Now that Velvet has gotten used to the idea that he's not going back to school this weekend, he's started hanging out with one of his friends from Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp, whom I'll call Hawk Eye because even though one of his eyes is glass, he's seen a lot. He has been friends with a kid named Louey since preschool. Velvet and Louey have been distantly friendly since ninth grade.
Louey comes from a wealthy but irresponsible family. His mother is a shrink who is remarried and lives in Connecticut. I've never met her or Louey's father who lives in pricey digs in the East 30s. From what I have observed, they gave Louey a credit card when he was 14 or so and let him work things out for himself. His social skills were such that no matter what the occasion, Louey managed to piss off at least half the people there.
I never got the whole story of Louey's freshman year at college, but it began with him having access to $125,000 and ended with him busted for dealing cocaine and in rehab. I think his father made him pay for his own lawyer.
I didn't get the whole story of Hawk Eye's college experience either, but I know it involves going to a Catholic College, taking up Bagpipes, marching down Fifth Avenue with the kilted bagpipe corps in the St. Patrick's day parade, heavy drinking, more heavy drinking and a mysterious disease that led to his withdrawal from school. He and his big brother got their own apartment very far downtown on Water Street. Louey got an apartment in the same building.
Hawk Eye started hanging out our place after his father died. Hawk Eye and his father were scuba diving on a family vacation when something went wrong. Hawk Eye watched his father die. He was 12 or 13. Even though Buzz Kill and I were going through the divorce for those two or three years, Hawk Eye thought our house was jolly. His mom fell apart.
A couple of years later, one of their buddies from Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp was killed in an accident. They were all in Eighth grade at the time. The next summer, the boy's family came up to camp and we all gathered to plant a tree in honor of the son. We had a silent meeting, the boys who felt like saying something did, then we sang a bunch of Teddy's favorite songs, including this one:
While we were singing, I was standing next to the mom. My own heart nearly stopped from the grief pouring out of her.
When the singing was done, we all tossed shovels of dirt into the hole around the tree. One of the boys put in a copy of the the front page of a Boston paper with the story that the Sox beat the Yankees in the Series. Teddy loved the Boston Red Sox. After Hawk Eye put his dirt into the hole, he knelt down with his knife in his hand. I watched him closely because it looked for all the world to me like he wanted to slit his wrist - but it also looked kind of like he was saluting a comrade.
What a day.
So Velvet and Hawk Eye have been through a lot together, and now they're playing D&D together again. It's almost like they've gathered at base camp to center themselves in preparation for setting out into the Wide World again.
In five weeks, Velvet leaves for Wyoming.
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