soon other guests started to arrive. amy and dan have kept in touch with a lot of former high school classmates (did i mention i went to school with them?), so for me it was a mini-reunion of sorts, some people showed that i haven't seen in over 12 years. greg murphy arrived with a big scab on his head and his arms bandaged up, suffering from a nasty poison ivy reaction he got last weekend helping dan crush chicken coops. i saw kevin drinan, whom i haven't seen since our 5th year reunion, my former elementary school best friend now a father looking to become a teacher. there was tom noonan with his fiancee, both of them taking a break from teaching sky diving. jay o'shaunessy was there with his wife alissa stangle, 2 weeks before she's due to give birth to their daughter. colin mahony was there as well with his wife katherine, he explained the process in which he brews beer at home. seeing all these guys again was weird. i've only kept in touch with a small handful of high school friends, and even then, they play a small role in the bulk of my social life, along with my friends from college and friends from work. they all had nicknames for one another, most of them were in finances, and on weekends they get together for golf, something entirely alien to me. they were all married (or close to being married), some with kids. their priorities and mine seem so different, like after high school our lives went in two divergent directions. while most of my friends are still searching for life's meanings, bouncing from job to job, looking for love, trying to make ends meet, they (the members of the bbq) seemed to have found it, the traditional life of work, marriage, children, house, and golf, the golden dream of suburban americana. there must've been a train going to that destination and i just missed it.
besides BHS alumni, there were also friends of amy's, whom i didn't get to meet as much as my former high school classmates. one of them did say something profound though, that the secret of keeping your house clean is to invite people over every month, that way it forces you to clean up. this is definitely true, the only reason i keep my place clean is in anticipation of people coming over. i had an interesting conversation with bill when i told him i was a fellow biker as well. we shared some biking stories. at one point some of the guys disappeared to go watch the end of the red sox game. suddenly there erupted loud cheering and clapping as the red sox pulled out a victory against the yankees, game 2 in this weekend series. apparently there was a brawl as well, which i only heard about. the bbq coincided with dan's 30th birthday the next day, as his mother brought out a homemade cake along with candles for dan to reluctantly blow out.
my stomach full, the sun having set completely, with a few guests already left, i figured it was my time to go as well. amy returned some of the books i let her borrow from last year, and i motorcycled back to cambridge, the night air surprisingly cold as i held my jacket closed with one hand while i cruised back home.