Monday, July 27, 2009

...on o henry


the bastard has to tell you a secret.

come closer.


by and large, the bastard wishes you well.

it's true. i mean, i'm gonna kick you when your down. really, i will.

but i wish you well.

so, here's how the story goes,

the bastard went to a high school reunion this weekend. yes, they had high schools back in the stone age too.

anyway, these are people i haven't seen in 20 plus years. and thanks to the virus that is facebook, i have gotten in touch with them. it's kind of refreshing in a fashion.

i went down there with my old friend high school. we've been friends since freshman year. she used to do my homework for me. and initially, this was going to be an entry about how after 20 years, these former classmates of mine, are just as full of life as they were when we were all young and awkward and that for a day among my peers, i didn't feel old.

and i don't.

but you don't get that story. the bastard has a new one. one that started when i left the party and logged onto facebook this morning.

one of my classmates from back in the day had shown up with his gear. he was gonna do the soundtrack.

nice and smooth.

"how's the sounds?, this is mah soundcheck music"

"it sounds pretty good. a little tinny in the highs"

"ah see that, lemme go fix"

this guy had 2 foot of dreadlocks. pleasant as the day is long. spuns tunes for 6 hours. never a dull sound.

high school had asked him where she would have known him from

"i was vocational", he replies (we went to a technical/vocational high school. aside from academia, the two groups never saw each other except in the hallways).

towards the end of the afternoon, i was making my goodbyes, thanking the organizers, and all of the trappings that comes with attempting to stay connected with people that i'm sorry i lost touch with.

and there's the deejay working his magic and i shake hands, thank him for some great sounds.

"so what you doin now?"

"me, i've been working in magazines. i'm the art director of killing stuff monthly"

"iz good to be in the arts. you know, sometimes, i need logos designed, do you have contact info?"

"umm yeah sure, you got a pen?"

"you know what, contact me through facebook, all my info is on there."

"sure thing, take care"

this morning, i'm waiting for the coffee. the bastard is always waiting for the coffee and the deejay accepted my friend request. and i get a gander of his pics from school.

flash back: there is this person i was dreading seeing. he hassled me all the time in school. bothered me to the point that some days, his name made it to the dinner table at night. this was the one peson i didn't want to see again.

flash forward: and there he is, the deejay as a boy, the guy who hassled me for four years. smiling at the prospect of a brighter future. and here i am with the knowledge that he didn't actually graduate. my mother worked at the school and had to close his file. he never finished. he had social problems. bit of a bully.

and now here he is in ethiopia, on haile selassie avenue.

at the university of trinindad and tobago.

at the foot of temples holy to those who follow the teachings of jah.

the bastard was floored. it reminded me of an o henry story called after 20 years. because this was after twenty years and this shit was a surprise ending for me too.

the bastard laughed.

and he felt sheepish.

because he forgot the basic tenent of the reunion. when you go to the 10 year reunion, it's not as interesting. people are at the top of their game.

top of the world.

nothing can stop you.

the 20 year reunion is more interesting. shit happens. it's when you find out how life altering circumstances can change a man.

make him something he wasn't before.

i know i'm someone i wasn't before.

i had 20 years to get that way.

and so did the deejay.

and i wish him well

—the bastard

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