I saw him in Safeway—

it’s my grocery store—

the one I go to

to eat.

I visit, in the morning

for breakfast and coffee—

and now it’s violated, because he’s working there.

Two years ago, I would’ve introduced myself,

and said, “Remember me? We went to high school together.”

But not anymore.

I have the desire to disconnect from my past.

I felt bad about what happened after high school.

Nick, was a loser. I didn’t say that—and nobody else did, but everybody knew it.

The same was true for me. I don’t think people said I was crazy, but they didn’t understand me.

I befriended Nick, but not too much. I talked to him in the hallway. He always wore the same blue zip-up sweatshirt.

“The Seahawks—they’re doing pretty good,” he said.

I never wanted to fit in. Whenever I did, it was an accident. I dumped my first girlfriend, and never got another. She was a disappointment. It wasn’t like the movies. I went to the State golf tournament, and my immortal enemy dated her. He asked, if he could.

“I don’t care,” I said. That was my attitude. I ran 100 miles a week. I fought an imaginary enemy.

Then, I switched schools and met Nick.

Nick was dull. He watched TV. He didn’t graduate, but he finished an English credit over the summer to get his diploma.

I got called by a pretty girl from high school, who was the ASB President. “Nick is having his special ceremony, and because you’re his friend, we thought you’d like to come.”

“I’m not his friend, and high school is over,” I told her.

There was silence on the other end. “Well… bye.”

15 years later, I saw Nick in the grocery store. I checked his name tag. It was him.

The kids in high school knew he was a loser, and that’s why they stayed away from him.

The girls in high school knew I was crazy, and that’s why they stayed away from me.

I have a doctorate degree, and I’m disillusioned with the whole thing.

Society is Shit. I used to run, and now

I lay in bed, and write about it.

My madness remains—and that, is meaningful, to me.

Nick was unshaved, happy

to watch the Seahawks.

Who I was in high school,

is who I became.

I wish I had paid more attention to that.

There were these rich kids, who became rich adults. I met a couple of them, last year

and they didn’t want to talk to me,

and I didn’t want to talk to them.

I don’t want a reunion.

We were, who we were—

We are, who we are—that’s all.


3 thoughts on “Nick (a four-letter word) like Shit

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