At the start of 1993, the movie Aladdin had just been released, and Melissa was dating the guy from our church on whom all the girls were crushing. I was a high school sophomore. My English teacher may possibly have disliked me even more than I disliked her, because not only was I smarter than she was, not only did we know it, but I refused to pretend she was right when she defined our vocabulary words incorrectly.
Our musical that spring was Annie. I played a homeless guy named Fred, in one scene and song that are only in the stage show, not the movie. Most of the rehearsal time didn't involve me. I hung around a lot with Sabrina and Jen and Phil. I had such a crush on Phil, and finally I told him. He was kind enough to let me down gently, and assure me that it wouldn't change anything. I think he actually meant it, too. That summer, long after I'd gotten over him, I realized that he was gay, and was somewhat embarrassed.
I spent my lunch period in the band room every day. There was no class that period, and there were four or five of us who were usually there. The trumpet player a year ahead of me was learning piano, and composition, and he was writing an arrangement of Pachelbel's Canon. I wish I'd recorded him. I collect different versions of the Canon, but none of them feel like my memories.
I was more ambitious. I was writing a musical - or, at least, the libretto; I still haven't learned enough to write the music. I also wrote short stories, and reams of bad poetry. I have most of it still. It's all very gloomy and angsty and full of painful metaphors. It goes with the territory, I guess. I was suicidal at the time. Actually, I was at least passively suicidal for all of high school and the beginning of college. Leaving adolescence was a very good thing for me. However, that spring was probably the worst of it. I set a date for my death, several months ahead so that I'd have time to put my affairs in order. Fortunately, by the time that date arrived, I had decided that it would cause too much suffering to Melissa, so I put it off indefinitely. (Please recall this was 15 years ago, and decidedly not the present.)
Over the summer, I went to my second National Junior Classical League convention. I renewed a few friendships, and formed a few more. I got along with my roommate. I danced with a boy. Of course there was drama and angst, as you'd expect from large and diverse group of teenagers, but all in all, it remains a joyous memory.
I turned 16 in August 1993, and hosted a party. My parents did finance it and help out, but the planning was entirely up to me. My guests included Melissa, girls from the chorus, and a family I baby-sat for, so it was an unusual group, but I believe everyone had fun. My parents sent me flowers.
During the fall of my junior year of high school, I fell, hard, for a guy I knew. I thought he was a friend. Eventually I learned otherwise, but that story belongs to 1994.
In October 1993, I went to DC for about a week to participate in a leadership conference exploring the American government. I was already interested, but I think that experience solidified the interest which later led to my major in political science.
During the second half of December, members of the high school chorus always went caroling at a nursing home and the State [mental] Hospital in town. We were in an elevator at the State Hospital when some of the girls started singing "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" and we all joined in. Later, back in the band room, some of them were singing the first line as "late December nineteen ninety-three." I did the quick math, and realized that my dad had been in 1963 the same age I was in 1993. I considered the idea of my father as a teenager. I believe that was the first time I started to see my parents as people, individuals, instead of just my parents.