Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Honeymooners

I asked Julio if he and Yo! Adrienne were going to have a honeymoon. He said it would be in Italy this summer--he's teaching a 7-week course in fresco painting at The International School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture in Umbria, and she'll join him for a couple weeks. You can see his bio here.

How did Julio and I meet? 25 years ago on a school field trip to the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, I was seated on the marble floor beneath a spiral stone staircase with many classmates and heard a moist slapping sound. I looked to my right and saw a driblet of spittle on the floor. Then another appeared. Looking up, I saw Julio and another young hoodlum with upturned Izod collar, trying to spit on me. I gave chase, and threatened phsyical harm. For weeks I pushed Julio around when I saw him. Then one day he was singing "Hello, I Love You" at his locker. I'd recently received Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine and thought it the coolest thing ever. "You like The Doors?" I asked, because at that time, nobody our age liked The Doors. Things progressed from there. We had a secret language featuring odd gestures and onomonopeai of filthy origin, were generally behaviorally challenged in school but excellent students, and eventually Julio was removed from Hereford High and packed off to private school to calm him down. We saw each other less, but still regularly, particularly when we were dating twin sisters. I think we got into trouble every time we hung out. Once we drank a bottle of Beefeater's when my folks were out of town and I barfed but he didn't. The next day his Dad called my Mom and asked her why his son was paralyzed after staying over. She hadn't known, of course, and I got into major difficulties. Then we were arrested for public intoxication, underage possession of alcohol, and trespassing on public park grounds after hours--I'm "banned for life" from Oregon Ridge Park. I remember clearly the park ranger telling us he was closing down and yet we continued playing Thumper with the twins. Then the cops were chasing us through the fields, yelling "don't run, we have your car!" After, I was forbidden to see Julio by my parents, as if he were responsible for my behavior.

While Julio descended into full-fledged alcoholism and major drug abuse, I continued flirting with full-fledged alcoholism and stuck to minor drugs like pot and mushrooms. We got back in touch shortly before entering our 20s, and by that time Julio was clean and sober (and has been a teetotaler since). I could go into the major synchronistic events I associate with or friendship--but that's another post. This one will suffice: immediately before our friendship was renewed I lost my friend Chumley in a car accident on New Year's Eve. When I told the story to Julio he said his father was the one who found him dead by the side of the road.

Now we've been Best Men at each others' weddings. That makes me feel old.

[sorry if this post is disjointed--I was beset by a tag-team of Assburger and Tiny Drum. Assburger expounded his theories about Greek and Roman literature and history before discussing Iran and China and North Korea. Then Tiny Drum cut in and told me about his presentation and asked me about plagiarism--ugh]

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