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Inspirational Reads

An Even MORE Tragic Finale

February 9, 2016

I come to you, handful of blog readers, with hat in hand, ready to issue an apology for the oversight.  After writing last week's blog, I sat and thought on it (I have a lot of traffic to contend with on the daily commute) and I'm pretty sure that I had already told the story of falling-not-falling down Betsy's stairs.

Close enough to the image
I was trying to invoke

My shame, it is evident.  Do with me as you will. 

*ties blindfold around eyes* 

*lights cigarette*

But wait.  If you pull the triggers on that firing squad, you'll never get to hear the even more tragic tale of what happened after Betsy's graduation party!

Oh, I see I've earned myself a brief stay of execution.

Now, for this, you need to realize that I lived in a dingy little backwater town called Markle, which confidently strode the border of Huntington and Wells Counties in Indiana.  I lived on the western (read: far more cool and hip) side of town, so I went to Huntington North High School in Huntington, Indiana (don't ask where Huntington South is...).  Huntington was the county seat of Huntington County (amazing, I know), and as such was the largest city in the county.  Most of my friends lived in Huntington, not Markle.  It was a ten mile drive to Huntington--you know, all day trip type distance.

Betsy was one of those Huntington-residing friends.  Another was my good friend Matt Webb (it's almost like Matthew was a popular name for boys born in the middle of the 70s), and so it was that I made sure to go to Matt's graduation party.  I think it might have been the same weekend as Betsy's.  Don't ask for specifics; it was twenty a few years ago.  I've imbibed a few drinks and had mind-altering drugsblowing sex since then.  Details are a bit hazy.  Concentrate and ask again later.

Anyway, my friend Matt was a doctor's son, and a fairly successful doctor, at that.  As such, he could afford the finer things in life...such as a pool.  A pool which was fully engaged when I showed up at his party.  However, this was his "official" graduation party, and so all of his family--including ten thousand younger cousins--were at the party, and they were using the pool.

Like this, but with MORE purple
Unlike Betsy's party, I had no grand schemes or designs or speeches to deliver.  What I did have was a small bag of the ugliest fucking ties that the Seventies could have ever vomited up and called fashionable.  Matt was a big fan of retro fashion, and so I knew he would love these.  My dad didn't want them, so I folded them neatly and put them in a bag and took them to Matt's party. 

I was right.  He loved them.  He gushed over how happy they made him.  I felt pretty good.  Having a big slice of cake probably didn't hurt.  I spent probably an hour at Matt's house talking with him, his younger brother (he was a sophomore at HNHS), his mom (she worked at the school), and his dad (never met him before that day).  It was a great time.

After overstaying my welcome, I shook Matt's hand, congratulated him for graduating (I mean, why not?) and turned to go.  As I was leaving, Matt stopped me and said, "Hey, come back later tonight.  After dark.  A bunch of people are coming over.  It's going to be a pool party."  There was a hesitation, and then he added, "You can bring a suit...if you want..."

Now, the important thing here is that Matt and I ran in many of the same circles in high school.  This meant that, at this pool party, where bathing suits may or may not be needed, there was an excellent chance that several of the girls I had crushed upon over the course of the past four years would be in attendance, including Rachel, Amy, Elizabeth...and Betsy.

Holy shit.  I might get to swim naked.  With Betsy Motherfucking Hagar.

(This was not her middle name.  It was Anne.)

Ecstatic, I went and visited a couple of other friends, where they, too, were talking about Matt's graduation pool party.  Oh, the debauchery that the night promised.  It was almost too much for my 18-year-old mind to process.  I was almost literally aquiver with excitement. 

We'll just call it excitement and leave it at that.

Not Betsy...but another perfect blonde
I drove home, practically floating the whole way I was so happy.  I got home, parked the car, went inside and began preparing.  I got fresh clothes, grabbed the swim trunks (you know, to be gallant), and then hopped in the shower, scrubbed myself until I was pink and fresh-smelling, and then shaved and trimmed.

I was looking and feeling good.

I made myself some food and then sat down on the front porch with my parents to eat.  That's when my mother started in.

"Did you have a good time?"

"Yes, quite.  In fact--"

"Well, good.  You've been gone a lot over the past couple of weekends. I think it's about time to wrap up the graduation party circuit."

"Well, you see--"

"There aren't any other of your friends--your good friends, your close friends--parties to go to, right?  Good."

"Well Matt Webb--"

"You just went to Matt Webb's house.  You gave him all those old ties.  No need to go back."

Instead of arguing further, I just frowned down onto my plate and said, "Yeah, I guess not."  It's not like I could tell my mom that I had been invited to a pool party where I might see the nakeds.  Especially not ones that I had pined for for years, written erotica about, or developed pubescent carpal tunnel syndrome over.  Dejected--nay, defeated--I stayed home with my parents that night.

And yes, Matt had his pool party.

And yes, there was skinny dipping involved.

And yes, Betsy was there.

*peeks out from under blindfold*

Oh, what's that?  I've earned my freedom by spinning that tale?  Well, thanks, I'll just be going now.

*thinks back to what might have been on that fateful night at Matt Webb's house*

On second thought, just end it for me now...