I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Archival Minds III: B--- from college

Nowhere were my mental limits more in evidence than at reunion just now. So it was par for the course when my classmate B --- asked me to solve a mystery that had been plaguing him for fifteen years. He was the monkey king of our campus – a trickster with an underground following of rogues and misfits who would commit various acts of hazardous and illicit mischief and derring-do around campus. Apparently I was privy to this information, but when pressed about my source, answered that it was someone who was trying to impress me (Only apparently I put it more, err, explicitly than that.)

Who was my informant? I don’t know. I don’t know that there ever was an informant. One thing about having a memory as bad as mine is that once you learn something, you forget that you ever didn’t know it. You just think it’s common knowledge.

So when B--- asked me, I just figured it was like that. Lo these many years ago, I probably surmised that he was up to something and I was probably fishing and didn’t want to admit I had nothing. Also, if I recall, I was kinda hoping B--- himself wanted to, err, impress me.
But so we’re puzzling over this when another classmate greets me like a long-lost army buddy and I’ve got absolutely nothing. I mean he’s there and he’s saying, oh but I had long hair then and describing himself, and… seriously nothing. And now he’s beginning to doubt himself and he says, you’re from Detroit, right? No, I say with relief. Maybe he’s got the wrong girl. But you’re – awkward pause – you’re Black, right?

OK, well without going into a whole other thing, yes, I am Black. And it’s not as stupid a question as you might think because I don’t look it, but I am quite political about it, or was in college. And now I know he’s got the right girl because he goes on.

You blew my mind. We were in choir together and we were on tour and we played that Black church in Detroit and afterwards down in the basement you were talking with all the people from the church and they clearly accepted you as Black, you could tell by how they were talking, and I thought, I had no idea.

And then he goes on and it wasn’t a DIRECT segue but he’s showing me pictures of his multi-racial kids. Kinda like it was all of a piece, me blowing his mind and him ending up with multi-racial kids.

So, in the middle of it, B--- whispers to me, well that solves our mystery.

I guess this guy who used to have long hair and apparently thinks I’m the bomb used to be one of B---‘s lost boys. But if he’s the one, then that makes me pretty much of a heel, doesn’t it? Because then that would mean I really meant something to him. I mean, he broke a confidence to impress me. and I knew he did. and I still can’t remember his name.

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