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Memories And Lack Of by Ray Printer Friendly

Reporting to you live from Canadian, Texas, and oh shit. I went to the parade today, because that’s what people do here on the Fourth. Wow.

I guess I should start by saying that I stayed out pretty late with some friends last night, and I might have imbibed a bit of hard liquor in the course of the evening. Perhaps even in excess. So I was destined to be groggy to begin with. Not helping matters is the fact that I also woke up with either a pretty wicked cold or some monster allergies–not sure which at the moment.

I took a little medicine, drank a little coffee, and aside from the constant running nose, I thought I was doing pretty well.

Not so, Strangelanders. Not. So.

Man, I live in a city. I maybe run into someone I know once every six months. Sometimes not even that often. It was a complete overload to recognize someone every time I looked anywhere. I mean anywhere, man.

“Oh, look there’s my seventh grade English teacher, standing right there by my ninth grade Home Ec. Teacher.”

“Oh, look, there’s the girl I when I was fifteen. And there’s one I dated when I was sixteen. Right next to another one I dated when I was sixteen.”

Seriously out-of-control ridiculous, man. Everyone has kids. Some of them blimped up, and others have aged remarkably well, making me feel pretty awful about my present state of disgusting.

In the course of an hour I saw:

the guy I once hopped a train with;

the girl I lost my virginity to;

numerous people I’ve worked with;

almost every one of my teachers;

a girl I used to call Boner;

and many, many more!

At one point, I walked up to join my family, and saw that my sister was talking to someone. I recognized the woman, but couldn’t figure out who it was. The woman began talking to another woman, and I recognized that one, too, vaguely familiar, but couldn’t place the face. She looked back at me, and I knew she recognized me, but she didn’t say anyhting.

And then it snapped. “Holy shit,” I muttered.

“What?” My brother-in-law asked me.

“I just realized something.”

“The incredibly obvious?”

“Exactly.”

The first woman, she was an ex-girlfriend’s mother. The other woman, that was the ex-girlfriend. I didn’t just date this girl for a couple of months, either. This was a years-long relationship.

I’m no good in these situations. I waved, I said “hi” to the mother, I immediately began looking for a place to run away to. I have a gift for taking an awkward situation, making it more awkward by being oblivious, and then making it mind-boggling uncomfortable by being socially inept.

Good times, man. Good times.


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