"What if I ride? What if you walk?"

I am listening to R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People" album, and I feel like my brain has been rewound ten years. I haven't listened to much of R.E.M. since their "Monster" album really, but I-Tunes added their new song Leaving New York. Suddenly, I found myself craving this old CD, and all I can think about is Brooke Ferrell.

Brooke was in love with R.E.M. and David Orman, a cute basketball player at our high school. I thought that Brooke was so incredibly beautiful and smart and cool. She was a year older than me, but I think she had skipped a grade and was graduating early. I want to say that I had known of her since I was in elementary school at Elmore Park. I had a crush on her and totally want to be her friend. She was as nice as I had hoped. To increase her love of me, I remember I recorded R.E.M. on tape for her. I took it to her on the bus the very next day. And can I just interrupt my thoughts here and tell you how horribly awful it was the ride the bus in high school? It made you the uncoolest thing ever. Brooke and I would literally hide in the seats so no one would see us. I wasn't allowed the catch rides to school, and I don't think she was old enough to drive. We hated it so much that when one of us was actually getting picked up by our parents, we'd take the other one home.

Brooke lived in this huge house. I remember always looking up at the second story window to see those globe lights that lined a bathroom mirror. I pictured that bathroom as Brooke's, but I never knew if it was.

I actually saw Brooke a few weeks ago. I think she is a licensed builder now. She worked on one of the houses that made the very famous Vesta Home Show. In fact, her house appeared on the front page of the newspaper.

I'm not sure if I had a crush on her or just wanted to be her.


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