Another school semester will soon begin. If you’re in school, are you looking forward to starting classes? If you’re out of school, what do you miss about it — or are you glad those days are over?
Today I added a new page – works in progress – to my blog. The first work is a text novel,l that I began a couple three years back, and never finished. Two of the chapters are about the main character’s high school days. Those entries will serve as my post for the day. You can read the rest here.
And yes, I want your feedback. Thanks.
Chanel Lipinski Wrote Me
Chanel Lipinski from Saints Preserveus High School for Girls.
Tall lanky Chanel with the one green and one brown eye. Thirty years since I’ve seen or spoken to her, and still the best friend I ever had.
Gotta get out my crayons and write that kid who invented Facebook to thank him.
It was the second day of my first year in the hell that is parochial high school. It was 8:45 am – home room - Sister was taking attendance. My seat was the last one in the first row. I loved it; it was next to a window, and the basketball team captain in front of me blocked sister’s view of me daydreaming.
I was barely listening when Sister introduced Chanel to the class.
“I’m certain we have met in another life.”
“Huh?” I came to as Chanel slid her endless legs under the desk next to me.
“It’s destiny you know. You can’t fight destiny.”
She then turned face front as Sister droned on about some cake sale or raffle.
“Des – tin -eeee,” she whispered enunciating every syllable.
The rest of the morning was a blur of useless historical facts, algebra and passing notes. I guess these days we would be texting on silent.
Each note was startling, amazing, unbelievable.
My father is Jewish, and he and my mother are not legally married. That’s hush-hush.
My mother named me Chanel after the designer. She wanted Coco Chanel Lipinski, but her mother threatened suicide.
I sleep in the nude.
My grandparents think Catholic school will straighten me out – they’re wrong.
How many lovers have you had? I’m on my third, and he’s being a hump.
Come to my house after school? Rita works till 8.
By 10am I would have sold my soul to fast forward the clock to three pm.
Here comes Miss Hopeful & Nails. Let’s see what happens.
As soon as Sister dismissed us for the day Chanel and I headed for the subway. Our school was very small, so the teachers moved from class to class. We had sat next to each other all day.
Over the summer I had decided on eccentric loner for my school school. I never fit in during my grade school years . The results had not been good. The scent of desperation turns some kids evil. Especially when said desperate kid is overweight, wears braces and gets high marks. It was having a bulls-eye painted on my back.
Saints Preserveus was and still is one of the best parochial high schools in Manhattan. My parents were hopeful that I would make lots of nice new friends. All I wanted was to survive this four-year sentence, turn 18 and move to New Orleans. I planned to wear scarlet Berets, long black velvet dresses and smoke cigarettes in a long ivory holder. My writing would support me.
Mom gave me a verbal high five when I called to tell her that I had a new friend. She wanted to talk to Chanel’s mom before I went to her house for dinner. She wanted me to come home and pick up a devils food cake to take for dessert. I threatened to stick a pitchfork in my eye. She laughed, told me to have fun, and to use my emergency ten-dollar bill for cab fare home.
And then we were on the 1 train heading down to Greenwich Village. Chanel and her family lived down West 13th Street. My father had an unmarried Aunt who lived in the Village until her death last summer. Tia Vicky had been a piano teacher. She also liked to design and make her own clothing. I had one of her old brown leather valises under my bed filled with the long velvet dresses she made and worn over the years. They fit too. Some were cut low. At night I put them on, and posed in front of the old full-length black enamel frame that hung on her bedroom wall for over 50 years.
Yesterday was my first day of high school. I sat through it quietly. Spoke only when spoken to, and read a book while I ate my lunch alone. Today I had a best friend. Her name was Chanel Lipinski, and we would go through life having amazing adventures. We had made a pact over lunch.
The doors of the 1 train closed behind us, and our ride began.