My relationships with women. My friend Johnny’s incontinence. The Chicago Blackhawks.

All of which have fallen under the spell of Nicolle Moreaux, a spurned French-American girl from my past.

“She won’t turn you into a vampire or anything, but she could cock-up your relationships”

Nicolle Moreaux had a crush on me in high school. She was too sweet, cute, gangly. She was new in the area, attended a different school – which I thought was a high school. Turns out she was in eighth grade. I was a junior – so at that time it just seemed wrong. I wanted to date high school girls. The discovery of this came after we hung out a few times (we met at a concert). She was good at covering it up – plus I wasn’t so interested where I did any digging about her anyway. Later that summer leading into her freshman year I ran into her at a party.

Apparently she had wished to get things going again, but I was with another girl. I did the whole “like you as a friend” sorta thing and she left the party in tears. It kind of put a suck into that party for me, but things got worse when the girl I thought I was with left with this asshole, “Rich” Joey, at the end of the night. Damn you Rich Joey and your Porsche and your stupid shirts.

Nicolle’s best friend Sophie saw my friend Johnny a few weeks later. She told him that Nicolle cursed me. I couldn’t get the full story out of Johnny when he attempted to tell me because he was too stoned. So I messaged and called Sophie.

“What’s this about a curse?”

“How can I explain?” Sophie said. “It’s kinda like that witch Angelique in Dark Shadows. I mean, she won’t turn you into a vampire or anything, but she could cock-up your relationships.”

“I didn’t know Nicolle had a cauldron,” I said. “I can’t see her owning anything more dangerous than pom-poms.”

Sophie said it wasn’t like that. There is no “ritual” as far as she knew. Nicolle believes she’s been wronged and blurts out something about “curse him/her/you/it.” And for the remainder of high school life my girlfriend situation was cocked-up indeed.

Nicolle wasn’t too fond of my friend Johnny. I didn’t really see it then, but he could be a little assy when it came to her. Apparently he was exactly that when he ran into her at a different party in the fall. He doesn’t remember much, because he was really stoned, except for some “evil look” she gave him before leaving the party. Later that night he shit himself. What can I say. He was still my friend.

The next night a few of us were driving to yet another party when Johnny insisted we stop at the nearest gas station, or somewhere with a toilet. He bolted out of the car and spent some 15 minutes in some shithole toilet at a Clark station. He sauntered back to the car looking like death, and smelling like it too. I’m not sure why he admitted this to us, but Johnny said he was in such a hurry to void himself that he simultaneously flicked on the bathroom switch while sitting on the toilet. There was one problem. The toilet seat was up. There was another problem. Somebody laid down a No. 2 before him and didn’t flush. Ever since then Johnny has been known to many as either “Crap” or “Clark.”

The next day during cross-country practice Johnny disappeared for a while. We lost him during a 3-mile run through town. Later, while we were all back at the school doing our post-run stretches, here comes Johnny with that same walk as the previous night. It turns out he had a “crap attack” and found himself taking a detour to a river bed to relieve himself. Maybe he had the flu, or food poisoning. Or maybe, just maybe, he had Nicolle. A case of the Nicolle.

I called Sophie.

“All I know is she said he was an asshole to her at that party and that he probably wouldn’t be feeling well for a while,” she said.

Later that spring I started seeing a new girl named Elizabeth. She came to watch me compete in an indoor track meet against three other schools. One of them was Nicolle’s. Apparently there was a basketball tournament at the same school and Nicolle was a cheerleader for one of the school’s that also happened to have its track team at my meet. They decided to come over to cheer on their track team once the basketball game ended. I was about to run my big race, the 4x800m relay. I saw Nicolle and started to panic. First because of the curse. I was told by Sophie that the closer she is, physically, the stronger is the curse. My second reason for being a little freaked was her looks. She was a more beautiful and athletic version of herself from a year ago.

During the race I had to run right past where Nicolle and her squad were cheering. I tried to block them out as I was nearing them but my legs gave out and I fell. Race over. I limped away and sucked in some nasty indoor track air and wanted to throw up. Elizabeth eventually dumped me for some conceited guy in her theater class.

I tried to reconcile with Nicolle but she would have none of it. I had a few hand-written poems and letter that I kept from Nicolle (she was a voracious writer no matter what the platform) and Johnny thought I should burn them, thinking it would help. I’m not sure if he thought it would help him, although his bowel seemed to have calmed down (although odd things still happened to him). I didn’t. I saved them. I still have them.

Nicolle ended up graduating a year early and headed east to attend a prestigious liberal arts college where she starred on the lacrosse team and was a campus activist.

Now let’s get to the Blackhawks. They were predicted to win the Stanley Cup this year. The playoffs started out great and then the team fired Susannah Collins, who covered the team for Comcast Sports Chicago – which is partially owned by the Blackhawks. They are one loss away from elimination by the Detroit Red Wings. A lot of people were bothered by Susannah’s firing, calling it unjustly and hypocritical.

And so was Nicolle.

I heard about it from Sophie, who was in Chicago last week. Yea, she says, Nicolle was up in arms and didn’t hide her feelings on the matter on social media. She was also upset (rightfully so) about the sexist treatment Blackhawks player Duncan Keith served up to a different female journalist at the end of the regular season.

“She cursed the Blackhawks,” Sophie said.

Some people are already referring to the ‘Hawks collapse as “The Curse of Susannah Collins.” But I know someone else behind it. Her name’s Nicolle Moreaux and she’s in grad school and listening to Warpaint. And rumor has it her mom was once in a Sparks video.

I told this guy at Mickey’s pub in Bucktown, we call him Left Hand Jimmy, about this.

“It could all be true,” he said. “But then again, it doesn’t sound like much. It could be you’re just an asshole.”

UPDATE July 11: The Blackhawks won the title. Nicolle, it turns out, was in France when this occurred. “Plus I really didn’t give a shit anymore,” she was heard saying.

Eva Green Dark Shadows

Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard in Dark Shadows

Dark Shadows Angelique

Lysette Anthony as Angelique Bouchard in Dark Shadows