I was going to blog about something else today. I've actually forgotten what--I had it half written in my head, too, but then I got into work and checked email.
I glanced at my FB notifications mailbox and saw there was a message from an old high school friend followed by three other replies from the St. C.'s crowd. My first thought was, "Oh, great. Who's dead now?"
THAT'S what I was going to blog about--sex after 40. It can wait.
This is the unfunny side of getting older--seeing friends die or get very ill and go through things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.
My high school class has been pretty lucky: most of us are still around and doing well. We lost a couple of folks to stupid things (drunk driving accidents) post-high school, but for the most part, we've been a boring lot, doing things like going to college, getting jobs, getting married, having kids, a few went to war... normal shit. I'm good with that. Drama is good on the screen or stage; in life, it's wearying.
Last year--one year and almost two weeks ago--we lost one of ours to a freak accident. It was weird to go to the wake and the funeral and see all these grown-ups wearing suits and with responsible jobs and families who I remembered doing things like jumping out of first floor windows, getting whaled on by seniors (that guy is a Statie right now; there is an evil part of me that hopes he's pulled over one of those clowns on the highway for being stupid), dating, squabbling, laughing, passing notes, making fun of teachers... and now, so not kids anymore.
I'm the odd one out in the crows--I'm not married, no kids yet, most of my friends are 10 years younger... aside from dealing with Mum and The Job, I pretty much do as I please.
Well, no one is dead, but someone is very ill, and it hit me kinda hard. Today's pic is what I consider my "official" prom photo. The guy on the right is one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ferd. The guy on the right is Chris, my prom date. I had the BIGGEST crush on him (he's got killer blue eyes; at the time, I was sucker for blue eyes. Still am, come to think of it); he and I used to hack on each other constantly.
It was always a contest to see who could one-up the other, and nine times out of ten, we were on opposite sides of the argument. It also doesn't help that I was a punk amongst metalheads. Folks who know my listening habits now will be shocked to hear that there was a time that I didn't like The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Van Halen... (I still don't like Sammy Hagar.) I just didn't get it, and I liked my alienation music; I LOVED David Bowie. Chris was the one who possibly gave me the most shit about him; call it the ultimate high school triumph, when, in 1990, after he took my extra ticket last minute for the Foxboro show (and saved my bacon; Steve & Rick were going, so was able to get a ride because I did not *gasp* have a car at that time), he said, "He wasn't bad." After YEARS of hearing, "Bowie SUCKS!" it was nothing short of an Oscar win, if you get my meaning.
Then there was the prom. Thanks to a couple of friends playing go-between (again, I think it was Steve and Rick), Chris showed up at the store where I worked and said, "So, I hear you're interested in going to a prom?" Be still my damn heart. I find it (vaguely) amusing that I have a hard time remembering what I was going to blog about earlier, but I can still clearly remember him standing in the racks of Decelles, his hands in the pockets of his Bruins jacket, head cocked, asking. Call it one of my few John Hughes's moments.
The prom was fun--we shared a limo with Ferd and his date, one of my besties, Amy. I think Kim and Mo were with us with their dates... Mo's date did our hair... total afternoon of beauty... Poor Ferd had a curfew (STRICT parents), but we still found the time to go to the Awful-Awful and get take-out. And on the way to the prom, Chris popped a tape into the deck in the back of the limo and introduced me to George Carlin's Seven Words.
I broke up. LOST IT, laughing, and you'd think he won the damn lottery--evidently, I blushed as well. A total moment of high school one-up triumph. Point to him. ;-)
We stayed in touched for a little while after high school, but after '90, I pretty much drifted away from everyone. I had a different life, different goals, different outlook. It was easier to not stay in touch. When FB started to take off and the lot of us from St. C's started to get back in touch, I was psyched to see Chris on there. There was even a little flutter in the heart (because I am so stooopidly sentimental). Nothing I pursued, but good to know the ticker still clicks a little.
Well, the news today is that Chris is pretty damn ill. *sigh* Now, the cynical realist in me accepts that this is a part of life--people get sick. There's no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens. Some people get better, some people don't. There's no magic formula--it depends on the person, the treatment, the doctors, the family, the everything.
There are a lot of people pulling for him, me especially. I'd appreciate it if y'all reading could send him some positive energy. The realist in me says, why? The human being in me says, "Because. He's my friend, I love him, and I want him to get better and get old with the rest of us."
Because, to me, we're still kids in high school with our whole lives in front of us.
And if he reads this: Chris--Love ya, brother. Hang in there--we're all pulling for you. I want my notebook back. ;-)