We're almost on our way. I have my bags packed. Two of them to be exact. One big one for clothes and a smaller satchel full of books. Bartowsky is not packed. Not even close. He reminds me of my best friend in high school.
My mother was living in Bridgewater -a bedroom community outside of Boston. My best friend and I decided that within hours of crossing the rostrum and grabbing the old sheepskin, we would jet to Boston and start life there. In truth we went to a raging party at a classmate's farm after crossing the stage, and rolled home in the early morning hours. The flight to Boston was scheduled for the next morning. I went home after the party to grab an hour or two of shuteye followed by breakfast with my dad.
At breakfast, the big Kahuna (my dad) slowly reached into his pocket, pulled out his wallet, and handed me two Ben Franklins. I think at that point, it was the most cash he had ever handed me at one time.
"Have a good life," he said, as if we wouldn't see each other ever again. I was a little perplexed by this statement. After all, if I am your only kid, and you really want me to have a nice life, then two hundred bucks...
But I thanked him. And I did appreciate it. Pops was a notorious skinflint on some things, so I was caught between amazement that it wasn't two Andrew Jacksons and that whole "nice life" comment. None-the-less, we hugged and professed our love for one another. And that was it. I was off to pick my best friend up on the other side of the block we lived on, grab the mother unit and her husband, and race off to Bismarck -two hours away - to catch a plane to the Big Green Monstah and all things Boston.
In the early morning hours of the post-party drop off, I emphasized the need to be up and packed for the trip. We didn't have time to mess around.
"No problem," my buddy said. "I'll be ready."
I arrived at his house. His mom, who always treated me well, said, "Oh. He's still sleeping."
I went to his room, and yep, sure enough, he was sprawled across his bed. Eyes shut tightly. Beer breath in full force. Drool on the pillow.
"Hey man, wake up! We gotta go."
I tried again. "Tim, wake up!"
"Yeah, yeah," he finally stirred, "I just have to pack."