for old times sake……

auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne* ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,

for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Robert Burns
One of life’s greatest untold ironies, and indeed, most significant
disappointments, is the truism that we all end up in the same place.
Most of us, anyhow.
Certainly, we’re taught, from a very early age that, should
we put forth our best efforts, and keep our noses clean, a wealth of
opportunities and riches await us in our futures.
Some years later, myself now fully grown, I’ve began to take
stock of this much-fabled do-better-in-the-long-run theorem of childhood
And it’s crap.
Absolute crap.
The real truth is that with a few minor exceptions, the kids
who stole from Spencer’s will end up in lives nearly identical to the kids who
placed first at science fairs.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
There I was, three weeks ago, at the corner of Wilson and
Courthouse. The day was bitter cold, and the wind was whipping at my
extremities with a brute force that made my knuckles weep.
Though overburdened with a laptop satchel, purse, and
bookbag, the heels of my pumps etching life from the Arlington pavement with my
every slew-footed step, I could tolerate the frost at my fingertips no further,
and stopped, suddenly. I wasn’t going to move another inch until I’d donned a
pair of gloves.
I furtively rustled through my purse, shifting receipts here
and there, fumbling over pens, glasses, business cards, but nothing, nothing with
the familiarity of kid leather.
I scrunched my nose as it started to run, sniffing
fervently, willing myself not to focus on the cold, or my growing frustration, when
my hand snagged at something smooth. I recognized, immediately, that whatever I
was grasping wasn’t a glove, but curiosity demanded I withdraw it from my bag’s
One lone pair of hot pink boycut boxer briefs.
I had stuck my hand in my purse, and pulled out a pair of
drawes on the corner of Courthouse and Wilson.
I rushed to put my findings back where they’d been
discovered, only to have my hand caught, again, by a smooth fabric-y something
or other. Removing my hand, once more, I looked to my palm.
“Son-of-a-BITCH!” I exclaimed. Black, satin panties.
Jamming the underwear back in my bag, I assembled my things about
my person, and proceeded to the parking deck, hands freezing, nose running, and
several curses ever-present on my lips.
It is not often that I reflect upon the manner of woman I’ve
become, but, on this day in particular, the expensive lining of my bag being
kept warm by my unmentionables, I paused.
Like……..how was I living? Was my life so crazy? Were my nights so wild
that I couldn’t deign to sleep at my own house, everything in its proper place,
panties on poon, not in purse?
At that moment, all became clear to me.
My great revelation.
The unexpected synchronicity of life’s experiences between
myself and a teenaged slut I once knew.
And an auld acquaintance I’d
long forgotten sprang to mind once more….
Okay, so, truth be told, I never personally smelled Meka.
Like, I’d never, you know, experienced her rumored wet-assy odor, first hand.
But, she looked like she stank, or was, at the very least,
musty-as-a-motherfucker-seeming to my 13 year old eyes, so I didn’t really fool
with her too much.
Besides, she was new to school (in so much as she hadn’t
attended any of the 3 elementary schools whose graduates now teemed the halls
of Brandon Middle) and had every appearance of trouble about her.
That she’d consented to being the doormat in Remonica
Jenkins’ motley assortment of derelict girls didn’t bode well for her either.
I kept my distance, and merely watched from afar, seldom
offering up opinion on her presence at our school, even when asked directly.
But her every move captured my attention. Something about this girl fascinated
Meka was of above average height and dark brown in color. I
suspect her hair was originally fashioned in the style of a bob, but had
somehow lost its way when she’d elected to deprioritize consistent relaxers.
She had a rather nice set of teeth, I always thought. I was
keenly aware of this fact, as Meka had the misfortune of being something of a
While she was nothing to really look at, all in all, she
fared no better or worse than any of us, but for one distinguishing set-apart:
Meka’s face was covered in a veritable sea of blackheads; blackheads that she,
by all appearances, was rather fond of
picking at.
When I say that Meka was a doormat in Remonica’s crew, I do
so without the slightest touch of hyperbole.
On Monday, they’d be nice to her, inviting her to lunch, and
joking with her. By Wednesday she’d be “stinky, ugly” Meka, on whose desk they’d
deposit a wash cloth and soap before class. True story.
It didn’t help that she was a little on the fast side. Boys
lined up to get at her, as her virtue was said to be free for the taking.
And that was how things were at Brandon Middle, on and on ad infinitum until the unthinkable
happened…Meka got a steady boyfriend.
None other than Justin Dart, brother to Monique Dart, best
friend of Remonica Jenkins.
A brief word on Monique Dart.
They say she went crazy.
I don’t know if that’s true or not.
What I do know is, that back then, Monique was a bully of
the first water. She was tall and slight of frame, but scary as all hell,
repeatedly in trouble, and awash with enthusiasm at the prospect of fucking up
anyone who dared step in her path.
She had less hair than you could snap your fingers at, but miraculously
defied known science day after day, and managed to put it in a ponytail (think
of one of those ittybitty dwarf ponies that only come to your knees, and make
you kinda sad to look at).
But what was most fascinating, and indeed, spectacular,
about Monique, was the ever-present layer of dry, crusty, chappy, rashy ash
that circled her full lips in a perfect oval.
Why spectacular?
Because she insisted upon concealing said oval of dry,
crusty, chappy, rashy ash at all costs.
And she didn’t employ a traditional method of concealment,
like, say, oh….idunno…CONCEALER….
Oh no.
Monique covered her mouth………
With her fucking hand.
All the time.
She talked THROUGH her hand.
Like a horrible puppeteer, or that black beat-boxing dude
from Police Academy.
Let’s say we were in class and Monique had to use the
restroom. She’d raise her left hand, whilst covering her mouth with her right.
When called upon, she’d mumble her request THROUGH her fingers.
And her hand was ALWAYS there. I bet it was balmy as FUCK
under there, and I’m certain that mushrooms thrived in the webbed cartilage between
her fingers.
Whatever the case, I’m sure her being mean as the devil was
directly related to the chronic slow burn plaguing her forearm that never
deviated from its 45° angle.
But I digress.
Meka, a sucker for a bad decision, had taken up with Justin
Dart, and by all accounts, was giving up the bads to him on a fairly regular
She continued to abide the constant demoralization of
Remonica and her crew, trying desperately to win their affections—some days she
was the bird, but most days she was the statue.
Then, one day, it all changed.
I’d left my classroom a little late, staying behind to speak
with a teacher, and by the time I hit the halls for a quick run to my locker
the corridor was thick with a crush of seventh graders.
Everyone seemed really excited, and loud for some reason.
Moreso than usual. The crowd of kids was jeering and a thicket of boys were at
the very center, hands outstretched above their heads, fingertips avidly reaching
for something. I saw something being passed from person to person, and I couldn’t
make it out, but the mystery object was driving my schoolmates into a frenzy.
“What’s up?” I asked Melanie, a friend of mine, who had
appeared by my side, giggling and grinning.
she drawled before firing out the next sentence with a rush of information, “MekaputherdrawesinanenvelopeandtriedtogivethemtoJustinbutRemonicaandthemgotemandnowtheypassinthemaroundeverywhere!!!”
I looked up, again, and now, fully apprised of the
happenings, noted that the object did
appear to be a pair of women’s underwear—black, satin panties.
Meka, in a last ditch attempt at sexy, had put her rank,
rancid drawes (I’m taking some license,
here) in an envelope, brought them to
school, and tried to give them to
Setting aside the fact that drawes in an envelope don’t so
much give off “sexy” as they do “evidence collected from a crime scene,” they
were now being passed around from person to person, her humiliation more
profound now, than ever before.
I saw her then, in the midst of the chaos, standing there
looking dumbfounded. She wasn’t even trying to get them back as much as steel
herself from the noise all about her. She looked a bit bewildered; as though
she couldn’t comprehend how things had gotten to this point.  And I remember, for the first time, feeling
truly sorry for her.
My unexpected encounter with my own unmentionables made me
think of Meka, that cold day in December.
I mean…our dissimilarities are many.
She was a child of 13, and I am a woman of 30.
She was a social pariah, and I’ve always enjoyed the warmth
of good friends.
She was hot and loose with the ass, and I am……..less hot and
loose with the ass.
But somehow, someway…
Despite passage of time and difference of circumstance……
We both own the
same pair of black, satin drawes.
And neither she, nor I, had the good sense, presence of
mind, or common damned decency to leave those sonsofbitches at home.
On a cold, windy day in December, I was Meka. And by Jove,
Meka was me.
So, to Burns’ query, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot and
never brought to mind?” I say, “Shit, no!”
And tonight—
Tonight,  I’ll raise
my cup o’ kindness to the tarnished memory of Meka, the slut that Time may have
forgot, but not I…..
Not I.

7 Responses to “for old times sake……”

  1. January 3, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Oh, Meka. You know that shit scarred her for life.

    I love your blog. You are an amazing writer; you make me want to step up my own game. I love it when you have new posts.

    Happy New Year!

  2. 3 MissE
    January 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I’m glad no one SAW said unmentionables in your hand on the corner…But your story has me crying laughing. Poor Meka. No one helped her?

  3. 4 gannsberg
    January 11, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Hey I loved the post, and I really have no insightful comment, I am just trying out this new universal avatar icon to see if it works!!!! lol So hurry up and approve my inane comment so that I can see myself in lights! No more of that ubiquitous green Rorschach jumble!!!!! Trying to get hip with the kids today….

  4. 5 sourpatchkid
    January 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    ahh, good ‘ole remonica jenkins. i was hoping she’d make an appearance, albeit a brief one, in one of your posts again.

  5. January 14, 2011 at 4:40 am

    I used to work at Wilson & Courthouse. I also wish I could put you in a Delorean to chronicle jr. high for me as I can hardly remember it. There were lots of good times, and the few bad ones provided a lot to learn from.

  6. 7 NubianEmpress
    March 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    “She had less hair than you could snap your fingers at, but miraculously
    defied known science day after day, and managed to put it in a ponytail”

    …and then iDied. You mean a strugglin’ fauxnytail? i am familiar acquaintance.

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a history of my meanderings….


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