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The yearbooks

“Let things come to you.”
    ~ author unknown

They arrived in California by mail
As the family back east was downsizing
Looking them over
I decided to send them onward
To a suitable place
In Ben Lomond
While the memories
Didn’t all go with them
Some of the details did
Particularly of the classmates
Who scrawled within their pages
Invitations to participate
In doubtful terrorist plots
Or even more doubtful orgies
Allegations in technical-sounding jargon
Of my homosexuality
Less verbose allegations
Of various girls with whom I’d “struck out”
A fictitious list of their names
Courteously provided
Below that
Was posed the question
Of why I hung out with that list’s author
The answer’s almost too simple to tell
Big fella
You never hung out with me did you
Well that’s who did
Indeed I often preferred solitude
A book a computer a bike ride
Or maybe a few intense days
Wrestling with a musical composition or poem
Over the demeaning presence
Of such a companion
For years
The only person remotely near my age
Who was readily
Part of my life
In one volume
My name was kindly replaced
With that of one of my female contemporaries
In another a young lady
Never particularly friendly
Blithely wrote “Love ya”
Perhaps as in all of the similar pages bearing her image
That came her way that year
Who knows why
Another young lady wrote at length
Extolling my talents
Such as they were
Though this would have been after
My attempt to get to know her
At which time she’d instructed me to drop dead
Ah but her writing claimed itself to be there
In part at least
On behalf of yet another young lady
Presumably her friend
Who’d neither given me the time of day
Nor suggested I ask
Maybe they weren’t really friends
Though girls typically ganged up against me
For example a few pages further on
Was a photo of one I once took an interest in
Until the uselessness of my attempts to start conversations
Became apparent
At which point an associate of hers
Caught up with me in the hall saying
“You nearly drove her nutso”
Their conspiracy was unnecessary
I’d already lost all hope
Regarding her
And almost could have written off
All the young women I ever met
During those formative years
But for one inspiring comment to be found
There amongst those so thoughtful scribbles
From the mid-1980s
A prediction of the age of the Internet
Written by an indigent young black female
Suggesting we look each other up over it
One day
Which may never come
Because I’ve lost the page
On which I jotted her name
Just before I carried those encumbered publications
Out into the street
Leaving them in the toter
From whence they were hauled
To the transfer station
The next morning

Thanks always returns

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