Friday, 16 August 2013

Human League at the house party

Now I was not one of the most popular kids in high school. It wasn’t until Grade 12 that I got invited to my first house party, but a memorable one it was.
Every time I hear "Human" by the Human League, I think of that party in October of 1986.

Invitation only
This girl named Monica, who I had known since early in elementary school, was throwing a birthday party for one of her friends, Michelle I think. By then, in Grade 12, the social circles were evolving, and we all kind of began to become friends with each other. So I was surprised, and thrilled, that she invited me over to watch movies, with a bunch of other mutual friends.

There was Chris Vining, my best friend at the time. We were pretty much inseparable. My friend Randy, who I'd been bench partners the semester before in Biology 20, was also going so I was stoked. There was another very important reason to go.

For the better part of a year, I had this crush on a classmate that I had no guts to act on. By then, we were kind of on the outs, although that would change, and another girl, Mal, caught my eye. She had even shown some interest, by passing me a note in social class.

She was one of Monica's closest friends – and she was going to be there.

I picked up Vining, and we arrived at the appointed time, after the actual birthday portion of the evening was over. I had just got my driver's licence over the summer, and this was one of the first times I had the car on my own out at night. It was awesome, although I was nervous, as me and Vining pulled up to the party.

When we got to Monica’s, they were watching some videos Mal had taped. At that moment “Human” by Human League was playing. All the videos were kind of new wave-ish, like General Public and Human League. Bands with lead singers that were somewhat feminine and even a tad androgynous.

Vining scoffed, especially at General Public. Mal scoffed back because she really dug that stuff. I wasn't a fan either, but I did sure like that Human League song.

I cannot recall what movies we watched, which is odd, but I do recall sitting around and talking afterwards. I could not take my eyes off Mal. She sat on the floor, her legs crossed, looking all beautiful, just taking in everything that was being said. Randy left, and took Vining with him. Another friend of the time, Dave, kind of took over the conversation, along with Monica, and they were talking about ghosts and ghost stories. I kept looking over at Mal, making the occasional comment, trying to make her laugh or at least get her attention. I wasn't that successful though.

The evening was beginning to wind down. Mal needed a lift home, and it would have been the perfect time to talk to her.

Instead, I hesitated. Another buddy, Mike, who actually had a girlfriend, did the gentlemanly thing and offered her a ride home. I stood there, frozen in time. I recall, pulling out of the driveway and following them all the way to the four-way stop at the junction to Highway 3 in Coaldale. Mike was turning left, into town. I was going right to head back to the farm. As I pulled into the right turning lane, I saw Mal, a few feet away in the passenger side of Mike's car. She might as well have been a thousand miles away.

She looked over as I was staring at her. She smiled and waved.

Then she was gone. So was my chance.

Not much after that, she found a boyfriend.

Whenever I hear "Human", I wonder what could have been. What would have happened, had I taken her home, and had just a few minutes alone with her in the car? How my life would have been different, if I had just taken a chance. Or would it? We will never know.

After all:

"I'm only human
Of flesh and blood I'm made
Born to make mistakes"

No comments:

Post a Comment