Annotated Adolescence

Yesterday, I unwillingly played “let’s pretend we live in the the colonial ages” after my apartment lost internet for a few hours. We still had electricity, of course, but what good is that if I can’t stream episodes of Real World: Portland or stalk myself on facebook. We may as well have been in a three-day black-out.

To occupy myself, I browsed through some of my old school books for no reason at all, really, other than to see my illegible chickenscratch lacerate the great literature of high-school syllabi past. But really. I over-annotated the similes out of these books. I starred every page, underlined practically every sentence–as if wouldn’t fully understand a word until I slipped my pen past it–and added a few too many heart-punctuated exclamation points than I would care to admit. I really loved John Proctor. It was weird.

While I still find some of my thoughts insightful, or at least legitimate, I stumbled across a few marginal notes that just…nope. There is no way that passage means anything, or deserves any further attention.  Below are some examples of quotes you probably won’t find in Cliffnotes or WikiQuote, but teenage Kerri thought were just grand.

Catcher in the Rye

“I brush my teeth. Don’t give me that!”

You might think this quote could have importance within the context, but…nope. Nothing. Didn’t stop me from circling it though

I ordered a scotch and soda, which is my favorite drink, next to frozen Daiquiris.

I guess I was worried that Holden’s second-favorite drink would be on the quiz…

She had really big knockers.

To which I wrote beside it, “nice!”

A Streetcar Named Desire

You can almost feel the warm breath of the brown river warehouses with their faint redolences of bananas and coffee.

I circled “bananas and coffee” and wrote “exotic!” next to it. I guess basic breakfast foods are exotic to 14-year olds.

“Gracious, what lung-power!”

…I mean…okay?

“Well, honey, a shot never does the coke any harm!”

This quote actually did prove useful later in life.

The Odyssey 

“True, my friend,” the glistening one agreed.

I think I just liked the idea of a Greek man glistening. I was a pervert in eight grade. For example, I also underlined this…

Once they’d bathed and smoothed their skin with out with oil, they took their picnic, sitting along the river’s bank and waiting for all the clothes to dry in the hot noon sun.

And this…

Muttering so, great Odysseus crept out of the bushes, stripping off with his massive hand a leaf branch from the tangled olive growth to shield his body, hide his private parts. And out he stalked, as a mountain lion exultant in his power.

It should also be noted that I skipped books 9-15 in the Odyssey. Sorry Ms. Creany. There probably weren’t enough oil-slabbed gods in those parts.

And finally, perhaps the most poignant passage of them all from my favorite play, The History Boys:

You are very young. Grow a mustache.


2 thoughts on “Annotated Adolescence

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m fairly certain I never bothered to read the Odyssey but skipping large parts of text came in handy when I was reading Ulysses. Though you wouldn’t know it because that book is the one I have scribbled in the most.

    I might steal this idea for my own blog post. It’s fun. I’ll probably go all pretentious and pull Ulysses off the shelf though, ha.

    • kdscripted says:

      You should! It was super self-indulgent but also hysterical to return to my old annotations. Sort of like reading my old diary, but more educational!

      And I never got past page 1 of Ulysses, so kudos for sticking with that one. I’ve been meaning to give it a go again, but it’s just so…Ulysses.

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