N.B.: This is today’s second post.
I will now share with you the most embarrassing story from my past, which, as you might imagine, is chock full of embarrassing stories. But this one takes the cake.
In my junior year of high school, I was required, as were all my compatriots, to take Health class. The course was made up of several units: alcohol (which involved stern warnings not to drink alcohol), drugs (which involved stern warnings not to do drugs), sex (which involved stern warnings not to have sex), and self-actualization (which involved stern warnings to self-actualize).
At the end of the course, we all had to do a final project. Allen Hutcheson and Grady Hendrix made a movie about the dangers of alcohol that was among the most bitterly tongue-in-cheek pieces of art or literature ever created, on par with, say, Bukharin’s speech in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites. I don’t remember what anybody else did.
I made a mix tape about self-actualization.
With my little tape recorder (this was before the days of CD burners, or even CDs) I recorded, alternately, songs and readings that seemed to me to support self-actualization, or at least the actualization of my own self. I included, if memory serves, the Indigo Girls’ “Closer To Fine,” a choral piece called “You Are The New Day” (which really is a gorgeous piece of writing), and passages (read by me in my just-cracked voice) from The Lord Won’t Mind and Tales of the City. (I’m sure there was more, but, mercifully, I’ve blocked further memories.)
When I was done, I made a cover for the tape; it was the faggiest thing ever created by the hand of man. I wrote the name of the project with curlicues in gold and silver writing with decorations done in colored marker. I think I drew a rainbow on it.
I called itwould to God I were making this upWhispers: Steps Along the Path to an Understanding of the Joy of Life.
(Whispers was the name of the trendiest hair salon in town. Actually, its full name was Whispers Hair in Motion.)
I got an A+.