I have a friend. I will not mention his name because he has the respect of his children and parents, but he will recognize this story. In high school, we were close. It was that time in our lives when we had a measure of freedom and very little responsibility. High school students get into trouble with that combination. They drink until someone gets alcohol poisoning, hook up until someone is pregnant, or party until someone grows a mullet.
My nameless friend and I were different. I would like to say that we were the epitome of morality, so I will. We were the epitome of morality. We were the kind of young men adults admire. People looked up to us. Well, they mostly looked up to me because I am very tall (and handsome).
I don’t know about my nameless friend, but my morality came from a place of superiority. I could avoid trouble and feel better than other people all by not doing stuff I wasn’t invited to do anyway? Sign me up.
Abundant freedom and little responsibility still caused us to do some dumb things. I say “us”, but most of it was my idea. He rode shotgun while I slowly drove past the mall blaring “Who Let the Dogs Out?” from the speakers of my 1972 Mercury. (This was 2004.) We went downtown for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, got restless waiting around until midnight, and super glued coins to the sidewalk. We watched at a safe distance while people failed to pick them up. My nameless friend was inspired by this for a subsequent science fair project.
One afternoon, we were again trying to fill our time without resorting to intoxication or fornication. We went to Dick’s Sporting Goods. We went through all the sections touching the sporting equipment.
Then I saw it. Speedos.
I was a “wear a t-shirt in the pool” kind of guy. However, this was a special opportunity.
We each grabbed a Speedo and headed to the dressing room. I said “we”, but we were in different dressing rooms.
I folded myself into the swimming device. I never felt so European. After admiring myself in the mirror for several minutes, the time came.
We each stepped out of our dressing rooms and admired each other. I looked at the name of the store. We were in the right place.