These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, January 01, 2007

the get together

for some weeks before our trip to texas, chave had mentioned the annual get together some members of the class of '89 has during the christmas holiday. i thought it was a great thing but was apprehensive about it since i was never anything big in high school, a wallflower maybe? or how about a nondescript personality who people passed in hallways or sat in front of or behind in classes.

but as time neared for the trip, i e-mailed chave (a classmate whose real name is issabelle). but i got no reply to e-mails, phone calls or instant messages. we left and arrived ther on dec. 22. all i knew was the get together was dec. 23.

as we settleed in for a dreary night that saturday, having chomped on church's chicken, the phone rang at 8:30. it was emy, one of my classmates. she said my friend joey, who's one of my closest classmates and friends i've known since freshman year, was home from lubbock and wanted to see me. i didn't know he was in town and he didn't know *until the party) i was in town. so i prettied myself up, put onmy trench coat, and off we went. i was nervous, not knowing what to expect or who'd be there.

all fears were put to rest as we walked through the doors of the party room. we were immediately surrounded by several classmates, including erica, emy, chave and sonia. joey came up and all was cool.

then here comes whaley (a nickname for rolando g.). he has a beer in one hand and hugs me, saying how glad he is i came. then he starts asking me about my stories and if i had any and what happened to them. the story behind them is i used to write some pretty sophomoric erotic (for lack of a more sophisticated word) stories starting in my soph. year. they were hand-written two or three page stories. i shared them with friends and soon others saw them, including a biology teacher who found my folder that i left in his room by acident. he let me off the hook as long as i didn't bring them to school anymore. (he had a grin ashe handed me the folder).

i told whaley i didn't have them, that i'd thrown them away. he was crushed. he kept saying they were awesome and it was a shame i'd thrown them away.

funny, i hadn't thought of those stupid stories (written by an inexpeienced 15 year old kid) in a long time. but that is how he choose to remember me. oh well, could be worse. he could have remembered me for being the guy who mooned a caraven of cars going out to eat after senior prom.

the rest of the evening was spent chatting and catching up with folks. the triplets were there, all looking pretty much the same (duh, there's triplets). everyone seems taller than i remembered (and wider). only joey, homero and i have remained short.

chave took some great pics. i think she took joey's camera and kept shooting everyone with it.

there was the unfortunate incident with s.t. she didn't graduate with us, having gotten married after her freshman year,but she's attended these get togethers. she didn't remember me and kept asking people who i qwas. they told her, but s.t. had had too much to drink and i guess she kept forgetting.

finally we met up and i said her name. she was so grateful i remembered her and hugged me and said she thought i was tommy. the more i said her name the more she hugged me and was elated that i knew who she was. "i'm sooo happy you know my name. so happy. i didn't know yours. i thought you were tommy." later she thought my name was robert. so if i was to see her again in the streets of S.D., i don't think she'd remember me. oh well. i am a wallflower.

there was plenty of menudo and booze. nearly everyone was drinking. by 12:30 more beer had to be bought to continue the affair. people came back with four or five 20 packs of beer. joey came back with swisher sweets cigars to smoke for old time sakes.

he and i were outside puffing away in the rain. good times.

rene r., one of our classmates who lives in los angeles and in a band, couldn't attend. but chave called him. i went out there and after whaley talked tohim, i grabbed the phone. chave told me to speak tohim in a british accent. i did. he had no clue it was me. we chatted for a bit, then i asked if he knew who it was, he said no. i told him. he laughed and called me an ass. it was fun.

i hadn't used the british accent in a long time. but i whipped it out at the party. they dug it.

the party didnt' wind down,but we had to leave. we were gone by 2 a.m. they said it lasted until 5. i just can't do that anymore. those days of partying until the wee hours are in the past.

but i had a good tme. there were many laughs, shots, 80s hard rock music and a sense of comaraderie i hadn't experienced with my classmates before. despite the drunken state of some people and the silliness of most of us, we were a more mature punch than we were even eight years ago at our 10 year reunion.

i guess time does play a role in growing up.
i can hardly wait until another get together.
chave i'll let you know when we're going back down.