Home > Red Spiral Notebook > [March, 1995] My Best Day at Hunter

[March, 1995] My Best Day at Hunter

rainbow locker

(I only wish we had these rainbow lockers in high school)


Yesterday was probably the best day I ever had at Hunter.

Claudia and I finally broke out of our awful locker hallway. We moved to the third floor art hall, where David and Neil are after being banned from the other hallway for threatening to shave some girl’s head.

There’s so much to say but I have no way of being vague about it. All set for next year. I never actually thought that… wow. On to other things.

Dandelion were great. I felt so bad because so few people were into it. There were more people for Po’ Boy Swing (who were eh).

I’m not 100% sure what I meant by “all set for next year” but I’m guessing this locker hallway had something to do with it.

To give some context, every grade was assigned its own locker hallway and then there were a few additional, more sparsely-populated hallways. One of these was dubbed the “freak” hallway. As the name would suggest, it was where many of the weirdos hung out, those generally (dis)regarded as being outsiders, either for their physical differences (being abnormally tall or otherwise unusual-looking), their interests (listening to heavy metal, playing Dungeons and Dragons) or anything else that might set apart an individual from the culture of homogeneity high school typically encourages. There were even rumors of a polyamorous relationship among several of the hallways members, which was regarded as particularly scandalous and distasteful.

In my earlier years at Hunter, I was put off by that hallway. There was all the PDA among the less-than-conventionally attractive students. There was also the greater fear that I was ever in their ranks, it would put me in an ever lower social caste, and for a while I held on to my Sweet-Valley-High-esque delusions that popularity at school was important and attainable.

Once I started wearing oddball outfits and dyed my hair purple (and developed an inappropriate crush on Neil, the too-young punk a few grades below me) fitting in was no longer desirable and I sought out other fellow weirdos at school.

David was another fellow oddball and put the rest of us to shame with his outlandishness. He was notorious at our school for having a starring role on a cable show (I won’t say which one, but it was something of a cult hit in the 1990’s) as well as a minor part in a an immensely popular family film and its sequel. His style was akin to homeless indie bike messenger and he was always pissing off the Hunter administration one way or another, like this latest incident. I even added one of his shenanigans to his IMDB page (I think I write about it in a later journal entry, so I won’t spoil it here). Being in the company of such misfits as David and Neil felt like being admitted into a club that I realized I wanted to belong to more even more than the popular crowd. These were my people.

I don’t remember exactly how Claudia and I ended up in the “freak” hallway but I do remember the excitement I felt and the relief at packing up my things and leaving the locker hallway designated for our junior class. This other hallway was sunnier, quieter, and all-around more inviting. There were not too many moments during my tenure at Hunter where I felt truly at ease and welcome, but this was one of those moments.  

[Oh, and for anyone wondering, Dandelion was a band that I most likely didn’t tell my parents I was out seeing one night when sleeping over a friend’s house. The usual.]

  1. Liz
    March 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Aww…nostalgia… I can’t remember exactly when I found my own way to the freak hall, but probably around the same time (1995-ish). And yes, just like you, this was after I had previously been grossed out by the PDA factor in there 😉
    I also remember “David” very well. He and another guy from the hallway were going to drive to Maine with a car full of empty Snapple bottles because that was the only state where you could redeem them for nickels. He said he’d take my friend M. though I don’t actually think she was as close with him as she was with the other guy.
    “David” was a legend to me even though I had only ever seen him in the kids’ movie…since I grew up without cable, it would be YEARS before I ever got the chance to see his TV show…but when I finally did, even as an adult I recognized its genius. 😉
    I will have to check out what you wrote on his imdb profile! Years ago, I could have sworn I saw him (as an adult) at Steve’s C-Town on 9th Street, but no way would I have been confident enough to ask, especially since I was sure he wouldn’t remember me.
    Here’s a story that still exists somewhere in the ether of my memory. It probably isn’t true, but was sort of the HCHS equivalent of an urban legend.
    The story goes that for some reason, he found out at the last minute (more or less) that he would be graduating from high school, but wouldn’t be allowed to participate in commencement. I’m pretty sure it was commencement (rather than prom), and for some nutty behavioral reason akin to the hair-shaving threat you mentioned above, but presumably something more serious. Anyway, this will sound like a digression, but it isn’t. Do you remember how the chemistry labs at school had emergency eye wash facilities, but also handles with chains hanging from the ceiling so you could take an emergency shower if you got chemicals on you or you caught fire or whatever? Well, the story goes, “David” found out his punishment, and without a word, turned around, went straight into a chem lab, and yanked one of those emergency shower chains for all it was worth.
    I always hoped this really happened (apparently, the water was filthy from being in its storage tank in the ceiling for about 600 years), but even if it didn’t…well, it was a cool story. And very “David.” 😉

    • March 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      I love that you remember all of these other things about Hunter that add to these stories. 🙂

      I don’t think I ever heard the one about David pulling the chem shower, but it would be so fantastic if it were true, because it’s something that so many of use thought about doing (and others joked about doing but never had the guts to do). It’s also another great David story. I actually saw someone who looked like him in the west village a few years and ran up to him enthusiastically calling out his name. It turns out it was a complete stranger, so I just laughed and apologized. From time to time I expect to run into him, either randomly in the city or on the screen (his once-girlfriend has had roles in a bunch of TV shows I’ve seen, too).

  2. avaneka
    July 20, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Hi i see your picture it looks beautiful can i use it as my cover photo for my book im about to publish on wattpad? thanks! 😊

    • July 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      The photo in this post isn’t one that I took, so I’m afraid I can’t grant permission for it (it’s an image I found online).

  1. November 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm
  2. May 29, 2014 at 2:11 pm

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