Monday, July 20, 1998

One Time One Night

For any of you who receive the Washington County edition of the Pioneer Press, last week you may have noticed a couple of quotes from your favorite local high ranking government official. By the end of the week that same high ranking government official was feeling that if the next time his name appeared in the newspaper was his own obituary, that would be plenty soon enough. Come Friday he was snapping at just about anyone within ear's range.

What exactly happened to this once normal young man? He seems to recall a time in grade school when his political skills, and his popularity rating was at an all time high where he could do just about no wrong. He seems to remember a day in fourth grade when his teacher pulled him aside for a conference. Never having ever been in trouble this young boy was a bit worried. But his fears were assuaged and his ego further stroked when his teacher told him what the secret meeting was about. Seems there was a new student, one Norman Luchsinger, who was having a bit of a difficult time trying to fit into his new surroundings. Upon some initial counseling the school administration asked young Norman what they could do to make his life run more smoothly. Norman mentioned that of all the kids around he wished he could be friends with the future high ranking government official. Thus the teacher asked this all too popular young quote giver if he would be willing to take young Norman under his wing and try to be a friend. "Sure, why not..." the young much too popular kid said. "I'll be his friend..."

It surely was a defining moment for this young man. It was the first time that he was willing to acknowledge the power of his own popularity. Yet at that very moment he was also pursuing his initial interests in that fifty percent of the class that he among with the other boys had been thus far ignoring. He was keeping an eye out on another new student, one Wendy Burowska. Up until this moment the young man had previously shown interest in only one other of the opposite gender, one Tracy Siegfried who by all accounts was the type one might suspect the young man might become attracted to if such things could occur as early as the fourth grade. Young Ms. Siegfried much like the young man was a very good student, a favorite of all the teachers for her immaculate classroom behavior. Young Ms. Burowska on the other hand, at times found herself at odds with those trying to school her. Her attitude sometimes showed a bit of defiance which was what attracted the young man to her though he wouldn't or couldn't admit to it yet (it was to become a bit of a reoccurring theme in his life however).

So come some twenty years later imagine this now rapidly aging young man's surprise that after his weekly softball experience his surprise to run across the same Wendy B. (now Wendy K. following a marriage and subsequent divorce) in a bar that the young man and his softball teammates frequented after their games. At first (despite his usual talent at remembering faces and names) he didn't recognize her. But as they talked and discovered mutual ages and school histories he soon discovered who she was. A bit of a shock ensued as he looked deep into her eyes and saw something from his own past. Those days forever gone still remain a part no matter how far he has come.

They parted with thoughts of getting together to share thoughts about all that had transpired in the passing years. Yet it was doubtful whether or not that would transpire because that which connected them was but a very thin thread, one which he for one, had shredded long ago. Still the experience left him wondering in the wee small hours of the morning, how exactly he had ended up where he now was. He never before had especially wanted to go back, but now he knew that to start over, over and over again had been that which had made things difficult to begin with.

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