I was one of several in the under-popular group who banded together in geekdom; Instead of a "Members Only" jacket, I had the K-Mart equivalent, in black. Good jacket, and I didn't care whether the brand was right.
I was the kid who found a seat in the lunch room, whipped out whatever book I was reading at the time, and read it while I ate. I still tend to do that, with some of the same books.
I was the kid who drew plans for "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" starships when I should have been doing drafting exercises. Failed that class, but I still do technical drawings. Forts. Lots of straight lines.
I wanted to be a musician. I brought a cheap Casio keyboard to class and amazed a few people by playing the main keyboard line from "Axel F"--but that's about all I ever did with that thing. Never wrote a note of my own. I'm a much better guitar or bass player than I ever was with keys.
At that 20th Reunion, I ended up sitting at a table and wishing for a damn book. The same popular people grouped together, just like old times.
There was Mr. Football Captain, still short, less hair, more gut. I wondered if he still had the throwing arm and aim that let him chuck a cat liver across the Anatomy & Physiology classroom and under the door without an extra bounce. That throw was a thing of beauty even for a football-hater like me.
There's Ms. Friend's-Ex-Girlfriend. I joined him on long-ass bike rides in the dark of Friday or Saturday nights so he could whisper boyfriend stuff to her through her bedroom window, or so they could make out in a family car in the garage. I sat under a bush with the bikes, wishing for a damn book. And a light. I made some of those rides back home alone. These days, I'll drive along Scenic Highway and think we were batshit crazy. There still aren't many street lights along that road. She's married, he's divorced.
Then there's Dulcinea. I've been trying to think of a nickname for this vision of beauty, this object of desire, from the first days of this blog. I was reminded of my write-up of Peter David's "Vendetta." I went hunting in Googleville and found this at the Wikipedia link:
In the Spanish of the time, Dulcinea means something akin to an overly elegant "sweetness". In this way, Dulcinea is an entirely fictional person for whom Quixote relentlessly fights. To this day, a reference to someone as one's "Dulcinea" implies hopeless devotion and love for her, and particularly unrequited love.Ouch.
I was totally hung up on this girl. She was totally un-hung-up on me. I went through high school tilting at that windmill. Embarrassing, now, and while I'd like to apologize to her for all of that, there's no way in hell I'm going to, oh, use the Reunion email with everyone's name, address, phone number and email address to, for example, email her to apologize. I don't think she or Mr. Dulcinea would appreciate it--and I swore off windmill-tilting years ago.
But there she was. She looked damn good. I sat at my table and wished for a damn book.
I eventually moved to a couch near the door, wishing I had my sixty bucks back. That's a bit spendy for a few hours of returning to high school.