1994: I was a five-year-old chubster living in Canada. Montreal, to be precise. My classmates hated me because chubby little Michael could not speak French (or English). The teacher saw that my sneakers had these little claws (to “extract” it you’d just flip this metal thing over and there would be some dull, serrated edges for “better grip” or something) and she asked me to jump — or at least, that’s what I thought she asked me to do. I didn’t know English very well at the time. I backed up to get as much room as possible to run. While backing up, I stepped on a girl’s leg. She cried. I didn’t get to jump.
1994: Still in Montreal. I was given a separate inflatable swimming pool because no one wanted to be in a pool with me. A little girl accused me of peeing in the pool (I didn’t). It was the girl that I accidentally stepped on.
1998: While living in The Bronx, a girl said she wouldn’t hang out with me because I was fat.
1999: The lunch lady caught me playing Pokemon on my Gameboy and she took it from me. I cried my eyes out and she gave it back to me and said, “I’d better not see this again.”
2000: In gym class, we were playing Butts Up, but with dodgeballs. I was running towards a wall when someone tripped me. I had a sweater on and the polished wooden floor allowed me to slide all the way to the wall. Everyone laughed at me.
2001: In line to get groceries, the cashier remarked how cute I was and grabbed my cheeks and squeezed them. My mother laughed at me.
2001: While on the 1 bus to get to my school, my mother pointed out my fat jiggling with the bus ride. “You’re too fat,” she said. People sitting around us chortled with laughter.
2005: While over at a friend’s house, I left his room to go downstairs and I heard an audible moan coming from his parents’ room. Their door was closed. I quickly left their house.
2006: During an interview process for “Peer Leadership,” a girl and I said something at the same time — I said she can go first, but she insisted that I go. So I said something, but she said something, too. We looked at each other and said something again. Then another girl interjected and everyone laughed at all three of us.
2006: I was going to ask a girl out to prom and instead, I said the following words: “It’s really nice out today.”
2007: I went to a Yo La Tengo concert and the girl I was with said something to me. I got a boner and couldn’t hide it in time. People saw.
2007: The girl that I ended up going to prom with wore a neon yellow American Apparel strapless dress. Parents were not happy.
2007: I asked a girl if we had any chance, she said, “I don’t think so,” and laughed in my face.
2008: I opened up my computer during lecture (Experimental Fiction) and my friend sent me something that made me laugh. Everyone turned to look at me. The topic of the day was about the atrocities of World War II — the book we were discussing was Survivor.
2008: Leaving my boss’ brownstone after their BBQ, she gave me directions to the subway. In a classic, asshole, New York holier-than-thou attitude, I said, “I know,” and walked away.
2009: My stomach audibly grumbled for about six seconds during my morning British Literature class. Professor Schiff continued with his lesson.
2010: I joined a poetry
club collective in college.
2011: A man walked up to me and asked me where the Administration Office was. I told him that it was on North Campus, so he would have to go into Amherst. He then asked me what major I was. I told him I was an English major. “I thought you people were good at math?” he said.
2011: My roommate took me to his parents’ house in Syracuse. I went shot-for-shot of Sambuca with his aunt. I lost. I apparently cursed commies and talked about The Bronx with his grandfather. I woke up with one of the worst hangovers of my life. My roommate’s youngest brother, Joey, asked me if I was okay. I told him I was. Joey went back to playing video games on his computer. I threw up in the bathroom.
2011: At a “dance party” in Buffalo, I tried to jump on to the stage, but my jeans clung on to my sweaty legs and I ended up smashing my shin on the edge. I got up and danced. Four Loko makes a man crazy.
2012: I got really drunk in Astoria and went to a bar with two friends. On the way to the bar, I picked a fight with a group of college students. At the bar, a girl (half-Korean, half-Puerto Rican?) hit on me. She ended up showing me photos of her baby niece. I told my friends it was time to go when she left to use the bathroom. Her friend (and her, too) probably hates me.
2012: I drunk texted a girl and got mad at her because she wouldn’t get pizza with me. She is now my current girlfriend. Being the amazing girl that she is, she never brings any of it up. (I love you!)
2013: A girl walked up to me with a sign while I waiting for the A train at West 4th Street. Assuming that she was out making rounds for her sorority, I said, I am not a student and will not give you any money. She looked devastated and offended. I later saw the sign and it turned out that she was collecting money to help fund relief for people affected by the Indonesian earthquake. I’m so sorry.
2014: I was attacked by my girlfriend’s dog. (By attacked, I mean a nip on the heel.) That dog thinks its dominant over me.
2014: While walking around in Midtown, some crazy man started yelling at me. “CHARLIE, CHARLIE, HEY, YOU FUCKING CHARLIE.” I think he was a Vietnam veteran.
2014: My brother got me Roberto Bolaño’s The Third Reich. One day, I read it on the train, and I looked up to see an old Jewish woman glaring at me and at the book. I closed the book and put it away in my bag.