May 24, 2005

The Prom

Senior year in high school was a good one for me. Although I’d asked another girl to the prom, she turned me down. I hadn’t asked Karen (the girl from Carmen) simply because she was Mormon and I didn’t expect her to want to go. However, she did and with that explained, I got my tux and a pocket full of cash and was ready for the evening.

The Prom itself, like so many others was at a large, overcrowded dining room where the dance floor was coated in people and the food was coated in sauce. I ate a few bites, and then we tried to dance. However even with a slow steady beat, it was impossible to do anything buy sachet.

That night we’d predetermined to go to a Comedy Club in New York City (Catch a Rising Star, if you must know) and although I drove, we didn’t expect to drink, just to laugh. The night was great. With half a dozen obvious prom-couples in the house, the comics were able to dust off their old prom material and zing it to us, repeatedly.

The club had a cover charge and a 3 drink minimum. I was drinking ginger ale, but that didn’t count. At some point in the evening, a waitress came by our large table and handed me the bill. I had several hundred dollars in my pocket, but was apoplectic over the price. Like Ralph Kramden, I thought, “humina humina humina”. It took me a few minutes to realize that this was divided among 12 people and suddenly my price was ok. I dropped the bill along with our fee, tax and tip onto the table for the next person to experience. Eventually it was paid.

Traditionally, our class would then spend the next day at the beach. We called it Senior Beach Day and for those who over-drank celebrating the prom, it was a good way to sober up. However, at 2-3am we had two choices, the first was to go straight to the beach, romantically watch the sunrise and then spend the rest of the day on the beach. The other possibility was to grab a few hours of sleep and then start out early in the morning. We agreed that a few minutes of beautiful sunrise was clearly going to make us basket-cases and so I dropped her off, to return at 7am.

It was sunny and warm that day, and with so many classmates all sun-worshiping we had a great day.

However, this is not where this chapter was meant to go. Let me show you:

Despite my doctors’ attempts to cut me off from normal human interaction, I have always actively sought companionship. Like a bad habit, I have adapted a new truth about my life. In the 1970’s with my brain tumor and subsequent hospitalization, behind me, I tried to be a teenager during a very strange time.

My memories are colored, tainted by a metabolism that was forever altered. When I left ‘Babies Hospital’ I was more affected than I thought. I was 12 years old and come that fall was 13. The truth is that because my pituitary was affected by the radiation treatments, I never fully became a man. While chronologically things took place all around me, I never fully understood my place in the social order of 1970’s high school.
You see, the reason I drove down this path was to show you what kind of person I became and to explain that my metabolism was as much a part of my adolescence as was my missing libido.

It’s not that I spent days and nights at home alone. However, Dr. Gold, my pediatric neurologist dropped the ball. Instead of checking up on all parts of my recovery, he let me believe I was normal, without accounting for my endocrine problems.

I not only had a much skewed view of myself, but as time went on, and dieting couldn’t control my continued weight gain, I became “Big I” in High School. I was over 6 feet tall, but also 200-250 pounds. My problems wouldn’t be discovered for 20 years and by then I was told that not only could they do nothing about the lost time, but that the statute of limitations applied.

It sucks. Who would I have been what might I have done? These will never be answered, however one thing is clear, my choices after college were as suspect as everything else I did or did not do.

Posted by bbrother at May 24, 2005 03:55 AM

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Posted by: home improvement product at October 28, 2005 06:59 PM
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