My best friend in high school was a douche. I know it sounds twisted, but that’s what I used to call him in my head. Douche. He was “one of those” towards who you express conflicting emotion of both love and hatred. We shared a bond, strengthened by the common love towards outdoor sports, Green Day and dark humor. But, he was the Ranchodas Chanchad of our group, and it so happens that perfection in another causes envy in self. He won the sprint challenge by half a second; he scored more goals in the football finals; he spoke more languages, and he had a Parker pen. Even the math lords, Newton and Pythagoras, were indirectly working in his favor. While girls shot affectionate, sisterly looks at me for helping them solve their math problems, they laughed at Rancho’s theatrics involved in his attempts to find the mysterious x.
“My Very Eager Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets,” I repeated after my mom.
It was the late 90’s. Pluto was then still a part of the ‘Planethood’. As I had struggled to memorize the names of all the planets of our solar system, my mother had simply smiled and introduced me to the world of mnemonics. A series of unfamiliar, dissociated, impersonal names had suddenly converted into a simplified, relatable phrase.