The Summer I Almost Remember.

Notes from my school guidance counselor on my essay “How I Spent My Summer”, from 1982 which I just found in an old box:

Dear Chris,
Well! It certainly sounds like you had an exciting summer. I’m not surprised you spent some time playing video games. In fact from the way you describe it you actually designed some video games of your own only to have them stolen by someone named Dillinger. I assume this is a boy who lives in your neighborhood. He must go to a different school since I can’t find any record of him here. I’m also a bit confused by this part where you make it sound as though you actually spent time inside a videogame and ultimately defeated the evil MCP. Well done. I’m glad to hear you also spent some time outside, which brings me to the next part of your essay.
You say you traveled across Thra, which, from the sound of it, is a wooded area in your neighborhood, and, with the help of a friend named Kira, restored a missing shard to the Crystal of Truth. I assume Kira also attends another school. I’d like to meet her sometime and perhaps her pet Fizzgig who is, from the way you describe it, some kind of small dog. I assume she lives near here.
I was also very surprised to learn that you’re an orphan. There’s nothing in any of your school records about that, nor is there anything about you being in the care of a Ms. Hannigan. But it was nice to hear that you had an enjoyable time with a Mr. Warbucks who took you on extensive tours of New York City, and that you had quite the adventure with a couple of people who tried to pass themselves off as your parents.
I see that you did even more travel. I’m not sure where Ceti Alpha Five or Mutara Nebula are. These places sound like they must be in Europe. I was very disturbed to read about what sounded like some very unpleasant experiences with a Mr. Khan and some sort of ear slug. I was also very sorry to hear that you lost a close personal friend in making your escape. It’s a relief to hear that you think there’s a possibility he might return.
From the next part of your essay it seems you again have parents and that they decided this summer would be the perfect time to install a backyard swimming pool. I’m sorry this plan was interrupted by the mysterious disappearance of your younger sister Carol Anne. Perhaps it’s because of this disappearance that I can’t find any record of her. It sounds as though she was returned to your family, though, in a rather terrifying ordeal involving parapsychological researchers and a psychic woman. I’m also glad you escaped that horrible tree.
Perhaps we should skip over your assistance in helping a Mrs. Brisby move her home, though that was very generous of you, your pursuit of a neighborhood bully you call Thulsa Doom, your rather surprising trip to Antarctica, or your boxing matches against Mr. T.
I would really like to focus on what sounds like a very special friendship with an unusual sounding boy whom you met in the woods behind your home. You say he had been left there accidentally by those he was traveling with. Well, he certainly sounds like a remarkable young man. You know, I like Reese’s Pieces very much too. Even better than M&M’s. I was rather startled that your friend, whom you only refer to by the initials “E.T.”, was almost forcibly taken away by the authorities and only returned to his family in a daring escape in which you pedaled your bike so fast it seemed to fly. I do think it’s inappropriate that you called your brother “penis breath” and I don’t know why you included this in your essay.
Speaking of inappropriate, I was both shocked and confused by some exploits you describe in what sounds like summer school. While I was amused by your ordering a pizza in class, there are several incidents which clearly should have been out of bounds for someone your age. I think you must have snuck in to “Ridgemont High” without permission.
I would like to meet with you and your parents to discuss this and whether 
you did anything this summer besides go to the movies.

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3 Comments

  1. M.L. James

    Chris,
    You Rabble Rouser, you! That was a fun read! Have a great weekend! Oh, by the way, I read your story from the literary magazine run by Suzanne. Dammit, I can’t think of the name of it right now. Dark…something? Something Dark? Ugh. What a cool magazine though. Anyway, today, I have this distinct impression that I’m looking for something…or someone…keep scratching my head because I can’t quite put my finger on why. That story’s going to swish around in my head for years, my friend! Well done!
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    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Ah yes, my story “Red Eye” that was published in Dark Winter Literature. I’m so glad you enjoyed that one. It started life as a poem then turned into a short story, or maybe it’s a prose poem, but, hey, what’s in a name? And, yes, I was a bit of a rabble rouser. The funny thing is 1982 was an amazing year for summer movies. So was 1983 so I can revamp this same post for next year.

      Reply
  2. ANN J KOPLOW

    I almost remember summers like this too, Chris.

    Reply

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