Sunday, October 16, 2005

Happy Birthday, David K_____.

I had a dream the other night which featured a brief appearance by fellow St. Pius X alumnus David K_____. I didn't recognize him, but I knew it was him, grown now, somehow still as old as me. He was always very small--through eighth grade, anyway, when I last saw him.

I have a scar on the back of my right hand from his overbite. He didn't bite me. I simply edged in too close while Bob H_______ (the tallest boy in class) was swinging Dave around by his ankles. Bob also stepped on David's head once. It was an accident, and an occasion of great mirth to almost everyone.

We were classmates from the first grade, 1975, on. That year (or maybe later), another friend, Chris I_____, began collecting tiny pencils. Whatever pencils he found lying around the classroom, Chris would grind them down to virtually useless stubs and put them in a plastic bag, the black, smudgy points poking through like the beaks of captured crows. David got it in his head to collect erasers, and so spent an entire snack time chewing on Chris' collection (200 or so!) to facilitate his own. I don't know what he kept them in, or what they resembled in it.

We played together on a little league team. I recall very little little leaguing, and much standing around on or in the vicinity of a baseball diamond, looking in random directions or chanting taunts at opponents and teammates alike. We shared a love of "monster weeks" on the WABC 4:30 Movie, as well as "Planet of the Apes" and its ever-more-contrived string of sequels. I'd go over to his house in the afternoon every now and then. We'd play Shogun Warriors, shooting fists at Star Wars figures. His older brother Paul showed me that the thumb should always go on the outside of your fist. Apparently, even with the great Mazinger as a role model, I still got that backwards.

Anyway, I always remembered that his birthday was October 16th. Happy Birthday, David. You sure left your mark on me. I'm looking at it right now.

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