May 22, 2009

I went to my little brother's high school graduation tonight. He went to the same high school I did, and lots of heavy hitters were in attendance, teachers-who-were-important-in-my-life-wise, though unfortunately I didn't get a chance to say hi to anybody after the ceremony. It rained for precisely the duration of the proceedings, and so crowd reactions to the band's performance and the principal's remarks and the valedictorians' speeches were sort of muted because it's hard to clap when you're holding an umbrella over you and your grandma. It picked up once names started being read, because you're not NOT going to clap for the kid you came to clap for, but it was a dangerous game because once you shift your umbrella to clap you shower you and everyone around you with all that gathered rainwater.


I am way proud of him, he is an awesome funny together kid.


The tail end of the Principal's remarks was a tribute to Luis, the younger brother of my friend Guillermo, who died in February. When I heard Luis had died, I kind of didn't realize he was high-school age: I think I will always think of him as a ten-year-old kid orbiting Guillermo's mom hyperactively, interrogating everybody to find out once and for all if they were Nathan Detroit. (Guillermo had been in a production of "Guys And Dolls" at our school the year before my Freshman year, and it imprinted itself really strongly on Luis for some reason. Maybe because that musical owns.) He was a strange, awesome, enormous-hearted boy and I would like him to know that people who only met him really a couple of times are very, very sad they won't get a chance to meet him again. His brothers are great and his sister is great (we were in marching band together and she has twins now) so that family goes on, and you don't know it, but you are lucky to live in the world with them.


At the ceremony's end, all the graduates stood up and as they did so really loud upbeat classical music, like a superhero theme you've never heard, started blaring from the speakers, and I thought how amazing and appropriate to the music it would be if the entire graduating class just stuck their fists in the air and flew away. Like, not only did we have all those academic and athletic achievements and put in all those community service hours the Principal detailed in his speech, but at some point in our four years we secretly learned to fucking fly, and we managed to disseminate it to the entire class and keep it hidden from everybody else in the world, no mean feat given how gossipy high schoolers are and how they can't wait to run tell a blowjob or a new car much less the power of goddamn flight. No matter who got acceptance letters from where we think we'll be going to whatever school we want in the fall, thank you very much. Overachievers and band kids and jocks and just plain assholes all taking the rainy post-graduation sky together while that ridiculous music blares away on speakers that have been blown out by countless too-loud plays of "Welcome To The Jungle" during football season. What I wouldn't give.

Back in New York tomorrow.

Posted by DC at May 22, 2009 12:44 AM | TrackBack
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