Friday, October 1, 2010

Bud Stud

“Susan, Susan, who is that fox with the letterman’s jacket?”  I shook and tapped my best friend as we stood in the lunch line, pointing to the fox with my chin as Filipinos are wont to do.  The hunk was about 12 people from the window, which meant I had that much more time to unobtrusively stare at his shiny blond hair, a beautiful contrast above the royal-blue-and-off-white of his leather letterman’s jacket with the woolen “C” over the left chest, indicating he is a Channel Islands athlete who has proven his mettle in his sport by earning a letter.  I didn’t know what color his eyes were, but in my heart, I just knew they would be bluer than the blue on his varsity jacket! 
“That’s Bud Stud! (OK, so Bud Stud wasn’t his real name, but I changed it to protect the not-so-innocent…we had a guest speaker come to our school one time, and picked him out of the crowd and dubbed him Bud Stud and the name stuck).   I’ve been trying to get you to notice him all year!”
Apparently, Sue had been pointing him out at lunch time almost every day since the beginning of our freshman year, but I usually responded with a perfunctory “neat.”  The difference that day was that he was wearing a letterman’s jacket -- one of my requirements for a potential KISA – Knight in Shining Armor.
“Well, I’m noticing now,” I replied.  “ What do you know about him?” I demanded.
“He’s a sophomore, he went to Blackstock, and he lives in our neighborhood. You know where your street bends and ends into that cul-de-sac?  Well, he lives at that cul-de-sac.  He’s really nice and he’s really cute. He’s taking college-prep classes, and seems to be the all-around decent All-American kid. Oh, and he skateboards and rides his bike around the neighborhood a lot.”  Sue was a veritable encyclopedia of Bud Stud information.
That day, after asking around, I also found out he was an only child, didn’t have a girlfriend,  was a little shy, and his letter was in golf.  Oh well, a varsity letter is a varsity letter.  It was the jacket that looked good, and I couldn’t wait until I got to wear it a some football game someday.  I made a mental note  to find out all I can about golf, so that when Serendipity did her job and caused us to meet, I would impress him with my knowledge of golf.  I also ended up taking Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Golf classes as my P.E. electives for three consecutive semesters.
By the end of the week, I knew Bud Stud’s class schedule (it paid to have a friend as an office assistant, and even more if you helped her with her homework), I knew the routes he took to his classes; I knew where and which one his locker was (I drew the line at knowing his locker combination – after all, the guy deserved SOME privacy), and I knew that he liked to order the fish fillet sandwich for lunch, and occasionally the tuna salad with thousand island dressing. 
I also knew the route he took to school.  Someone would drive him to the railroad tracks, and then he would walk the tracks to school.  In the afternoon, he would walk the tracks back, and someone would be waiting for him at the end of the tracks and drive him home.  I quit taking the long way to and from school, and I, too, began walking the tracks to and from school, shaving a mile each way from my pedestrian commute.
That week began my two-year investment in the Channel Islands “Islander Drill Team” Friday Fundraiser.  Every week, I spent a quarter on a boutonnière for him, which would be delivered to his second period class, and signed only with “from your secret admirer” (Of course, once in a while I also spent a quarter on Jim Woodward, the one with the Camaro).  After second period, I would rush out to my next class which was right above Bud Stud’s next class, and I could watch him from his locker to his class, wearing the boutonniere I got him. 
In the afternoons I would race home and finish up my chores and do my homework as my siblings and little cousins played outside, usually riding their bikes or rollerskating up and down the street.  Then I would hear my little cousin race up the sidewalk yelling “Ate JoAnn, he’s coming!!! He’s on his bike!” and I would race up the stairs, fly into my room, position myself at my window, and wait as Bud Stud rode by either on his bike or on his skateboard, his long blond hair flowing behind him.  Sometimes, when he was on his ten-speed, he would leisurely ride by, his hands hanging at his side, as if he silently commanded the handlebars to go where he wanted them to go without having to hold them. 
For the next year and a half, Bud Stud was on my Wall of Fame, and while the others were constantly rearranged in positions two thru five, Bud Stud occupied the Far Left Position.

Chapter 3:  Heartache on the Dance Floor

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