max hurtz

24 Jun

When I was in second grade, I fell in love with Max Hurtz. He was a child genius and from what I remember, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever known. On the playground, we would play tag and alligator with just each other (not as fun, but love makes you do crazy things). I could never tell if Max felt the same way about me, but he did make me a special valentine with bugs drawn all over it that said “how long will it beetle you’re mine?” No, I don’t still have it. Okay, I do.

When we advanced to third grade, our relationship changed dramatically. We were both in the gifted program which meant everyday we had to leave our regular classrooms (which were next door to each other) and walk together down the long hallway of the basement of our school and all the way upstairs to the other side of campus to where our gifted class was. After spending a few hours being really smart, it would be the end of the day, and we would walk back to our regular classroom for dismissal. We always made sure to take our time walking back, because if we took long enough, we wouldn’t have to participate in classroom cleanup. We used avoiding classroom cleanup as our excuse, but in truth I think we recognized how valuable every second we spent together was.

Max and I became very creative in our attempts to lengthen our journey. There were bulletin boards all along the basement hallway of artwork drawn by the first graders.  Each day, we would examine each piece very carefully and comment on the potential that the artist may or may not have had. When we reached the end of the hallway, I would always open my pencil case and “accidentally” drop it, spilling my pencils all over the place. We would pick them up one by one, sometimes kicking them in the direction of where we’d come, so we would have to walk down the hallway again. Our teachers never caught on.

We were inseparable until I moved away in the middle of third grade. I was devastated to have lost my first love. I think we planned on writing, but we never did.

Years later, when I was in high school and feeling particularly lonely and desperate, I decided to try to track him down. After only a few days of internet stalking, I was able to find him, which was a particularly amazing feat considering this was before MySpace or Facebook or really any social networking site. We began exchanging e-mails, and I realized once again, that he was in fact the love of my life. I was just mature enough to know, that any proclamations of our rekindled love would have to wait until college, when we would be coincidentally reunited at the same school, possibly in the same dorm if I could pull the right strings.

While waiting for the universe to bring us together, life got in the way and our stars never aligned. It was in college, which we attended several hundred miles apart mind you, that I once again found him on Facebook. Turns out, he was majoring in Musical Theatre. He ended up graduating a year early and moved to New York with his boyfriend to pursue a career on Broadway.

I tell myself that he realized if he couldn’t have me, no other girl would do.

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