Colin Kelly

Midnight. Had a dream of intrigue about a girl I remember from junior high school named Cindy. Her surname was Germanic. She once was the girlfriend of a certain Bret. But the dream in waking context makes little sense. She was identified in a news article under a pseudonym, as if to remember her had been dangerous. I associate her with a boy named Tim, who in the cafeteria said that Flowers for Algernon was kind of dirty. One time during PE he mistook Cindy for another girl named Kathleen, on whom I had a desperate crush. Maybe being reminded of her was the danger, the intrigue, the cause for the cloak and dagger. I protected myself from the heartache of forty years ago, only to decipher the censorship upon waking up. Just a missed opportunity when I was young and too involved in my Burroughs books, which also are mostly destroyed in the fire. Ninth grade was also the year I read A Separate Peace in the springtime. And again I note that I must make my mission west on N Park to pay my respects to my old school steeped in history. The memories will doubtless be painful— and pleasant. So many regrets for things done and not done. I loved my experience at Kelly. The staff had so much warmth and compassion for us boys and girls, though they ruled us with an iron fist. We were hard to contain. A band of us met in a little glen across N Park before school and smoked pot. When passing them on the right side on my walk to class, I silently judged them for being unserious students. And yet I was the rock and roll drummer guy, sort of caught between academics and music. I survived school by cultivating the image of musician, which my illicit peers understood and respected. It was their language, really, which I parroted on drum kit. The kids thought I was going to be a star, and with my intelligence maybe they were right. But it wasn’t the life I wanted, and I should’ve been more assertive about it then. All I wished for was to be average and in the grayness between black and white. Just to get by and live to tell the tale…

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