Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Knight Stalker (or How I Got Pictures for My KISA Wall of Fame)

Up until junior high, I had this little section on the wall of my bedroom next to my bed that I secretly called my “Wall of Fame”.  It wasn’t labeled, but I knew what it was, and I constantly maintained and updated it.  The Wall of Fame held five photos (O.K., magazine cut-outs, usually from Tiger Beat Magazine) of the celebrities I imagined would have fallen head-over-heels in love with me if they ever had the fortune of serendipitously (O.K., so I didn’t know the meaning of the word until high school, but “coincidentally” seemed a tad too impersonal) running into me in the future.  At one time, the wall included images of  Gregory Peck (fell in love with him in To Kill a Mockingbird), Randolph Mantooth (John Gage in Emergency!), Cary Grant, Rollie Quizon (he was a teen heart throb in the Philippines), and Rollie Quizon (yeah, I had his picture up twice).  Whenever someone new came along, or one of the famed ones did something I didn’t like, off  the wall he came, and up went another one.
When I got to high school, my eyes beheld an ocean of good-looking guys, and I knew my girlish infatuations on the celebrities were over:  these were real, flesh and blood man-boys, and the odds of a serendipitous encounter with one of them climbed a few notches.  Armed with a Kodak 126 Instamatic Camera, I began what these days would probably be grounds for a legitimate restraining order:  Knight Stalking (taking stolen pics of and following my future Knight in Shining Armor – KISA – around).  My freshman year, I would take his picture, and then wait until my family took a trip to K-Mart, where I would leave the film, and wait again with bated breath for the next time my family went to K-Mart so I can pick up my prints. My Wall of Fame shrank a bit, as I could only afford the default 3.5 X 5.5 prints from Kmart, but it still held my top five picks (pun intended).
During my sophomore year, one of my friends, Caroline, was a photographer for the yearbook, so all I had to do was point out my newest “crush” and the next week, a new 8x10 black and white print of my future KISA hung on my Wall of Fame, which grew (because the pictures grew) and moved to the piece of wall directly above my window;  it the last thing I saw before I turned off the lights, and the faces were the first to greet me as I woke up in the morning.
Through the years, my Wall of Fame included the likes of Baldemar Zacarias, the shy but oh-so-dreamy brother of my drill team captain Celina; Bill Dimalanta – he was just dreamy; Jim Woodward (he had a Camaro), Bud Stud (as he was later dubbed and the name stuck), Steve Solano (OK, Steve was MUCH older than I, and I only saw him at Christmas when I sang with The Living Christmas Tree and he was a singer for The Kids Next Door), and  Number Twenty-One.  Number Twenty One (that was his varsity baseball number, although he was also on the varsity basketball team) was on my wall until I learned he had gotten a girl pregnant and ended up marrying her.  Married men who were not celebrities did not belong on my wall. 
The future Knights jockeyed for position in the hierarchy of my affection:  they were ranked in order of my preference from left to right, Far Left being the most likely to get a yes if he proposed to me on that particular day.  They came off the wall and were ceremoniously burned in the fireplace (some were cut up into tiny little pieces first) whenever they did something fallworthy, like getting a girl pregnant, flipping me off in the school parking lot, smiling at me and calling me Rosabel, things like that.  Oh, and taking another girl to the prom and asking her to be his girlfriend.
Did I mention that these guys never knew they were on my Wall of Fame?  That was probably because none of them even knew I existed.

Chapter 2:  Bud Stud

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