My beloved car of my high school years was a white Volkswagen Baja Beetle. Mike Pinkston and I had spray painted a yellow smiley face on the roof of the car where rust was trying to grow. For years after I sold it, I would see it every once and a while. It would drive past me and all the memories of my high school days would come rushing back to me.
It had been one of those parties. If I had been drinking, I would have sworn off of it because it was one of those times when I needed to have all of my facilities. I don’t know what started it. Testosterone, yeah I think I’ll blame testosterone. I don’t even know who started it, but Football Player played a large role in the events of that evening.
Oh, treacherous night! thou lendest thy ready veil to every treason, and teeming mischief’s beneath thy shade.
By the time I walked out of my friend’s house, the Beetle was on its side. Twelve football players were in the process of trying to get it upside down. Anyone seeing their precious first car being treated so poorly would have screamed, so I had no shame in screaming and trying to get them to stop it. They were well on their way to turning it completely upside down when Calvin walked out.
Calvin, the stoned skater. Calvin, the Super Senior. Calvin, the skinny outsider. “What the hell is going on out here?!” Suddenly, all twelve of the football players put the car down and started explaining. Football Player tried to get Calvin on his side. Cool as ever, he explained how funny it would be to turn my Beetle completely upside down. Calvin would have none of it, “Get the Beetle right side up! Quit being stupid.” He turned around and went back into the house. The remaining eleven football players immediately turned my car right side up and the party broke up. Amazed, all I could do was stand by and watch.
Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends.
My image of Calvin was instantly changed. Calvin, the quiet despot. Calvin, the secret ruler. Calvin, the protector. The world was instantly upside down. Instead of weak, Calvin was strong. Instead of addle-brained, Calvin was smart. Instead of an outsider, Calvin was the leader. My car was right side up and so was I. The funny thing was that I didn’t realize that I had been living my life upside down for so long.