“Yeah, I know.”

At a high school of over 400 students in my graduating class, it is not uncommon to sit next to a complete stranger at the graduation ceremony. After dedicated 13 years of my youth to my school district, my final moments were spent stuck in the middle of two boys I knew nothing about. The boy on my right was a semi-familiar and friendly classmate, but the same can not be said for the boy on my left. On the outside, he seems like such the stereotypical version of a high school jock that I imagine “sup bro” is tattooed on his biceps. The graduation ceremony was probably making him late for a Friday Night Lights shoot.  From the broad shoulders, to the perfect teeth, to the sculpted hair quiff, I can’t imagine he spends less than four hours in front of a mirror on any given day. Am I this easy to read? 

In the two hours we were sitting there listening to insincere inspirational banter, it really hit me that high school was really over. Then, with a glimmer of hope, (probably a result of hearing “you can so anything!” for the past two weeks) I thought the stereotypes would be over as well. No longer were we confined to high school stereotypes! Maybe he won’t beat me up if I say Die Hard is overrated or Tom Brady is a jerk– who knows! So, in an unfathomable act of courage, I introduced myself, 

“I’m MZ by the way.” 

Then, the 6’2” beef cake turned my way. In a single breath, he let me know, 

“Yeah, I know.” 

What? He knows my name is MZ or he knows me? Can he sum me up in a few sentences like I can do to him? I guess no matter if you are a football star or an anime queen, we can all be summed up in a few sentences. As the evening continued, we talked about our future plans and how ridiculous the various speeches were. Even though his “sentences” are quite different than mine, we still managed to get along. Maybe the next time I see him (if that day ever comes) we can chest bump and talk about how “banging” certain teachers used to be while reading poetry and drinking tea. I genuinely think we are all a lot more alike than we put off.  

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