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My former classmate and Phil Jones Dance partner and I have lunch this afternoon; at 12, we took lessons in preparation for many upcoming Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and for life. We were also at the University of Michigan at the same time, but I don't have much memory of that till he reminds me:
"The last time I saw you was in 1985, in the Fishbowl [the all-glass part of Mason Hall in Ann Arbor]. You seemed really uncomfortable; in fact, whenever I ran into you on campus you seemed uncomfortable, but that day, you were with some girls and one of them --"
"-- had a mullet?"
"Yes, and one's hair was multicolored."
"Well, the one with the mullet is a guy now." (Not sure he's heard me.) "Really. He was a guy back then, too; he's transgender, but hadn't yet transitioned and I didn't know then, but yeah, that was really awkward, seeing you then."
He nods acknowledgment and then says, "You know, if you hadn't acted so odd, I'd have never guessed about you, but since you did, I realized [that you were a lesbian], and thought, She probably doesn't want her mom to know, and I never told a soul."
"Well, you were who I was supposed to want -- you, a good-looking, smart, nice, tall, Jewish man and so of course, I felt awkward."
He's flattered, but what is there to say in response?
Our Dads (z"l)
Both of them died at 56, of the identical, rare cancer. We agree that we became adults overnight at the time. His dad (z"l) died in '88, when he was 22 and mine (z"l), in '82, when I was 17 -- right around the same time of year, within two weeks of each other. I sit there, feeling jealous and competitive; at least his dad saw him graduate from high school and college.
He is a gentleman, a mensch.
I have yet to regret getting together with anyone from my Stamford past.
This lunch, plus Teena Marie's passing earlier this week, are making me feel tons of pre-teen and adolescent memories. I'd rather feel my feelings than ignore them, I guess. How can I channel them for further good, though?