March 19th, 2003

duke-thoughtful

Memories triggered today by a chocolate donut

I was in eighth grade when I joined the high school symphony orchestra. I was a pretty good cello player, in those days. The high school had two orchestras, one for anyone who wanted to play a stringed instrument, the "concert orchestra", and an audition-only "symphony orchestra". I was still in middle school, but I was bored with the music program there, so I auditioned for the elite high school one. There were three of us middle-schoolers in the symphony orchestra that year.

I spent my eighth grade year going to the high school first thing in the morning. Orchestra was first period, after which I would then ride my bike (or mooch a ride) to the middle school for the rest of the day.

My best friend's older sister was attending that high school, so we would ride our bikes to that school together. She taught me how to get there. She liked to arrive early and spend time with her friends before classes started, so I was always there a good 20 minutes before anybody else. She would leave me at the door and go to socialize. I was painfully shy, and I didn't know anybody to hang out with, so I just brought a book and read in the orchestra room until everyone else showed up. I don't believe that I knew how to get to any place in the building other than the orchestra room, actually.

There was another older girl, Ann, who also often arrived early. I think she played viola. She would generally buy a large chocolate donut from the cafeteria every morning for breakfast and eat it, sprawling on the old wooden risers in the orchestra room with me. We both preferred to lounge on the steps rather than perch in the uncomfortable chairs. Sometimes I'd read, sometimes we'd talk.

She always liked to lay the donut face-down on its sticky plastic wrap. She would then pick off pieces of the underside with her fingers and eat them. She saved the chocolate frosting, on the top of the donut, for last. After she had eaten almost all of the bottom part of the treat, she had a donut-shaped piece of crust/dough with a thick layer of chocolate frosting on it. She would then eat that with much messy enjoyment.

I saw her again, just a couple of years ago. It turns out she is a cousin of one of the good friends I ended up making in the following years, when I attended that high school as an actual student. I'd never even noticed that their last names were the same.