Thursday, August 21, 2014

Loser origins

The Complete and Total Loser is at last going through old stuff in the house, thanks to being laid off last month and having no real prospects. Ninety-nine percent of what he's finding about himself is depressing. Things like evaluations by high school teachers (the Loser graduated in 1977) that say things like, "[The Loser] shows promise, but unfortunately seems unwilling to do the preparation needed to truly master the subject matter." 
Yep. That's him all right.
More disheartening is direct evidence of what the Loser himself did, like the picture below. The Loser took it on a rainy day in June of 1975. He didn't know the girl or boy in the picture. Creepy? You bet. Why did he take it? The first answer is simple perversion; the Loser was a creep even then. The more complicated answer is that the Loser knew no girls then and wouldn't for another two years, when he went to a coed college. His classmates, all boys. His teachers, all men. His brothers, all ... 
Somehow, when the Loser took pictures like this (this is not the only one but the only one he didn't throw away years ago) he felt like he was included, even if for just 1/125 of a second.
Couple, Upper Darby, 1975.

The Loser remembers this day, incidentally. He was in a blue Maverick driven by his childhood friend who rarely did much together by this time but were still neighbors. The two had gone to a small hospital to donate a pint of blood (or plasma, if the type weren't a match) to a girl neither had met who had Aplastic anemia. Many high school kids were doing the same as the girl was popular and from a locally prominent family. When the Loser and his friend got in the elevator to go the third floor, a doctor rushed in. The Loser's friend pushed the button for the third floor. The doctor tried to stop him but it was too late. Later that day, the Loser learned that the girl had died that afternoon. She was sixteen years old. Given the size of the hospital and the timing, it was probable that the doctor was hurrying to her bedside.

The Loser never found out if the blood went to the girl in her dying moments or to someone else.

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