Early Life & High School Years
The Summer before freshman year this girl and I would often talk over the phone. But she was going to a high school outside of my district. But I wanted to go to her school so I could be near her. To go to that school, I had to find something that the school had that my regular school didn’t have. I found out they had a special science program that sounded really good. I like science anyhow, so this sounded great. I applied to the program, passed a written test to get in, then was set to begin school there. There were a few kids from my middle school, but not too many.
School was going well I played baseball, tennis, and water polo. I made the first round in each sport. Things were going fine until the worst thing happened. I had a few friends I knew from middle school. One of the friends was however a little on the smaller side and he told me this one student was messing with him. I also knew who he was as he was in one of my classes. On my next class, I told him “he better leaves my friend alone or else” and that was all I said. I didn’t expect anything would happen. One day when we were getting out of class one of my friends who was involved got hit across the face so hard it knocked him out. I knew what it was about and I knew where the kid was, he was still in the class that had just let out. I Ran back and told him, “we were just messing with you, we were just joking!” He looked kind of smug, “well you shouldn’t mess with me”
I thought to myself, “you shouldn’t mess with me?” What is he talking about? What is he in some kind of mafia? I had to head out to my next class. I was walking up the steps. They were long steps. About three steps, each one was about 2 feet long. I put on my backpack and started up the steps, when all of a sudden, I was struck, right on top of the nose from somebody, so he (he was a senior on the football team) got some leverage making the hit even harder. I immediately flew backward, blood was streaming out of my nose, all over my shirt. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the coward running out a side door. I got up slowly. I sat up. I could see my shirt was covered in blood; the floor was pools of blood all around. I could also see a big crowd of people standing around. Some came over and helped me to the bathroom where I cleaned up. Then I went to the principal’s office so I could tell them what happened. I walked into the office and the secretary looked horrified after seeing my blood-soaked shirt. “What happened to you?”
“Somebody hit me” Well come in here, sit down. I sat down and made a statement telling them what happened. Then I met the principal. The principal asked me if I wanted to press charges? I thought about it, then said no because I was afraid, he would try to come back at me. But in all honesty, they should have asked my parents. I was a minor. Any decision whether to report physical abuse on me at the school is my parent’s decision. Well, the school did not even notify my parents. I was talking with my mom about this the other day 25 years later and she said she never knew anything about that.
The one who hit me was the older brother of the kid we told to leave my friend alone, he was a senior and was also on the football team. When approached me he had a bunch of the other football players around him to assist, or just watch, or I don’t know what. It was terrible. What’s even worse was the school did not call my parents. I’m not sure but isn’t the school obligated to notify the parents of a child that’s been through physical abuse? In any case one thing is clear here, the school was protecting the son of the football coach, who the son was himself a player, and on the varsity team. He wouldn’t play with a felony abuse charge, at least while he was sitting in jail (where he should have gone) No, the school had to protect their player, even if he was. And they needed to protect their reputation, what would the city, the D.A., the newspapers think? So, they decided to sweep this under the rug and act like it never happened. I don’t wish any ill will against the steroid enraged dummy that hit me, or the school that covered it up, because I think if he continued to behave in that way throughout his life.
The point I wanted to make was I did not deserve that Nobody deserves that, also that was a cheap shot. This reminds me of some of the videos I’ve seen online of guys just walking up to random people, men, women, they didn’t care, these guys are so low they’d even hit a girl. They’d reach back and hit them as hard as they could. The people often fall to the ground while they laugh. Nice legacy huh. I guess you can be remembered as the guy that gave cheap shots all over town. People are going to fight I know that, but at least have the decency to warn them first.
Maybe getting “sucker” punched wasn’t all bad. Looking back on that time of my life now, I can say that maybe, at that time, I began to think more in a philosophical manner. I started asking questions. I was interested in how the world worked, why people do what they do? why did he hit me? Why did the school cover it up? Why did the school not tell my parents? Why did I let him get away with it? I began wanting to know how things worked, why they worked, how could they be better? I developed a boldness, I became very inquisitive, without knowing it of course. The wheels started turning. I was 15 years old. I put getting punched in the nose behind me. There would be however a whole new set of problems, drugs.
Marijuana was available at the school; I knew a few kids to get it from. So, one day I rode my skateboard down to a friend’s house to try smoking pot for the first time. If I had been with some good friends, the first-time smoking pot it more than likely would have been better. It would have been more relaxing, more chill. But I wasn’t with good friends I was with acquaintances, so a few hours after we smoked, they started saying I had to go. The other guys there were also in high school but they looked like pros, like they’ve been smoking pot for a while. We smoked out of a pipe, maybe 2 or 3 bowls. Then I sat down on the couch and said, “it didn’t work” at that point it hadn’t kicked in. And just when I thought it wasn’t going to work, it did. I didn’t know what to expect, but all of a sudden, I could feel it. Everyone around seemed to be having fun, they were playing music. Before I knew it, I was asleep on the couch. A few hours later I was woken up, “hey man you have to go.”
I woke up and looked around. “Ok, I’m getting up” I felt like I was stuck to the sofa. I finally got up, grabbed my skateboard and walked up to the garage door.
“I can’t skate,” I said.
“Sure, you can, just take it easy,” he replied.
And out the door I went. I was right, I couldn’t skate, I kept falling off. I picked up my board and began to walk in the direction they pointed me in but where was I? All I know is it was really dark. As I walked along the long dark street I came to an intersection. My bearings came back to me. If I make a left, walk down a quarter mile, I’ll be at 7-11. Then I can call my parents to pick me up, but that seemed so far, especially because I was so stoned and I couldn’t ride my board. As I approached 7-11, I noticed how my eyes were very sensitive to the lights. The lights seemed to glow so bright. Must be the pot. I somehow got some change, went to the payphone and called my parents. I don’t remember calling but I do remember my Mom and sister arriving to pick me up. I got in the back seat, and laid down. I thought, “do they know I’m stoned,”? They probably did, I’m sure I smelled like it. I just fell asleep and slept the whole way home. Did I like marijuana? I wasn’t sure. I was however going to experiment quite a bit more to find out.
I used to bring pot to school. I was not concerned with the rules or repercussions. I guess you could say I became rebellious. I was still in freshman year; I still liked baseball and made the first cut on the team. Once we were playing a practice game at school and I was playing center field. The left fielder and I were playing catch, long toss. We were throwing with a lot of speed but my throw was so fast, with so much momentum when the right fielder would catch the ball it would sting his hand. The coach saw this so when it came time to scrimmage, he said, “Evans, get in there at pitcher. I took the ball and walked up to the mound, and delivered a good fastball way out of the strike zone. My pitch had velocity but control, it was wild. Every other pitch I’d pitch a good one and the coach would say, “that’s it.” Baseball is something I would have loved to continue but I had other avenues to explore, I was going to write a book on philosophy. Baseball is a great game, but my grades were too low to continue on the team. During class I would go to the atrium, smoke a joint, and come back. It wasn’t long before I had campus security at my class. “Nicholas Evans, can you come with me please?”
I got up and went with him to the front office. While we were walking down the halls, I realized I had a joint in my back pocket. Should I just toss it? I put my hand in my pocket and felt the joint, but the security guard kept looking over at me. So, I just took out my hand. Finally, I just left it and walked into the office. I was led into the principal’s office, the same principal that covered up a beating on the campus, when I was punched only a month earlier. There was a police officer waiting for me. “can I search you,” said the principal. I told him he could but thinking back on it now, could I have said no? I mean why else would he ask? I said yes you may search me. He checked all my pockets except my back right one. I thought well here we go. He searched the pocket and pulled out the joint.
“Well, what do we have here!” he said. That’s quite a large joint. He smelled it to be sure it was pot. His eyes lit up like he’d just won the lottery. He said, “ok officer, book him.”
The officer put my hands behind my back and applied the cuffs. I can’t remember if they took me to the station, or if my parents came to the school to pick me up. All I remember is that principal and how he looked so proud. I’m sure I could have brought up the physical abuse but honestly, that’s just not me. If ever I’m in trouble, or hurt, or having a difficulty of any kind I don’t think of who else I can bring down with me, I just deal with it, I don’t look for anyone else to blame, I just deal with it. Again, maybe I should have pressed charges but looking back on it know I think, things happen for a reason, I was kicked out of that school for a reason (I didn’t want to go there anyway). And now I would go to the school that was in my district which was a lot closer.
So, I started in another school. I’m not sure what it was, but I just didn’t care. I liked my classes and the kids were cool but something about the whole high school thing just made me not care. I wasn’t interested, I wouldn’t be interested in school until college, but high school not really. Maybe it was a time I thought high school was fun. Now during some of my years at high school I experimented with drugs. During my freshman through junior year also during this time, I ditched class, very often. So, by the time I got to my senior year I was far from being able to graduate. My senior year I came back to class and actually started attending regularly. I finished my senior year way behind in credits. I would need to complete high school later. Now, as I look back on those years, I sometimes think about what if I would have tried in high school? But then I say things happen for a reason. I would not change a thing. I’m doing the thing I love now which is writing.
So, in high school I experimented with drugs. I don’t want to get into which ones or any specifics I just will say I experimented with a few and for a short period of time. I would like to say that the drug use was unnecessary, unremarkable, and to be honest kind of something which bogged me down for a little while. They are a waste of time and shouldn’t be experimented with (especially by someone in high school).
So, I would like to continue on here. High school was good but the next chapter in my life would soon happen, marriage.
The Loser Crew
When I was a year out of high school my younger sister, who was a senior in high school, asked me to go to “poetry night” held in the high school cafeteria. I agreed to go. It was a nice atmosphere inside, they served coffee and had a lounge set up, and had a microphone in front where kids could recite their poetry. During that night someone walked up to ask about my sister. He walked up and said, “hey is that your sister?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“Do you think I have a chance with her?”
“I don’t know, ‘I can introduce you to her.”
His name is Paul. So, we walked up to my sister.
“Hey Molly, this is Paul.”
I left them alone to talk. Later in the evening I went up to Paul.
“So, how did it go.”
“Not so well,” I don’t think she’s interested man.”
“I’m sorry” “She’s kind of a pre-Madonna.”
So, Paul and I became friends. I would go down to Paul’s house to hang out and soon found out lots of people went down to Paul’s house. His house was the meet up for many people. There was music, laughter, interesting stories told, some drinking (although Paul didn’t drink, at least not at that time). Paul is a very intelligent, well read, kind to all around him guy, with a funny sense of humor. He’s got a kind heart, but that’s not to say he would ever let someone take advantage of him, when someone got out of line, he would diffuse the situation quickly. There were always people coming and going, big parties throughout the house. He also had a lot of cats 15 or more. His cats would have babies and if he had trouble finding good homes for them, he just kept them. He could never take them to the pound.
We were nerds, we enjoyed watching Star Trek We were hilarious, practical jokers. We would often venture out at night in a big group, reading each other’s auras, and looking for giants roaming around Coyote Hills. Seriously, we were looking for giants amongst the hills. And also, fairies, trolls and Hobbits. Just understand, my group of friends were very spiritual and if this was what we looked for, then that was good enough for me, but, while I never did see a giant, or troll, I did think I caught sight of an aura. In any case, it was all good fun.
We also watched a lot of science fiction shows. We listened to a lot of music 80’s music was making a resurgence at that time and Star 98.7 would play 80’s music. A part of our group was gothic. They dressed in all black, nails were black in other words they were tough ass mofo’s. The group was kind of a collection of various interests. It was Paul’s idea to give this group a name. He decided to call our group “The Loser Crew” And Paul would be president of the group. There was a vice president, a secretary of state, cabinet members. I was elected as the “Ambassador” Which makes sense because I would later go on to do a lot of traveling, while in the Navy and on my own, I spent 3 years in China.
I thought the name loser crew was funny because none of us were actually losers, a little nerdy maybe, but not losers.
While I was over at one of the Loser Crews homes, I met a girl named Daisy. Daisy and I hit it off, that night we went bowling and after that soon started dating. She was not shy, very talkative, full of life and that’s what I liked about her. Once she wrote a poem for me and read it at a poetry night. She’s really sweet.
She was into riding horses and still is till this day. She’s in horse shows and competes in various events. She’s pretty good at it. She had a stallion, “Sampson” who was getting really old. One day Sampson died. Her mother, in an attempt to move Sampson into a truck so he could be moved thought of a plan. She was going to tie a rope onto all four of his hooves and Me and a bunch of the other loser crew were going to load Sampson into the truck. I can remember me and the other guys all stepping up to grab the rope to help out. 1,2,3, pull! We all pulled as hard as we could but we couldn’t move Sampson even one inch. He was just too heavy. After about 10 minutes we gave up. Sampson was not going to budge. Daisy’s Mother was saying, what are you boys going to do when it comes time to be in the army, crawling around in the mud, down in the trenches, and you all can’t even move a horse!” So, professionals were called in to assist with moving Sampson.
I would go with Daisy horseback riding sometimes. It was fun and I think she liked having someone else go with her as she had two horses. It seemed every time we went out, she had something to critique me on my horsemanship, “don’t do that, do it like this, you’re doing it wrong, and finally she would say, “you’re going to ruin my horse!”
“Ruin your horse?” I thought to myself. Can’t have that.
When I would hang out with the loser crew Daisy would be with me.