I wanted to write something a little bit snide and a lot funny tonight, but it’s not flowing. Instead, I find my mind focused on something that happened when I was in 7th grade. I’d all but forgotten it until this morning. Weird.
I’ll preface this by saying that everything I remember from that night is filtered through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl, so I can’t promise it’s 100% accurate. I can say it’s probably more accurate than I’d like to believe.
I lived in the Bay Area during elementary and middle school, and I was a band nerd. I’m not the least bit ashamed of that. After all, I can play multiple instruments. Can you? (FYI, the skin flute does not count.) I was in marching band, jazz band, concert band–pretty much every band offered. My band teacher, Carol Kouklis, was (and still is) the most amazing teacher and friend. Looking back, I’m not sure I would’ve survived middle school without the refuge that band provided.
When Maynard Ferguson did a concert in San Francisco, of course I wanted to go. I’m sure this had nothing to do with the fact that the boy I’d been crushing on for two years (a trumpet player, of course) was going. I’d never be that shallow. Not many people wanted to go, so the few of us who did piled into our student teacher’s car and headed into the city.
Our student teacher was Darrin, and he was funny and awkward in the way that only band nerds in their early 20s can be (you’ll probably have to trust me on that one). He was a brass player and really wanted to hear Maynard, so Kris, Ryan and I piled into Darrin’s car and headed into the city.
During the concert, Darrin and Ryan disappeared periodically. I was naive and hadn’t the foggiest idea what was going on. The concert was great, and I was sitting next to Kris, and everything was good. We were all having a great time.
When it was over, we piled back into Darrin’s car (seriously, it was a very small car) for the long drive home. Darrin and Ryan were in high spirits, which seemed to be reflected in Darrin’s somewhat erratic driving. I think we made it to about the Bay Bridge before Darrin started reaching back and grabbing at my legs. He thought it was hilarious. I didn’t. I couldn’t figure out what was going on–we were all friends, the concert was great, but now Darrin was driving like a moron and trying to grope me. I squeezed my eyes shut and pretty much prayed the entire way home that we’d make it alive.
That was 22 years ago. As an adult, it seems obvious what happened that night, and it pisses me off.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this. Nothing really happened–I got home safe and life continued as normal. But I look back at it and feel sad for that lonely little 12-year-old girl who never bothered telling anyone about it.