I’m 11 years old. My sisters and I are slowly waking up in the family camper. I’m pretty sure we’re the first people here, because we don’t wanna deal with traffic or crowds or lines or chaos, so we get up at 5:00 am every morning of vacation to be the first people everywhere. This morning we’re the first people at Mt. Rushmore. Never mind that the employees aren’t even here yet, we are here and we will NOT have to wait in line like the rest of you suckers! We win!
Normally, we’re ecstatic to get out of the camper—fresh air, non-squooshed personal space—but since it’s the ass crack of dawn, we’re a little grumpy and irritated and want to sleep. But we know our dad well; we’ve vacationed with him for many years now, and we know there is zero chance we’ll be going back to sleep before the park opens. So can we eat a little breakfast? No! No time for breakfast! We don’t want to deal with the crowds and if we take time to eat breakfast we’ll have to deal with the crowds!
We’re the first tourists through the doors, once the doors finally open. We walk around for a while and admire the beauty and grandeur that is Mt. Rushmore. Then we go to the visitor’s center to stand around monitors and watch the creation of Mt. Rushmore. Can you say snore? I’m 11, for crying out loud! I don’t care what kind of freakin’ rock this is!
My mind wanders. My gaze wanders. I notice a girl about my age standing with her family in front of a monitor watching the same program that my family and I are watching, and for some reason at that moment I decide I hate that girl.
(To this day I have no idea why, but I hated her. What the hell? Did this portend my relationships with women for many years to come? What was wrong with me?? This is so embarrassing. Mortifying, really. What caused this? Later in my life when I would hate another female, it would be because she was skinnier than me or prettier or smarter or more successful or…wow. I have hated a LOT of women. How stupid am I? Anyway, from what I remember, none of those were the reasons for me to hate this girl, because I was freakin’ 11 years old! What could I possibly hate enough about myself to hate in another female at 11? She was just a girl about my age and I had to hate her.)