Chapel Hill ’82

The next year
when I returned to my grandparents’ place
Walt was hanging out with Sven
the jerky kid
even though his name was fucking Sven
for fuck’s sake.

Last year
when Walt and I had been hanging out
reading Beetle Bailey and eating peanut butter sandwiches
– something my parents never offered me –
I’d confided in what a jerk Sven was to me
around the pool
and just in general
and how I didn’t feel comfortable around him
and Walt had agreed
and offered solidarity
and we barely ever dealt with jerky Sven at all.

But that was last year
and Walt was older
and Sven seemed cooler
and it looked like the two of them
had become pretty much inseparable
and when we were all at the pool together
it kinda seemed like they were talking about me
quietly, giggling
so I found better people to hang with
(and by better people
I mean my grandparents
and Beetle Bailey).

The summer went slow
and I didn’t enjoy it
quite as much as my previous visit
when I made such a good friend
that I knew I could trust
for all the years to come.

About Jonathan Berger

I used to write quite a bit more.
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