BaddaBlog

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Big Surprise

Yesterday, someone hijacked me into the Wayback Machine. The trip took me back to about 1985, I think... but also back to 1979 and 1980.

My cell phone rings (with a ring-tone set for unknown callers as well as a sporadic work contact) and the number looked completely unfamiliar. Strange area code, too. Of course I'm curious so I answer... very professional, mid-deep range voice, friendly.

He said my name and suggested I might suffer a heart attack because he was one of my childhood friends calling. The voice wasn't very familiar, but this was a guy I knew back in the day before our voices dropped. He identified himself as a guy I met in third or fourth grade, a guy from my Boy Scout days, a guy I lost touch with when I changed school districts, a guy who I ended up going with to junior high school. (I'll call him Scout.)

The last I heard of him, personally, was late junior high... Scout's parents were divorced and he suddenly moved to live with his dad in Illinois (he was, ah, a spirited kid). Since that time word filtered back that he joined the military, straightened up, found God, got married, and flew right.

Scout gave me a few more details. He's a marine. His wife is a stunningly beautiful Iranian-Scandinavian woman. His oldest graduates from high school this year and will follow his old man into the marines. His youngest is a freshman. He'll retire from military life in three years and work with the California police.

The odd part... less than a week ago I thought of his mother, for some reason. He told me died within the past 30 days. He was even in town. That's when he ran into the brother of one of our mutual friends (I'll call our other friend Gem). Since then he said to himself that he just ought to get in touch with some of the old mob.

He tried tracking me down, but came up with a number of addresses and no current numbers. He ended up getting in touch with my mother... and chatted for at least a half hour. My parents are thinking we'll go off to California to visit Scout sometime. She wants to buy him diner. ;)
"What made you think of me?" I asked.

"I always thought about you guys," he said of me and Gem.
I don't think I have any pictures of him. We didn't seem to think of things like that when we were kids. I can still see him back in the days when we were in elementary school. His teacher read to his class and my class "Prince Caspian". In junior high school we often played Dungeons & Dragons. He listened to, if I remember rightly, the Dead Kennedys and some of the punk scene. Some friends slept over at his house and we watched Apocalypse Now and played a Viet Nam War role playing game... and stayed up far too late. I remember him pissed off that his mom's boyfriend got into his hair gel and wasted a bunch of it (and Scout said it wasn't cheap).

I also remember getting a call that he was leaving town, that day, and that Gem and I should stop over to say goodbye. He had been in trouble for acting up at home a number of times, and apparently this (whatever that was) was the straw that broke the camel's back. His mother called her ex-husband. They agreed that Scout needed to get straightened out one way or another. He was off to live with his old man. Scout's brother stayed I think. He tells me that his brother lives in the same rough part of the city that I do.

Not only that, but Gem is back in Minnesota... but moving to California with his wife and brand new kid.

I've got catching up to do.

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