Friday, December 07, 2007

The Death of A Childhood Friendship





It's a rather ironic thing about friendships, especially the ones forged during our childhood. They can end at a moments notice and for a variety of reasons. It is at the same time sad,yet also inevitable. My childhood friendship came to a sudden halt because of something as insignificant as a football.

I met Billy Glennon when we both attended St.Peters parochial school and the two of us immediately became friends. Then Billy and I discovered that we lived in the same neighborhood. We hung out at each others house and even joined the Cub Scouts together. Along with another friend of ours, Brad, and my brother Mike,we got involved the the sort of shenanigans kids are prone to do.

On one of our excursions, our party of four went to The Wilmington and Western Railroad station(an old time steam locomotive exhibit)where we discovered quarters, dimes and nickels that had fallen out of visitors pockets. Afterwards,as we greedily counted our bounty of coins, Billy was upset that we'd found more than he did. He thought this was unfair and so did we, so Brad, Mike and myself without hesitation gave Billy a portion of our money so that we'd all be even. After that minor tragedy was averted, our happy little group found it's way to a delicatessen where we indulged in chocolate covered cupcakes and bottles of soda.

Billy moved away about a year or so later because his fathers job required that the family relocate to another state. I didn't see him again for five years. When I did, our reunion would be less than joyous.

It was during my junior year, I found out that Billy would be a student at St. Marks and was slated to play on the football team as a quarterback. I was delighted because I'd be hanging out with my friend again. I couldn't wait to see him. One day,I was in the cafeteria when I saw him walking down the isle. I got up from my table and went over to greet him, my hand outstretched. Billy never even looked at me. He simply whisked past me; it was as if I wasn't even in the room. It both hurt and sucked at the same time. Why would my friend treat me as if I were a non person?

Wait a minute-I think I've got it- he was a hotshot high school jock, while I who was not athletically inclined was a nobody; someone to be ignored or ridiculed. You see, in high school there is a certain hierarchy that still exists today in these supposedly enlighten times. The jocks are regarded with awe,exalted to an almost god like status because they can f**k with a football or f**k with a basketball.Those who aren't athletes can either function as their hangers on or be considered as "outsiders". I sure as shit never wanted to be a "hanger on". How demeaning that would have been. I'd much rather be an "outsider" and keep my individuality.

When I was in high school the outsiders were called either "dicks" or the ever popular(with them,not us.)"sissy dinks". One time, I was having lunch with some friends where we just happened to be sitting at a table one row over from where Billy and a group of fellow pig skinned brained pricks happened to be. They overheard our conversation and were groaning, rolling their eyes and making uncalled for comments. Naturally,we ignored their ignorant behavior. But if the same thing occurred today, I'd march right over to their table and tell them in no uncertain terms," Our conversation is none of your f***ing business. So f**k off, assholes."

I'd like to take a moment to mention that Billy had two sisters, Colleen and Sheila, who also attended St.Marks. Now,they had been students at St.Peters as well, but since they were two gawky, skinny little girls, both of them pretty much went unnoticed by me during those years. By the time they hit high school,both of them had developed quite nicely,thank you very much. They were referred to as the Glennon Babes by the male populace of St Marks because of their gorgeous faces and knockout bodies. I know for a fact that many a hormone charged teenage boy at my school had fantasy's about them. These girls could have easily had successful careers as models once out of high school. I'll go even further than that to proclaim that Colleen and Sheila could have perhaps gone on to pose as Playboy Centerfolds, much to the delight of the male alumni of St. Marks. Yes,they were that hot. A couple of years after graduating high school, I read in the newspaper about Colleens impending marriage and that she was studying to be a nurse. I thought her career choice was a terrible waste of a drop dead pretty face and a killer figure.

Anyhoo, Billy during the next two years of high school never once spoke to me. Our friendship was now a thing of the past. After a while I ceased to care because he became mind over matter. I didn't mind because he sure as hell didn't matter. And although I haven't seen him since St. Marks I still have not forgiven him. If I were to run into him somewhere, I wouldn't as much as give him the time of day. We're not friends anymore;the two years he ignored me in high school completely erased any friendship we ever had. There are definite do's and don'ts when it comes to friendship. And just because he could kick a football a f***ing mile was no reason for treating me so contemptuously. You don't do that to your friends.

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