Two times a year the college I went to—Occidental College, in LA—sends out a magazine with news about the college and class notes. There are too many classes to have all the notes in each issue, so one time it is the odd numbered years and the next it is the even numbered years. I am an even numbered year having been graduated in 1968.
Finally, I wrote a note, as part of that time, I think, when I was trying as I put it, to reconnect the dots between my present and my past. Also somebody wrote a note wondering where I was along with a few other people. I don’t remember what I wrote in that first note: fifty words about something. But I wrote a couple others too and they were about getting older. I remember I wrote about how I got really alarmed when one day I was combing my hair—no, that can’t be right, I never comb my hair—anyway I found this hair, whatever I was doing, about a foot long, growing right out of the top of my ear and it had got mixed in with all the other hairs. So I wrote about this hair I remember and I wrote about having to buy tweezers to pluck the hairs that had started growing out of the top of my nose.
I got a call from the class notes lady for a class note a few weeks back because I guess the even numbered issue is about to come out, and, hell, I just stared at it and thought about what I might write, and didn’t think I could write that I felt like s…t because my father had died last year and my mother had died this year and my brother had a stroke and I caught pneumonia. For some reason, in class notes, you don’t write like: “Life is hell and I can’t figure it out at all. And every day I think about shooting myself.” I guess that is just not polite or something. Imagine a whole page of class notes with everybody just lamenting their asses off about the struggle of existing.
But then I got that picture from the classmate showing me and friends from that time. So I sat down and wrote a note something like: “My damn fecal sample tested positive and they practically ordered me to go in for that colon thing where they knock you out a little and stick the tube all the way up. This scared me to death since I figured I was dying. So there I was lying on this table with my bum sticking out in the air and I ask the nurse lady what could cause a positive. And she says, Oh this test gives all sorts of false positives. And I think, Oh Great! Sarcastically in my head. After the doctor says I have a normal colon for a 61 year old man. I guess this is good though it doesn’t sound so hot. I guess my colon is just aging along like my face except I can’t see it. Which is probably a good thing too.”
The next time the class notes come out I will be interested to see if the editor of the class notes includes mine. Because so far nobody has written anything about having something stuck up his or her colon.