Friday, May 18, 2007

The past catches up, via Email.

My 20 year high school reunion is just a few months away. Normally, I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of going but this past year has been full of finding some people in my life that given any choice, I would have never lost to begin with and they want to go.. so, we’re going. We may end up spending 15 minutes at the actual reunion, and the rest of the weekend walking around in a park in south Alexandria, much like we did on our graduation night, chugging wine coolers out of 2 liter bottles, but that’d be just fine by me. At least this time if we get thrown out of a school function for being drunk, it won’t actually be illegal, and we won’t end up spending the night traipsing down Route 1 in formal wear, or at least, I hope that doesn’t happen, because it can’t possibly work out, twice in one lifetime.

Since reconnecting with these people we’ve been playing the “whatever happened to” game, and so we both signed up on one of those reunion sites. I’ve gotten random messages from people I remember and a few I can’t. Nothing earth shattering.

Until tonight.
Tonight, there’s a message from L.Absher sitting in my inbox. I laughed out loud when I saw his name.

Larry Absher is the first boy I ever kissed. We were in 5th grade and my best friend at the time was Kristi Thatcher and we both had crushes on him. Being the generous guy he was, he let us take turns walking down the basement stairs to kiss him.

We were 11.

I don’t remember what was so charming about Larry now.

I have been amusing myself with the memory of Kristi and me taking turns kissing Larry before running down Bond Street chasing the good humor truck and eating ice cream in her carport listening to Christine Sixteen and Beth on her little portable record player.

I don’t remember knowing Larry beyond that year in grade school and I surely don’t know what made him send me this message.

It’s funny the way memory works, isn’t it?

I remember the kisses, sure, but just as clearly, I remember the smell of hot tar, from the paving on hayfield road, a few blocks down. I remember the smell of cut grass from the mowers taking down the soccer fields behind Kristi’s house. I remember watching Kristi dance to that Kiss album and wondering what Peter Criss looked like under all that makeup.

I’m pretty sure Larry would be disappointed.


kenju said...

Well, what did he say??!! ???!!??!

I have my own Larry Absher, only his name was Junior something (I can't remember) and he was 12. He kissed 3-4 of the neighborhood girls repeatedly one summer afternoon and nearly mashed the braces off my front teeth. I hope he has learned how to kiss by now.

Mat said...

i am looking very much forward to being in a drunk in the park in formal wear memory.

Anne said...

Drunk in the park in formal-wear. Sounds like a blast! :)
I hope you have a lot of fun at your reunion.

tiff said...

What a great story. My Larry Absher's name was Bruce Mueller....we were in FIRST grade when he kissed me on the back of the neck while returning from the water fountain. I recall swooning a little.

Then I went out to the playground and played tag with my friends, never to kiss or be kissed by him again - relationship over, I guess. :>

Biff Spiffy said...

Poor Larry!

My first kiss happened in a campground far from home when I was about 12 or 13. We were there for a family reunion, and this red-haired girl from New York was staying a few sites away. We hung out for a while, then she came into the Airstream trailer with me.

She eventually said, "Well, are you gonna kiss me?"

I was mid-pucker when my little sister barged in, shouting "WHATCHA DOING?"

It was a short kiss. The moment was forever ruined, and I never saw the RHG again. Pass the Kleenex.

roo said...

i'm still not mat.
i need my computer back.

Jen said...

kenju - i hope so too, for all our women-sisters sake. eesh.

mat and roo - I'll tell both of you the story, and roo, the name doesn't matter, I know you.

Tif, grade school romances have lots of fun things, but longevity ain't one of 'em.

Biff, RHG's are a tough lot.;)

Jen said...

oops, and thank you Anne. Who knows what will come of that weekend.


rennratt said...

Only one boy ever tried to kiss me when I was little. He chased me down on the playground.

I punched him.

I doubt I'll ever hear from him again.