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"My Old Friend"
There was this kid in grammar school, at P.S 64, in Buffalo.
Okay, I'll tell you his name: Richard Gacek.
He beat me at everything.
I outran everybody in the 100 yard dash,
except Richard Gacek.
He had the top grades of all the boys.
I was in there somewhere close.
In the graduation picture, guess who sat front and center.
I was in the back row toward the right.
Dick was Class President,
A job nobody ever considered me for.
I was too weird, always making jokes.
The trouble is: We were friends.
He was a really nice guy, humble and friendly.
He seemed to take second place to me socially.
It was an act.
A few years ago,
I called another school friend I got from the Buffalo Information Operator,
Raymond Maydej, pronounced Mayday.
He was dead.
I talked to his son,
and he gave me Richard Gacek's phone number.
I figured I'd brag about my musical career,
the Grammy nomination,
the millions of record sales.
Maybe before we both kick the bucket
I could get JUST ONE over on him.
A woman answered and I heard her say:
"Some guy wants to talk to the doctor."
He came on the line
and it took me about five minutes to explain who I am.
He hadn't been thinking about me.
He also wasn't so humble anymore.
"I went to Harvard on an athlete's scholarship,
and became a professor.
In fact I became HEAD professor of the Harvard Medical School.
I invented a whole new school of medicine."
I think it was the study of the left earlobe.
He then told me that his offspring were all doctors,
lawyers, or something equally annoying.
I was just happy mine were out of jail.
He said : "Let's keep in touch",
and I said: "Sure".
I didn't mention my music career.
After all these years, he got me again!
And I asked for it!
I told him I'd write.
He wrote to me once
on Harvard business stationery.
He never told me where he lived.
I never contacted the bastard again.
Copyright © April 22, 2002 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.