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January 13th, 2008

Overdue Apologies (Part I)

This evening’s soundtrack: “Nothing Really Blue” by Penguin Cafe Orchestra

Dear Jesse Ortega,

I apologize for that time I gave you the finger in the second grade.

I don’t know where you are now, or what you’re doing, but I’m sure you will be able to agree that the gesture wasn’t personal. As 8 year olds go, I was generally pretty nice. But, as was the case with all of us, my sense of what to do when confronted with annoyance was underdeveloped. Too young to express dislike with a logical and concise argument, and far too old to simply haul off and slug one another, we were trapped in an experimental phase. The only way we knew how to settle things was by what we learned from the older kids on the playground, or from a few stolen moments watching more “grown up” TV.

So, when your stuff began to migrate over the clearly drawn pencil line that separated our desks, I felt a surge of energy well up inside me and I smiled coldly and gave you the finger, feeling instantly proud of myself. You were speechless. It was a triumphant moment. My next door neighbor, life coach, and older (NINE!), wiser friend, Josh, would have been pleased. His tutelage had paid off– playing Action Movie in his back yard and studying the work of Eddie Murphy when our parents weren’t looking.

You already know that Mr. Clark saw it all and actually dragged me from the classroom as I clung to desks and chairs, like it was the end of some insane courtroom scene, and made me sit outside for five minutes. But what you don’t know is, when I came back, I flipped you off under the desk for probably a full minute, this time out of genuine anger. I hope you can forgive me for that. It wasn’t your fault. And it wasn’t Mr. Clark’s fault either. And Josh was as innocent as I was, really.

I’m blaming Eddie Murphy.

4 comments to Overdue Apologies (Part I)

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