Can I Help You Find Something?

That’s what you say in retail. Or when you work in periodicals in the Dimond Public Library.

I’ve told this story before, but I don’t care, because it still baffles me.

I had work-study junior year at the UNH library. I mostly worked in the stacks, shelving books. It was a nice, antisocial task.

Out at the end of the aisle I was working in was a study carrel. At that study carrel was Justin Campion.

Justin Campion went to school with me from grades 7-9 in Swampscott, the town where I grew up.

A little background on Justin Campion. He was on the football team. I believe he was on the basketball team, too. He was Class President. He dated all the pretty girls.

A little background on me at that time. I was in the marching band. I played zero sports. I went to and was invited to zero parties. Even the other nerds picked on me. I had no social life and the vast majority of boys saw me and ran the other way.

In 10th grade, I transferred to St. Mary’s in Lynn, because I had no friends in Swampscott. I was basically invisible to everyone there.

So much so that in driving school, a year after I had transferred, Erin Cahill (a Swampscott High student) asked me if I was taking American Studies that year. She didn’t even know I’d been gone a whole year. “No!” I snapped.

Fast forward to freshman year of college. I’m looking for an empty seat in the lecture hall of my Environmental Conservation class. And guess what? I’m cute, now. Long hair, well dressed.

From the other side of the hall I hear someone call my name. I look. In the mess of students, sure enough, I see Justin and his friend, but guess what? He doesn’t wave, nod, acknowledge me in any way. He is simply pointing out to his friend that, “Hey, I know that girl. Watch this.”


Fast forward again to junior year of college in the library, and here’s Justin, and guess what? He’s looking at me. Keeps. Looking at me.

Really, Justin? What the hell, man? I know you’re not into me, so what gives? I try to ignore it, but he doesn’t stop until finally he leaves or I switch to some other aisle.

There’s no point to this story. I just still don’t get it. And don’t say he liked me, that wasn’t it. There’s no way. I was not his type.

I guess my freakishness must’ve fascinated him, but keep it to yourself, dude. Some people just have no manners.

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