Thinking Back…

I don’t have alot of friends.

In the 6th Grade I knew every kid. We all talked and played at recess, we all invited each other to each other’s birthdays and pool parties, we all played little league ball. That summer, the one after 6th Grade, was great. We all would meet down by the creek, or in my yard, or over at Charlie’s house. G.I. Joe, Ghost in the Graveyard, tag, bikes, skateboards, Army, House (yes, there were a few girls in the neighborhood), exploring, it didn’t matter what, we just played.

The last day of summer it rained. And it rained bad enough to keep everyone at home.

The next day was the 7th Grade, junior high, and I went to school with a G.I. Joe figure in my pocket, just as I had done for as long as I could sneak it past my mother in the morning.

My friends came to school in jean jackets and styled hair, and some time during the day, around lunch I suppose (when all the tables seemed full), I realized that all my friends were gone. In a day, they had outgrown action figures, cartoons, games of tag, and riding bikes. In a day, they had outgrown me.

I spent the next 7 months mostly alone, trying to make new friends. I had some success, and by the end of the school year even some of my old friends had come back to me. 7 months of alot of pain and heartache, but it had paid off. I had friends again and I didn’t have to change who I was to get them.

And then my father got transferred to another branch of his company.

Since then, I’ve always had, at most, a half dozen close friends, and everyone else is always at arm’s length, or further. After the 7th Grade, spending time to have lots of friends just didn’t seem worth the effort if we were just going to move and blow it all. The irony here is that my father never got transferred again. 17 years later and I’m still in the same town.

17 years, and in some ways I’m still in the 7th Grade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *