Monday, December 7, 2009

The 16-Word Woman

16 words from her, earlier tonight on Facebook. The chat looks different from what you'd see in a chat window on Facebook because it's a bitch to paste anything here, so I had to copy and paste everything from the particular page I was on and then delete what I didn't need. The letter "u" in place of the word "you" counts as a word since this is the Internet and I don't have time to nitpick. I know "lol" would count as three words, but again, the Internet. Let it count as one:

"Sheena - 9:06 p.m.
hey u

Rory - 9:06 p.m.
what's up?

Sheena - 9:06 p.m.
what u doing up so late

Rory - 9:06 p.m.
It's only 9:06 here on the west coast.

Sheena - 9:07 p.m.
wish u could be here lol....good nite

Rory - 9:07 p.m.
question: did you go to Hollywood Hills or Flanagan?

Sheena is offline. - 9:14 p.m."

I don't know Sheena. Yes, she's a Facebook friend, and her profile states that she graduated Hollywood Hills High School in 2002, the same year as me (the only reason she's in my friends list). Except I never expected anyone to notice or remember me in any of my classes (I don't think she does specifically, just that we went to the same school). I moved to different schools pretty regularly, except for a long stretch at Riverside Elementary from the second half of second grade to fifth grade after my family and I had moved from Casselberry (near Orlando) to Coral Springs, Florida. I went to Hollywood Hills in 11th and 12th grade, moving with my mom, who worked at Flanagan when I was in 9th and 10th grade, and who decided to take a position at HH as a library assistant/clerk. In 11th grade, I basked in the joy that was my English teacher, Roberta Little, who wasn't an extroverted type, but she exuded pure love for stories. She had us read A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner, we talked about Julius Caesar and The Great Gatsby and also saw the films based on them, the former with a robotic Jason Robards as Brutus (entirely lacking the passion and fiery anger that Brutus needs), the latter so slow and so plain with Robert Redford as Gatsby and Sam Waterston as Nick, even with its lush production design, with billowy curtains and white, white sofas. It seems more emphasis was placed on that than the performances, than the need to try to make the film feel like the experience of reading the book, which is much more significant.

I also fondly remember two class periods spent watching A Raisin in the Sun, starring Sidney Poitier, and how riveted I was watching John Fiedler as Mark Lindner, trying to dissuade the family from moving into their rightful new home, because of that neighborhood he represented not wanting black people to move in. I loved silently observing how I knew that Fiedler voiced Piglet over the years in the Winnie the Pooh films, yet that's what consumed my classmates. The drama didn't matter to them as much as excitedly pointing out that that was Piglet, and that was fine. At least I noticed the dramatic tension.

I also had two outstanding history teachers, one being Craig Forgatsch in 11th grade. To the other students, he was out-and-out crazy, but he made history vivid. The other history teacher, whose name I unfortunately forgot, stuck to the hard facts in history, definitely not as manic as Forgatsch sometimes acted, but she clearly loved what she taught. There were days when the lectures truly dragged, when I just wanted to get out of there, but I understood it all. Nothing about the American Revolution was lost to disinterest in her class. Between her, Forgatsch, and Mrs. Little, I think that's how I developed a fierce love for plays, literature and history. I read a little of all in middle school, checking out Gone with the Wind from the library at Pompano Beach Middle in 6th grade and a host of other books, but never to the degree that I do now. I think without Mrs. Little, I probably wouldn't have latched on to the great and grand works of Noel Coward and Neil Simon with such devoted fervor. And without Forgatsch and that other history teacher, I wouldn't be as fascinated with the American presidency.

So I have absolutely no idea if I had any classes with Sheena, or if I talked to her at lunch (I always kept to myself, only occasionally talking to others). The only girl I remember well from Hollywood Hills is Stefanie Markham, who had the best pair of legs I'd ever seen in high school and still today, especially when she flirted with me at a school newspaper awards ceremony sponsored by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel at the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, and leaned them against my pant leg.

Looking at Sheena's photos on Facebook, in a bikini, wearing a black bra shown from behind, looking over her shoulder while probably standing on a bed, showing off a wonderfully ample ass clad in a pink thong, wearing a nearly-gauzy short pink nightgown, I see that she loves a steady stable of men when she's not working at Miller's Ale House. The photos don't only suggest that. So do Facebook status updates indicating that she wants some "play time" and doesn't like men who are still little boys. And so on.

"wish u could be here lol....good night." That bothers me the most. 16 words and that's all she was leading to. I asked one question, because I'd forgotten where she went to high school, and she couldn't even answer that. I like whole words, always have. I don't mind "you" shortened to "u" online, or "lol," but I hate when they're overused, as they are here. To me, there was only pure shallowness in thiat conversation. I wanted to know what classes we might have been in, what made her think of me after all this time. But I won't even know that. I wish I did, just out of curiosity. I wouldn't pursue anything further. I don't want to. I like women who have time for more than 16 words.