The Lost Day: May 15, 1997 (*written November 27, 1998)

November 27, 1998

I have a bad memory.  It’s just something I have come to accept.  I can’t remember where I put things most of the time, and heaven help me if it happens to be keys.  It’s almost certain they’ve been swept from the face of the Earth!  So what am I saying this.  I need to get stuff down while I still remember things, and one of those things is, if you will forgive me, The Day Between the Journals.  I didn’t consider there much amiss by its exclusion, but as Collinsville and Tom have poured over my old journals for the stories they have begun to learn by heart, they ask me every so often, “So Artist, what happened on the missing day, May 15th?”  After some thought on this, I began to reconstruct how everything occurred.  It took a while to remember on what days we did what.  So it is probably good I get this down before anything else slips out.  The day after the death of Is Anybody Out There?  and the beginning of the current collection, Memoirs from the Edge…  With everything that was going on, it kind of got lost in the shuffle.

We will begin on May 14th to set the stage, which was a Wednesday .  My class was in the middle of Senior Week, and the last week before graduation.  Nothing about this day has been previously written about, except a brief mention that I called Sidney that evening.  This is funny–I was just about to write that I have no idea where we had gone that day, and suddenly it came to me.  We went to a mini-golf place in Peoria.  It wasn’t too much fun, because I was unsure how to interact with a number of my friends, which I had been struggling with the entire week.  That night, of course, I ended IAOT?

That brings us to Thursday, the 15th of May.  We reported to school around nine or ten, to yet around practice graduation.  I had brought a few old school videos for Mrs. Marks, who was hurriedly trying to put the finishing touches on the class video we were all going to be shown.  After going over in the gym how to walk in a straight line and sit down together as a class a few times, we all went the auditorium to watch said class video.  It was good to see us throughout the years, and included was the spring 1987 concert when I was in second grade and performed as Don Gato.

For lunch the class was allowed to break apart, to go to various places around Elmwood.  I went to Hoke’s house with Les Rose, Wyll Yates, Haley Hollis, and Hoke.  Once thing I remember is how Hoke made us for food, then Haley Hollis announced she wanted ice cream, and got it herself from his freezer.  This kind of sums up how Haley Hollis was, and to tell you the truth, she was hanging out with Hoke that day because she didn’t get along with the other girls in my class.  For some reason they thought she had an attitude or something.

Anyway, so there we were, later, sitting in Hoke’s living room, taking up some time before we had to all meet for a movie at the Palace Theater.  The three guys were playing computer golf, which I kind of found boring, and I sat across the room on the sofa.  Haley Hollis was busy making calls all over town on Hoke’s phone, and she eventually called Willa’s house, where Sidney was.  Kelly let it be known to the receiver that Sidney’s “boyfriend” (meaning me) was over at Hoke’s, and made some other references to me–while I am sitting in the room.  I rarely mention in all of these pages being upset, but that made me extremely mad, that she would take it upon herself to do that.  Later, the five of us were downstairs when Willa and her group showed up.  I was laying on the floor, and I remember getting a small kick, and when I looked up Sidney was smiling at me, that said it was alright.  I smiled back.

The movie we had to watch was Anaconda.  Already saw it.  Chomping away at some Dots (it’s amazing the stuff you remember), I was again watching the same stupid snake chase the same stupid people.  Luckily, I got to leave early for a baseball game.  You know, I don’t recall any details about it, but I think it was at home, because I got back in plenty of time for the baccalaureate.  We had practiced walking in for that so many times!  It’s kind of funny now.  Afterwards a group of us (Rachel Kroll, Colin, Aimee Leinart, Haley Hollis, Monica Jackson, Ellie Moorhead, Sidney, and me, if I remember right) went to Avanti’s in Peoria to eat.

Haley Hollis led the conversation most of the time, telling all about such things as how supposedly Becca Meeks he stuffed the ballots for prom queen, so April Gatson would win (Becca Meeks had won Homecoming).  Basically, it was a salacious tabloid review of my entire class, which I didn’t appreciate, and actually spoke up about.  I’m kind of surprised I did, and probably the table was too.

When we were done eating Sidney, Aimee Leinart, and Monica Jackson went a few blocks away to Barnes & Noble books.  Colin and I, who were at this time hanging out more and more throughout this whole arc, went in a separate car, but they left the store and really left without telling us.  Instead, Colin and I went to see if Austin Powers was still playing at Willow Knolls, but it had already started.  I ended up renting The Blues Brothers and The Ambulance, and some other movie.  I watched all them straight through that night, and didn’t go to bed until after three.  I really didn’t care, because all we were doing the next day was go Maple Lane Country Club for the afternoon.  Not that I could have sleep at the time anyway.

Friday morning, May 16th, was spent at the end-of-the-year awards ceremony (after yet another run-through of the graduation thing).  Mr. Mavetz had everyone that had been in Scholastic Bowl come down to received our geeky, but sincere and thus also appreciated, plaques.  It was embarrassing, but he did that every year to us, and plaques are way better than medals.

Once that was over with we went to Central Park in the middle of Elmwood for our class picture.  I felt kind of bad, because had forgotten we were supposed to dress up. It was then off the Country Club just north of town, were we stayed for the rest of the afternoon.  One thing I do remember is for one more time everyone in their groups.  Like, the “cool” guys were all along the pond next the gold course, trying to hits balls over the water.  Sidney, Willa, and I watched them on the tee platform, and that is where we had our talk about the “cool” people possibly not being able to function in college.  It was just a guess, but I think that prediction has, for the most part, come true.  Everyone then began to leave, and my school career ended at that place.  That night I sat down to begin Memoirs.

And now, back the present of late 1998, my two college friends Collinsville and Tom will have another story of mine to content themselves with and pick through.  You’re welcome.






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