Shadowing Raoul, Deflector of Stuff

The wallet was tell-tale. Slim, black, velcro and bearing the word "KISS" in jagged letters. My friend Raoul had been here. And as this was the third time I'd retrieved that flea market KISS wallet for him that week. I was seriously considering desperate measures...

Like stapling it to his thigh.

It was high school. The 80s. KISS was in its heyday, and so was Raoul's insomnia. It made him beat the school record for most "Tardies" in a single marking period...

Which, of course, gave us the opportunity to say the word "tardy" a lot-- which was always fun because, honestly, how smart can any school system be to call "being late" a goofy word like "tardy" and not expect it would be applied to our classmates as an adjective as well as a noun?...

The insomnia also caused a remarkable phenomenon in physics, which had the science teachers scratching their comb-overs.

It seemed that during the course of any class, all loose objects which belonged to Raoul automatically lost their grippiness and were quietly and subtly repelled from the three-foot radius around his person. There, they would be left at random around the school, like part of some less-than-rewarding scavenger hunt.

We, his friends, spent much of our time collecting the items that insomnia and physics left behind.

I'd watch my cousin Jay clomp into the class on thick-laced, untied high-tops and plunk Raoul's oboe before him. "I found this in the locker room," he'd say flatly, knowing an oboe would be so much harder to staple.

I saw my bud Josette brandishing a collection of KISS and RATT bumper-stickered notebooks, and plop them down on the desk for the umpteenth time before his pale startled face. "I believe these are yours?" she'd intoned dryly, the cheer having drained from her normally-musical voice.

And then there was the wallet. Always that stupid wallet. Once again lost and found. And once again missing the cash that had been in it.

It was the one thing that prevented us from demanding Finders' Fees.

So we flash forward 18 years, and my friend Raoul is now a doctor.

No, a real one.

No, of medicine and stuff.

The world is nothing if not a beautiful and amusing place.

Yes, apparently Raoul's innate intelligence, pleasant personality, and that strange sleep schedule has paid off in unexpected ways for my ol' pal. And every now and then, when I see a black velcro wallet sporting the logo of the latest, hottest band, I think of that fine fellow, and how very far he's come.

I'm also somewhat relieved he's not a surgeon.

Oboes and Trapper Keepers are a whole lot larger than medical sponges and clamps.

And there are some places which even your closest friends cannot follow.

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Today's Question:
Did one of your classmates end up in a occupation you never would have expected?

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10 comments:

Babs-beetle said...

**...which had the science teachers scratching their comb-overs.**

Now THAT was funny! Yes, I find the smallest things the funniest. Not that I'm saying that was the smallest.... Oh you know what I mean ;)

Leeuna said...

I can imagine the nurses running behind him now and handing him his stethoscope, his rubber hammer, his ear and throat light thingie, the patient's chart, his golf clubs...

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- Heh, yes, I do-- and hey, I'll take the laughs big or small!!

Leeuna- Yes, indeedy, the image you described so vividly has crossed my mind more than once!

ReformingGeek said...

Yay for Raoul!

I remember a nerdy (and smart) flute player a year behind me that went to medical school. I recently found her on LinkedIn as a high-up Hospital Administrator! WOW!

Knucklehead said...

None that I know of, other than ME.

Tony Single said...

In answer to your question... I didn't have friends in school. Sob. Sniffle. And stuff.

I'm glad your chum is not a surgeon too. And that he doesn't live where I live. I'd probably be dead from a misplaced, rabid budgie or something if he was around. :P

Jenn Thorson said...

ReformingGeek- Sometimes it just takes folks a while to come in to their own. :)

Knucklehead- So somewhere one of YOUR high school friends has written a tale about this dude who...

Tony- Oh no- no friends? The sad, sad violins are playing so loudly and mournfully! :)

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I was going to say...before I read the end... I hope this guy isn't a surgeon!

And yes, one of my classmates became a mother. I never thought she would. And it gives me severe nightmares...nightly.

Jenn Thorson said...

Lisa- Do you know what her child is turning out like? Let's hope being a mom has been enriching for her-- and not just propagating more... concerns.

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

Great little reversy-doosy twist at the end. Like the ending of a macabre tale, but without the macabre, no? Nice work, Jenn. :)