When I was a teenager I was a twit, or an ass, it really depends on who you ask. No matter who you ask though, they’ll all agree that I did some pretty stupid crap.

I was seventeen in the spring of 1990 and as the saying goes I was “young dumb and full of cum.” I had managed to graduate from high school a semester earlier than everyone else and had moved out of my parents house almost immediately. I shacked up with a friend and his amorous wife. At 17 I had a futon cushion in an unfurnished room of a friends apartment and a full time job at McDonalds I was on top of the world.

I had recently lost my virginity to a friend and coworker by the name of Jenn. Yep, that’s her real name, no protective anonymity for my friends. Being a young twit with a near 24 hour hard on, I naturally presumed that she was interested in something more than casual sex. I didn’t find out until much later that I was just one port in a large sea.

For about two months I made a real ass out of myself. I lavished upon her unmerciful and undesired attention. I sent her flowers at work. I took her out to dinner. I held her hair when she vomited. We smoked out and got drunk a lot.

Unfortunately for both of us she really didn’t do much in the way of discouraging me. Whenever I started to get a clue that maybe she wasn’t really romantically inclined towards me, she would feel me up in the kitchen at work, or go down on me in the break room. Being young, and a twit, I believed that this meant she really was interested. I was also pretty sure that romance and sex were the same thing. Remember I was a twit, and this whole sex thing was kinda new to me.

So it came as no real surprise when she refused my invitation to escort her to the prom. I was hurt, but not shocked to find out that she was going with her boyfriend. Oh, did I mention she had a boyfriend? He was stationed in Oregon with the Coast Guard, or something like that anyway. I was never real interested in his details. He was gone a lot and that’s all that really mattered to me. Apparently he was returning to take Jenn to the Prom. Prick.

I fell into a pretty deep funk. My work performance slipped. Fortunately I worked at McDonalds and no one really seemed to noticed. I did a lot of stupid teenage things like cutting myself, and burning incense while crying, believing perhaps that my amateuristic and ridiculous attempts to influence the spirits might congeal into real romance in some sort of cinema voodoo miracle.

Out of the blue a moment of hope was revealed. Jenn’s boyfriend couldn’t get leave. For a few minutes it seemed that all my freaky stalker obsession rituals may have made a difference after all. These hopes were of course dashed when she revealed that she still couldn’t attend with me, as her mother had set her up with someone else. More depression.

At the time it seemed odd to me that she would permit her mother to do something like that. Most teen girls I know wouldn’t permit a fixed date for their prom. In retrospect, it seems more likely that I managed to frighten her. She wasn’t stupid after all and I was getting kind of creepy.

So I was twice denied for the same function by a woman I was sleeping with pretty regularly. I had conceived a frightening obsession for said girl and was deeply depressed. I spent hours secluded in my room reflecting on my depression and performing ridiculous self mutilating rites of teenage angst. I was a definite suicide case. Or maybe I just wanted her to think I was.

It was clear to me that I had to crash the Prom and get my woman back. I had this startling and clearly logical epiphany about half way through a plastic jug of grocery store special, charcoal filtered vodka. It was so clear to me. I would walk to school, bust in on prom, beat the crap out of the twerp that had stolen my gal, and claim my women in a style reminiscent of a romance novel cover.

I wasn’t just a twit. Now I was a drunk twit.

I grabbed several drinks from the refrigerator and stuffed them into the oversized pockets of my teenage angst issue black trench coat, and began the hike to the school. I began my trek about nine o’clock in the evening. I was woefully behind schedule, and I had to hurry.

I had underestimated the difficulty of the walk to the school. It was only about two or three miles, but it was almost all up hill. Added to that I had donated my foot to ground coordination to liquor. My diet of McDonalds leftovers and beer certainly wasn’t helping either.

About half way to the school I stopped to vomit. While I was bent over expelling the demon alcohol I notice a car drive by and honk it’s horn. Several people leaned out of the vehicle and made various yelling noises indicating encouragement in my puking endeavor. I waved, stood up and resumed my trek. With my load lightened a little the distance didn’t seem as far.

I began to notice more vehicles on the road. Many of the cars honked their horns and the passengers frequently yelled. Several seemed to call out my name. That seemed a bit odd to me as I hadn’t told anyone of my plans to destroy prom. I chalked it up to drunken hallucinations.

When I reached the parking lot of Palmer High School it was virtually empty. I realized that all the screaming honking cars were prom attendees leaving the scene. One of the very few last cars wheeled up to me. It was driven by an acquaintance of mine and stuffed beyond safe capacity with teenagers dressed in green satin dresses and sharkskin tuxedos. The driver exclaimed, “What are you doing man? Prom’s over! You missed it buddy. Woooo! Hey, we’re all going over to Jimmy Turkilson’s house. He’s having a killer party, meet us there man. Woooo!”

As they sped off in to the night I realized that I had no idea who Jimmy Turkilson was. Even had I been familiar with the location of him or his residence I had already proven myself incapable of simple navigation that evening. A deep feeling of depression and failure swept over me. I fell to my knees and then to my back. I lay in the parking lot, and it began to snow.

I must have lain there for twenty or thirty minutes. When the light snow let up and my ass started to get cold, I hauled myself to my feet and started back home. I consumed my last bottle of comforting hooch on the way down the hill. Everything seemed to be collapsing in on me. Without the nestling warmth of my clearly insane goal, I once again fell into a swift and deep depression.

Towards the end of my return trip I realized that I could no longer put off my increasing need to urinate. I walked behind a nearby and abandoned gas station to relieve myself against the back wall. I heard a somewhat strange noise, but in my stupor could neither place it nor work up the effort to care about it. I unzipped, and as my brain was flooded with rewarding endorphins my gaze wandered. Close to the ground near the wall, I noticed an odd sparky sort of thing. I also noticed a steamy puddle moving towards the intermittent bright light. That struck me as important.

When I came to I was on my back in the alley behind the abandoned gas station. My pants were still unzipped and my wee friend was quite cold. Although the sky seemed clear and the stars seemed bright, I could smell a vaguely unpleasant odor. I zipped the trousers and sat up to investigate my well being.

There was a largish puddle of vomit near the area were my head had been resting. I had obviously been sick again while I was unconscious. Suddenly remembering what had happened I did a swift check of the ‘ol twig and balls. I was unscathed, but strangely sore.

It occurred to me, sitting there in that alley, that I had managed to luck out that evening. I had not died in a number of several embarrassing and foolish ways.

There is a point to this story, and probably even a moral, but everyone that has humored me by listening has a different angle. Some claim god saved me from a life of sin, and that I should devote my life to him in return. Others say it was a lesson in life, the kind of thing that makes you stronger only after you delve to your depths of despair. My favorite analysis, and the one I believe in the strongest, came from my father. I recounted this story to him not too long ago on one of the rare occasions that he and I sat and talked.

You're a twit boy. Thank god you're adopted.”

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