Tonight was my 20th high school reunion.
I didn't go, of course. All the people I care to converse with from that era are already in contact with me, and have been for the past two decades.
(One of the Prestigius parents, who happens to be an '89 graduate of Alma Mater as well, saw me at work a few days ago and asked if I was going to the reunion. "No," I said. He nodded. "Prior commitment?" he asked. "No," I said.)
After the reunion festivities had concluded, I met up with T-Bone and Courtney, 74, Friar, and Auric and his sister at Hangout. We took a couple of taxis to Hangout II --- a place also owned by Mr. Hangout, a much more pleasant and adult bar with seats, tables, and board games, and few to zero frat boys --- and whiled away the wee hours reminiscing and asking each other Trivial Pursuit questions.
We're old and geeks.
Then, it just wouldn't be Good Old Nostalgic Times Like the Old Days if we didn't go have a 3:00 a.m. meal at Denny's. So we did, and I had another Sodium 'n' Cholesterol Slam. In retrospect, I question the prudence of this decision. Late-night Denny's in Devil-Town was just a wild and wonderful as ever. It's where white high school kids, cowboys, tough dudes decked out like pimps, Mexican guys in gang colors, and large black ladies in very tiny, tight dresses all come together to enjoy artery-clogging fare under sickly fluorescents.
Most of the evening is a pleasant blur. I recall defending the Hold Steady as one of the best American bands of all time and deriding Journey. Auric said that if the Hold Steady were in the running, his band ought to be as well. I think maybe it's really the Beach Boys, or maybe the Band. Or R.E.M. or the Ramones or Rancid. Also, when we got back to the Original Hangout and were turned away due to it being well past closing time, Friar insisted on setting everyone straight about how we were allowed in there whenever we wanted and making the bouncer apologize to us. Good times.