-{Previously on “My History in Popularity”…}-

I discussed the hellish experience that was junior high, where I had to bribe people to leave me alone or act friendly. Things had improved by the 8th grade (the last year of middle school in Delosa), but I was too guarded and defensive to see it. Then I got dropped into high school…

-{Mayne High School}-

Once again, I was graduating from the little school merging with the big school. Mayne Intermediate had been about twice the size of Larkhill Intermediate. The existence of Airfield (a middle school created my 8th grade year that took some students from Mayne and Larkhill middle schools) didn’t factor in that much because most connections remained strong with the school that they came from. But this time it wasn’t so bad. The chaotic and brutal culture of Larkhill was largely non-existent. The bullies that tormented us couldn’t get the same mileage out of being a thug that they used to. Plus, more and more of them were shipped off to the alternative high school.

But perhaps the largest advantage to Mayne High School was its size. It was large enough that I could become invisible. It’s a lot easier to hide amongst a class of a thousand than it is to hide in a class of a couple hundred. And those that were there were less likely to be thugs, less encouraged to be thugs, and older and wiser than they had been. I know I devoted a paragraph to that, but it was worth repeating.

So I crossed the ranks from the Unpopular to the Not Popular. I had a few tormentors, I guess, but there wasn’t anymore physical intimidation and they didn’t have the people egging them on anymore. I would meet the worst of these guys many years later at the Stockpile Saloon. He seemed to remember us as good friends. Weirdest thing. He wasn’t the only one.

The weight also started to come off. Ten pounds one year, ten the next, fifty the year after that. Gradually I started building up a network. A few networks, actually. There were the people I had classes with, people I met on Camelot BBS that went to my high school, and then people that Clint introduced me to.

There were still problems, though. While Clint had integrated himself into the band scene with all sorts of friends and so on, Though Clint was no longer a liability, I still had other friends who were. I remember one girl in particular who stopped sitting with us at breakfast because of Raleigh’s presence. On the other hand, Ralgeigh graduated a year before me and I started becoming less accommodating of people that I didn’t like that were keeping people I did like away from me.

I never found my clique. I was still reasonably insistent on doing my own thing. And just as I started being in a position where I could make a lot of friends from school, I wasn’t really interested in doing so. My social hub was no longer Mayne High School but was instead Camelot. While I was fine with that most of the time, it was frustrating to know a lot of people and yet have nobody to sit with at lunch. I do with I had found my social gumption earlier. I was so scared of being to them what Raleigh was to me.

But still, the situation had at least improved. I never dated anyone that went to Mayne High School, though I did have a couple of opportunities and I’m sure a few more that I was too clueless to pick up on. I had female friends. If I hadn’t had a girlfriend at the time, I would still have had a date to the prom. Somehow, I think that was always the true measure of success: Being Not Raleigh.

-{The End? To Be Continued? Maybe I’ll write something about Southern Tech University at some point}-

Category: Ghostland, School

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2 Responses to My History in Popularity: Mayne High School

  1. Al says:

    When I first met you at Southern Tech University, you were quite thin. So it’s hard for me to imagine you as being heavy as a young lad.

  2. Peter says:

    My social life in high school (four years) was almost exactly the same as in college:
    Freshman year – started out okay, got much worse as the year went on.
    Sophomore year – dreadful.
    Junior year – gradual improvement, sort of tolerable by the end.
    Senior year – pretty good.

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