Senior Night ’06

27 Nov

My First run in with the law and the total collapse of my High School life as I knew it.

I played three sports in my high school career; wrestling, football and lacrosse.  Of these three sports I was a below-average starter at two: football and lacrosse.  Wrestling was the one sport at which I was not just pleased to get on the field but actually strove to be the best in the section, and maybe, if I put my heart into it (which I didn’t), best in the state…at my respective weight of course.  Halfway through wrestling season, I believe it was Senior Night, I decided it would be wiser to bring a piece of marijuana smoking paraphernalia inside the gym rather than leave it in the car, I would like to remind everyone that I am a dumb person.  The logic was flawed and based solely in that sense of invincibility that comes with never having gotten in trouble before.

J.V. was wrestling before Varsity so I sat in the bleachers and reminisced about my days on the J.V. squad and how dominant we were, even in Varsity tournaments.  One by one kids were being called into the locker room by one of our assistant coaches who also happened to be a State Trooper.  At first I paid little attention to the random coming and goings of my teammates until I began to see a pattern in the wrestlers being summoned.  They were all considered ‘bad eggs’.  Obviously something negative had happened somewhere, still I did not think it involved me.

Eventually, a young bad-egg came and sat next to me.  I asked him what was going on and I’ll never forget his answer.

“Some retard left a bowl in their jacket and Tarbox shattered it all over the floor.  The coaches are interrogating everyone.”

I immediately became aware that I was that retard, and he was wrong, the coaches were not interrogating everyone…they were interrogating all the scumbags on the team.  This is why I had not been called in yet.  This is why the whole situation sucked so thoroughly.  Throughout my High School career—both academically and athletically—I had maintained a rather irreproachable reputation amongst the faculty.  Sure, every now and again I would say something smart-alec-y but as far as suspension, detention and every kind of ‘tion’ I still had my cherry very much intact.

Eventually I was able to accept my doom.  I walked into the locker room and told coach to stop bringing kids in, because he was on the wrong track.  I told him it was my bowl and prepared myself for the worst.  The assistant coach/ State Trooper was the man in charge of the investigation it appeared.   My head coach and role model second only to my father, was not in the locker room when I confessed and I thanked God for that.

Twas a good thing I prepared for the worst because that is exactly what I received.  Minutes before I was to wrestle in front of a packed house, there to celebrate the Eight+ years I had invested in this sport, I was sitting on a cold wooden bench with my head buried deep in the folds of my palm and my eyes swelling with pregnant tears.  Finally, my head coach, Coach Weeks, came into the locker room.  He looked me up and down and without blinking he turned around, told me he was “..fucking ashamed…” of me and proceeded to slam the door without ever looking back.  The other Coach (the State Trooper) then explained what was going to happen next.

“Go grab your stuff from the gym.  You can watch if you want, but don’t let on what’s happening,”  he said comfortingly.

I was crying at this point, more because of what Coach had said to me than the impending consequences of my stupidity.

“OK, Listen, Ill grab your stuff, meet me in the principal’s office.”

I was forced to read my Miranda Rights aloud, which in hind-sight seems a bit excessive. I was receiving my first UPM citation, as well as a 5 week suspension from school and, of course, booted from the wrestling team.  Every aspect of my young life was shook up like a snowglobe. The Trooper wrote up his paperwork and solemnly handed me off to my mother who had been plucked from the audience and was astonishingly sympathetic towards me.  She kept on repeating, “I’m so sorry for you.”  The entire situation was dramatic but did little to impact my perspective on drugs and the law as it would pertain to my future.  I would collect four more Unlawful Possession of Marijuana tickets, each one building a stronger and stronger case towards, “why are you even bothering me about this?”

Thus, two years later, I was still in the Astro, still smoking weed, still in a cyclic existential crisis.

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