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There was a guy in my high school named Zach, who I always thought was cool. He was one of those aloof kind of guys with crazy thoughts and expressions that were always very odd, and a lot of people just flat out didn’t understand his humor. If you actually reflected on any of them for a sec, you could see the wit and intelligence behind what he had said. You knew that some day, one of those ridiculous ideas he had was going to be blowin’ up like off the hook, yo. Zach ended up going to the University of Chicago to study film.

Zach hung out with this kid. “Scott” was decidedly uncool and had no redeeming qualities I could see (with my limited visibility of him) that would ever make any moderately-attractive female swoon in order to elevate him from his current status of ‘complete nerd.’ It is here where I have to note that I have seen the Ricki Lake “You thought I was a complete fucking loser in high school, but look at me NOW!” episodes, and he could have changed for the better at any given time over the past six years, but I wouldn’t put it past him if he didn’t.

Scott was one of the ‘playpeople’ in our school. The members of the drama club were officially called the playmakers, but ‘playpeople’ was the derrogatory term that outsiders used for these people, like ‘jock’ is used to refer to someone on a sports team, as if the people using the term were trying not to be too mean, but that they definitely meant to offend. Scott wasn’t just a playperson, but he was the set painter/audio-visual nerd playperson, who never got the lead and never had more than a couple lines in a play. I don’t know much else about Scott, but the dude was a wierdo.

As I said before, Zach and Scott hung out. Scott wore an old green trenchcoat and a big, ugly hat. The getup made him look like he was trying to track down a deadbeat dad or a cheating wife rather than attend class. The guys were always in the computer room doing stuff. I assumed they were checking e-mail or surfing the net, much the same as what I expected any high schooler to be doing. I happened walk by them as I went to get a printout, and I quickly glanced at a computer screen that one of them was working on (I can’t remeber whose screen it was) and thought I saw my name near the top of a word document they appeared to be collaborating on. On the way back, the screen no longer had the document up, and they were now looking at a web-page. The whole thing was very inconspicuous and I never thought anything of it, but looking back, I am pretty sure it was my name.

Move ahead to the summer of 1998 where Zach and I are hanging out at some random kid’s house where some random party is taking place on some random night in Yarmouth. Zach and I are on the porch outside on a temperate summer night shooting the bull about things that have happened to us since the last time we’ve seen each other, and we are eventually talking about our high school days, as high school acquaintances who have little to talk about often might.

“Me and Scott; we had a hitlist, and you were on it,” he said.

“Where was I ranked?” I said, as of course, it’s just a little high-school boy’s misguided fantastic delusion that in his craziest dreams, he’d get to tell everyone exactly what he thought of them.

“Number 2,” he said. I inquired about why I wasn’t number one and he had a good answer which I cannot recall. I didn’t follow up on the “Why?” part of this discussion as I figured that dredging up the reasons that made me second place were best left under the sediment that time had covered them with. I don’t remember where the conversation went from there, but we kept talking, finished our cigarette or our beer on the porch and went inside to mingle.

I never really put my hitlist status and high school violence together until I read something about it today.

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