Jim Macinko. He's the guy I was thick with in 8th and 9th grade. We were drummers in Band together, I the freak because I was a GIRL playing the drums. He was an outcast of a different sort: short, smart, talented and jumpy. Couldn't keep still. He might have been Jewish, I don't know. I was never real aware of that stuff back then. He made me laugh all the time. Wasn't afraid to tell me to cool it, that I was being a snob.
My Masters Thesis is about him, in part. I miss the guy. We were a little like the kids in Stephen King's Stand By Me. Oh yeah, I used that quote in my thesis, the one about how you never have friends again like the friends you had when you were twelve. And yet you long for them later, in your thirties. Jesus, how I long for them sometimes. I don't know what I'd have to say to him now. I figured out later that he had a crush on me. Maybe I sort of knew it then, I might have known it on some level. I remember something vague about playing drums in his bedroom together and it suddenly got really intense, me sitting on his chest and...something. We were wrestling. Like kids do. Then something...I don't remember what. I don't think you can really remember stuff like that, that period of transition when you change into a different person. It's like trying to remember what it was like to think about driving before you could ever drive. I have dreams sometimes
(okay, warning: I'm going to talk about dreams a lot in this blog. I have a very freaky, active dream life. Some people think dreams are boring. I remember a friend drew me this comic strip once about how boring he thought it was to listen to people talk about their dreams: There's this one guy telling the other guy, "So then, there was this piece of toast in my dream. And it had butter on it!" Of course the guy listening is falling asleep...Zzzzzz. I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I think my dreams are more interesting than that. Or maybe it's that I'm fascinated by how they FEEL so important. Anyway, you've been warned)
where I'm driving a go-cart and it is just so amazingly fantastically exciting. Remember when go-carts at the mini golf seemed like the ultimate in power? Like you were some kind of superhero with superpowers. I have dreams like that where I'm driving the go-cart and I have that feeling back. When I wake up I try to hold on to what that feels like, but it evaporates so fast, like rubbing alcohol. It's really, really intense, the joy of it. But then my brain kicks into live, waking mode and goes, "Hey, yeah, driving. That's boring now. Traffic, stoplights, people cutting you off. Not fun, boring." And I try to hold it off, that reasoning thinking mind that categorizes everything into "been there, done that," so I can feel the mystery, so I can remember when I thought driving was roads you could build anywhere, and no one else was ever on them or in your way, you were just toodling along in your go-cart with the wind in your hair...
Yeah. So sometimes I have dreams like that, about driving. And about Jimmy. And he's twelve, or thirteen, and I'm me now, in my thirites, but somehow it still makes sense, me talking to him. The last dream I had about him I'd found him and I knew it was him, I remember his face, but he was acting like I'd mistaken him for someone else. Then later in the dream he finally admitted it was really him. And it was all right, we were thick as thieves again. But not really. I knew it in the dream, that it wasn't real. Sometimes I finally get what I want in a dream and then I realize, oh shit, this is just a dream. Dammit.