Quick! Why did the turkey cross the road?
To remind me of Mr. High School, of course. I was out on a back road when a chattering, fluttering group of turkeys crossed in front of me. I caught myself making mental notes--how many there were, where I saw them, how healthy they were--so I could tell Mr. High School, the hunter man, the next time he called.
Don't blame the birds, though. If it weren't them, it would be something else. A brief (and by no means complete) list of things that remind me of Mr. High School: a hundred or so songs,including pretty much anything at all by Journey, Foreigner, or Credence Clearwater Revival; big trucks and heavy machinery (especially pavers); camouflage; a car dealership a county and a half away that sells a stunning number of vechicles to people in our area and on every car they sell is a metal plate bearing Mr. High School's first name, which happens to be the name of the car dealership; the bread delivery truck from the company headquartered in his hometown; Ford Mustangs (Mr. High School, a confirmed Chevy (or at least non-Ford) man conceded that the newer Mustangs looked so sharp as to be worth owning even though they were likely to be pieces of shit, mechanically speaking*); Millard Fillmore**; antidepressants; NASCAR...
And on and on and on.
It's a funny thing, grief. The experts will tell you it happens in stages, neatly numbered like an emotional To-do list, you can feel a little sense of achievement as you mark off each one.
Here's something those experts don't want you to know: When you reach that final step of "acceptance," and come to terms, at least intellectually, with the idea of the loss, the person you miss is no less gone.
*Ford Motor Company and its legal department should note that not all opinions expressed by Mr. High School were shared by the author of this blog.
**Millard Fillmore? I know you're thinking, "How often could that possibly come up?" Well, pretty damned often, as it happens, since an old guy mentions Millard Fillmore in a Coke Zero commercial. What it has to do with Mr. High School was that we had a history class together in 8th grade and were part of a group of four people studying together for a test. I said, "Millard Fillmore had no..." foolishly waiting for the correct answer ("vice president") from three thirteen-year-old boys. Instead, GW, a blond and chubby pervert, blurted, "Dick!" And for the rest of the year the four of us talked long and often about how Millard Fillmore had no dick.
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