[IMAGE: HIGH SCHOOL HERO.]
TOM: And so the following evening I brought Jim home to dinner. I had known Jim slightly in high school. In high school Jim was a hero. He had tremendous Irish good nature and vitality with the scrubbed and polished look of white chinaware. He seemed to move in a continual spotlight. He was a star in basket-ball, captain of the debating club, president of the senior class and the glee club and he sang the male lead in the annual light operas. He was always running or bounding, never just walking. He seemed always at the point of defeating the law of gravity. He was shooting with such velocity through his adolescence that you would logically expect him to arrive at nothing short of the White House by the time he was thirty. But Jim apparently ran into more interference after his graduation from Soldan. His speed had definitely slowed. Six years after he left high school he was holding a job that wasn't much better than mine.
He was the only one at the warehouse with whom I was on friendly terms. I was valuable to him as someone who could remember his former glory, who had seen him win basketball games and the silver cup in debating. He knew of my secret practice of retiring to a cabinet of the washroom to work on poems when business was slack in the warehouse. He called me Shakespeare. And while the other boys in the warehouse regarded me with suspicious hostility, Jim took a humorous attitude toward me. Gradually his attitude affected the others, their hostility wore off and they also began to smile at me as people smile at an oddly fashioned dog who trots across their path at some distance.
I knew that Jim and Laura had known each other at Soldan, and I had heard Laura speak admiringly of his voice. I didn't know if Jim remembered her or not. In high school Laura had been as unobtrusive as Jim had been astonishing. If he did remember Laura, it was not as my sister, for when I asked him to dinner, he grinned and said, 'You know, Shakespeare, I never thought of you as having folks !'
He was about to discover that I did.
Borderline evil or was it? Tom invites Jim over to dinner. Jim, a fallen highschool big man on campus, works with Tom at the factory. In high school, Laura always had a crush on the man that talked to her and called her Blue Roses. Of course, this should naturally play out into a scene of nervousness and confusion because Laura is too shy to approach Jim. But just as she gets close to him, and he kisses her, he tells her that he is really engaged. Unfortunately, this breaks her heart because she has flirted with him and has acted like a young woman for the first time. Everything she did, backfired. Her mother's pushy intent to have her have a boyfriend led to this scene.
I doubt Tom knew Jim was married; but this evening shattered the frail glass mind that is Laura's. I pose this question, even though Tom denied knowing Jim was engaged, do you think he was being honest? Are safe to assume this? Or was this the act that began the unraveling of the times so Tom could travel the lines?Posted by KatieAikins at October 29, 2005 4:37 PM