My lovely wife, showed me a video the other day. It was of me, back in June, some hours after my CABGx5 surgery. I was still all hooked up with wires and tubes, and intubated; I could not talk. Those obviously groggy, I was also alert enough to acknowledge her, and nod in response to simple questions. The disturbing thing about these video, is that I have no recollection of this moment in time. I did not remember it when I woke and was relieved of some of the plumbing, the next day; nor do I remember it now.
There have been other surgeries, and this has probably happened before, but remains unspoken, undocumented, and unrevealed.
I do know of another block of missing time in my life. A period from the fall of 1969, which I remain confounded about, to this day; almost 50 years later.
One afternoon, crossing the courtyard at Rockdale High School, I was hailed and approached by one of our RHS Featured Twirlers … Grace (not her real name). I cannot express to you how shocked I was to find myself the object of her attention; the last time that happened was an embarrassing incident in Junior High where she informed the whole school, how she felt about me (it was not a good feeling).
Anyway, I digress … Grace handed me some ‘money’ and said it was owed to me by one of our energetic RHS Cheerleaders … Beth (not her real name either). I was given no further explanation, and as soon as the monetary transfer was made, Grace took off; I stood there with my mouth open, wondering what Beth owed me money for. And where was Beth anyway?
Beth was in the hospital; appendicitis, as I recall. And that was the easy part. Not normally found in the rarified company that was RHS female Royalty (okay, RHS females period), it was a few weeks before a common factor entered, and asked me if Beth had compensated me for the LP she borrowed from me, that subsequently melted, first in the backseat of her car, and then in an oven where she tried to gently heat it up to recover its intended shape.
Apparently ‘extra crispy’ crust was the desired result because the vinyl Chicago Transit Authority LP was placed on the rack without a pizza pan … imagine every cartoon depiction of this scenario.
In a surprise sidebar to this story, Beth and I developed a pseudo-friendship, we actually spoke to each other, and hung out at lunch. Through this conduit, I was able to find out that she had borrowed the LP from me at an after-the-game “dance” at the band hall; a Friday night activity where RHS students listened (and sometimes danced) to music provided by their peers on the band hall stereo (which was pretty good for the late 60’s: TEAC components).
I did not recall then, nor do I remember now, ever having gone to one of these dances. The evidence however, says I shared some of my eclectic musical taste with my peers, including The Chicago Transit Authority. I do now actually have a picture in my mind of putting a record on a turntable, in the band hall, but I am unsure whether it is a real memory, or an induced one.
Along with being pretty strange compared to my classmates, back in the day, I was quite naive about the infiltration of the 60’s drug culture into good old RHS. I have been disabused of this in the last decade or so, by my classmates, talking about our classmates, and who was doing what, etc. Is it possible that I was exposed to some ‘illegal’ substance on an innocent evening in the RHS band hall, rendering me blank to that period time?
I sorta would like to know.
Maybe Beth and Grace (not their real names) will be at our 50th class reunion, and I’ll ask them.