Tuesday, May 31, 2005

My Deep Throat

Today's announcement that former deputy blah-di-blah-blah of the FBI W. Mark Felt was Deep Throat made me feel mightily pensive; like, I suppose, any great writer, today's Watergate watershed made me think of me. This is a story about a revelation. Not one of those "LUKE, I AM YOUR FATHER" revelations; this is more of a "I was in love with you all through seventh grade!" revelation. Nixon resigned in the summer of 1974. A few months earlier, towards the end of 7th grade, I became our junior high school's Student Body President by running on a platform of, "Elect me, and I'll try my best to do whatever you want me to do." I narrowly beat Linda Bloem -- my chief academic rival, occasional object of my affection, and the only girl in junior high who would dance the slow dances with me -- primarily because Linda ran on a platform of, "Elect me, because God wants me to be your student body president," thus prefiguring George W. Bush. When I opened my locker on the first day of eighth grade, I found a handwritten note:
Hoffman resign or else*
I was a victim of synchronicity. Throughout eighth grade, I had to endure taunts of "Impeach Hoffman!" and "Hoffman, Resign Now!" all because of Richard Nixon. And I was a good student body president. Our dances made money. With our profits, we bought a drinking fountain for our quad, which made us the first student council to do anything, ever. We became the paragon by which all future student councils would be measured. And yet the notes trickled in at regular intervals: stuffed in my pre-algebra book, scooted under my lunch tray, dropped in front of my gym locker. Naturally, Linda Bloem was my chief suspect. Sure, she continued to dance the slow dances with me -- that was just her crafty way of deflecting suspicion. My next suspect was the student council treasurer Bret Lawson. Why? Sheer antagonism. I'm pretty sure Bret didn't like me. I'm pretty sure he still doesn't like me (if he thinks about me at all) even though we went to Berkeley together, which should count for something, you know? I had other things to distract me that year. I can't remember who I was in love with, but I was always in love with someone, ever since age 2. (If anyone from my family still reads this -- that girl at Cassie's, the one I used to play King of the Hill with, and she always won. What was her name?) I think I was messed up about Tamara Cynar that year. Right at the end of seventh grade, Tamara told one of her girlfriends, right in front of me, that she thought I was cute -- so of course I fantasized about her all summer. Come eighth grade, she wasn't there. She'd moved. Only a thirteen-year-old can be totally destroyed by something like this. Meanwhile, Linda Bloem's dancing slow dances with me, and Lilly Sznaper's making eyes at me too (well, at least once or twice), and all I can think about is some girl I'd never even looked twice at, just because she was unattainable. And how fucked up is that? Adolescence SUCKS. End of the year: yearbook signing. Sue Youmans, a very tall and very gorgeous girl who had never had very much to say to me, wrote
Guess what! It was me writing those notes! Haha, pretty funny, huh?
Sue had the flattest stomach and the hottest belly button of any eighth grader. My sexual fantasies were only beginning to take on a bit of character (having, that year, discovered Xaviera Hollander's book Xaviera! -- thank you, Jeff Swee, fellow Berkeleyite, for being a dumpster-diving thirteen-year-old), but I could still see the potential of belly buttons. Asked why she had messed with my brain all year**, Sue stuck to her guns. "I thought it was pretty funny. Didn't you think it was funny?" Well, sure. Now I do. D. *Do I actually remember what the note said? Hell no. This is personal history. No one said anything about historical accuracy.
**Admittedly, she'd messed with my brain to far less a degree than Tamara Cynar.
TAMARA! WHY???

6 Comments:

Blogger mm said...

lol

Doug, I loved this entry. I just know hidden away somewhere under the floorboards at your parents' house theres a battered, spiral-bound notebook full of really, really bad, angst-ridden poetry from 1975.

I can't wait for you to find it and start posting it here.

6/01/2005 03:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

Lol, when I was about that age I was bullied a lot at school (I loved opera and books, wasn't interested in boys, and more), and in the end I wrote a horrible Mary Sue War and Peace meets Hornblower meets The Three Musketeers with a bit Dostoyevsky thrown in-novel where I sneaked all the bullies in and killed them off in nasty ways.

Speak about catharsis. :)

6/01/2005 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Careful what you wish for, Maureen. I have six spiral notebooks roughly covering 1975 - 1981. I hadn't thought of mining them until now. It's pretty painful stuff (in all possible ways).

Gabriele . . . you were such an over-achiever. To this day, I can't get past the second page of The Three Musketeers, and War and Peace? I'll wait until the movie comes out ;o)

6/01/2005 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Gabriele C. said...

There IS a movie, an old one with Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer.

6/01/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

Sounds like your school daze were a lot more active than mine...

I read a lot, in a town where very few kids read anything they didn't have to. So, yeah, I was probably a little alienated.

I don't think I wrote any angsty poetry, though. (Probably a fair bit of questionable prose, though, if I'm being honest...)

6/02/2005 09:17:00 PM  
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