boy with the blue hat.


i've got this picture of this kid with a blue hat tipped ever so slightly to the side. i don't know who he is, but i could probably take a guess. he tips his hat to the side because he thinks it's cool, that it's stylish. he does not think that other people think he looks like a moron for wearing his hat like that, and anyway, he does not care what other people think of him. the blue hat has a yellow and red star. he does not know what the star signifies. it's a skater hat, but he's not a skater. that probably makes him a poser, but he would never think himself a poser. a poser is someone who tries to be someone he is not. the kid is not trying to be anyone but himself.

this kid goes to seattle university wearing his blue hat with the red and yellow star. he still wears his hat tipped ever so slightly to the side. he goes into pigott auditorium, where a man will take his picture with a big, black camera. the kid waits in line with other incoming freshmen. he feels out of place. most kids seem to have already made friends with each other, as they are talking about things. there are lots of pretty girls in the line with the kid, but he doesn't make an effort to talk to any of them. the kid just stands there, and he waits in line for his turn.

finally, he reaches the front of the line, and it is time for the man to take the kid's picture. the man does not say anything about removing his hat for the photo, so the kid just leaves it on. the cameraman says, "smile!" and the kid does just that. he is a grinning idiot. he thinks that he will make friends who will last him a lifetime, find a girl who will like him. he is happier than ever, for he is now in a new city. he is glad to be far, far away from the crappy, crappy town he grew up in, the town he always knew he'd leave. he must feel hopeful, though he doesn't quite know it at the time. click. "all done," the cameraman says.

he walks past the line of freshmen, including all the pretty girls. he has forgotten what it's like to be around so many women. all of them are dressed nice. they wear colorful blouses, earrings, bracelets and headbands, just the way he imagined girls his age would dress. he does not make eye contact with any of them. he's still a virgin, you see, and he does not know if it is still normal and acceptable to be one at his age. at the time, he knows nothing of love, and he is rather unsure if such a thing is even in the cards for him, so to speak.

he knows of sex, however. he knows it because they taught it to him at school. he understood the basic mechanics of how things worked, and he also had plenty of visual supplements. like most boys his age, he had collected his fair share of maxim magazines, and the likes of jenna jameson and taylor hayes were no strangers to him. sex was and would probably always remain a complex thing for the kid. on one hand, he was embarassed to talk about it with other people in a mature and responsible fashion; on the other hand, he wasn't sure if it would ever even be a real issue.

from there, the boy probably returned to his dorm room in bellarmine. throughout that first year, he probably had his ups and downs like any other freshman. he probably missed home, but dreaded going back to it. he probably ate a lot of ice cream and drank too much soda for his own good. he smoked weed whenever the guy across the hall could hook it up. he probably threw up once in a blue moon after drinking too much alcohol. he read books and he would complain whenever he had too much homework. once in a while, he would blow up and yell at people. he might've had anger management issues, but who can really tell.

after a while, the kid stopped wearing the blue hat. he realized he looked foolish. nothing seemed to work. he didn't know it then, but he actually had to make an effort to do things which he thought came more easily to others, things like making friends and falling in love. defeated, he retreated home for the summer and thought about where all of this was going. did he really have his whole life ahead of him? did he know what he wanted in life?

i don't know what became of the kid. or the hat. i hope he's alright now.

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