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.
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.