Sunday, September 04, 2005

Kim arrived in Middle America cranky. How dare the airlines stuff her on tiny turbo prop after she has spent the better part of a night flying across the ocean? Another thing making her cranky is that she still can’t rent a %&$#&*^&% car and needed to inconvenience Gail’s dad to meet her at the airport. But arriving at G’s and having wine with friends soothed her mood.

Saturday afternoon Gail and I took Elyse on a tour of the local retail scene, such as it is. But both G and I were taken aback when we ran into an old classmate. Debbie was blond, pretty and popular and we hated her. Neither of us recognized her and would have walked right past the chunky bleached blond trying to corral three kids under five if she hadn’t called our names. Deb only lasted in college a few weeks before dropping out to return home and marry a guy she once dated. The marriage didn’t make it to a year and shortly after the divorce she married the guy who fathered her children. There but for fortune...

Saturday evening Mike joined us on our tour of (occasional bad) memories as we wandered down to the local roadhouse for beer and dancing. Like most small towns ours had a limited number of places to hang out. A couple of bars and several churches, the parking lots of Burger King and Wal-Mart till the cops chased you out. Drinking and making out down on the levee was always popular and for those above barely legal the place to be on Saturday night was the roadhouse.

Two things you could count on the roadhouse for (three if you counted on a fight) was the music was kick-ass country and the beer was cold. It hasn’t changed and neither had the crowd. Walking in was like remembering things that were best left forgotten. Arrayed along the bar were a couple of Gail’s exes, and few of Mike’s, as well as several mistakes in judgment that my sister’s made. And then there in a corner booth with her husband and sister and brother-in-law was Kenny’s high school true love, Lolly. Kenny would be glad he went off to Duke.

I feeling kind of smug, figuring that I had made my mistakes up on campus and those guys were long gone. But no, after ordering my second I turned and ran smack into Garth. I hadn’t seen him since a September night that seems long ago. Why he never went to Charlotte or Atlanta like the rest of those kids did I don’t know, but he married a former classmate of mine. They make a nice couple.

Elyse sensed and enjoyed our discomfort, which we dissipated with the help of a string of longnecks and all was forgotten when the band hit the stage. Damn some of those boys can dance.

In a little while old friends and neighbors will begin gathering for the shower and I'll be seeing and hearing about people I haven't seen or thought of in forever. I feeling awfully nostalgic and weepy. I came for the shower to celebrate with my friends, but this trip has meant alot to me also.

Oh one more thing, if I hear the squeal, “OHMYGOD KIM, YOU LIVE IN PARIS!!!!!!!!”, one more time I’m going to slap someone.

Kim

3 Comments:

Blogger Garrison Steelle said...

So that was YOUR turbo-prop that buzzed me? ;)

Sounds like you're having (mostly) a great time! Enjoy!

-G

7:49 PM  
Blogger Pete from Cal said...

My best squeaky voice "Ohmygod Kim, you live in PARIS!?!!" Please slap me, Mistress Kim! :) I like it hard! Haha... :D Welcome home Kim, America miss you! :) Nothing like a walk up memory lane. I'm sure there were good times and bad times. Just face them and then move on. Enjoy your stay! Take good care!

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh M'God Kim, like you Escaped! Made a clean get away and haven't thought about some of thse low lifes since you left. There's a reason to put some distance between you and your rasing. The more mature and successful you become the more remote they will all seem. The town is smaller still and can hardly contain anyone's real dreams. They'd all flee if given half a chance and half a brain.

Cheers & Good Luck, 'VJ'

1:35 PM  

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