Dear Teen Me,
Let me tell you a story. No, you’re not too old to hear a story, so listen up, and stop rollin your eyes in the back of your head. Yeah, I know you do that.
Right now, you’re pissed about a lot of crap. I get that. Have you figured out what it all has in common? Not yet? You will. Until you do, tuck that anger into a little box. It’ll come in handy later. Oh, and keep his letters. You might need those.
I have the benefit of seeing the future that you can’t. You think you know how everything in your life will play out? You don’t. I’ll give credit where it’s due. You’re smart. You’re a fire-brand – just like your dad will tell you in a letter your senior year. Your passion to help other people surfaces like dolphins chasing a boat. And, you’re unwillingness to put up with shit will serve you well. But, it won’t be enough. You’re going to have to up your game. You’re going to encounter the same shit like Groundhog Day. Get ready.
When you meet “the boy who shall remain nameless,” the two of you will attract like a magnet to a paperclip. You’ll meet at a party. You and one of your friends will convince him that leading him blind-folded to a park, and up into an object forced into the shape of a rocket, is a good idea. All of you will laugh … a lot. His big brown eyes are deadly. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
From that moment, the two of you will speak almost every night. You’ll have three dates. He’ll meet you at Westroads mall. His bike will get stolen. His mom will pick him up. His calls will become less frequent, and when he does call, his voice will be strained. You won’t understand why.
Your second date is at a movie theater. (It closed long ago, by the way.) He’s goofy and takes you to see a Peewee movie. You think it’s stupid. You think he’s amazing.
The third and final time you see each other, he comes to your house in North Omaha. Before he shows up, you think, maybe he’s not coming. Those aren’t butterflies in your stomach. They’re alligators grabbing a bird from the surface and forcing it under the water. He meets your parents.
That’s the last time you’ll see “the boy who shall remain nameless.” You’ll exchange several hushed calls. He’ll abruptly end conversations. In the end, he’s going to tell you he can’t see you. You’ll ask ‘why?’ He’ll cry. You’ll cry. If he continues to see you, he explains, his parents will kick him out of their house.
You’re going to spend the next year in emotional darkness — Not because you loved him – maybe you did, but maybe it was just a serious teen-age crush. The emotional darkness washes over you as the alligator pulls you under because you’ll understand that this experience … this boy … he’s 7th grade all over again. Groundhog Day.
There’s no happy ending.
Or, is there?
There’s a movie I want you to make sure you watch. It’s going to influence you well into your forties. Shut-up. Forty is the new thirty, or some such shit. Anyway, the movie is going to make you laugh so hard you’ll cry. (Of course, the crying could also be because of that emergency appendectomy, but I don’t think so.) You’re going to quote the movie — a lot!
I’ll leave you this from Auntie Mame: Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! Live! Live! Live!
Oh, and write. Your first book is released in 2011.
Kori Miller is a wife, mother, author, tea blending guru, martial artist, and radio show host – not necessarily in that order! She divides her time unequally between her various roles, and enjoys it – most of the time. She self-published her first book titled, MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE: A book of experiences in 2011. You can read her other essays in Fine Lines Literary Journal, on Kori Miller Writes, The Community Storyboard, and Flash Fiction World. Ms. Miller recently won first place for her flash fiction piece titled, “Found.” It was described as “hauntingly beautiful and subtly shocking.”