I can't take it much more. I'm on this class email list to attend an upcoming high school reunion. If I have the math right, it's the 44th Class Reunion. It's not even like a milestone or anything. Who has a 44th? I guess I do.
Man, I really don't want to go. I mean don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Sue Ruotolo and Alison Gibson (god I hope I spelled their names right). Nice kids they were. Sue was shy. Shyer than me for chrissakes and really cute. I think we really liked each other, maybe even gone steady, but sadly Bob's law of high school physics (i.e., two shys repel) got in the way. And how can I forget good old Alison? She slowed danced with me. Six times! In a row! In the dark! To the best of Bobby Vinton! If news of that had gotten around, it would have set her back a couple of rungs on the popularity ladder for sure. Probably as bad as getting the big slide in Shoots and Ladders. But she made me promise during dance three that mum's the word. And I kept it mum.
I did have friends too. Probably my best friends come to think of it. Ever! Guys like Otter, Baby Dumpling, Zoo and Murph. Good guys. Lotta laughs. They don't make them like that anymore. Wouldn't mind seeing them, but I don't know. It all the other stuff that comes with it.
My stuff. Like which of the jocks can't see their toes? Which cheerleaders shop at Jenny Craig? How many of the bullies couldn't get a weekend furlough from prison? Is Bobby Lane going to be there?
Bobby Lane. High School All-America honorable mention wide receiver and Maryland bound Bobby Lane. This kid had it all. The looks. The style. The girls. The walk. God he had the walk. He was even a brilliant artist. Goddammit, what a package! But above all else, he was an a-hole. My personal a-hole. Not sure why he singled me out but he made sure I knew whenever he was around. Spitting on my back. Punching me in the arm. Blocking my way out of the gym locker room. He was a dick, albeit with a great walk.
The truth is, after a pretty good go of it as a Maryland wing back for three years, he followed his art, so to speak, and has since carved out a nice business and as far as I know, a good life. The important thing is he's probably pretty happy. Can't say that about a lot of the other jocks. And I don't begrudge him. Oh shit! Yes I do. No I don't. Maybe a little. A smidge. A smattering!
Goddam High School! I don't know, sometimes it feels just like yesterday. Like now. Other times it can't be enough years behind me. Forty four years isn't enough. Maybe Fifty will do. Yeah, fifty should do it.