Life is a terminal condition

So much to say, so much to say.

I’m not sad right now, just strange and distant and melancholy. There are lots of reasons – an odd, off balance weekend with my father in the hospital even after he felt fine… Meeting up with a couple of friends at a location I hadn’t been to in nearly a decade, causing a rush of old memories and distant pangs of longing for a time when things didn’t seem quite so fucked up.

I remember sitting in Brooke’s apartment at two AM talking to you and her and Carol. Realizing that you’d always admired my ability to speak my mind, and I’d always admired your ability to hold your tongue. O’Henry lives.

Nate, if you’re reading this, they finally got rid of the Rastan machine at the Lombard Skating Rink. Other than that, everything else is the same. And I mean everything. Same snack bar, same yellowing ceiling panels, same worn skates, same indoor/outdoor carpeting.

I remember us walking with Carol in the forest preserve. Every time a plan passed overhead, she’d light up and look up and say, “Plane!” I remember hearing from you the day she was killed in a car accident. The newspaper said a Keith Green tape was playing in her car when she was hit.

I sat at the table we were at when Rochelle Wagler asked me to go out during the couples’ skate. I remember taking a long theatrical pause and looking over at you, then back before saying, “I would, but I’m waiting for my bones to knit right now. Want to sit down and talk?”

I wonder where Melissa Jankovic is. I never did see the two-person graduating class photo that you guys made. Ah. Google says she’s in Florida.

It might’ve sounded funny, but I was really just covering up how confused and scared I was at this great unknown. Later I found out that the only reason she asked was to piss off a friend of hers. That was before Russia, before the sudden marriage, before the tracts about bonnets.

I remember talking to you the first time I met you – about the game Arctic Fox, and something involving infrared goggles.

For some reason, that makes me think of taking microscopy classes on the weekend in Chicago. Making slide samples of pot with forensics experts. Learning about art forgeries from the guy who debunked the Shroud of Turin. Having tungsten-probe jousting matches and brine shrimp fights.

When you’re thirteen everything is silly and magnified and blown out of proportion.

Funny, though. Does it ever snap back into shape? Or do we just learn to pretend we’re above it all?

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