He was overwhelmingly the class misfit. His high-water pants, obviously home rendered haircuts, perpetual simpleton grin and blemish riddled face made him a prime target for ruthless bullying by students and teachers alike. I was something of a freak as well. The painfully shy new kid wearing skinny 501’s in a sea of wide leg jeans, my unruly curls refusing to feather like the hair of the popular girls. I was amiable towards him, but my niceness was not driven by any sense of moral righteousness. Out of place myself, I simply reciprocated kindness back to anyone who chose to be kind to me, though I’m sorry to admit now that I had my limits. When he summoned his nerve and asked me to the prom, I said no.
Ten years and an upcoming reunion later, I heard through the grapevine that he was missing-his name, like mine, on the list of classmates whose whereabouts were unknown. I don’t know why that came as a surprise to anyone. While wide leg jean and feathered hair memories kept some firmly rooted in the place and time of their greatest happiness, the rest of us were forced to journey on, looking for our happiness further down the road.
Sadly, he had the most baggage to carry along the way.
c : hippie d : an atypical postage stamp usually caused by a unique defect in paper (as a crease) or a unique event in the manufacturing process (as a speck of dirt on the plate) that does not produce a constant or systematic effect
d : an atypical postage stamp usually caused by a unique defect in paper (as a crease) or a unique event in the manufacturing process (as a speck of dirt on the plate) that does not produce a constant or systematic effect