Monday, May 25, 2009


He was the MAN in the fifth grade. It seemed like he was like 47. Michael was poised, wryly funny, audaciously charming, and solidly real, all by the age of 9. I don’t remember ever seeing him in the playground with the little boys – I would sometimes catch him standing alone under a tree, right outside our homeroom, I’d look up to him because he was very tall, and man sized, his proportions weren’t those of a boy’s, at least that’s how I remember him. We’d talk about the records that I would bring to the dance party I was planning for the class. I was on fire about music that spring, but I was captivated by Michael, the Man/Boy. I wanted to be close to him so his charm could rub off on me. I couldn’t get enough of him, and it wasn’t because he was the most handsome boy I had ever seen, there were some other cute boys in my class, but Michael was the first guy to make me feel like I was a big deal.

This weekend, we were riding around in his pick up truck, windows down, his American Spirits scenting my clothes. There were a bunch of us from high school - back in our hometown, for a reunion of our high school drama department. I had seen Michael on and off over those early years, but he seemed to move in and out of our town, like a pre-teen drifter. He went to rehab before I had ever seen a joint, there were rumors that he had moved with his mother at some point, I remember being shocked to hear that Michael even had a mother, he seemed to just come out of the woods each day, like he had raised himself back there, by a stream. I don’t remember seeing him again until we were in high school, both of us rehearsing for a production of Godspell, Michael, of course, was cast in the lead. He was always destined for greatness; he was recently elected First Selectman in the town where he lives.

And yesterday, I’m 9 years old again, still looking up at Michael as I sit next to him on the bench seat of his truck. I’m no longer talking to him about dance parties, now I’m about my life as it appears in my blog, of which he says he’s an avid follower. He likes all of it, not just the parts where I talk about masturbation, or fucking, or riding Harleys. He thinks I’m special not just when I’m naked, sucking cock, or being outrageous. But when I’m sitting next to him on the sofa, being insipid, talking about the guy I was dating, how the ride had always been crazy and bumpy. “You never saw THAT coming with this guy,” Michael says looking back at me, as he gets up to go outside and catch a smoke. Leaving me there feeling stupid and loved.

It was a great weekend, Michael was one of many who have my number and make me feel somewhat less ordinary. New friends can think you’re pretty great, but old friends know your history, know all your mistakes, knew you when you were un-cool, or did stupid things, and like you in spite of it. So they follow you through the years, are still curious to know how you’re doing, how your story came out. And that's why we all get together every decade or so.

And as I was driving away from the weekend last night, Michael’s voice was inside of me, deep, wise, kind, and ironic – that voice that he’s had since he was 8. I would follow it into the woods behind school, on to a ferry, across the world, because since I was a small girl, it had this magical power over me, almost making me feel like I was special, or something.


  1. Nice post, Claudia. If you don't mind, where is this hometown? Not necessarily the precise town, but what state, region, etc.?

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for commenting. I'm a nice girl from New England....

  3. Nice, very nice.
    Seems there are different kind of friends - the superficial ones, the social ones, then there are the ones that count, that you can depend on, not so much for a few bucks, but that touch your heart....way cool!!

  4. Jeff, this comment really brings this weekend's experience full circle for me, I appreciate the insight. Thanks for all your comments, and bringing so much to my blog....