’t get Tram’s sister, and he would always be after her. I was shy, had no ambition of my own, and just a sad sack. Being a freshman at Judge was not all I had expected. I wanted to be friends with my old friends again, but by then the year was over. I had not made the grade and was kicked out.

After that year I never sought the approval of my peers, at least that I didn’t consciously think about. I’d make my own paths, find friends who liked me for me. Many times it is hard to have this attitude, especially with my personality. But, I did find others. I did see Wayne again a couple of times after this, once when my new friend at Brighton and I stole my mom’s car when she was in Italy, (but that is another story) and the other when I was taking out the garbage at work at the Pizza Oven Connection. Boy, I felt like a real winner then. All three of them are on Facebook and I don’t think I want to “friend” Wayne, but I’d sure like to talk to Mash and Tram. Maybe I’ll get up the courage to private message them.

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Posted on June 24, 2013, in Strange Confessions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The time machine part totally made me laugh since I could see you speaking/acting it! And that accent sounded more Scottish in my head.

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