Clay Beverly Senior Column

Clay Beverly

     Twenty years from now as I relax on my plush bearskin throne before a roaring fire, adorned in my velour sitting robe and fez cap, I wonder if I’ll remember high school at all. I wonder if, as I reach for another Cuban cigar and turn to the next page in my extensive, best-selling memoir (Heart of a Lion: The Clay Beverly Story), I’ll recall the countless hours spent memorizing atomic numbers on the periodic table of elements, the innumerable days devoted to pouring over classical poetry until I fantasized of taking a two-by-four to John Donne’s smarmy face, or the long, tedious weeks I burned slaving over a research paper only to learn that, yes, you were supposed to double-space and improper formatting will in fact cost you twenty points on your overall project grade.  Will I reminisce on those tumultuous times while I’m horseback riding in my private gardens with Samuel L. Jackson and the ghost of Steve McQueen?

     I doubt it. The truth is I’ve never considered my time in high school to be particularly special. Sure, there have been moments that stand out above the rest. For instance, the time that troll broke into the school and I had to stick my wand up the fat ogre’s putrid nose-hole to subdue him holds a special place in my memory. And how about the day I decided to skip school, steal my friend’s dad’s Porsche, and turn a downtown Chicago parade into a giant dance party to the tune of Twist and Shout? I’ll always remember those events as ones that helped define my young adult life.  But, save for those few highlights, all I’ve ever really wanted in high school is to leave the whole experience behind. I’ve been ready to start living my life for a long time now – eating when I want to eat, reading what I want to read, studying what I want to study, and having the ability to use the restroom without using a grimy pass or signing a log book. The very thought of voiding my bowels at my own leisure fills me with a pure and immense joy.

     And now that the day is fast approaching when I can step out of those heavy metal doors that stand between myself and unrestricted, potty pass free adulthood, I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been waiting for this day for twelve long years, and now I feel as though I’ve finally earned it. I know as I move forward in my life, I’ll try to remember high school as the primary shaper of my formative years – the institution that made me the person I am today. But I know in my heart that true character is built from life experience and forging your own path, making mistakes and learning on your own terms.  I’m ready for the challenge.

     Now, if you’ll excuse me, Sammy L. and I have a séance to perform. Steve McQueen won’t resurrect himself from the dead. I think.