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About 12 years ago, I was leaving a skanky lesbian bar (I was only there because it was the only game in town – still is, actually) when someone called my name. I turned around and saw a really gorgeous woman smiling at me. It only took about ten seconds for us both to realize I had no idea who she was. It turned out she used to live down the street from my house when we were kids. I was tongue-tied for two reasons. First, because she was stunning. Second, because I was really mean to her when we were younger. And by mean, I mean cruel.

On facebook, I’ve come across a few people I went to school with. One is a really stunning blonde who stole my part in the school play my senior year. The play was a comedy called Exit the Body and I tried out for the second female lead. I thought I did pretty well, but the stunning blonde was better and when the cast list was posted, I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t get it. I got the understudy and that was good enough for me.

As I was walking away from the theater doors, the theater teacher saw me. We talked for a minute and I told her I was happy that I even got the understudy (which was true) and she got a strange look on her face. She said, “You’re a senior, aren’t you?” I told her yes and she explained that she tried to give roles to seniors as long as that person had a modicum of talent. The stunning blonde was a junior. As she was talking to me, the stunning blonde came up and the teacher started to explain the situation.The stunning blonde almost passed out and said, “You can’t take it away from me!” I actually agreed, but didn’t get a chance to say anything before the teacher decided to compromise.

For the first time in the school’s history (and maybe the only time, I don’t know), the understudy cast put on their own production of the play. It was a major pain in the ass because we couldn’t rehearse on the stage (because the actual cast was using the theater). We had to cobble together costumes and do our own makeup and … it was a lot of fun. My mom and my grandparents came to our matinee and we got a standing ovation. After it was over and almost everyone had left, I came out across the stage to meet my family. I jumped down into the orchestra pit and the teacher was there. She said, “Feels good, doesn’t it?” Yes it did.

So, back to facebook. I found the stunning blonde who is still stunning and apparently gay. I’ve tried to start some conversations with her, but I’ve been ignored. Maybe she doesn’t really remember me. Maybe she doesn’t care. Who knows? I’ll keep trying. I’m not actually hitting on her (even though she is stunning) but I would like to get to know her again. On her friends list, I found the stunning brunette that I tormented as a kid.

I felt bad, but I don’t know what to say to her – or if I should say anything. After all, it was more than thirty years a long time ago and it isn’t like I beat her up or anything. Another thing is that I have a memory problem. Most of my childhood is blank because I dissociate when I’m stressed. I know that I was far from kind to her, but I honestly don’t remember the things I did. I didn’t get along with my siblings when we were kids; they tormented me constantly. So I did the only thing I knew how to do – I tormented people younger, smaller and weaker than me. I don’t know if it’s appropriate or even necessary to give a vague apology – even if it is completely sincere.

I sent her a friend request and she accepted. Yay. Then I sent her a brief message and she responded almost immediately. Double yay. She’s single. How is that even possible? Anyway, I asked her a couple questions about some things that she had shown an interest in and she responded to those. Now I’m stuck.

She’s stunning. I’m not. If a tenth of her profile is true, she is successful. I am successful only if you define it by a level of self-actualization and improvement. If it’s defined by career achievement, I’m a loser.

She’s smart, interesting, and hot. I’m smart, halfway interesting and cold. If it’s true that living well is the best revenge, then she won that battle. But maybe there’s still a skirmish or two left – and maybe there doesn’t have to be a winner and a loser. Maybe it’s not actually a war anymore.

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