I get up early and decide to wander the campus before anybody else shows up. Ludicrously clutching my yearbook, I walk down the driveway next to the school, slowly taking everything in, circling the soccer field, peering through the paint flecked windows of the art studio, even checking out Virginia’s old house, which seems to be empty.

I finally go to the Caf for a cup of coffee, but as soon as I walk in – oh, crap, they’re all here, especially the ones I’m most trying to avoid, Flood, Anderson, Dym, the squareheads assembled – some kind of reunion event that I didn’t bother to notice on the schedule. There’s an almost palpable swerve in the babble what’s he doing here? and then I see the girls’ table, Pam at one end beckoning, but god help me, it’s Virginia at the other end that I inevitably head for.

She flashes a superior grin, stands up, and hands me a small, square envelope scribbled over with the name Jake Barnes – evidently they’ve been playing a game comparing classmates to appropriate literary figures, and that’s who she’s come up with for me – thanks a lot.

It’s all too much and I turn tail, straight out the door and around the corner to the bus shelter, where I impulsively jump on a city bus, soon enough falling into various urban adventures, not opening the envelope until hours later in a diner up on Mount Washington, finding only her business card, the word sorry penciled on the back. Sorry? After all the crap she’s put me through, that’s the best she can come up with?

About ubu507

memory documentation and manipulation
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