19=7, a Proof

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19=7, a Proof

To be perfectly clear I'm not sure if I'm arguing that 19=7, or 19=6, but in any event, it's odd.

Exhibit A:
In first or second grade, we had a discipline system with different color coded cards with our names written on them. We started off with Blue which is cool, then there was Green for a warning, and Yellow for no recess, and Red for seeing the principal's office. Pretty serious shit. They'd say '______ come change your name' and you'd have to turn over one card for the next - quite the humiliating experience, to say the least.

Or so I surmised. I didn't know first hand for the longest time. I was a very good kid. I mean, a VERY good kid. To my detriment. I've always put myself to bed at an early hour, always got my schoolwork done, almost never lied and never lied successfully to an adult, and interested in learning and sticking to rules over exploring. Through all of Kindergarten there was only one instance of myself misbehaving and only two others of feeling humiliated (curiously I have no other memories of that grade).

So in first grade, which is when I think this happened, I went months without an issue. Then one day in silent reading/writing time, a weird offsetting fucker who sat next to me asked me for my pencil. I told him it was my only one. I can't remember if that was the truth or a lie but I'd guess it was a lie. I honestly don't remember who the kid is, or who the teacher was, because we had 2 for that year with one being on maternity leave for a while.

To continue on, this creepy little git insisted that I give him my pencil - which I certainly was not going to do. Respecting private property has always been one of my principles, so even though I was cowardly and weak I was very assertive that I would not give him the pencil, but unable to dissuade him from grabbing at it and whispering ever louder to borrow it.

Our squabbling attracted to the teacher, and she immediately said 'Luke go change your name'. Ouch!! I said 'But-' but she cut me off for talking again. I got up and walked to my name card and changed it to green - warning, which had no other punishment besides making you one away from yellow. But I burned with a fury so clear that it pervades a childhood memory utterly decimated by a severe shortage of interesting events or notable accomplishments.

In reflection, obviously I'm more bemused by my former personality than angry about the injustice of it all.

But that's still me.

Exhibit B:
In my G-Health 100 class (a Gen Ed requirement), I am much like my younger self. I feel a slight contempt for my classmates and the sense that I was destined for greater things than anything in this class could aid me in achieving. That's about what I remember from Country Parkway, although I really did like the place and always had some small number of friends. But before advanced classes were available to me, I remember being one of the kids who finished everything in half the time and really wished the class would quiet down so we could move on to the next thing. I get easily frustrated by slow moving groups even if I'm not as intense about learning as a noble portion of the Williamsville district.

Being back in Health, in High School and College, has reminded me that I have not outgrown my younger self, just structured a life better for him. Last week, a weird offsetting fucker who sits next to me asked me to borrow a pencil. In my mind I was thinking 'Who the hell doesn't bring a writing utensil to a LECTURE class??'. What was worse was that we were supposed to be doing a 'diary' like class assignment where we wrote how we were feeling to see if it was cathartic for us. I told the creepy little git that it was my only one, but he was insistent that we could share it. So I started writing my diary, which was a word for word retelling of that very scenario and how stressed it made me. I knew that as soon as I was done writing, this urchin expected me to hand my pencil to him. Well I wrote for 10 minutes straight at light speed, feeling his eyes on my shoulder. It was awful. I had another pencil, but really, I don't want to give you my pencil. It's a lecture class. You gotta do better than that. You deserve to not have notes taken if you didn't bring things to take notes with.

Anyway, today, the Attendance sheet was being passed around and the same goblin asked me for my pencil again. Now, I'm selfish, but I'm not that much of an asshole, of course I let him use my pencil to sign in. Then I asked for it back, and he asked me if he could keep it for the class. Fuck no! I told him it was my only one (again untrue, but again fuck you) and he very reluctantly let me take it from his hand. After about 10 minutes, he opened up his backpack and GOT OUT A PENCIL. Holy shit!

Today simultaneously raised and answered a question about the previous incident: How did he sign in on the Attendance sheet the first time. Oh, PROBABLY WITH THE PENCIL HE HAD.

When I got on the bus after class, I saw my first grade self sitting next to me. We observed each other a moment, him looking slightly disappointed, before I spoke up.

"Hey, that kid in there was a jerk, right?"
He looked around to make sure no adults or the kid were around. Then he said "Yeah, fuck that guy."

We high fived. He asked me if the Bills and Sabres were finally better. I told him I didn't want to ruin the surprise, and he smiled so sincerely that I'm sure my immediate frown and head-shaking must've crushed his poor soul. He asked me if I had any advice for him. This being a most peculiar opportunity, I thought hard before answering. "Harry Potter. Arrested Development. Ron Paul."

He thanked me as the bus pulled to a stop in front of Tesla Hall, a mysterious building at JMU that never appears in the same place twice, and houses all our time-space alteration technology. The doors swung open and a purple vortex sucked at the doors to the bus. It didn't pull me or any passenger toward it other than my younger self. He didn't seem to mind. I'm sure it just took him back to his time.

After I got back to my room I pondered the events and began to realize that 19=7. This being impossible in the universe we knew, I now fear my alteration with myself has done something to the very fabric of existence, and that society and the universe itself will soon unravel into damnation and eternal torment.

I'm very sorry.


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19=7, a Proof :: Comments

Post on Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:06 pm by dohnage18

Well done.

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Post on Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:00 pm by strangerthanfiction

Had this been written in a far more sentimental fashion, I shall assure you that it might have been very possible that I might have teared up a bit.

I, too, was a good kid with that stupid system--however, I was repeatedly punished for not finishing my colouring assignments (I couldn't simply scribble things on there, I had to make everything different colours and very neat) and for one pretty awful reading assignment that took me a night and everyone else at least three to six weeks. First grade was not my strong point.

I didn't even know you guys in first grade.

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