I learned how to make cheap candle holders when I was 12. I’d take empty aluminum cans and cut the tops off. Then I’d puncture holes near the bottom to promote air flow, but not so near the bottom that wax would dribble out. Then I’d acquire as many cheap candles as possible from dollar stores and burn through them on a nightly basis.
Manufactured light was my enemy. Somehow, things just felt better if I had my room lit by candles. Nothing really improved on a night of Bauhaus records like a scattering of wax on my table, a handful of small cuts and scratches from the aluminum cans, and black smoke smudges on my ceiling.
Usually this was the time I’d get time on the phone and call my friends. I’m pretty sure my little circle of friends at the time had the most frustrated parents in the world. We all got suspended together, did wildly inappropriate things together, and talked for hours and hours when we really should have been doing homework.
So, we were like everyone else that age. And our parents were just normal. But we thought we were special.
It was around this time that I had my first experiences with “crazy girls.” It’s no joke that I tend to attract the crazy, being that I’m a bit crazy myself (although I prefer to think of myself as quirky).
I’d had crushes and the like before, but this one was different. For one, she seemed a lot older than she really was, even though she was in my class. And her life seemed immeasurably different than mine. I’d never known anyone my age to have the sort of freedom she had. It was why we’d get out of school every day, walk to her house, and make out behind the bushes that lined the corner where she lived.
She was also the first girl to break up with me. I was devastated, of course, and she used that fact to string me along. Which is, as we all know by this point, is another recurring theme in my life.
The funny thing is, I don’t even really remember what I saw in her. I’m not nostalgic for her; I’m nostalgic for the situation. I have no idea what happened to her. She sort of fell off the face of the planet during high school. She probably moved away and forgot her old life. But from time to time, those memories creep back to me.