My yearbook

my yearbook, poetry, steven humphreys, nostalgia, regret, youth

Didn’t buy

a high school





‘I’d regret it someday’

I didn’t hate school


in the beginning

my first year of high school

I was involved in track

and cross-country

in my sophomore year

I don’t know why


sometime later in high school

I started hating school

for some reason

I don’t remember


and I don’t remember why

or how it happened

after all, it’s been fifty years…

I missed all the dances

the prom

the games

and all the


I became really against school…

it may have happened

in my junior year

maybe senior

I don’t know what got into me

the potential was there

for me to have a really

great time of it



didn’t have girlfriends

girls must have thought

I might have been queer

more likely

they thought

I was

stuck up

I was very good looking

back then

but I didn’t realize it

I was the quiet type

I did though like girls


I had this terrible inferiority complex

and was painfully shy

I also had a secret

I will tell you why

It was

an older girlfriend

who was

ten years my senior

I thought I was a happy guy

when you are sixteen

and have a girlfriend

who’s twenty six

that’s something

you were proud of

but you kept it to yourself


because few would approve of that

sort of thing going on

No one would think

it could have gone anywhere

they wouldn’t believe me if I told them

or understand it

of course,

the jealous

would wonder

what she saw in me…

that relationship if you can call it that

and I think it qualifies

in its own right

caused me to miss

a lot in school

it took my youth away


the rest of my innocence

five decades and three divorces later…

I looked

on eBay

in my search

for a yearbook.

finding mine

was like trying to find a needle in a haystack

in the dark with a candle


to my surprise

I found one

about a year ago

at the time

I didn’t think

it was the right year



I passed on


forgot about it

then remembered

came back a year later

about a month ago

it was still for sale


couldn’t believe

the school annual was still there

wondered what was wrong with it

almost like it was waiting

contacted the guy and gave him my name to see if I was in it

he said I wasn’t

I had my doubts he looked very hard

thought about it

for a few days

I looked at comparable prices

and gave him a decent


the going rate

for others

which sold before

one other person

was watching

the auction

I took a chance

figured I would try to buy it

I bid on it

made the offer


in the yearbook

I would be a sophomore

there could be someone I wanted to see

I could reminisce

there could be something in there

that I didn’t think of

He accepted my offer

and sent it out

in the mail promptly

when I received it

a couple days later

to my total amazement


soon discovered

I was in it

I forgot

I was in two sports

there were

two photos with my two different track team


and there was a sophomore school picture

three photos total

the yearbook had senior, junior and sophomores

I was ecstatic

you see

my last wife

(third wife)

erased my history


burned all my old photos in the


she was very


to say the least

(she took medication for frequent psychotic episodes)

I looked at my pictures

in the annual

I was sure a handsome


I should have believed in myself

I never smiled

girls would tell me to smile

I would give them a dirty look

It never dawned on me they were

looking at me and giggling because they liked me

I felt it was something else instead

I wanted to hurt someone who liked me

especially a cute girl

you can’t hurt someone who doesn’t

like you

of course I liked some of them

I mean the popular ones

and got rejected

I wanted to hurt the ones

who smiled at me

I had my reasons

for my bad behavior

toward the girls

It had to be because

my mother abused me mentally

and physically

this abuse happened from about eleven

to fourteen years old

until I’d had enough

and ran away from home

It’s the only reason that seems to fit the situation…

I had mental and emotional problems

kind of like the kid in that movie

Donnie Darko

except that he wasn’t an abused child

I eventually broke up with that older lady

a few years after high school

I was going to be married to someone else

the older lady found my number somehow

and called me before I got married

she asked me if I was sure

I said I was

I was cold

I wanted to hurt her

so I married that other girl

I did it to hurt her

this was


she had been unfaithful

to me

in the past

I may have hurt her

but the person I really

hurt was me

I didn’t let myself realize

I still loved her

she got married to someone

eventually got divorced

I don’t know what happened to her

I don’t know if she remarried

of course

if she is still alive

she’s seventy five…

a lot of water has gone under the bridge

and I have been married a few times

I am married again

for the fourth time

this time

for seventeen years

I am still married

knock on wood

hope I stay married

I looked through the annual

at a sophomore who could have had anything

in the world…

he could have been someone

anyone he wanted to be

the world was an open door

his oyster for more

but he chose not to walk through that door

his destiny was changed forever more

a much different path he made for himself



it turned out

even though I wanted

my senior annual instead

this older one

I purchased

turned out to be the right annual

after all

it was perfect

it had all the photos

all the memories

the workings of the universe

is strange

and does miraculous things

when it wants to

the mysterious happens

when you least expect it

no one bought it

during that year

thank god it didn’t sell

(Most my history was in it. It brought back a lot of memories. It told me I should have enjoyed myself more. Looking back it seemed I was better off marrying that older lady. But, we probably would’ve divorced, anyway. I didn’t love my first wife. I loved the older woman. I had loved her for a long time. It never left me. I kept this secret within me. She was my first real love. I betrayed myself. I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t love her. But, at least I did buy my yearbook fifty years later. Lost love. Regrets. I lived on with an empty heart. But, that annual was worth every penny. It reminded me you can’t go back. That you have but one life to live. Live it well.)

It helped heal my soul

it was something I thought I only wanted

but as it turned out

it was exactly




and more

the annual

was meant

to be mine

It was my


it was always

my yearbook

it always


to me

It had always

been mine

it was in such good condition

it was like it had been

stored in someone’s

hope chest

to protect it through

many years

in wait

it filled an emptiness





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