A Bunch of Dorks

Scraps of memory come rushing back, and you wonder if things were ever the way you thought they were. Some momentous occasions I don’t even remember how they happened. I remember Rob Simpson. It was in seventh grade when I met him. He was your typical dork: glasses, pimples, kind of chunky, asthma, loved computers, messy hair, not exactly a social superman. And you have to know that I’m saying this with the kindest of intentions–I was just as dorky. But what impressed me about Rob was the way he carried himself. The other kids laughed at him gym class. The teacher even poked fun at him. But Rob took it. He cursed under his breath and trotted out in his navy sweat pants and striped t-shirt to run his laps. He’d end up walking most of it anyway, but he went out and did it. He certainly wasn’t the coolest kid either. He was smart, and he knew it. He liked Monty Python, the Simpsons, and I bet he would have loved the Tick. He had that sarcastic, cynical edge, and I remember hanging out in the back of class before school started. A bunch of guys would be hanging out and joking around. We weren’t the coolest kids in school. We weren’t athletes or really smooth guys. None of us really would have made it with the ladies. As I look back I wonder about Rob and how he survived it. I wonder how I survived it. It was a time when you were judged by how you looked, and that was all people saw. The sad thing is that was all I saw, too. Why don’t things change? Why can’t people lose their preconceived notions and prejudices, and just accept people? Why is it that I saw Rob as a dork. I knew him as a friend, but I still knew he was a dork. If I just looked in the mirror I knew the same was true of me. I don’t like people thinking that of me, yet I still thought it of him. Where’s the justice, Rob?

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