2.28.2008

The Genesis of these Random Meanderings: Part Two

So, Mrs. ThatOneGuy called me last night (she's out of town this week on business), and said, "where is THAT all going?"..... I replied that I had no idea, I hadn't finished writing it. So I guess we'll see. Actually, I do have an idea of where it is going, and what the point of it all is. Much of this information is background, and I PROMISE, it will tie up into a nice neat bow, and smell of rainbows and puppies.

Here is Part Two:
As our instruments were unloaded, it must have seemed like a tour truck for Chicago, Tower of Power, or some other horn-heavy band of the day, this girlfriend started asking questions about the new occupants and owners of all these horns. She was told that there were two sons, one a senior and one a junior, who were coming to go to school at her school.

This apparently scared the silliness out of her, and by the time we showed up two or three weeks later, we had almost gained cult status - our supposed and implied reputation had preceded us, and the stories circulating had grown to mythic proportion, based on the sheer number of instruments, and possibly their brands. They must have thought we were there to play a year-long gig. This stuff was started and circulated by this girlfriend who was over at the house all the time, and by the time we actually showed up it was clear that there was no way we would live up to this expectation.

Anyway, long story short, we got into school and settled into band, jazz band, marching band, the vocal program, etc. One day when we were goofing off in the gym during lunch time, the volleyball coach saw us (my brother and me), and asked us if we would try out for the volleyball team. I came to find out later that this school had a pretty good reputation for both volleyball and tennis, because of this coach. He had a bad mustache and a lisp, but he was a damn fine student of both games.

I bring this up to note that we were effectively in the "Y-Vowel" category of people at the school - sometimes in the jock crowd, sometimes in the band-geek crowd, and most of the time, in both. We were busy and generally well-received at school - something for which I was thankful then, as now - it would have made for a very long senior year of high school otherwise. It was during this time (and the only time in my life) that I finally learned to slam dunk a volleyball and hang on the rim. I could never do it with a basketball because my hands are too small to palm the ball with one hand, though that never stopped me from trying, using additives like Stickum (which was acceptable in the NFL at the time for receivers...), but I never could get it down. But I could palm a good clean leather volleyball with just a little spit.

During the whole band process, I was placed as a tenor player, alternating first chair in all the different ensembles, with a girl named Joanne. She was the best friend of the aforementioned girlfriend. It didn't take long for us two to begin a friendship that would shortly turn into more than that. She was tall, slender, had GREAT legs, and a lovely moon-shaped face with sparkly blue eyes. She had an older brother who was married, and a younger sister who played clarinet in the band as well. All of a sudden we were a "thing" at school and quickly became inseparable, at school and the rest of the time too. Our prom experience included a small-club Police concert followed by a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with rice and toast. This was 1982. Do the math, and you know basically how old I am... Anyway, I remember walking to and from her house so many times in the dark of night listening to my (newly invented) Sony Walkman playing Billy Joel's Songs In The Attic album on cassette.

By Christmas time I was desperately in love with her. We had talked about the fact that I was only to be there for the year, and we would be leaving at the end of August so my dad could go back to his job, and the guy whose house we were living in could go back to his teaching job at the university in time for fall semester. And although we did talk about it, we were content to be in the moment, making out in her garage. We dealt with several issues, like her best friend resenting me for taking her best friend and her first chair position in the band, and more notably, the general disapproval of my parents for dating a catholic girl. We were just content to "be". And be left alone.

In general, the school year was fine, and I was successful. I missed my three best friends back home - badly. We were very close and did everything together, good and bad. We had done so many things together - we basically grew up together and were the very best of friends. We memorized the script of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we raced our dads' Pontiac Bonneville and Chevy Citation with the air filter lid turned upside down so the motor made more noise. We had purchased an attachment that would allow us to play cassettes of things like Blondie, Devo, The Police, Elton John, Billy Joel, and any-and-all disco we could get our hands on, in the cars' 8-track tape players. We peed into circular parking garages from the top floor, we gave a guy two nickels at a bus stop, then watched him smoke his heroin (or whatever it was...), the nugget carefully placed between the ten cents. We had grown up together, and had started a little barbershop group (with THREE people) where we would modify the written harmonies to accommodate only three singers. We had a lot of fun doing this, and even had business cards made up - we were called Three Piece Suit ( we each wore a piece of a suit as our "getup"). I missed them a lot. I also had a large network of other friends as well back home and I felt that loss for the entire year, in spite of Joanne's presence in my life.

More to come...

2 comments:

OneHungMan said...

Didn't know you were an import.

for what it's worth said...

Your darling brother and I still crack up over inverting the air filter...I could tell he was close to my house from 3 blocks away.
This is an interesting fill in as I know some of the info from P's perspective but it's interesting hearing it from yours....carry on...

PS. GH3 arrived and is on constantly. Cubans headed south for your efforts!