That one memory

1:39 PM

    Do you have that one memory that unwittingly pops up from time to time that just makes you....cringe? Not the happy memory or that memory that makes you quietly sigh as you stare far off into the horizon. I am talking about that memory that physically makes you blush every time you think of it. It is that memory that could qualify for the most embarrassing memory, but it has nothing to do with you falling down in your platform boots in the middle of the hallway right underneath your lit teacher in high school. Totally nonfiction, that example. It has nothing to do with forgetting your money while trying to buy groceries or speaking loudly just as the music dims.

No, this memory is worse because the reason you cringe at it is because you were a total ass. You. Yes, you. You were a complete nincompoop in this memory and each time your mind goes there you want to scream at your past self "DO NOT OPEN YOUR STUPID MOUTH! SHUT IT RIGHT NOW!"

But you can't scream. Or you could but it wouldn't change the memory. And your mind doesn't listen to your obvious unwillingness to think about this memory again so it keeps rolling the film right before your eyes and BAM! There it is. The moment you were an ass.

I have one of those. It was my junior year of college. Or, since I went on and off again for four and a half years let's say it was around that year. I was in a nonficton writing class, even though I didn't need it. Seriously, I, at 23, was like, the bomb. You know? Gah! I was such an ass.

Anyway, my book had just been published and I was walking on air. At the time I had no idea that the publisher was basically a vanity press, which in 2004 was basically like being self-published and  back then that was not a good thing. No one considered you a real writer if you self-published. At the time I really thought that my publisher was a real publisher. Hence the chip on my shoulder. Funny thing though, no one really knew about my book. I didn't announce it to my class because, well, I didn't want to look like a snotty ass. Cringe.

So no one knew the reason behind my haughty
attitude, but that didn't keep me from having one. I wasn't all over the place acting like I was some Shakespeare. I acted normal, but inside my head I was all, "Yeah, I don't need this." You know?

We were sitting around the table filling in time. The teacher asks "what are some things you need to help you write?" No one answers. He looks at me. He was the only one who knew I had written a book and while he wasn't awed, floored, overjoyed, kneeling before me to kiss my hand,  he was very respectful and appreciative that I was young and had a book published. So, he looked at me and asked me. I thought I would try to be funny and said ....(cringe. I don't even want to write this.)

"Gummy bears."

Believe me, I said it like it was hilarious and very interesting. Like Vanity Fair and the New Yorker would be clammering one day to interview anyone who had actually heard me say those funny and so-true words. Yes, gummy bears, I told my class, are needed to write things. To write books, like I've written was basically what I was thinking.

I know. Ass. ASS. I wish I could erase it. Or strangle it. We learn from the past, right? So learn from this to not be such an ass. GAH!






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