|And Life Went On (standard:humor, 3189 words)|
|Author: mackey||Added: Sep 15 2000||Views/Reads: 3264/1549||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Three teen-aged boys deal with their first separations from loved ones in this coming of age story.|
AND LIFE WENT ON by mackey email@example.com (All copyrights reserved. This story may be reproduced on not-for-profit sites, provided permission is requested, and provided the author's name and e-mail address are displayed where and as shown.) My grandson and I stood and watched the big yellow moving van pull away from the curb, his little buddy hanging out the passenger window and waving furiously through his tears at us. Bobby, my grandson, sobbed deeply, seeing his best friend rolling quickly away and out of his life, the hearts of both boys breaking, each doubting that they would ever see the other again. When the van turned the corner and slipped out of sight, he threw his heaving little body into my arms and poured forth his sorrow in huge, gulping cries. I patted and comforted him. Finally he looked up at me, and, through his tears, asked if I thought Jerry would still remember him next year. "Bobby," I said, "I'm sure of it. As a matter of fact, I doubt if Jerry will ever forget you, or if you'll ever forget him. Real friends always remember." And I thought about a time when, although I'd been older than Bobby was now, my feelings had been essentially the same. Sometimes it's hard to remember just how you came to know someone. I can't remember when Ricky and I met, but I remember the exact day Woody first showed up at school, and, looking back, the merging of our lives and circumstances is quite amazing. My parents had divorced a year earlier, leaving me at home with my dad, a mid-level manager in an oil field supply firm, which really only meant that his Ford LTD was the only one in town with pipe racks on the sides of it for delivering pipe to the oil field. Nice car to take on dates. Ricky's dad had been killed earlier in one of those Red Adair type oil field fires, and he and his younger brother lived in what was left of an old oil field company house that had been moved to a mesquite and tumbleweed covered lot in the midst of other houses of the same ilk. They occasionally provided a little extra money for their mom, a weathered but still attractive waitress who moved from one local grease plate to the next. You don't want to know how a thirteen year old kid in West Texas in the sixties came up with extra money. Rickey was,and remains, the consummate hustler. Woody arrived in a storm of pimples and insecurity. His dad sold Fords at the local dealership, and they lived in a brick house, which qualified them for the local ari- stocracy. Or so those of us who didn't, thought. Anyway, his dad was hen-pecked, and his mom was crazy. Literally. His sister was fat, and his little brother become the first queer to come out (no pun intended) of West Texas in four decades. Or at least the first we knew about. But that story's for another day. So there we were, two of us with one parent, and one of us with two parents who didn't equal one whole one. Ricky was tall and athletic. I was short and hyperactive. Woody was medium and had pimples. Everywhere. The boy was the Vesuvius of pimples, the Old Faithful of Ooze. I guess he'd had time to get used to being ridiculed, because he handled the pressure that day with more aplomb and diplomacy than I'd ever seen in any eighth grader over any subject. At the end of the first day, instead of having been labeled a pimple faced anal orifice and written off out of hand for any future social possibilities, he was considered "OK for someone with all those pimples." That was a fine compliment if you read between the lines. We were outside the gym by the only tree on the Monahans Junior High (Go Loboes!) campus during our lunch break. It must have been spring, because I remember little green buds on the tree. Woody was leaning on the tree, surrounded by the curious and the cruel, somewhat like the Click here to read the rest of this story (262 more lines)
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