Kanye West – “Stronger”

When: 22 October 2007
Where: San Gabriel Boulevard
Who: The Cross Country Team
Weather: Foggy
Book: Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

In the end, my high school years were dominated by one thing: Girls on Buses. This is the story of the last, definitive girl on the bus.

Shelley was a year below me, a volleyball player at Gabrielino, but she had stopped taking the bus of late. I couldn’t get her out of my head, because I couldn’t stand her. She was a legend at Bosco, everybody knew who she was, despite how few of us had seen her. Towards the end, even those who had started to wonder if I’d imagined her all along. I was having one such argument later on the bus, when I pointed her out and said, “She’s right there, you bastards!”

Beautiful? Yes, even more so among people who take buses in the first place. Tasteful? Surprisingly so. But not intelligent or charismatic enough for me to get past those her failings. She always had a boyfriend, she was twee, manic, and after two years I needed to rid myself of this feeling.

I wrote her a love letter, which I’d planned to deliver the previous February but didn’t get around to. the previous summer I’d thought she’d shown an interest in me, but it was only a douchebag freshman posing as her online, which brought me to where I was at that moment. That Monday, there was no school, but I didn’t tell my mom that so she would drop me off at the bus stop. She wasn’t on the bus, so I gave it to someone who knew her. That night, she emailed me with a resounding “fuck you.”

But there I was, off the bus in San Gabriel. A great weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I was overcome with joy. I listened to this song as my own school’s cross-country team rounded the street corner miles from school. They were training, and they didn’t know what I was doing there; to them I was the hero of another story.

So why was she the definitive girl on the bus? Because of this:

It is worth noting that two weeks ago she and I ran into each other and are now on quite good terms.

Next: The changing face of cold

Gorillaz – “Feel Good Inc.”

When: August 2006
Where: Westbound on Mountain Street
Who: My mother
Weather: Hot, dry

For a summer that put so much music on this playlist, I remember remarkable little of it. At some point, I was watching Seinfeld and working on an elaborate poster board. Later, I was eating Macaroni and Cheese and playing Simpsons Hit and Run, later on I tried to copy every Wikipedia entry about individual days onto an Excel Spreadsheet, and there was a girl named Adelaide.

Later, my memories came back to me and the following explanations were made: I got into AP American History in school, and in order to complete it, I had to start in summer school, which I did with several of my classmates as well as a girl named Adelaide. The poster board was made to demonstrate the sectional differences of antebellum America. At the same time I was going into the mountains to work one some merit badges, but the details are lost to me.

The first time I heard the laughter, I thought it was the DJ.

Next: Another case file in missing a song.