Sunday, February 11, 2007


Photo by S. Auberle
Sitting here this morning in my favorite cafe, people streaming in bundled tight, into a warmth of woodstove, coffee, scones, soup. I wrap my hands around the thick white china mug, smile at the little plates that say Paris with the Eiffel tower painted on them. The owner, Joel, is French. The stove blazes away in front of me. This is where I love spending a Sunday morning writing.
This is where it doesn't feel so bad to think about yet another member of our high school class gone. We were only a class of forty-two, and the bonds between us are still tight and real. With each member's passing we all feel the cold a little deeper, feel a little more lonely. And now Fred, crazy Fred is gone. Way, way too soon. He'd retired not long ago, still with the love of his life--Karla, still loving his life.
I remember one day that sticks in my mind--young Fred, young me, a convertible, a summer day, beer (we drank a lot of it in those days) laughter, sun, our whole lives stretching out there into infinity, like the road ahead. How could it be over so soon?
The only comfort is that, from the hometown obituary, it sounds like Fred had a good life. That he loved Karla to the max, his kids, fishing, camping in the northwoods. For all we know, he may be doing that right now--wherever the hell he is. And I gotta believe that he's somewhere. And that our class has this big Fred-shaped hole in our collective heart for a reason.
Rest in peace, Fred, and hoist one for us...
- mimi


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