The one day I miss school is the one day I miss my opportunity to be flashed.
"WE JUST GOT FLASHED."
That was the text I received as I was lying in bed, thankful for getting to stay home that day. I wasn't thankful anymore.
"What?! What happened? DETAILS."
I sit up in bed.
"Never mind, I'm coming to school right now."
That's right. I got out of bed and drove the 40 minutes it takes me to get to school to hear about this incident face-to-face.
"I thought you were at home toda---"
"Forget about it. Tell me what happened."
"We got flashed."
"I CAN'T BELIEVE I MISSED THIS! Keep going."
"So we're walking beside this fence, and we look over and there's this guy. In like his 30's. Wearing glasses. And it looks like he's taking a piss, but then he turns around. So we see his...you know...and then he starts walking along with us, but on the other side of the fence, and he's just you know, got it whipped out! And he's playing with it and fondling his...you know...those other things...and he's looking at us the entire time. Just staring. And fondling. No expression on his face whatsoever."
"THE ONE DAY I MISS, DUDE!"
It took me days to get over this. Of all the days to miss school, of all the times we've taken that exact same route to get a cup of joe at lunch time, the one day I'm not there is the day there is a brief encounter with A Flasher. It's not that I need to see a "thing." I've had enough of those. Okay not what I meant. I just mean I've had my share. Good god that is just not even what I'm trying to say. I have not seen a lot, and I'm making it seem like I have. And now I'm about to get into the number of the ones I've seen and this is where I stop because this is weird and awkward and sometimes my father reads my blog. MOVIES, PEOPLE. R-RATED MOVIES. The point is, if there was a time to be flashed the time would be now, right before I graduated from high school. I can't go around being flashed in college, I'll be too mature to think it's funny and I'll end up doing something like "reporting" it so it doesn't "happen again." A.k.a. LAME. I mean I really thought I had missed my chance to ever be emotionally scarred by a man sexually violating me by grabbing his private parts in front of me causing me to feel mentally damaged. God dammit. That is, until last Thursday.
"Yeah I had this dream that ants were jumping onto me like giant monkeys or something and---"
"THAT'S THE GUY!"
"THE FLASHER THE FLASHER THE FLASHER!"
"OH MY GOD."
"HE'S LOOKING AT US!"
"OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD."
"FUCK FUCK FUCK!"
There he was. Pale. Buzz cut. Black hair. Black thick-framed glasses, like Clark Kent's. Or some urban hipster's. Or a pedophile's. He was walking down the street on the other side of this fence, as we walked up the street towards our school.
"Is he gone?"
"Well there's a tree in the way, but I mean he was walking the other way so---"
"OKAY HE'S NOW WALKING THIS WAY."
HE'S WALKING WITH US."
"HE'S UNZIPPING HIS PANTS! FUCK IT'S COMING THE DOWN! THE ZIPPER IS COMING DOWN HE'S PLAYING WITH HIS PANTS WHAT THE FUCK HE'S GONNA FLASH US!"
And there we were, sprinting. All of a sudden, just like that. Sprinting. And screaming.
Sprinting from a flasher. Maybe even saving our own lives. Or at least our innocence. Or at least the mental images that could perhaps stick with us for days and days. I mean, I have a mental image now and I didn't even see the wang.
We run into school, not looking back once. We get in, out of breath, freaked the fuck out, and scared to death. So of course we run upstairs and start telling the story to anyone who walks by us.
"THERE WAS A FLASHER AND HE WAS PLAYING WITH HIS ZIPPER GONNA FLASH US MAN WE RAN AND RAN AND HIS ZIPPER WAS COMING DOWN FOR SURE!"
We were really not making any sense at all. I mean look, we had a lot of adrenaline pumping through us. And yes, we were screaming at the top of our lungs. And cracking up. I mean come on, who's not gonna laugh at some Clark Kent wannabe who waits for girls to walk by so he can stare and hold? How is that not funny? If I waited around outside of school and then pulled up my shirt and held myself when a boy walked by, staring at him with no expression, I'm sure people would think it was hilarious. Not that I'd ever do that. This year.
"ZIPPER ON HIS PANTS COMING DOWN HIS HANDS WERE ON IT FLASHER!"
"RAN AND RAN AND HE WAS THERE BUT THEN HE WAS THERE WALKING OUR WAY WHEN HE WASN'T BEFORE CAUSE HE WAS GONNA FLASH US HIS THINGY!"
You say words like "thingy" when you're freaked out.
"Hey I heard you guys saw someone's thingy?"
You regret it later.
So yeah, there's a flasher lingering around my school campus. He's ready to whip it out. I'm ready for whatever happens next. Does that count as me being flashed at least once in my lifetime? Sure, my brief encounter with a flasher didn't actually involve flashing, but it involved a guy playing with his zipper staring at us and me running and screaming, which I think is the exact same thing that happens when someone is flashed, anyway. My point is, that fuckin counts.