It is just about midnight on Wednesday night and I am just returning home from a party. I hadn't known there was a party nor had I planned on attending a party, it was just fortuitous that I happened into it. My neighbor, Chuck, sent two of his minions by earlier and coerced me into attending the party.
I'm not really sure which to discuss first, the coercion, or why I was partying with people half my age until midnight on a school night... No! Let's try the moniker as a starting point.
About two years ago, my neighbors at the time were Andy and the two Jakes. (Sounds like a band almost.) I was sitting at home one afternoon, reading out on my deck on a temperate late winter afternoon when one of the Jakes (I never did have last names, so I just thought of them as the two Jakes, or if I needed to specify one or the other, it was either the little Jake, or the big Jake in reference to one's diminutive stature and the other's tall stature.) was dumping a box of empty beer bottles in the trash. He came over and introduced himself to me, my deck being within the line of sight of the trash bins.
"Hi!" he said, coming up to but respecting the fence line, "I'm your neighbor, Jake, and we're having a St. Patrick's day party next week. Please feel free to come." So I did. It was a pretty good party. There was a corned-beef brisket, and lots of snacks and beer. It was not until much later I was to discover that they were all (just barely) legal to drink! Andy, whose parents own the townhouse that backs onto mine, and the two Jakes throw a heck of a party! We were doing keg stands and shots until the wee hours. The next afternoon when I got home from work, little Jake saw me coming back from the mailbox with my mail. He was looking a bit green around the gills. "Didn't go to work, eh?" he said.
I said that I had, that I was just getting home and he asked me if I had come home early because I was still hung-over. "Eh?" I said, "Oh, no. I am at the office every morning by 06:00 so I am usually home around three."
"You must have had a horribly unproductive day." He concluded, obviously nursing a hangover himself.
"Nope." I assured him, "I was raring to go when I walked into the office at 05:45 and worked straight through. Why?"
"You're an Animal!" he concluded and by the time the next party came around, all these kids, half my age, were calling me "Don, the Animal."
This evening, as I was sitting reading, I heard a yell for outside, it was one of the guys from next door. They told me that they were having an eighties party and needed Don the Animal to make it complete. So I came upstairs, put on a couple layered polo shirts, put on my blazer and pushed the sleeves up to the elbows, added a pair of khakis and some shares and headed off to the party. It was a bit unnerving to be the only person there wearing something that they had actually owned in the eighties!
It was a fun party though, this one person was wearing a parachute suit and looked like Michael Jackson. But as I pointed-out, when Thriller was made, Michael Jackson was still black! There was a passable Ozzie Osborne, and a couple pretty good Cindie Laupers. I was, however, the only person there who had been aware of what was going on in the eighties. When I mentioned that I had been the age of the oldest person in the room when I graduated from college in 1984, they all bought me a beer and the party was well, and truly, under way!
But like Cinderella's coach, I will be turning into a pumpkin at midnight so I headed home a few minutes ago, got ready for bed and decided to make a rare late night blog entry. I love the fact that I am popular with people half my age! It is not as if they are inviting me to keep me from complaining, of the four units in this building, I am NEVER the one who complains. The two people on the ends do. One far more than the other, mind you. So I have to conclude that they just like partying with me. Ah! I now understand the aphorisms that my advisor in college used to throw at me - the ones that I swore I would never use. Yes, college is one of the best times of your life, but then, what part of your life isn't?
Live up, everyone! I hope today is the best of your life and if it isn't, do something to make it so!
Don Bergquist - 17-September-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado.